President Obama Signs Bill Ending 'Victory Tax' On Olympic Athletes

President Obama Signs Bill Ending 'Victory Tax' On Olympic Athletes
Photo: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
President Obama signed a bill that will prevent U.S. Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalists from having to pay a "victory tax" on their earnings, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. Olympic Committee awarded $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze to U.S. Olympians in Rio. Before this bill, Olympic medalists--who often have an annual income that puts them at or below the poverty line--were paying standard tax rates on their Olympic bonuses. While $25,000 doesn't sound like a lot, for athletes in less famous events, that could be among the biggest windfalls of their careers.

The bill passed the House 415-1 and passed the Senate by a unanimous consent. It will retroactively reduce the tax bills of athletes who competed in Rio this summer.

Lawmakers against this tax argued that Olympic athletes spend years aiming for one or multiple medals, and that training is an expense in itself.

The tax hasn't completely gone away, however. Team USA medalists who make at least $1 million a year will be subject to the tax; swimmer Michael Phelps is just one example.

This law does not restrict taxes placed on athletes' endorsement income or non-Olympic prize winnings. 
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