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US Congress Passes Tax Break For Olympians

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

03 October 2016

The United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act has been sent to President Barack Obama for signature following Senate's approval of the bill on September 29.

The Act will exempt Team USA from income tax on the value of medals won and the cash prizes awarded to them during Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will retroactively apply to the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro.

The bipartisan bill had already been passed by the Senate. However, as the companion legislation approved by the House of Representatives contained an amendment that the exemption is only available to athletes who earn less than USD1m a year, it had to return to the Senate for a further vote before it could be finally approved.

John Thune (R – South Dakota), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which oversees the US Olympic Committee and other sports organizations, said: "I can't think of anything more unpatriotic than the federal government profiting off of the success of Olympic athletes. Now this tax on Olympic success will finally be a thing of the past."

Another member of the Finance Committee, Chuck Schumer (D – New York), who also introduced the Act, added that "many countries subsidize their athletes to represent their country; the least we can do is make sure our athletes don't get hit with a tax bill for winning a medal. … It's just not right for the US to welcome these athletes home with a tax bill on their medals and prize money."

TAGS: individuals | tax | law | sportsmen | legislation | United States | tax breaks | individual income tax

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