Senate Approves Bill to Exempt Olympic Medals and Awards from Taxation

CCH Tax Day Report

The Senate approved the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Bill (Sen 2650) by unanimous consent on July 12. The measure now heads to the House for consideration.

If enacted, the value of any medals awarded in, or any prize money received from the U.S. Olympic Committee on account of, competition in the Olympic or Paralympic Games would be exempt from income taxation, beginning with the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was originally introduced in 2014 in the 113th Congress. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, cosponsors the bill that was reintroduced March 8, 2016. The bill would amend Code Sec. 74 by adding an exception to the general rule that gross income includes amounts received as prizes and awards.

“Our Olympic and Paralympic champions dedicate their lives to training to compete on the world stage, making numerous sacrifices for themselves and their families along the way,” Thune said in a July 12 statement after the bill’s passage. “Having this bill signed into law would mean victorious athletes from Team USA won’t have to worry about a new tax burden and instead can focus on the warm welcome and congratulations from a grateful nation,” he added.

House

The Tax Exemption for American Medalists (TEAM) Bill (HR 2628) is a related measure introduced in the House on June 3, 2015. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Tex., would also exempt from taxation medals and prize money awarded at Olympic Games.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

Press Release: Senate Passes Thune-Schumer Bill to Eliminate Tax Penalty on Team USA Medalists

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