House tax writer: Keep IRS away from Olympic medalists

The flurry of action on the issue came after Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform noted that the bonuses medalists get from the U.S. Olympic Committee were taxable. 

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A gold medal is currently worth $25,000, while a silver brings in $15,000 and a bronze $10,000. By ATR’s calculation, that means a gold medalist could face up to a $9,000 hit on their triumph.

Camp’s statement did not mention whether he was introducing legislation on the matter or joining an already circulated bill. 

The Michigan Republican has made overhauling the tax code, and making it simpler, a top priority. But Camp’s framework of lowering rates while not adding to the deficit would also require tax revenue to pay for those reduced rates.

After ATR published a blog post on the issue, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) introduced legislation that would free all U.S. Olympians from paying taxes on medals won in and after 2012. 

But Politifact, the independent fact-checker, has suggested that, while medalists did owe taxes, ATR had overstated how much gold medalists would have to fork over to the IRS. ATR has stood by its analysis.

Some top Democrats have also not embraced the tax-free medal movement the way Republicans have. 

Rep. Jim Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, tweeted Friday that tax-free medals could be more palatable if it was made retroactive for boxing gold medalists like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard — and if the lost revenue was made up for “by closing tax loopholes for outsourcing American jobs.”