Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt Americans competing in the Olympic Games from paying taxes on the prize money from their victory.
Athletes are awarded a $25,000 honorarium for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third, but under Rubio's bill, the money would not be subject to taxes currently imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS also taxes the cost of the medals themselves, Rubio said, which are worth an estimated $675 for gold, $385 for silver and $5 for bronze.
"Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home," Rubio said in a statement. "We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it."
Americans for Tax Reform, a group founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, estimated that Olympic medalists face a tax burden of as much as $8,986 when they return from the competition.
The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by stating that "gross income shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games.''