View Poll Results: Do you think taxes should be paid on Medals?

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  • Yes I think people should pay.

    9 18.37%
  • No,I don't think they should.

    38 77.55%
  • I'm not so sure.

    2 4.08%
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  1. #1
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    Taxes on Sports Medals...what do you think?

    Ok,I just found this out yesterday,and Im not sure how many (if any) of our Skaters here have had to do this. So,if you have,I would love to hear from you. But...(and as far as I know,this is at least in America) have any of our Skaters here ended up having to pay taxes ontheir Medal once they've won it? Because,from what I've heard,even Figure Skaters do. Also,what is everyone's opinion on this? Do you believe Athletes or Competitors in ANY Sport,should pay taxes on Medals?

  2. #2
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    I don't think they pay taxes on the medal itself; they pay taxes on the prize money or other financial gifts they receive.

  3. #3
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    Actually, they are also taxed on the value of the medal. An Olympic gold medal was taxed at around $300/medal. Silver and bronze were much less. It has to do with the base value of the metal. It's considered income.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Is there a reason that athletes should not pay taxes? I suppose you're saying athletes do not enjoy the privileges of living in a society with roads, libraries, schools, fire stations, police stations, hospitals and healthcare facilities, welfare, unemployment benefits, study grants, etc and thus should not have to contribute to it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    Is there a reason that athletes should not pay taxes? I suppose you're saying athletes do not enjoy the privileges of living in a society with roads, libraries, schools, fire stations, police stations, hospitals and healthcare facilities, welfare, unemployment benefits, study grants, etc and thus should not have to contribute to it.
    Yes, it's a taxable winnings, no different if they won the World Series or if I won the lotto. The difference is what it's worth. Not all medals/earnings are created equal, nor are all athletes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    Is there a reason that athletes should not pay taxes? I suppose you're saying athletes do not enjoy the privileges of living in a society with roads, libraries, schools, fire stations, police stations, hospitals and healthcare facilities, welfare, unemployment benefits, study grants, etc and thus should not have to contribute to it.
    I don't think the original poster was saying that. They were just asking for opinions. I do agree with others - it's income, and I see no reason not to tax it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Actually, they are also taxed on the value of the medal. An Olympic gold medal was taxed at around $300/medal. Silver and bronze were much less. It has to do with the base value of the metal. It's considered income.
    I obviously did not know that.

    If I were in charge, I'd probably say don't tax the medal itself, but do tax the prize money.

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    taxes on winnings: yes, it is income.
    taxes on medals: wtf, no.

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    I think this should be in the politics category.

  10. #10

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    Taxes on the medal seems extreme. It's not as if the medal has a retail value. Some medals might have a value as a collectible, but that isn't automatically true of every medal. As far as the materials in the medal having a value, wasn't tax paid when the materials were purchased?

  11. #11
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    I feel polarized to this like in the Olympics, medalists from not so well funded and not so popular sports will only get a short chunk of their money. while I approve of athlets that have so called superstar staus get taxed and earn a lot from endorsements anyways like Bolt, Phelps etc.

  12. #12
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    The medal is kind of like winning a car on the Price is Right - you still have to pay taxes even if it's not money. Not that I agree with most taxes, but that's another discussion...

  13. #13
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    taxing on medals seems ridiculous. If there is any tax on the medals, then the host countries should have to pay it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndockley92 View Post
    taxing on medals seems ridiculous. If there is any tax on the medals, then the host countries should have to pay it.
    So is that true if someone from a foreign country comes to the states and buys any precious medal? The USA would foot the bill for the taxes? That's really all the medal is.

    The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will be issuing gold medals that weigh in at 400g

    Assuming 92.5% silver content and a silver price of $30 an ounce, this calculates to: 12.86 toz * $30 * .925 purity = $357

    Add to this 6 grams of gold which at $1800 an ounce calculates to: 12.86 toz * $1800 = $347

    and you get a total worth of $704.
    Obviously that is the most expensive medal at this time, depending on the price of medal. It's really a case by case basis.

  15. #15

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    So if someone gets a World Series ring and it's made out of gold with precious stones in it, should that person have to claim it as income and pay taxes on it? If not, then this is a really stupid rule. Actually, I think it's a stupid rule regardless.
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    The tax on winnings is income tax. The amount of money medal winners receive is low enough that only those athletes with an outside income in addition to their prize money would have significant (if any) tax liability.

    Can't find a link, but I read during the Olympics that the value of the medals themselves is not actually subject to any taxes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    So is that true if someone from a foreign country comes to the states and buys any precious medal? The USA would foot the bill for the taxes? That's really all the medal is.
    I think the phrase you were looking for is 'precious metal' ... Anyways, I meant the host federation should foot the bill on the taxes. So any taxes on any medals won at SA should be paid for by USFS, no matter what country won the medal.

  18. #18

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    I don't think athletes should pay tax on the medals. On the price money yes, but the value of medal is not as big anyway and considering that the majority athletes want to keep their medal, winning would cause them to actually being out of pocket if they had to pay tax on the medal!

    According to wiki, the value of the medals in 2012 Olympics: the value of the materials in the gold medal is about $644, the silver about $330, and the bronze about $4.71 on the current market. (if they had to pay tax on the medal, it may be better to win the bronze rather than the gold!)

  19. #19

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    I'm fine with taxing prize money, which is just another type of income. Definitely no to taxing medals based on their theoretical value, so long as athletes do not attempt to monetize the medals; if they do sell a medal, then they can be taxed based on the value of the sale. But as far as I'm concerned, it's not income unless you're exchanging it for some kind of currency.

  20. #20

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    Wouldn't it depend on the tax laws of the athletes' home countries? It's not like the UK is slapping a VAT bill into the athletes' hands as soon as they're handed a medal. It's only when the athlete goes home that the issue of taxable income comes up.

    And are we talking income taxes or import duties? I know when I come back into the US, I have to fill out the customs form and list all the goods I'm bringing into the country that I either purchased or was given while abroad and their approximate monetary value. Anything in excess of a set amount that I can't remember at the moment is taxable. I would expect that Olympic medals fall under that category. In which case the winners of multiple medals like Phelps, might go over the duty-free limit - but then I expect his sponsors, endorsement contracts and prize money would be able to cover that cost without too much hardship.

    I alos expect that the US Government has already figured out the monetary cost of an Olympic medal for income tax purposes. It's the actual value of the medal that would count there, not it's theorectical value on an auction market. Given the costs of getting to the Olympics in any sport, I doubt that the extra $650 is going to make a big difference on some biathlete's income tax return.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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