Aug 8, 2012

Senator Rubio to IRS: Lay off Olympic medalists

Olympic athletes have enough to worry about without the IRS showing up to claim their piece of the prize. However, they are taxpaying citizens like the rest of us.

When an athlete wins a medal, they also receive a cash prize as part of their earnings -- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. All of which can be taxed by the Internal Revenue Service.

Since it is election season, of course politicans will make a big deal of this issue. Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced legislation that would stop the IRS from taxing American Olympic medalists on their winnings at the games.

Rubio, thought to be on the short-list to be Mitt Romney's running mate, called it a "ridiculous tax law."

"Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness," Rubio said in a statement.

"Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home."

"We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it," Rubio added.

My questions are the following:
  1. Athletes are independent contractors, what make them more special than the average citizen getting paid as an independent contractor?
  2. There are many people working aboard representing our country, what about exempting their taxes?
  3. I wonder if doctors or tax accountants dedicate their lives to excellence?
I'm a big time sports fan. I did organized sports from my elementary to college days. I just don't believe that money for medals should be tax exempt. There are alot of hard-working citizens that are struggling because taxes are kicking their butts. Winning a medal is special but there are thousands of other heroes that don't get media attention. In that case, why don't we exempt educators, firefighters, and nurses' wages. They are American heroes in my eyes too.

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