Going for Olympic Gold: Removing the Tax Burden from Team USA
by Blake Farenthold on February 10, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Now that the Winter Olympics have kicked off in Sochi, we can expect Team USA to bring home the gold. But at a hefty price.
As it stands now, U.S. Olympic athletes could pay taxes as high as $9,000 on their winnings at the games. These are the same Americans who have dedicated most of their lives to training for the opportunity of a lifetime: representing our nation on the world stage. Our athletes and their families have given up a lot for their Olympic dreams.
The American dream is built on hard work and making sacrifices to achieve individual greatness. No group of athletes better illustrates this than U.S. Olympic medalists. Our Olympic athletes are the embodiment of the American spirit and give hope to all who watch them compete on the world stage.
As Team USA takes the stage in Sochi and unites our nation, they should be met with our support – not excessive taxes.
My bill, H.R. 3987, the “Tax Exemptions for American Medalists (TEAM) Act,” will exempt U.S. Olympic athletes from paying taxes on the medals and awards they win competing on behalf of the United States in the Olympics.
The President expressed support for the TEAM Act when I introduced it last Congress, saying that if it were to get to his desk he would support it. I’m glad the President agrees with me on fixing this problem with the tax code. Now he also needs to work with Congress on lessening the tax burden on ALL Americans. Tax rates are too high and the tax code is too complicated. We need a fairer, flatter and simpler system for all.
While I believe the best pathway to tax reform is through eliminating loopholes, implementing reforms like the Fair Tax and creating a simpler, flatter tax code, eliminating this unnecessary tax on our Olympic athletes is a good way to start. Let’s support Team USA to bring home the gold - not ask them to pay for the gold they earned.