U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued the following statements after the Senate passed the USA Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946), companion legislation to the Senate bill they introduced earlier this year that will exempt Team USA athletes with an adjusted gross income of $1 million or less from being taxed by the Internal Revenue Service on medals or prize money received from the U.S. Olympic Committee on account of the Olympic or Paralympic Games. This would apply to medals and prizes won at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. This bill will now be sent to the president for his signature. Their Senate bill originally passed the Senate in July.
“I can’t think of anything more unpatriotic than the federal government profiting off of the success of Olympic athletes,” said Thune. “Now that this tax on Olympic success will finally be a thing of the past, the medal-winning athletes who’ve returned home from the Rio games can continue to focus on what’s most important – sharing their victory and celebrating with friends, families, and communities across the United States.”
“I am happy to announce that our Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed in Rio will receive tax relief on their prize money and medals,” said Schumer. “Many countries subsidize their athletes to represent their country; the least we can do is make sure our athletes don’t get hit with a tax bill for winning a medal. After making sacrifices to train and volunteer to represent their country on the world’s stage, it’s just not right for the U.S. to welcome these athletes home with a tax bill on their medals and prize money.”
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Thune serves as chairman, oversees the U.S. Olympic Committee and other sports organizations. Thune and Schumer are both members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and revenue measures.
The USA Olympians and Paralympians Act, which was first introduced in the 113th Congress, is cosponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jerry Moran (R- Kan.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).