Previously, America’s Olympic medalists were liable for federal and state taxes on both the prize money that they received from the Olympics (Gold: $25k, Silver: $15k, Bronze: $10k) and the value of the medals themselves. The medals for each Olympics can range in weight, but the worth of a gold medal is typically about $560, silver is $300, and the value of a bronze medal is negligible.
Luckily for the 2016 Rio Olympians, on October 7th, 2016 President Obama signed the Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act of 2016, which excludes “the value of any medal awarded in, or any prize money received from the United States Olympic Committee on account of, competition in the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games”. The new exclusion applies to prizes and awards received after December 31, 2015. However, the exclusion is not available if the Olympian has an adjusted gross income exceeding $1 million for the tax year. This is great news for the many Olympic athletes who aren’t offered endorsement deals but still have to deal with the burden of income taxes on their winnings.