When Olympic medalists return to the United States, they're in high demand. Everyone, from Michael Phelps to a bronze medalist in judo will be sitting for television interviews, talking to newspapers, going to assemblies at local schools and celebrating with friends, family and young athletes. They'll also draw some unwanted interest from everyone's favorite bureaucrats: the IRS.
Medalists will have to pay hefty taxes for standing on the podium in London. It's not the value of the medal itself that will require a separate line on this year's tax returns, it's the tax on the prize money that comes with a gold, silver or bronze.
The United States Olympic Committee rewards Olympic medalists with honorariums. A gold medal brings $25,000. Silver medals get you $15,000. And a bronze is worth $10,000.
The Weekly Standard, a conservative news magazine, ran the numbers and tabulated that the tax bill on a gold is $8,986, silver is $5,385 and bronze is $3,500.
It notes that Missy Franklin, an amateur who has yet to cash in on her fame with endorsements, already owes $14,000 in taxes from her gold and silver medals. By the time the Games are finished, Franklin's tax bill could reach $30,000...