Today, Congressmen Mike Turner congratulated Kayla Harrison upon her becoming the first American to ever win an Olympic gold medal in judo. Turner has also joined Members of the House and Senate in sponsoring legislation which would eliminate the tax on Olympic medals won by U.S. athletes.


“I’d like to congratulate Kayla on this tremendous accomplishment. Her hard work and determination will be an enduring example to both members of our community and our nation as a whole. As the first American, man or woman, to ever win a gold medal in judo she has earned a place in sports history,” said Turner.


Unfortunately for athletes like Kayla Harrison, upon returning to the United States, she will be greeted by not only her fans, but also the Internal Revenue Service. Currently, U.S. Olympians must pay taxes on their Olympic medals and prizes because the U.S. imposes taxes on worldwide income earned overseas. To end this tax on our hero-athletes, Turner has cosponsored H.R. 6267. The legislation would exempt U.S. Olympic athletes from having to pay taxes on the medals and awards they win competing on behalf of the U.S. in the Olympics. 

“Our hero-athletes should be greeted with applause and cheers when returning home, not a tax bill. After years of preparation and expense to win an Olympic medal, the last thing Americans competing on behalf of their nation need is the additional burden of paying Uncle Sam for their success,” added Turner.

More than 500 U.S. athletes are representing our country this summer in the Olympic Games, including 17 from the state of Ohio and 2 from the Miami Valley region. Medal winners receive honorariums that accompany the medals themselves – and pay taxes on those amounts as follows:

Medal                          Medal Tax                  Honorarium                Honorarium Tax

Gold                            $236                            $25,000                       $8,986

Silver                           $135                            $15,000                       $5,385

Bronze                         $2                                $10,000                       $3,500

According to research performed by Americans for Tax Reform, U.S. athletes are virtually the only athletes subject to having their Olympic awards and prizes taxed as income.