White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters today that President Obama would support a bill to exempt US olympic athletes from paying income taxes on olympic prize money. He was referring to a bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) last week.
Well, the President believes that we should support efforts, like I think the bill you’re referencing, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games. So he supports that bill. If it were to get to his desk, he would support it.
~ Press Secretary Jay Carney
Tax Girl points out that bills like this further complicate the tax code in an era when we should be more interested in simplifying. It seems this was nothing more than a strategic election-year political statement, as it doesn’t make sense to carve out a tax help exception for such a small segment of society. How small of a segment? Well, we sent 529 athletes to the London Games this year. And as of June 8, 2012, the IRS had received 137,200,000 individual tax returns for the 2012 filing season. I’m all about increasing tax relief opportunities but, conservatively speaking, (since many return filers are still under extension) we’re talking about .00039 percent of taxpayers benefiting from such an exclusion!