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Subject: So SOMETIMES Congress does a good thing... rss

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Christopher Seguin
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On September 22, 2016, the House passed the "United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act" (H.R. 5946). The Senate passed it on September 29, 2016, and it is now waiting for the President to sign it (I think after he returns from his golf trip...).

The new Act will provide tax-free relief for winners of medals, prizes, and awards for Team USA athletes during Olympic and Paralympic events. This only applies to those whose AGI is less than $1,000,000.

I think that is rather cool. Congratulations, Congress, on a job well done.

Oh, and Thanks, Obama!
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jeremy cobert
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Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !
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jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
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Boaty McBoatface
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Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.
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Lee Fisher
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It's only preventing the awards themselves from being taxed

Quote:
On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act of 2016, H.R. 5946. The legislation amends Sec. 74 to exclude “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.”


What kind of money are we talking about here? It probably makes sense that the prize shouldn't be taxed.
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Terwox wrote:
It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

Nothing could be further from the truth, even for American athletes. The only ones that make any sort of money are the ones that most people have heard of, which is a small, small fraction of Olymopic winners (let alone all US athletes). The most famous example might be Rhonda Rousey, she's an Olympic medalist yet was living out of her car a year after her games.

The US government doesn't subsidize Olympic athletes. The only way they're going to make money is with endorsements, speaking gigs or some of actual job.
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David Dearlove
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At the moment the medals are taxed based on their metal content. I thnk it was decided a gold medal was $5000 dollars. This seems absurd. But since the whole uS tax system seems broken, chipping away at this seems pointless.
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DavidDearlove wrote:
At the moment the medals are taxed based on their metal content. I thnk it was decided a gold medal was $5000 dollars. This seems absurd.

That is absurd. It should be about 1/10 of that based on the metal value.
 
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Christopher Seguin
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lfisher wrote:
It's only preventing the awards themselves from being taxed

Quote:
On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act of 2016, H.R. 5946. The legislation amends Sec. 74 to exclude “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.”


What kind of money are we talking about here? It probably makes sense that the prize shouldn't be taxed.


Thanks for the update. Congress.gov still shows it as sitting on Obama's desk.

US Olympic athletes do not make a lot of money, and much of their training is paid for by themselves (unless they are the "super athletes" with sponsorship and endorsements like Michael Phelps). Keep in mind that outside of certain sports such as basketball, golf, and tennis, these are amateurs competing, not "professional athletes" as someone claimed. And especially those that compete in the paralympics - how many of those are actually "wealthy athletes"? Any?

Receiving a $25,000 "Award" for representing your country in international sport competition and winning is nice, but when you lose up to 40% of it in taxes, it kind of sucks. So, I think that Congress did the right thing. One should also note that it only applies to those making less than $1,000,000, which means that LeBron James has to pay taxes on his gold medal, but Maggie Stephens and Jinny Thrasher probably got their awards "tax free" (does anyone even know who Maggie Stephens is?)

By the way, Representative Jim Himes (D-CT4) was the only person to vote against it. I would be curious as to his reasoning, but of course, someone will say "Why do you hate the handicapped?" or something ludicrous like that. The Senate passed it unanimously.
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chrisnd wrote:
I would be curious as to his reasoning

He thinks it's bad policy. Instead of fixing a broken and complex tax system, it's just another feel-good election year stunt to patch on more complexity.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.


Someone's keeping their own money is not your subsidizing them.
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damiangerous wrote:
Terwox wrote:
It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

Nothing could be further from the truth, even for American athletes. The only ones that make any sort of money are the ones that most people have heard of, which is a small, small fraction of Olymopic winners (let alone all US athletes). The most famous example might be Rhonda Rousey, she's an Olympic medalist yet was living out of her car a year after her games.

The US government doesn't subsidize Olympic athletes. The only way they're going to make money is with endorsements, speaking gigs or some of actual job.


I understand that. I didn't say they were rich, I said they don't work (unless they're a professional athlete, e.g., entertainer.)

I'm just not terribly sympathetic. If you want to suffer for your art, so be it, but I don't want to subsidize said suffering -- beyond the level of UBI, which would be totally fine. I don't see a reason to pay you EXTRA because you're a successful athlete in a niche field. (I'd much rather UBI existed so that athletes could rise to the top. That'd be great.)

Rhousey is an inspiring fighter, but I don't really see a reason to cover her training. I'm glad she's more successful now.

Anyway, it's just the value of the awards, and that makes a lot more sense.
 
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theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.


Not getting someone's money is not a subsidy.
It is if cuts or made or others have to take up the slack in some way.
 
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J.D. Hall
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theodorelogan wrote:

Someone's keeping their own money is not your subsidizing them.

How about we let you keep your money instead? Just agree not to use public roads (paid for by taxes), or go to a public library (paid for by taxes) or don't depend on customers for your business (the majority of which are publically educated which is paid for by taxes), or call the police and fire department (again, paid for by taxes) or take any kind of approved medication (vetted by the FDA which is, you know) paid for by taxes). Oh, and don't walk on sidewalks or visit your favorite club (both either paid for directly by taxes or made safe by taxes). And make sure you tell veterans you don't want to subsidize their medical care either, which, you know, is paid for by taxes.

But hey, you got to keep your money.
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theodorelogan wrote:
Someone's keeping their own money is not your subsidizing them.

Sure it is. It's an example of an indirect subsidy.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.


Not getting someone's money is not a subsidy.
It is if cuts or made or others have to take up the slack in some way.


A subsidy is not "anything that makes me have to pay more for something". A subsidy is giving money to incentivize or reduce the cost of somthing. The US government isn't giving anyone money. You aren't giving anyone money. Therefore there is no subsidy.
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Boaty McBoatface
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theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.


Not getting someone's money is not a subsidy.
It is if cuts or made or others have to take up the slack in some way.


A subsidy is not "anything that makes me have to pay more for something". A subsidy is giving money to incentivize or reduce the cost of somthing. The US government isn't giving anyone money. You aren't giving anyone money. Therefore there is no subsidy.
No, subsidizing somone is not giving them money, it is helping them financially, I fail to see how tax break is not helping someone financially.
 
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I fail to see how putting a low-income athlete in a position to have to pawn their medal they got representing our country in order to pay their tax bill on it is a good thing. I would put the limit at $100k though, and not include the value of the medals in AGI.
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Jythier wrote:
I fail to see how putting a low-income athlete in a position to have to pawn their medal they got representing our country in order to pay their tax bill on it is a good thing. I would put the limit at $100k though.


Does the IOC give anything close to 100k or more?
 
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Quote:

What is a 'Subsidy'
A subsidy is a benefit given by the government to groups or individuals, usually in the form of a cash payment or a tax reduction. The subsidy is typically given to remove some type of burden, and it is often considered to be in the overall interest of the public.
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lfisher wrote:
Jythier wrote:
I fail to see how putting a low-income athlete in a position to have to pawn their medal they got representing our country in order to pay their tax bill on it is a good thing. I would put the limit at $100k though.


Does the IOC give anything close to 100k or more?


I thought there were winnings per medal but my info is likely out of date. The bulk of the money these days is from corporate endorsements I think. The world cup had much bigger payouts. Going by google, US athletes got 25k/15k/10k for gold/silver/bronze.
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Also they recently passed that rape-kit law, too, which I thought was pretty good, but I wasn't sure who could vote 'no' to that because who could run against "My opponent voted for sexual assaulters to get away with it."
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Jythier wrote:
I fail to see how putting a low-income athlete in a position to have to pawn their medal they got representing our country in order to pay their tax bill on it is a good thing. I would put the limit at $100k though, and not include the value of the medals in AGI.

Why would they have to pawn the medal? The issue here is not the medal, it is the cash prize they get for winning.
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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jmilum wrote:
Jythier wrote:
I fail to see how putting a low-income athlete in a position to have to pawn their medal they got representing our country in order to pay their tax bill on it is a good thing. I would put the limit at $100k though, and not include the value of the medals in AGI.

Why would they have to pawn the medal? The issue here is not the medal, it is the cash prize they get for winning.


If there's a cash prize then I don't care.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
theodorelogan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Terwox wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Special tax breaks for jocks ? Triggered !


No it's ok because it is only jocks who are winners!

It's not the biggest deal, but I don't really understand -- if you're an Olympic winner, you already lead a life that allows you to not work and instead train for a competition.

I don't quite follow why we want to subsidize that -- or more accurately I suppose, shoulder their tax burden.

Um, I'm not upset about it or anything -- but it does seem odd to say "Hey, professional athlete! You pay too many taxes!" If the Olympics was still limited to amateurs this would make a lot more sense to me.

But yeah, $1M AGI? That seems about an order of magnitude high to write off.

What am I missing? I suppose it's nice to incentivize competition as our performance in the Olympics does reflect upon our self-concept as a nation...
I would tend to agree, why the hell should we suberdise (I look at this from A UK perspective) sportsman.

I can think of things far more worthy, like tax free homes for nurses.


Not getting someone's money is not a subsidy.
It is if cuts or made or others have to take up the slack in some way.


A subsidy is not "anything that makes me have to pay more for something". A subsidy is giving money to incentivize or reduce the cost of somthing. The US government isn't giving anyone money. You aren't giving anyone money. Therefore there is no subsidy.
No, subsidizing somone is not giving them money, it is helping them financially, I fail to see how tax break is not helping someone financially.


Sort of like I am helping you by choosing not to rob you. Should I also be offending by the idea of "giving you this subsidy"?
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