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endorsement income), winning a gold medal can mean a nice additional $10,157 in tax. (That’s before they pay Medicare tax, state tax, and any applicable local tax, too.) Those stars who win silver medals would be required to chip in an additional $6,073 in taxes. Even a bronze medalist comes home from Sochi with an extra $3,961 in taxes to pay. Fortunately, our athletes aren’t the only ones unhappy with this result. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has proposed exempting Olympic medals and the cash bonuses that accompany them from income taxes. In a rare example of bipartisan unity, President Obama agrees. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, “the president believes that we should support efforts – like, I think, the bill you are 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”. Is that all the taxman gets? Nope. The IRS collects again if the medal is resold. And that’s when the real taxes kick in. The current record for an Olympic medal at action was set in 2010, when the gold originally presented to Mark Wells of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” United States hockey team resold for $310,700. (The jersey worn by “Miracle on Ice” captain Mike Eruzione, sold for $657,250 earlier in 2013.) We might see another record this very month as the heirs of Bill “Mr. Bojangles” Robinson take a medal to the market. Robinson isn’t even an athlete – he earned his fame for dancing in films with Shirley Temple and the movie based on his own life, Stormy Weather (1943). But he helped Olympic great Jesse Owen find work in the entertainment industry after a long period of unemployment. A grateful Owens thanked Robinson by giving him his gold medal from the 1936 Berlin Games, which saw Owens embarrass Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and its racist culture. Today, Robinson’s heirs expect that medal to sell for a million dollars or more. That means the IRS is looking at another collection day for the estate of Mr. Bonjangles. Now, you might think the tax bill here isn’t so bad – after all, tax on capital gains is capped at 20%, right? Unfortunately, there’s a special 28% tax rate on gains from the sale of a collectible. Depending on the medal’s value at the time of Robinson’s death (which “stepped up” the basis in the medal to its fair market value at that time), Robinson’s heirs could be looking at a significant tax hit for parting with their piece of Olympic history. As you root for our Team USA athletes to succeed in the 2014 Winter Olympics, you’ll probably assume they have some sort of plan for victory on the ice or snow. Now you might consider that they’ll also need a plan to help them with their tax obligations. And that, in turn, might make you think you need your own plan to ward off wasting money on taxes you don’t have to pay. Perhaps now is the time for that plan? April 15th is right around the corner.

Best-selling co-author of “Tax Breaks of the RICH & FAMOUS,” speaker and tax strategist offers: A free analysis of your tax situation; if we can’t identify a way to save you money on your taxes, we’ll donate $100 to your favorite charity

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