<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Josh Barro</p> <p>Apparently, Olympic medals come along with cash honoraria -- $25,000, in the case of a gold medal. That's income, so it's taxable.</p> <p>Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is very upset about this, so he has introduced a bill to make Olympic income tax-exempt. He says in a <a href="http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=ea518eca-4667-4771-bee6-3eeda7106aac">statement</a>:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px">Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness... We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it.</p> <p>Taxes are not punishment, and Olympians shouldn't get special tax treatment just because they are Olympians. Americans for Tax Reform <a href="http://www.atr.org/win-olympic-gold-pay-irs-a7091">has raised the issue</a> that America is unusual in taxing its citizens' foreign income. But the <a href="http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve/?File_id=c8c159ab-0d94-4cbe-8591-e7991531dc35">Rubio bill</a> is not about foreign income; it would apply even when the Olympics are held in the United States.</p> <p>Rubio <a href="http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/fighting-for-florida?ID=21cc4455-3134-4c60-841e-837fa319e509">said</a> just last week that America needs "real tax reform that simplifies the tax code." That's true. So why is he proposing to introduce a stupid new complication into the tax code? Tax reform means removing deductions from the tax code, not adding them.</p> <p>(Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. <a href="mailto:jbarro1@bloomberg.net">E-mail</a> him and <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/jbarro">follow</a> him on Twitter.)</p> <p>Read more breaking commentary from Josh Barro and other Bloomberg View columnists and editors at <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/view/the-ticker/">the Ticker</a>.</p> </body> </html>