Why triumphant US Olympians will have to cough up a "victory tax" when they get back from Rio

Joe Hall
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Simone Biles isn't the only one who will take a chunk out of the medal...the taxman could well do so too (Source: Getty)

The United States' Olympic medal winners will return to the homeland having to contend with thousands of new social media followers, countless media requests, potential endorsement offerings and the pride of friends and family.

It probably doesn't get much better. Which is just as well, because added to that list will be a "victory tax" bill.

American medal winners could have to fork out as much as $9,900 (£7,500) in a tax on the both the value of their medal and the prize money they receive for their success.

The United States Olympic Committee pays out $25,000 in remuneration for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 to those with a bronze.

Read more: How much are Michael Phelps' 22 Olympic gold medals worth? Here's how much the swimmer could add to his endorsement earnings

Furthermore, the value of a medal based on commodity value alone equates to $600 for gold and $300 for silver.

That's all considered a part of an athlete's income and presuming an athlete belongs in the country's top rate tax bracket, as those with lucrative multi-million dollar endorsement deals such as Simone Biles or Michael Phelps, would equate to a duty paymeny of $9,900 for every gold medal.

Teenage gymnastics sensation Biles, who picked up four gold medals and one bronze at this year's Olympics, could therefore be facing a tax bill in excess of $40,000 whereas titan of the pool Phelps, who won five golds and one silver in Rio, could be charged up to $55,000.

Read more: The time has come for the Olympic Games to be held in the same venue every four years

If every member of Team USA, the most successful country at the games so far with 30 golds, 32 silvers and 31 bronze medals, were in the top rate of tax that would equate to $1.1m handed back to the government.

Yet the actual amount is likely to much lower. According to the American Track and Field Association, only 50 per cent of the country's top 50 ranked track and field athletes make more than $15,000 a year.

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