Aug 1, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Yang Sun (CHN) wears his medals before the finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
FLORIDA -- Attention Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and Kristin Armstrong. Sen. Marco Rubio wants to make sure you don't have to pay taxes on your gold.
The Florida Republican introduced a bill today to exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals. In addition to gold, silver or bronze, medal winners also receive cash payments to go with their hardware.
Rubio said the American medal winners get honorariums from the U.S. Olympic Committee of $25,000 (for winning gold), $15,000 (for silver) and $10,000 for bronze, with the Internal Revenue Service ever ready to collect.
"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," said Rubio, a Tea Party favorite. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home."
Under Rubio's bill, the gross income of U.S. Olympians "shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games." If the bill becomes law, it would apply to prizes received after Dec. 31, 2011.
Phelps, of course, made it into the history books yesterday with his record 19th Olympic medal in swimming. Cyclist Armstrong won gold in the women's road race -- her second in two Olympiads. And Franklin, only 17 years old, is one of the new faces in swimming with her gold in the 100-meter freestyle.
Catalina Camia, USA TODAY