Olympic Medal Winners: To Tax or Not to Tax?

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Winning an Olympic medal. It can be taxing.

And we're not talking about the hard work and stress that comes along with competing against the world's top athletes.

We're talking about the actual U.S. tax code, which applies to champions such as Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin because they earn "honorariums" for finishing first, second or third in each event ($25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively).

According to The Weekly Standard, the estimated taxable income on a Gold is $8,986, a Silver is $5,385 and a Bronze is $3,500.

Gabby Douglas Hair

For multi-millionaires such as Phelps - who has already pocketed well into the seven figures via endorsements and who likely be showing in commercials more often than Peyton Manning over the next couple months - the tax is pocket change.

But for Franklin, a 17-year old yet to turn pro, she could have a far more difficult time paying what should amount to thousands in taxable income.

Is there a solution? Florida senator Marco Rubio believes so, saying late last week: "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."

Do you agree? Should Olympic athletes be exempt from paying taxes in this scenario?

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