WASHINGTON- According to CNN "the Australian tax office says competitors who earn cash bonuses from their national Olympic committees and sports federations for winning medals will owe taxes in Australia, even if they receive the money after returning home."
The Olympic project Director for the Australian Tax Office, Peter Rowe, stated publicly "if the performance takes place in Australia and income is derived from that performance-regardless of where the contract is entered or where the bonus is paid — taxes are due."
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), issued the following statement concerning the effort by the Australian government to tax Olympic athletes:
"This proposed tax is as egregious as the death tax. It sends the message that after all the hard work athletes have invested, in the end it doesn\’t matter, because government will steal half.
"According to the USOC, American athletes are paid $15,000 for a gold medal, $10,000 for a silver medal, and $7,500 for a bronze medal. The USOC advises these athletes that their winnings are subject to U.S. tax laws. Now Australia is trying to claim some of the bonus money.
"What remains unclear about Australia\’s proposal is if income derived subsequent to an athlete\’s Olympic performance, such as an endorsement contract with an athletic apparel company, is subject to the Australian tax or not.
"No matter whether the proposal applies solely to bonuses earned in the Olympics or to subsequent income after the Olympics, there should be a permanent ban on taxing the winnings of our athletes. No government should tax Olympic athletes. I call on President Clinton to persuade the IOC and Mr. Rowe, who conjured up this nightmare, to publicly reject the idea of taxing Olympic athletes.
"To be clear, the IOC should never hold the Olympics in a country that attempts to tax the income earned from athletes who represent other countries."