It's with mixed emotions that I report that Canada won against the USA
1-0 in the semifinals today in Sochi. Canada next plays Sweden for the
gold medal, and the USA plays Finland for the bronze.
But, ALL of the players on both the Canadian and American teams were
professionals from the NHL. Canada also has it's own CHL, the Canadian
Hockey League, but most of the CHL teams are farm teams for the NHL.
So, it's no friggin wonder we won against the Slovanian team, who only
had a single NHL'er on their team. I feel just about as proud and
nationalistic as I would if Canada were to win 387 - 0 against Equador
whose team captain fishes squid for a living. Or, if Canada won in mens
and women's curling against Japan, whose team members had never curled
Oh well. Back in the day we used to bytch that the USSR was sending
professional hockey players to the Olympics. They were officially
members of the Red Army, but all they did all day was play hockey. They
were really paid to play hockey, and that's the definition of a pro.
I'd feel so much better about it if the best AMATEUR Canadian team we
could put together came out 1-0 against the best AMATEUR American team
you guys could put together. That way, it would be a contest, and
amateur teams from around the world would stand a chance at being on the
podium. This way, it's a foregone conclusion that the medals are going
to go to the major powerhouses in professional hockey, like Canada, the
USA and Russia because all of these guys are pros. They're all paid
millions of dollars per year just to play hockey.
Yes. I'm no great fan of hockey but I r emember those days, and I also
remember that while some were criticizing the Soviets, others were
saying, Why don't we do that too!. I think some of the critics were
saying, Why don't we do that too.
So now we do, I see.
How many countries have actually sent a lot of competitors to the winter
Olympics. Is it more than 10?
How many have sent a token delegatoin. Like the Jamaican Bobsled Team,
or the East Timor whatz'its. How many are like that.
Many of the competitors are what I'd call "professional" athletes.
They may not be paid for competing by a team, but they make tons of
money from product endorsements. These are, or course, the few that
are at the top of their game and have good recognition.
The hockey game was probably closer to an All Star game and the
Canadian team just made a slightly better pick from the NHL.
But at the top of popularity, you have the Jamaican Bobsled Team.
The days when a team like the Kitchener Dutchmen and the Edmonton
Mercurys represented Canada at the olympics were contests of REAL
ameteur atheletes. In '52 the Merc's took Gold, In '56 and '60 the
Dutchies took bronze and silver. In '64 was the first year we had a
"national" team at the olympics.
Generallly, in the US, any prize you win which you made an effort to win
is taxable income. Not especially heavily, Just at whatever marginal
tax bracket you're in, and these days in the US the range of brackets is
only from 30 to 33% iirc.
If you did nothing and you won it anyhow, it's not taxable. A Forbes
article refers to these as gifts, but I don't think the giver always
This left me wondering if Nobel prizes were taxed. People spend as much
as their whole working lifetime trying to do the things they win the
prize for, but otoh, rarely is any of that effort directed at winning
the prize itself. Well, they're taxable too.
"The tempest in a teapot story about Olympic medals triggering tax seems
a little silly. If you are about to rake in millions in product
endorsements, is it likely you care if your $25,000 cash prize is
$16,000 after taxes? I doubt it."
A silly first paragraph. Most medal winners don't make much in
endorsements. Even many gold medal winners don't.
But he's only talking about taxes on a cash prize that accompanies the
medal. I don't know there was such a thing.
I thought you were saying the value of the gold or silver in the medal
itself. People are sometimes surprised at how large they are, and if
they are 14 carat gold, they'd be worth a lot. Are they taxed? The
fact that they're not cash probably doesn't matter. When one goes on
Wheel of Fortune and wins a car, the value of the car is taxable to the
winner. I'll bet some people have to refuse the car and take whatever
cash they'll give instead, or sell the car, so that they have money to
pay the taxes.
OTOH, when Oprah gave away a car to everyone attending the show one day,
I don't know. They didn't go to any extra effort to get the car, and
they didn't know they would get one. Seems like it should not have
"President Obama is throwing his support behind a proposal introduced by
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to exempt American Olympic medal winners from
paying tax on their winnings.
"In a White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney said the
President would sign the bill if it lands on his desk. It doesnt cover
endorsement income, nor should it."
Just noticed that this quote was from an article dated 8/08/2012.
Look what was written on 12/11/2012
"Remember the flap over Olympics medals and the cash prizes that come
with them? U.S. Olympians received cash payments of $25,000 for gold,
$15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Is that taxable? You bet.
During the Olympics a bill was introduced in Congress by Sen. Marco
Rubio (R-Fla.), S. 3471, to eliminate the tax. President Obama supported
it and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President would
Yet interest in the bill waned almost as soon as the Closing Ceremonies
were over. Prizes and awards are taxed whether you win a drawing, quiz
show, beauty contest, or lottery. When you win merchandise or products
rather than cash, reporting the fair market value of the items can force
you to sell them to pay your tax. After all, you cant pay the IRS in
Current details are probably included with the instructions for form
Seems to ma a lot of things should not be taxable, but gifts over
$12,000 are, even to your kids.
The people that wrote the laws think that since you came into the
world with nothing, you should leave the same way and if you do leave
stuff behind, they want it, or at least to tax it.
If I hit the Powerball for 200 million, not only do I pay income
taxes, (OK fair enough) you pay tax if I give you a big chunk of it.
So, in order to save you tax problems, I won't be giving you any.
Assuming marriage you could give me around $26,000 a year. I'd be
willing to take it. Actually I would have no tax problems with giving me
more because that would fall under the gift tax and YOU would pay it.
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
I don;t know where you got this idea that non effort has any impact
on whether or not you pay taxes. Oprah caught six kinds of hell in the
media for that stunt because she did not pay the taxes. I get 1099-Gs
every once in awhile for my slot machine winnings and you can't get less
effort than that one.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.
It's one major way to mark the difference between receiving income and
receiving a gift.
How Are Prizes Distinguished From a Gift?
Prizes and awards are usually given in recognition for some affirmative
act by the recipient, such as entering into a contest, giving an
exceptional performance in work, or inventing something new. A gift, on
the other hand, usually depends on the intent of the donor; the donor
normally must make the payment with detached and disinterested
generosity. A payment primarily made out of moral or legal obligations
or for some past services of the recipient is usually not a gift.
Generally, a gift will require no actions from the the recipient.
You don't owe Uncle Sam income taxes on:.....
Gifts. Money you received as a present isnt taxable but you do owe
taxes on any income it produces. For example, if you receive bonds as a
gift, you must report any interest the bonds earned after you received
If any of the recipients complained, even after the law was explained to
them, they're ingrates. I can see how they might be disappointed if
they didn't know there would be income tax -- I too thought there
woudn't be -- especially if they had accepted the car and driven it, and
now couldn't sell it as new, although I doubt that since the tax issue
is in the news by the following week,
"Like any prize, the value is counted as income; winners must pay up to
$7,000 or forfeit the car. September 22, 2004". CNN too called it a
heavy tax, but that's only true because it was a heavy prize.
"Who can forget the Sept. 13, 2004, episode of the "The Oprah Winfrey
Show," when the talk show queen gave every member in her audience (yes,
all 276 of them!) a brand new Pontiac G6?" So that was 9 days before
the CNN article, but other articles and info may have appeared earlier.
"had a sticker price of $28,500, which would need to be claimed as
income. That income would be taxed and, depending on the recipient's tax
bracket, the "winner" would have to fork over as much as $7,000 to Uncle
Sam. At the time, Oprah's Harpo Productions said winners could keep the
car and pay the tax, sell the car and pay the tax with the profits, or
forfeit the car completely."
One winner who decided to sell the car was Kiley Russell. A recent
update on Oprah's OWN show "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" highlighted
Russell, who sold her G6 and used the money to start her own business, a
makeup line that includes an Oprah tribute lipgloss called Angel's Halo.
"I decided to sell the car and use that as seed money to start Big Girl
Cosmetics," Russell said. "Since [Oprah] gave us our start, and she was
my angel, I thought it'd be nice to offer a tribute to her."
After calling Macy's every day for two years, Russell's dream came true
when the department store chain came calling back and ultimately started
carrying her line. In the end, Oprah's gift turned out to be the gift
that keeps on giving.
In 2012, Inside Edition tracked down some other of the winners of the
Winner Molly Vielweber said she lets her daughter drive her car -- which
still boasts an original Oprah license plate -- and sometimes her
daughter sees people taking pictures of the car while she's driving it.
But another winner, Tricia Nester, immediately sold her car for $23,000,
after logging a mere 15 miles on it.
Meanwhile, tax implications didn't stop the car-happy host from gifting.
By 2010, when Oprah gave away the not-yet-introduced 2012 VW Beetle to
yet another audience, the tax issues weren't taxing to the winners.
According to the New York Post, Harpo said that the show made "a good
faith estimate of the tax due for each audience member" and paid the
bill on their behalf."
I guess the IRS considered going to the show as effort, especially
since she had given away little things before and a person might think
it not unlikely that he woudl get a hat or something.
If Oprah really didn't tell them when they got the car, her producers or
lawyers aren't doing their job. But at least some of them knew to sell
the car when it was still new, and the next time she estimated and paid
the income tax on the car.
It's more likely, I think, that tv and money and general coloumnists,
who have to write about something made an issue out of this that that
the winners complained.
Of course you can. Playing the slot machine definitely requires effort.
You have to go some place where there is a machine, go up to the
machine, put money in, and then push some button. I don't make that
effort and it's not the case that somehow I win or lose money in slot
Playing the slot machine is entering into a contest.
By "no effort", I mean that you're sitting around the living room
watching tv and you get a letter or phone call that you won some money
or things even though you didn't enter any contest or perform any other
action for whoever is giving the money.
INteresting. That was not my understanding, but then I was only
half paying attention. Thanks.
Well that would seem to go without saying in this case, but there
you are (grin0>
I was gonna suggest Publisher's Clearing HOuse, but even then you have
to send stuff in (you could deduct the cost of the postage). Probably
the closest would be the old Millionaire show where they just appeared
on your doorstep.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.
That's not an exclusion I was aware of. According to the IRS:
RS Tax Tip 2012-62, March 30, 2012
If you gave money or property to someone as a gift, you may owe federal gift
tax. Many gifts are not subject to the gift tax, but the IRS offers the
following eight tips about gifts and the gift tax.
1.. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax. For example, there is
usually no tax if you make a gift to your spouse or to a charity. If you
make a gift to someone else, the gift tax usually does not apply until the
value of the gifts you give that person exceeds the annual exclusion for the
year. For 2011 and 2012, the annual exclusion is $13,000.
2.. Gift tax returns do not need to be filed unless you give someone,
other than your spouse, money or property worth more than the annual
exclusion for that year.
3.. Generally, the person who receives your gift will not have to pay any
federal gift tax because of it. Also, that person will not have to pay
income tax on the value of the gift received.
4.. Making a gift does not ordinarily affect your federal income tax. You
cannot deduct the value of gifts you make (other than deductible charitable
5.. The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there
are many exceptions to this rule. The following gifts are not taxable gifts:
. Gifts that are do not exceed the annual exclusion for the calendar year,
. Tuition or medical expenses you pay directly to a medical or educational
institution for someone,
. Gifts to your spouse,
. Gifts to a political organization for its use, and
. Gifts to charities.
6.. You and your spouse can make a gift up to $26,000 to a third party
without making a taxable gift. The gift can be considered as made one-half
by you and one-half by your spouse. If you split a gift you made, you must
file a gift tax return to show that you and your spouse agree to use gift
splitting. You must file a Form 709, United States Gift (and
Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, even if half of the split gift is
less than the annual exclusion
7.. You must file a gift tax return on Form 709, if any of the following
. You gave gifts to at least one person (other than your spouse) that are
more than the annual exclusion for the year.
. You and your spouse are splitting a gift.
. You gave someone (other than your spouse) a gift of a future interest
or she cannot actually possess, enjoy, or receive income from until some
time in the future.
. You gave your spouse an interest in property that will terminate due to
a future event.
8.. You do not have to file a gift tax return to report gifts to political
organizations and gifts made by paying someone's tuition or medical
For more information see Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift
Taxes. Both Form 709 and Publication 950 can be downloaded at www.IRS.gov or
ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
I kinda doubt it. Our government gives out $200,000 for a gold medal,
$100,000 for a silver and $50,000 for a bronze. If an athlete reports a
$200,000 income on his tax return, that would put him in the top tax
bracket, and he'd be paying back close to half of that money to the
provincial and federal governments.
It would make more sense to simply give them half of those amounts tax
The medals themselves are worthless to anyone but the winners. My
understanding is that only the bronze medal is solid bronze. The gold
and silver medals are simply gold and silver plated, and therefore have
little inherent value and wouldn't be taxable as "income".
Actually, the CHL is a junior league. The AHL (26 teams in US, 4 teams
in Canada) is the NHL farm league. The CHL serves as a farm if you
consider that approx. half NHL players come from there (and 40% from the
US colleges, 10% from European leagues). It's not a "farm team" though.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.