Taxes and the Olympics (Again!)

A few weeks ago, I sent out this following tweet:

I had to wait a bit longer then expected, but so it has begun. Yesterday I was interview for an article in the Globe about this exact issue and here is the article.

Of course my loyal readers know I have been writing about this for years now (well every two years that is) and here are several links to get you up to speed: here, here, and here.

If you prefer the bottom line, here it is:

  • If an Olympic medal contending athlete is not treating their income and expenses from being a medal contending competitive athlete (professional or amateur) as a business then they need to get themselves to a tax accountant pronto.
  • If an athlete is not using the tax advantage from the Amateur Athletic Trusts, then talk to CRA or your new wonderful tax accountant.
  • The fact that the prescribed prize exemption exists is repugnant, but regardless Olympic winnings do not qualify because prescribed prizes are only awarded to individuals who did not offer themselves up for competition but were nominated by an arm’s length body and because their efforts do not have a broad-based and tangible beneficial effect on the economy or the society. Warm glow does not qualify.
  • Just because Australia rewrote is tax code does not mean we need to. We have section 9 of the ITA and athletes should use it.

The issue of people wanting Olympic Winnings to be nontaxable is, IMHO, a solution in search of a problem that does not exist.

Now every time in the past I have written about this I get emails about how my weight precludes me from commenting on this issue. I don’t see the relationship so spare the efforts. You’ll just get deleted anyway and I really don’t care what you think about my weight.





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