Olympians are definitely stuck contending with tax bills resulting from their victories. Most prizes and awards are taxable whether you win $100 at a fishing competition or a dishwasher worth $2,000 on a gameshow. The Olympic committee awards $25,000 to gold medalists, $15,000 to silver, and $10,000 for bronze but what makes Olympic medals an interesting phenomenon is that the winners must pay taxes not just on those cash awards but the actual value of the medal itself.

The gold medals are made mostly of silver with gold plating and worth between $500-600 based on current commodity prices and the fact that Rio’s medals are some of the largest and heaviest Olympic medals ever crafted. Silver medals are worth about $300 and because the bronze medals are made mostly from copper and only worth about $4, their value isn’t taxed.

The US is one of the few countries that does not lend financial support to Olympians so the athletes must look for endorsement deals, sponsoring from local businesses, stipends from schools or the Olympic Committee, or a day job. Because many Olympians struggle to make it to the competition just to find themselves facing tax burdens as a result of winning, a bill was passed by the Senate to make Olympic and Paralympics medals and prize money federally tax-exempt and is currently being considered by the House.

Unless the bill is passed, Olympic medals and prizes are not tax-exempt.

Even if the Olympic medalists donate their prize money and/or medals to qualified charities, they can take an itemized deduction but it doesn’t exempt them from being taxed on the money in the first place. That exclusion only applies to specific educational, artistic, literary, civic, and scientific awards such as donating the award money for winning a Nobel Prize in chemistry.