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Should Olympic Medal Winners Pay Tax?

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A Taxing Question

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

At press time this evening, the United States was embarked on a successful 2012 Olympics. The U.S. had received 90 medals — 39 gold, 25 silver and 26 bronze. Our Olympic team was on a path to receive well over 100 medals.

While each medal has very high personal value, there also is value to the tangible materials. The gold medals contain approximately $675 in materials, the silver $385 and the bronze medal value is $5. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) also provides a cash gift for medal winners. The gift values are $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

Should the Olympic winners pay tax?

The general income tax rule is that all prizes are taxable unless specifically excluded. Several Senators and Representatives have proposed that the value of the medal and USOC cash award should be excluded from taxable income.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Olympic Tax Elimination Act. It would exempt medal winners from paying tax. Rubio stated, “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.”

Similar bills were introduced in the House by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL).

 Expenses to Offset Income

All of the bills would exempt the medal and cash award from taxation. CPAs who have commented on the proposal note that the athletes would need to report the cash awards as income, but also could offset this income with “ordinary and necessary” expenses related to the awards. For example, the five women gymnasts who won the gold medal could take deductions for their classes, costs of coaches and their travel expenses.

Assessment

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) joined the group that favors excluding the Olympic medals from taxation. He stated, “These athletes deserve every bit of our support and appreciation for representing the United States on the world stage. Allowing our Olympians to receive and enjoy their medals and awards without having to worry about whether they can pay the taxes on their accomplishment is just one small way we can show that support.”

Conclusion

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Physician’s Understanding Payroll Tax Deductions

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Doctor as Employer or Employee [A Primer]

The Payroll and Tax Deductions infographic from Paycor takes an unbelievably dry topic and makes it interesting by visually walking someone through their paycheck. The design allows them to understand all of the different things that may come out prior to the final amount that makes it to their bank account.

Are We Un-Aware

Some American healthcare workers aren’t aware of the factors that determine how much is deducted from their paychecks, yet it’s important to have that understanding so you can speak up about any errors.

Typical Deductions

So what exactly is that payroll software deducting from your paycheck? Typical deductions include federal income tax, OASDI, Medicare tax, disability and state income tax. Your tax bracket will range from 10% to 35% depending on your amount of taxable income. Medicare tax rates will be different depending on whether you work for a hospital or medical company; or are self-employed in private practice.

State Level

At the state level, individual states handle taxes differently, with seven states charging all residents a flat tax rate and nine other states not collecting any income taxes at all.

Assessment

Use this calculator  to help determine the impact of changing your payroll deductions. You can  enter your current payroll information and deductions, and then compare them to  your proposed deductions. Try changing your withholdings, filing status or  retirement savings and let the payroll deduction calculator show you the [approximate] impact on your take home pay.

LinkPayroll Tax Calculator http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/tax-planning/401k-deduction-calculator-taxes.aspx#ixzz1x3EbwgTf

Conclusion

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Where Tax Dollars Go?

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Conclusion

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IRS Help for Last-Minute Tax Filing Doctors

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2011 Tax Tips for 2012 [Are You Ready to File?]

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

The IRS published information letters last week to assist taxpayers who are filing their taxes before the April 17, 2012 deadline. Doctors, dentists and some other medical professionals may especially need some help.

And, the IRS YouTube channel is the fourth most popular government channel.

The IRS receives about 1 million views per year. Taxpayers may find several YouTube programs helpful. They are available in English, Spanish and American’s Sign Language.

IRS YouTube Programs

* Need more time to file your tax return?
* Last-Minute Tax Tips
* IRS Tax Payment Options
* Owe Taxes but can’t pay?
* When will I get my refund?

Smart Phone Accessible

The IRS YouTube videos are also available on iPhone or Android through the IRS2Go application that may be downloaded through the App Store or Android Marketplace. This is a nice feature for doctors interested in m-health.

For individual physicians who need extra time to file, it is possible to request an extension with Form 4868 (either electronically or by paper). This extension filing requires that you estimate and pay the correct tax, but your time to file is extended to October 15th. If you do not pay the correct tax, there is interest of 3% per year and a late penalty of 0.5% per month on the balance.

The Exceptions

There are three exceptions to the filing date. If you live and work abroad or are on military duty outside the U.S., you may pay on April 17 and file by June 15. Military members serving in Iraq or Afghanistan may file 180 days after departing the combat zone. Finally, several federal disaster areas in the Midwest are permitted to file and pay on May 31.

Need More Time?

Some taxpayers will need more time to pay. If your tax, penalties and interest are $50,000 or less, you may request a payment agreement from the IRS with Form 9465-FS. If you are unemployed or self-employed with a 25% reduction in income for 2011, you may file Form 1127-A to request permission to pay by October 15, 2012. You still must to pay the tax plus interest at that time.

Assessment

Finally, if you have a substantial overdue tax obligation, you may be able to negotiate an “offer-in-compromise” with the IRS. This will require the IRS to review all of your income and assets to make a determination as to the correct tax payment.

Conclusion

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Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Tax to Uncle Sam

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Were you Aware?

It often seems [especially to frustrated medical professionals] that we all have that cash-creative “friend” who manages to find every loophole, legal or otherwise, come tax time.

But, a startling new infographic from the Heritage Foundation shows that nearly half of all Americans avoided paying federal income taxes in 2009.

Assessment

That’s not even counting the folks who’ve fallen off the paycheck grid because of the nation’s high unemployment rate – OR – financial advisors, doctors and medical management professionals who’ve experienced same.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Do you pay your “fair share”?  Please review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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On the White House Tax Proposals

Reviewing the State of the Union Address

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By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

In his State of the Union Address last week, President Obama included several tax proposals. He stated his hope that high-income earners pay larger taxes in the future. The President also proposed a substantial number of major tax changes for businesses with international operations.

White House Examples

For example, he restated the “Buffet rule” that asks high income individuals to pay at least as high a rate as that paid by middle-income earners. The President noted, “Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the Tax Code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households.”

The White House also proposed that those with incomes over $1 million pay a minimum tax rate of 30%. Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million will have new limits on deductions for mortgage interest, healthcare expenses, qualified retirement plan contributions and childcare.

The Proposals

Many of the proposals for businesses were outlined in a White House press release on January 25th 2012. These major changes are designed to encourage U.S. companies to maintain their U.S. operations and increase employment here rather than overseas:

1. Overseas Plants – There would not be deductions for moving plants overseas. In addition, there would be a 20% tax credit against the cost of moving jobs from overseas back to the United States.

2. Manufacturing – Those manufacturers who purchase equipment would be able to expense 100% of those purchases. This option also existed in prior years and is expected to encourage building factories in the U.S. rather than abroad.

3. Major Job Losses – Areas that have experienced a closing of a military base or a major factory could qualify for a new investment credit of up to $2 billion. This credit creates incentives for building new plants or factories in depressed areas.

4. Minimum Tax – Corporations could be subject to a new minimum tax on their overseas jobs and profits.

Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Change in Distribution of Income Among Tax Filers 1996-2006

A Congressional Research Services White Paper

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As tax season draws near, here is an important essay from CRS, by:

Thomas L. Hungerford

[Specialist in Public Finance]

Assessment

Link: http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/crs-1.pdf

Conclusion       

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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