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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Does small revenue loss justify bad tax law? No

More on legislative efforts to give a tax break to winning Olympians(!) ...

See my 8/17/16 post for background.  This post got a lot of comments both here and on Tax Connections.

An update: H.R. 5946, U.S. Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act, would modify §74 to exclude from income the value of medals and prize money received for competition in the Olympic or Paralympic Games. A similar bill, S. 2650, passed in the Senate on 7/12/16. Also see H.R. 2628, Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act of 2015 (TEAM Act), applicable to awards received after 2014. S. 2650 and H.R. 5946 would be effective for awards received after 2015.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that cost of this bill at $3 million over ten years (JCX-72-16 (9/13/16).

While $3 million cost over ten years is less than a rounding error in the federal budget, this does not justify enacting an unnecessary provision that violates many principles of good tax policy such as equity and neutrality.  Also, will this open the door to others seeking low cost changes to save them taxes? 

What do you think?

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