Michael Phelps Now A Tax Magnet With His Net Worth, May Become A Chinese Icon

Michael Phelps will be paying a huge tax for all the medals he won at the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to USA Today and MSN Money. The tax man will be collecting $55,000 from the most celebrated athlete of all time. The amount is almost like a penalty for winning five gold medals and one silver despite all the hard work Phelps has put in during the games.

Understanding that it is a deplorable disincentive to winning American athletes, a bill has been recently passed by the Senate in July last year. Senators John Thune, R-S.D., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sponsored the bill to eliminate taxes levied on Olympic and Paralympic athletes. However, according to Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware, a bill doesn’t become a law after passing the Senate.

The bill still has a few more hurdles to go through which is far more complicated than an obstacles race. These remaining hurdles are the following.

  • 5. Work with House Colleagues
  • 6. Negotiate Compromises in Conference
  • 7. Send it to the President for a signature
  • 8. Reauthorization

“Athletes should be worried about breaking world records, not breaking the bank, when they earn a medal, ” USA Today and MSN Money quote lawmaker Schumer as saying last week. Still, the bottom line is, until the bill becomes a law, Michael Phelps could still be paying up the tax owed for his 2016 Rio Olympics medals by April 17, 2017, at the latest.

The good news is, “some or all of their [Olympic athletes] massive training expenses would likely be deductible, whether they treat their sport as a business or a hobby.”

There’s also the question of what tax bracket Michael Phelps falls under as follows.

“The maximum possible ‘victory tax’ on the bonus for each gold medal, using the top tax rate of 39.6 percent for the nation’s highest earners, is $9,900, according to Americans for Tax Reform. For silver, it’s $5,940, and for bronze, it’s $3,960. Athletes in lower tax brackets would owe less.”

Of course, the $55,000 before deductions that Michael Phelps has to pay the IRS come April of next year is a mere drop in the bucket compared to his $55 million net worth as a star athlete. However, such a net worth becomes peanuts when compared to that of Hollywood stars like Justin Bieber, for example.

Bieber is worth $200 million, according to Time. Michael Phelps’ net worth becomes even more diminutive when compared with Taylor Swift, whose net worth is $280 million according to Hollywood Take.

In other Michael Phelps news, BBC reports that the celebrated Olympic swimmer who is often called a flying fish due to his speed and agility in the water is getting China talking.

“The most decorated Olympian of all time is inspiring Chinese people to copy his warm-up routine,” says the source.

Michael Phelps’ cupping technique for combatting muscle fatigue did get some considerable media traction during the Olympics because the technique highlighted the round, red spots all over his body. However, it was his weird practice of stretching his muscles before jumping in the pool that got the Chinese talking non-stop on both Weibo and social media. BBC describes the technique as follows.

“Using all of his 6ft 3in (193cm) he somehow manages to wrap his hands around his back. Some have wondered if it’s the stretching of his 80-inch wingspan that gives him his edge.”

The hashtags #Feiyubao and #Feiyubaobimohoubei, which roughly translate into the now classic Michael Phelps pose described above, have been viewed more than 10 million times on Weibo alone. Weibo is the Chinese microblogging service with more than 505 million users who speak, read and write Mandarin and Cantonese, according to Steam Feed.

If this Chinese trend persists, the Michael Phelps pose could be next in line to the lotus pose, or revered Chinese martial arts strokes like the Whooping Crane and Crouching Tiger. Because he is now the greatest Olympian by virtue of the 28 medals in his horde, Michael Phelps ceases to be a property of the United States at this juncture in history. He now belongs to the whole world and even when he is retired, different cultures are like to spin modern legends around the guy.

[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]