Japan Relaxes Olympic Prize Money Taxes Effective 2020

Japan’s National Sports Agency has announced that its Olympic medalists will no longer be taxed on additional prize money, effective with next year’s Tokyo-hosted event. Additionally, the maximum prize money limit that an athlete can receive from each sport federation will also be lifted, per a report in Asahi.

Since 2010, anything an athlete received over and above the Japanese Olympic Committee-paid amounts of $30,000 for a gold, $20,000 for a silver and $10,000 for bronze, has been taxed. This means that additional rewards offered by the specific sporting federations would be significantly reduced in terms of what the athlete actually put in his/her pocket.

However, tax reform has removed this stipulation in order to support and encourage Japanese athletes’ performance next year in Tokyo. This will enable athletes to not only reap the entire benefit of the Olympic Committee amount but also keep a great portion of what their sports-specific federations also provide as ‘bonuses’.

The actual reward amount varies per sports federations. The Japanese Table Tennis Federation, for example, awards $100,000 to a gold medalist, while the Japanese Tennis Federation pays a smaller amount of $80,000. Per Asahi, other sports federations such as Judo or swimming, which typically produce multiple individual medalists, do not pay any reward.


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1 year ago

At the last Olympics Japan won 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze individually for the men and 1 gold and 1 bronze for the women and Japan seems to be improving but still think they should offer bonuses. Bonus money on 6 medals would not hurt their budget that much.

1 year ago

I’m all for high taxes on the rich and such but I feel like Olympic, and world champs prize money should be tax exempt.

Pierre de Cubertin
Reply to  Yabo
1 year ago


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After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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