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It's official: Olympians are getting a tax break on medals

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President Obama signed the legislation excluding medals and bonuses from taxes into law Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic medalists will avoid taxes on their medals and winnings, thanks to legislation that President Obama signed into law Friday.

Obama signed the bill, the "United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympics Act of 2016," without official comment.

The Olympics were held in August, but Congress acted quickly to pass the bill and ensure that the exclusion will be in place when the 2016 Olympic winners file their taxes, meaning that the won't have to pay taxes on the value of the medals or the bonuses they earned at the Rio de Janeiro games.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., was broadly popular among members of Congress. It cleared the House with only one "no" vote: Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.

Nevertheless, tax experts sided with Himes. The exclusion of winnings from taxable income would likely not benefit amateurs, who are able to offset tax liabilities with deductions for training-related expenses, but it could help rich athletes.

Before the legislation passed the House, however, it was amended to take the break away from athletes who earn more than $1 million annually. That provision is aimed at Olympians such as basketball player Carmelo Anthony and swimmer Michael Phelps, who are already wealthy.