June 14, 2021

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White House releases the Bidens’ tax return, showing their income dropped

3 min read

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden earned $607,336 in 2020, according to their newly released tax return, a significant drop from their 2019 income that reflects Joe Biden’s singular focus on campaigning for president last year.

The return shows that the Bidens paid $157,414 in federal income tax, a rate of 25.9%. The Bidens also made $30,704 in charitable contributions.

According to the president’s 2020 financial disclosure form, which was also released on Monday, he and Jill Biden have assets of between $1.2 million and $2.88 million.

The tax return released Monday shows that Joe Biden’s income fell by more than $300,000 last year, as he stopped doing lucrative speaking engagements in order to campaign.

In 2019, the Bidens reported making $944,737 in taxable income, and paid $299,346 in federal income taxes on it, or a 31% tax rate.

At the time, the Bidens’ 2019 income represented a significant decrease from the two years before that. In 2017, the couple reported making more than $11 million, and in 2018 they made $4.5 million. In both years, their income was largely the result of book deals.

As president, Joe Biden will make $400,000 in 2021, in addition to any royalties on his books and other income, like interest.

The White House also released Vice President Kamala Harris’s tax return on Monday, which was the federal income tax deadline this year.

Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, reported $1,695,225 in gross income. They reported paying $621,893 in federal income tax, a rate of 36.7%.

Harris and Emhoff contributed $27,000 to charity in 2020. Emhoff is a partner at DLA Piper, but he announced in August of last year that he was taking a leave of absence from the law firm.

As president, Joe Biden has proposed tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for a sweeping infrastructure improvement plan and a series of spending programs that would strengthen the social safety net and expand free education. 

Under his proposed plan, both the Bidens and Harris and Emhoff would see their taxes go up, if their incomes remained at these levels.

The president has made tax fairness a cornerstone of his economic agenda, and he often points out how much benefit the United States could see from nominally increased taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and enhanced IRS enforcement of current tax laws.

“Do we want to give the wealthiest people in America another tax cut, or do you want to give every high school graduate the ability to earn a community college degree?” Joe Biden said earlier this month at a speech in Norfolk, Va.

His administration’s domestic spending plan would make two years of community college free to high school graduates, and fund universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.

“It is paid for by making sure corporate America and the wealthiest 1% just pay their fair share,” he said.

Joe Biden’s release of tax returns follows four years during which former President Donald Trump kept his tax returns a secret, breaking with decades of presidential precedent.

In the announcement Monday, the White House said Joe Biden was “continuing an almost uninterrupted tradition” by releasing his return, a clear jab at Trump.

By contrast, said the White House, Joe Biden “has shared a total of 23 years of tax returns with the American public.”

2021-05-17 18:05:00

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