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Bidens Topped Typical Tax Bite

Campaign cut into couple's income, returns show
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2021 7:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Biden restored a long-standing presidential tradition Monday by releasing his tax returns, showing that 25.9% of the first couple's income went to the federal government in 2020. The average federal income tax rate is just over 14%. Biden and his wife, Jill, a teacher, earned $607,336 last year while he was running for president. That is down from $985,223 in 2019, when they primarily earned money from book sales, speeches, and positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia Community College, the AP reports. Those income opportunities diminished because of the campaign. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, declined to release his tax returns, a precedent that the new administration rejected. "I would expect that we will continue to release the president's tax returns, as should be expected by every president of the United States," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday ahead of the release.

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The Bidens donated $30,704 to 10 charities last year. The largest gift was $10,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation, a nonprofit focused on child abuse that is named after the president's deceased son. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, also released their 2020 tax filings. They paid a rate of 36.7% on income of $1,695,225 and contributed $27,006 to charity. Harris was previously a US senator representing California, while Emhoff was a Los Angeles-based entertainment lawyer. He now teaches law at Georgetown University. Biden campaigned on the transparency of his personal finances, releasing 22 years' worth of tax filings ahead of the 2020 election. It was a direct challenge to Trump, who claimed for several years that an audit prevented him from releasing his taxes—even though the IRS had mandated for more than four decades that the tax returns of a sitting president and vice president be audited. The New York Times later obtained the tax records of the reputed billionaire and reported that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes during his first year in the White House.

(Read more federal income tax stories.)

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