President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden reported earning $607,336 last year and paying $157,414 in federal income taxes, according to 2020 federal tax returns made public Monday, a decline in income from the previous year.
The White House released the Bidens’ tax returns and those of Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, coinciding with Monday’s extended deadline to pay federal income taxes.
The transparency restores a White House tradition that was broken by former President Donald Trump, who refused to release his tax returns as president. It marks the 23rd year of tax returns released by Biden.
“I would expect that we will continue to release the president’s tax returns,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at Monday’s press briefing, “as should be expected by every president of the United States.”
The Bidens, who filed their tax returns jointly, had an effective federal income tax rate of 25.9%. The average rate for all Americans is 14.6%.
The Bidens also reported paying $28,794 in Delaware income tax in separate state income tax returns made public. In addition, Jill Biden released her Virginia income tax return, reporting paying $443 in Virginia income tax.
Harris and Emhoff reported federal adjusted gross income of $1,695,225 in 2020 and paying $621,893 in federal income tax, amounting to an effective federal income tax rate of 36.7%.
The 2020 tax returns cover a period while Biden was running for president and Harris, then a U.S. senator from California, was campaigning as Biden’s running-mate.
More than one-third of the income reported by the Bidens, $252,035, came from pensions and annuities. The Bidens earned an additional $212,681 from Giacoppa Corp., a corporation formed by the Bidens. The couple reported $45,836 in Social Security benefits and $12,861 from Northern Virginia Community College, where Jill Biden teaches English.
The Bidens reported donating $30,704 to charitable organizations in 2020, totaling 5.1% of their income. Their largest charitable contribution, $10,000, was to the Beau Biden Foundation, a charity named for the president’s late son dedicated to ensuring children are free from abuse. Biden donated $5,000 apiece to the Food Bank of Delaware and International Association of Fire Fighters Foundation and $1,000 to St. Joseph on the Brandywine, the Catholic Church that he and the first lady regularly attend in Wilmington, Delaware.
In 2019, Biden paid $287,693 in federal income taxes and reported an adjusted gross income of $985,233. The Biden campaign released the 2019 tax returns hours before his first debate with Trump in September.
Harris and Emhoff paid $125,004 in California income tax in 2020, and Emhoff paid $56,997 in District of Columbia income tax, according to state returns also released. The second couple reported paying $27,006 in charity in 2020 – 1.6% of their total income.
Trump refused to release his tax records when he ran for president in 2016 and during the four years he was in office, breaking a 40-year tradition of presidents sharing their tax returns with the public in one form or another. Trump used the excuse that he could not reveal them because of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. An audit, however, does not prevent a president from releasing his records.
The New York Times said last September it obtained copies of Trump’s tax records, which showed he paid only $750 in personal federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years. The records also showed Trump was beset by hundreds of millions in personal debt that would come due within the next four years, the paper said.
Trump dismissed the report as “totally fake news” and claimed, without presenting evidence, that he paid taxes.
Joey Garrison and Michael Collins cover the White House. Reach Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison and Collins @mcollinsNEWS.