Bidens paid 25.9pc rate and earned US$607,336, tax returns show

World | 18 May 2021 7:43 am

US President Joe Biden restored a long-standing presidential tradition Monday by releasing his tax returns, showing that 25.9 percent of the first couple’s income went to the federal government in 2020. The average federal income tax rate is just over 14 percent, AP reports.

Biden and his wife, Jill, a teacher, earned US$607,336 last year while he was running for president. That is down from US$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. 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.

The Bidens donated US$30,704 to 10 charities last year. The largest gift was US$10,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation, a nonprofit focused on child abuse that is named after the president’s deceased son.

Biden separately released his financial holdings through the Office of Government Ethics and has assets worth between US$1.2 million and US$2.88 million.

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 US$750 in federal income taxes during his first year in the White House.

IRS figures indicate that the average tax filer paid roughly US$12,200 in 2017, about 16 times more than what the former president paid.

“You have not released a single solitary year of your tax returns,” Biden told Trump at one of their presidential debates. “What are you hiding?”

Trump claimed — without evidence — that he had prepaid his taxes and that he thought the $750 was a filing fee.

The IRS does not charge filing fees.




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