Politics

Bidens report $600,000 in income in 2020

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden released copies of their joint 2020 federal income tax return on Monday as millions of people across the country faced a filing deadline. The first couple reported a gross income of $607,336 last year and paid $157,414 in federal income taxes, which was an effective federal income tax rate of 25.9%. 

This marks the 23rd year of tax returns released by the Bidens. The return shows a dramatic decrease in income for Mr. Biden since he started running for president in 2019. After he was vice president, from 2017 to 2019, Mr. Biden made over $15 million, mostly from a book deal and speaking engagements.  However, it also indicates that if his proposed tax increases on the wealthy pass, the president could also be facing higher taxes moving forward. 

In addition to releasing their federal income tax return, the Bidens also released their Delaware income tax return, which shows they paid $28,794 in state income tax. The first lady, who teaches at a community college in Virginia, also released her Virginia income tax return, in which she reported paying $443 in taxes. 

The first couple reported $56,057 in itemized deductions on their return. It included $30,704 in gifts to 10 different charities. At the same time, the Bidens also took a $10,000 deduction for state and local taxes. That comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing to repeal the so-called SALT deduction cap, which hits owners of more expensive homes hard because it limits their mortgage interest deduction to $10,000. While the White House has indicated it is open to repealing the cap if lawmakers come up with a way to pay for it. A repeal of the deduction cap would benefit Mr. Biden and the first lady, who would have been able to deduct more than $90,000 in state and local taxes. In total, the Bidens expected federal tax refund is $4,649.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also released their 2020 federal income tax return, marking 17 years that Harris has publicly released her returns. 

The second couple reported an income of more than $1.695 million last year, just over half of what their income was in 2019. They paid $621,893 in federal income taxes — at a rate of 36.7%. In their home state of California, the Harris-Emhoff family paid $125,004 in state taxes. Mr. Emhoff also paid $56,997 in DC income taxes. Last year, the couple also donated $27,006 to charity.  They also took the $10,000 SALT deduction, having reported more than $280,000 in state and local taxes. 

As part of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, the president is proposing increasing the income tax bracket for the wealthiest Americans from 37% to 39.6%. 

Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence released their tax returns during their four years in office, a move that has led to the former president facing numerous legal battles over the returns throughout his time in office. 

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