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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bidens reported earning $580,000 and paid $170,000 in taxes in 2022

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, from a weekend trip to Camp David, on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

By Michael D. Shear

President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, reported earning a total of about $580,000 on their 2022 tax returns, a slightly smaller amount than they had made in the first year of Biden’s presidency.

The tax returns, released Tuesday night by the White House, showed that the Bidens paid nearly $170,000 in federal and state taxes in 2022, with an effective federal income tax rate of almost 24%.

Their income came largely from their salaries as president and college professor. Income from an S corporation that has served as a vehicle for revenue from the president’s books fell in 2022, the return showed.

The Bidens’ release of 37 pages of tax returns and supporting documents on April 18, the tax deadline for Americans, made good on a long-standing tradition among presidents that has been broken only by Biden’s immediate predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who fought to keep his returns private but ultimately lost.

Biden’s return shows that he is among the most modest earners as president in at least the last several decades, reporting that the majority of his income comes from his $400,000 government salary and Jill Biden’s salary from Northern Virginia Community College, where she is an English professor.

Joe Biden also received income from a pension and from Social Security.

The tax returns show that the Bidens donated about $20,000 to charity in 2022, including a $5,000 contribution to the foundation that honors Joe Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their tax returns, which show that the couple paid about $93,000 in federal income taxes in 2022 on total income of about $456,000. They reported paying $17,612 in California income tax, and Emhoff, a lawyer, paid $9,697 to the District of Columbia.

Harris and Emhoff reported donating about $23,000 to charity, including a $5,000 donation to Howard University, where Harris attended college.

The income for Harris and Emhoff was significantly less than the previous year, when they reported making more than $1.6 million. In 2021, the couple reported selling a California property for $860,000 and earning substantial income from “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” the memoir that Harris wrote as a senator in 2019.

Beginning with Richard M. Nixon, presidents have regularly made their tax returns public. The exception was Trump, who said he could not release his returns as long as his finances were being audited by the government. He fought a long legal battle with congressional committees who sought to force him to reveal his tax documents.

At the end of 2022, the House Ways and Means Committee, then under control of Democrats, released six years of Trump’s tax returns after winning a 3 1/2-year legal battle over the right to the documents.

The tax returns showed that Trump paid a total of $1.1 million in federal income taxes in the first three years of his presidency, but paid no tax in 2020 as his income dwindled and losses mounted.

The New York Times obtained tax documents for the former president in 2020. The documents showed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and another $750 during the first year that he was in office. The documents revealed that Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

By contrast, Biden’s tax returns have stayed very similar over the years, during his time as a senator, vice president and then president.

In 2021, Biden and his wife reported earning $610,702 and paying $150,439 in federal income tax.

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