President Joe Biden and wife Jill release tax return: What it shows
President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $610,702 during their first year in the White House and paid $150,439 in federal income taxes. That was a tax rate of 24.6% for 2021, well over the average of around 14% for all Americans.
The totals were similar to the Bidens' 2020 returns, when they reported earning $607,336 as he ran for president. They reported a federal income tax rate of 25.9% then.
The national median household income was $67,521 in 2020, according to U.S. Census data.
It’s the second straight year Biden has released his tax returns from the White House, reestablishing a tradition that presidents make their filings public after President Donald Trump declined to do so.
Both this year and last were steep drops from 2019 for the Bidens, when they earned nearly $1 million, primarily from book sales, speeches and their teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia Community College.
Jill Biden still teaches in Virginia while serving as first lady. The returns show Biden earning $378,333 as president — his $400,000 annual salary minus the time before noon on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2021 — and his wife receiving $67,116 for her teaching.
The couple gave $17,394 to 10 different charities in 2021. The largest gift was $5,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation, a nonprofit that works to combat child abuse named for their son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46.
The Bidens also released their 2021 Delaware income tax return and reported paying $30,765 in state income tax there. The first lady released a Virginia return showing she paid $2,721 in Virginia state income tax.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, released their 2021 tax filings, which showed them earning $1,655,563 in 2021 and paying $523,371 — a federal income tax rate of 31.6%. Harris and Emhoff also paid $120,517 in California income tax and $2,044 in New York income tax.
The second gentleman, who teaches at Georgetown Law School, paid $54,441 in District of Columbia income tax, and the couple contributed $22,100 to charity in 2021.
Biden campaigned on the transparency of his personal finances, releasing 22 years of tax filings ahead of the 2020 election. It was a direct challenge to Trump, who argued for years that an audit prevented him from releasing his taxes — though the IRS had mandated for four-plus decades that the tax returns of sitting presidents and vice presidents be audited.
The New York Times later obtained Trump's tax records and reported that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes during his first year in the White House. IRS figures indicate that the average tax filer paid roughly $12,200 in 2017, about 16 times what the former president paid.
The returns were released on April 15, traditionally the deadline for paying federal taxes. This year the deadline has been extended to Monday, April 18.