© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Biden, Harris Release Tax Returns In Return To Tradition

President Joe Biden's finances took hit over 2020 according to income tax filings released by the White House on Monday.
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden's finances took hit over 2020 according to income tax filings released by the White House on Monday.

What in other years would likely not be huge news is this year making headlines: President Joe Biden has released his tax returns.

The release of his financial records, as well as those of Vice President Kamala Harris, marks the return of a White House tradition defied by former President Donald Trump during the 45th president's term in office.

"Today, the President released his 2020 federal income tax return, continuing an almost uninterrupted tradition," the White House said on Monday, the deadline to file 2020 income tax returns.

According to filingsreleased by the White House, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, jointly earned $607,336 in 2020. The couple gave a little less than $31,000 — about 5% of their income — to charity. Together, they owed $157,414 in federal income tax.

Their combined income for last year, as Biden was on the campaign trail, was significantly lower than for 2019. The couple reported an adjusted gross income of about $985,000 for that year.

Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, appeared to have a more financially successful year, though they too earned less money than in the previous year.

The California couple had an adjusted gross income of $1,695,300 in 2020, according to their tax returns. That is a 45% decrease over their 2019 earnings of $3,095,590.

Harris earned about $346,000 from her work as an author and the couple donated a little more than $27,000 to charity. In all, they owed a total of $621,893 in tax.

In contrast, tax returns obtained by The New York Times showed Trump paid $750 a year in taxes his first two years in office.

Throughout his presidency, Trump maintained that he was unable to release his returns because he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. The move broke decades of presidential precedent. But the IRS has routinely audited the personal tax returns of every sitting president and vice president since the early 1970s, when President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were both embroiled in tax scandals during the Watergate era.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: May 18, 2021 at 9:00 PM PDT
A previous version of this story stated that Donald Trump served two terms as president. He served one term.
Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.