WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden and his wife Jill earned just over US$600,000 last year, their tax return showed on Monday (May 17), though the real news was that the document got released at all.
Presidents have traditionally made public their annual tax returns, which detail sources of income and taxes paid, in the name of transparency.
Donald Trump famously broke with this, refusing during his one-term presidency to come clean about his finances or the true state of his property and branding empire.
In their joint tax return for 2020, Biden and his wife Jill, a community college professor, reported federal adjusted gross income of US$607,336.
They paid US$157,414 in federal income tax, an effective rate of 25.9 per cent. They also paid US$28,794 income tax to their home state, Delaware.
Biden's number two, Vice President Kamala Harris, is several rungs above him on the financial ladder.
The former California senator released a joint tax return with her lawyer husband Doug Emhoff reporting federal adjusted gross income of US$1,695,225.
They paid US$621,893 in federal income tax, amounting to a rate of 36.7 per cent. They also paid US$125,004 in California income tax and Emhoff paid US$56,997 in Washington, DC.
Emhoff was a high-profile entertainment industry lawyer and took a leave of absence from his firm when Harris was named Biden's running mate.
The tax returns confirm one thing: Both the first and second families could be paying more in taxes if Biden gets his massive American Families Plan education and social spending package passed by Congress.
Under current proposals, the plan would be funded in part by raising the tax top rate for the most wealthy Americans. Those earning less than US$400,000 a year, Biden says, would see no increase.