WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, made $579,514 last year and paid $137,658 in federal income taxes. That works out to a 23.8% tax rate, more than the average of roughly 14% for all U.S. households.
The Bidens' earnings have trended slightly downward over the past three years, after averaging more than $600,000 in 2020 and 2021. The median U.S. household income was $69,717 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The White House on Tuesday released the tax returns of the Bidens and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. This once routine rite of passage for presidents and aspirants to the Oval Office became a source of controversy under Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who declined to release his taxes and ultimately had six years' worth of returns released last year by a House committee.
The Bidens' income has dropped since 2019, 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. The former vice president and Delaware senator often notes in speeches that he was once the poorest lawmaker in the Senate, so much so that he could not afford a home in Washington and had to commute by Amtrak.
In a Rose Garden speech about child care Tuesday, Biden said he couldn't keep a home in Delaware and also afford a home for his family in Washington during his 36 years as a senator.
As president, Biden earned a salary of $400,000. His wife, Jill, was paid $82,335 for her job teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. They paid state taxes of $29,023 in Delaware and $3,129 in Virginia.
The Bidens gave $20,180 to 20 different charities. The largest gift was $5,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation, a nonprofit that works to combat child abuse and is named for their son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46. They gave $1,680 to St. Joseph on the Brandywine, the church in Delaware that the president attends. The Bidens also donated $2,000 to the Fraternal Order of Police Foundation.
The tax filings of the vice president and her husband showed them earning $456,918. They paid $93,570 in federal income tax for a rate of 20.5%. They also paid $17,612 in California income tax, while Harris' husband paid $9,697 in District of Columbia income tax for his work at Georgetown University's law school. They contributed $23,000 to charity.
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.
Tuesday was the deadline for paying federal taxes.