Politicians and Their Tax Returns: Leaders of Both Political Parties Do Very Well Financially

From a Wall Street Journal story by Richard Rubin headlined “Bidens’ Taxable Income Came to $607,336 in 2020”:

President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, made $607,336 in adjusted gross income in 2020 as he ran for office, according to tax returns the couple released Monday.

On the day that Americans must pay their 2020 taxes or seek an extension—delayed from the usual April 15, the couple resumed the voluntary disclosure tradition that President Donald Trump broke during his term….

The Bidens’ 2020 income came primarily from pensions, Social Security benefits and Dr. Biden’s speaking and writing engagements. The couple donated $30,704 to charity and paid $157,414 in federal income and self-employment taxes, or 25.9% of their adjusted gross income. They would pay more under Mr. Biden’s tax proposals, which would raise the top individual tax rate to 39.6% from 37%.

After Mr. Biden left the vice presidency in 2017, the couple routed their speech and writing income through S corporations. That move meant that the couple avoided Medicare taxes totaling 3.8% on much of their income, saving them as much as $500,000 in 2017 and 2018….

In 2017 and 2018, the Bidens’ S corporations reported more than $13 million in profits and paid the couple less than $800,000 in salary. In 2019, they generated about $229,000 in profits and paid the couple about $309,000. In 2020 they reported less than $100,000 in profits while paying Dr. Biden $200,000 in wages.

Their separately filed financial disclosure forms said that Mr. Biden’s S corporation—CelticCapri Corp.—would remain dormant during his administration, receiving only royalties….

The Bidens paid significantly more for household help in 2020, spending more than $95,000, up from $57,000. Their largest charitable contribution, for $10,000, went to the Beau Biden Foundation, a charity that fights child abuse and is named for the president’s late son. They donated $5,000 each to the Food Bank of Delaware and to the IAFF Foundation, a group that helps injured firefighters and their families and is tied to the International Association of Fire Fighters, a union that has long backed Mr. Biden.

The Bidens’ disclosure marks a return to how presidents handled their tax returns for four decades before Mr. Trump took office.

During the 2016 campaign and during his presidency, Mr. Trump repeatedly said he would release his tax returns but ultimately refused to do so. His administration fought a request from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D., Mass.), who sought the returns….

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, also released their 2020 tax returns. They reported $1.7 million in adjusted gross income, mostly from his work as a lawyer….

Ms. Harris and Mr. Emhoff reported combined assets valued between $3 million and nearly $7 million and debt of at least $2.7 million, mostly from two home mortgages. The majority of the couple’s assets stem from Mr. Emhoff’s law practice and retirement investments. Ms. Harris also reported receiving nearly $360,000 in gross income from her book, “The Truths We Hold.”

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