The Washington Post

Obamas report their income declined in 2012 tax returns

The tax returns of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and of Vice President Biden and Jill Biden were released Friday. (Susan Walsh/AP)

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama reported paying $112,214 in taxes last year on $608,611 in adjusted gross income, for an effective federal income tax rate of 18.4 percent, the White House announced Friday.

The Obamas reported donating about one-quarter of their income — $150,034 — to 33 different charities, including the Fisher House Foundation, which provides temporary housing for the families of wounded veterans.

The White House also released the tax returns of Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, who reported combined adjusted gross income of $385,072, with 22.8 percent devoted to federal taxes and about $7,200 to charity.

The Obamas’ income marks a decline from 2011, when the couple reported adjusted gross income of $789,674 in 2011 and about 20 percent in federal taxes. The president earns a salary of $400,000, while the first lady receives no pay.

The president continues to receive royalties from his published books; declining sales appear to have contributed to his drop in income between 2011 and 2012.

In a statement, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the president wants to raise the income tax rate for wealthy Americans like himself.

“The president believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up,” Carney wrote. “Under the president’s own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it.”

The Obamas, who maintain their residence in Chicago, also reported paying $29,450 in Illinois state income taxes.

The vice president earned a salary of $225,540, while Jill Biden was paid $82,046 through her job as a professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

The Bidens reported paying $87,851 in total federal taxes on their combined income. They also reported paying $13,531 in state income taxes in Delaware, where they maintain their primary residence, and $3,593 in Virginia, where Jill Biden is employed.

The Bidens contributed $7,190 to charity in 2012. The couple reported donating clothing, boots, kitchenware, glassware, furniture, exercise equipment, bicycles, toys, games and pottery to Goodwill and the Ministry of Caring, both in Delaware.

The Bidens also reported making some cash donations, including $2,400 to the Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del.

The vice president’s office had no comment about his charitable giving.

Discuss this topic and other political issues in the politics discussion forums.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
New Hampshire primary: What to expect
New Hampshire will hold a traditional primary just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Polling in the Granite state has historically been volatile in the final weeks before the primary. After the Iowa caucuses, many New Hampshire voters cement their opinions.
The Post's Ed O'Keefe says ...
Something has clicked for Bush in New Hampshire in the past few days. What has transpired by no means guarantees him a top-tier finish in Tuesday’s Republican primary here, but the crowds turning out to see him are bigger, his delivery on the stump is crisper and some of his key rivals have stumbled. At the least, the developments have mostly silenced talk of a hasty exit and skittish donors.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.