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.

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