Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden has released his 2019 tax returns on tuesday, hours before he is set to square off with President Donald Trump in the first presidential debate. The returns show that Biden paid nearly $300,000 in taxes last year.
The disclosure comes in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report on Sunday that revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017, and paid no income tax in 10 of the last 15 years. The report also detailed massive business losses and a series of suspect transactions by Trump to lower his taxes in recent years.
Biden’s campaign contrasted Trump’s tax payments with those of ordinary Americans. Releasing his returns offers Biden a chance to highlight his own distinctions with the president.
Biden and his wife Jill reported a taxable income of $944,737 last year, and paid $299,346 in taxes – an effective tax rate of about 32%. The Bidens’ income last year, when Biden was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, was substantially lower than in 2017 or 2018.
The campaign also released the tax documents of Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, reported $3,018,127 in taxable income last year and paid $1,185,628 in taxes for an effective tax rate of about 39%.
Every modern presidential candidate in history has released their tax returns with the exception of Trump. Trump has long said that he cannot release his returns because of an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service, but experts say that an audit does not prevent him from doing so. His returns have subsequently become the object of significant speculation.