Bidens release 2019 returns, paid nearly $300,000 in taxes

Laura Davison and Bill Allison

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released his 2019 tax returns hours before the first debate with President Donald Trump, showing that he paid $299,346 in income taxes in 2019.

According to documents released by Biden’s campaign Tuesday, the former vice president and his wife, Jill, got a refund of $46,858 after paying $346,204 in income taxes. He reported a taxable income of $944,737, paying 31.7% of it in taxes.

The Bidens’ released the tax documents two days after a New York Times report that Trump, a billionaire, paid $750 in incomes taxes in both 2016 and 2017. The newspaper said it has not analyzed his most recent tax data.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill leave after paying respects at flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lying in state in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Washington.

Trump has defied decades of practice by U.S. presidents by refused to release his tax returns, incorrectly saying he cannot release them because he is under audit. He has dismissed the New York Times reporting, saying he has paid millions in real estate and payroll taxes.

A revision in Trump’s 2017 tax law that capped the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 prevented the Bidens from deducting all of the $111,717 in local levies they paid in 2019. In all, the Bidens had $40,496 in itemized deductions. That included $14,700 in charitable contributions – about 1.5% of their adjusted gross income.

“This is a historic level of transparency and to give the American people faith, once again, that their leaders will look out for them, and not their own bottom line,“ deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on a pre-debate call with reporters. Quoting comments Biden made last year, she added “Mr. President, release your tax returns or shut up.”

His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, also released her and her husband’s returns.

Biden and Trump will face off at 9 p.m. New York Time at the first presidential debate of the general election campaign.