‘Every Single Year’: Biden Boasts of Annual Tax Return Release ‘Unlike Some Other Presidents’
21:20 GMT 18.04.2022 (Updated: 13:29 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterPresident Joe Biden speaks at the North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, April 6, 2022.
© AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
Speaking at the White House on Monday, US President Joe Biden took a swipe at his predecessor, Donald Trump, who in a break with long-standing tradition, refused to release his tax returns.
"I did them and I released them already, unlike some other presidents," Biden said on Monday. "Every single year."
The tax documents, released on the day that American’s tax filings for the previous year are due to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), showed Joe and Jill together made just $610,702 in the year 2021. That’s including Joe’s $400,000 salary as head of state.
However, it’s less than half of what Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff reported: $1,655,563 in 2021, thanks to the couple’s investments, according to their returns.
According to a release by the White House, the Bidens have released a total of 24 years’ worth of tax returns to the public.
Releasing one’s tax returns has become standard practice for US presidents ever since Richard Nixon released his in 1973 in an attempt to quell controversy about his finances. Although it’s never been an official rule, only Gerald Ford and Donald Trump have spurned the expectation.
With Trump, whose four-year presidency preceded Biden’s, the real estate mogul’s finances became a subject of great interest to his Democratic Party opponents. This was in part due to controversy over whether he could - or would - truly separate himself from his businesses while in office, but also because Democrats wanted to try and find proof of their evidence-free Russian collusion accusations for which they blamed his upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
Under Trump, the Department of Justice blocked Congressional attempts to force the IRS to release his tax documents to them, claiming they were for nothing but political games, but their efforts have made new headway since Biden took office in January 2021. In December, a federal judge in Washington, DC, rejected Trump’s attempt to block their release, although the battle has continued.
On March 24, the House Ways and Means Committee asserted to the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit that it has the power to get Trump’s returns from the IRS, which is part of the US Department of the Treasury. Trump’s lawyers have continued to assert there is no legitimate reason for his taxes to be released to them.