Biden, first lady release 2020 tax returns, continue 'almost uninterrupted tradition'

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Despite the specter of an IRS audit, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Monday released their 2020 tax returns.

The first couple made just over $600,000 in 2020, and paid $157,414 in federal income tax, the return shows. That's a federal income tax rate of 25.9 percent.

The Bidens also paid $28,794 in income tax in their home state of Delaware, reported donating $30,704 to 10 different charities.

In a statement announcing their release, the White House said Biden was "continuing an almost uninterrupted tradition." The statement noted that Biden has now released 23 years of his tax returns.

The disclosure marks the return of a tradition of presidents making their tax returns public, something every president since Richard Nixon had done until Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, took office.

Trump had said during the presidential campaign and after he won the White House that he couldn't make his returns public because they were under audit. Trump said the IRS audit had spanned years and that he would release them when the audit is completed.

Presidents and vice presidents have been subjected to mandatory annual audits since the Watergate scandal, which culminated with Nixon's resignation in 1974.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if Biden would hold off on releasing his returns if the audit was still underway.

"No. I would expect that we will continue to release the president's tax returns, as should be expected by every president of the United States," Psaki said.

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff also released their tax returns.

The couple made close to $1.7 million in 2020 and paid $621,893 in federal income tax, a tax rate of 36.7 percent. They also paid $125,004 in California income tax and Emhoff paid $56,997 in tax to the District of Columbia. They reported donating over $27,000 to charity.

The bulk of their income came from Emhoff, who worked as an entertainment and media lawyer. He resigned from the law firm after the election and is now teaching at Georgetown Law.

While Harris' predecessor, Mike Pence, released 10 years of tax returns during the 2016 election, he followed Trump's lead and did not release his returns during his four years as vice president.

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