WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, millionaires from his bestselling books, made $2.7 million last year and paid just under one-third of their adjusted income in federal taxes.
While the income, mostly his, was far more than the U.S. median household income of about $50,000, it was quite a decrease from the $4.2 million the Obamas made in 2007.
Both years, nearly all of the earnings came from Obama’s bestselling books. “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” brought in about $2.5 million in royalties last year, according to copies of the returns released by the White House on Wednesday, the federal filing deadline.
Obama earned $139,204 as a Democratic senator from Illinois last year before leaving his seat after winning the November election. Michelle Obama received a salary of $62,709 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she was an executive.
The couple’s total federal tax came to $855,323. That was 32 per cent of their adjusted gross income of $2,656,902.
The Obamas overpaid by $26,014, and elected to apply that amount to their 2009 taxes.
The couple’s federal tax deductions included about $50,000 in home mortgage interest.
They reported contributing $172,050 to charity last year, including $25,000 each to the CARE international relief agency and the United Negro College Fund. That $172,050 represented about 6.5 per cent of the family’s adjusted gross income. That is higher than the national average of roughly four per cent among Americans who give to charity, according to U.S. government figures.
The Obamas gave a total of $1,400 to five churches. In contrast to 2007, they gave nothing to the Trinity United Church of Christ. Barack Obama was a longtime member of the church, and gave it $26,270 in 2007, but resigned from it and cut ties with its pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, after Wright made incendiary comments that became a campaign issue.
The Obamas’ total Illinois income tax was $78,765, their state return showed.
The White House also released Vice-President Joe Biden’s tax returns. Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $269,256 last year.
The Bidens’ main sources of income were salaries from the Senate, Widener University, Delaware Technical & Community College and royalties from the audio rights to the vice-president’s memoir, “Promises to Keep.”
According to tax returns released by the vice-president’s office, the Bidens paid $46,952 in federal income taxes and $11,164 in Delaware state income taxes. They donated $1,885 to charity.
Biden served in the Senate from 1973 until Jan. 15 of this year.
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