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Joe Biden Releases 2019 Tax Returns Hours Before First Presidential Debate with Donald Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden released his latest tax returns hours before the first general election debate, and two days after The New York Times reported that President Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and in 2017.

Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden released his tax returns for the last four years Tuesday just hours before he debates President Donald Trump, who faces criticism for paying almost no federal tax. The former vice president and his wife Jill Biden, an educator, paid $299,346 in federal income taxes for 2019, according to forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service and released by Biden's campaign.

The amount stands in sharp contrast to Trump, who claims to be a billionaire businessman but paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, according to a report by The New York Times.

The reveal came two days after the NYT reported that President Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and in 2017. That was a tiny fraction of what the Bidens paid those years, according to tax returns they had previously made public. They paid $91,000 in federal income taxes in 2016, when they had an adjusted gross income of $396,000, and they paid $3.7 million in 2017, when their adjusted gross income was $11 million.

The following year, in 2018, they paid $1.5 million in federal income taxes and had an adjusted gross income of $4.6 million, according to the report.

Biden’s release of his most recent tax return seemed timed to place even more focus on Trump’s taxes and keep him on the defensive about them going into the debate. Biden has now released returns covering the past 22 years. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their 2019 returns Tuesday. Harris and Emhoff reported paying $1.05 million in personal income taxes and $1.19 million in total federal taxes on $3.02 million in taxable income.

Trump has called the reports “fake news” yet still refuses to release his returns himself.

“This is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people faith, once again, that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line,” Kate Bedingfield, a deputy campaign manager for Biden was quoted as saying.

Trump and Biden will meet in their first debate, starting at 9 pm Eastern Time in Cleveland.

(Inputs from agencies)


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