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Biden Releases 2019 Tax Returns ahead of Debate, Calls on Trump to Release His

Joe Biden in South Carolina in February, President Trump at the White House in April (Elizabeth Frantz, Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday and called on President Trump to do the same, just hours before the candidates are set to face each other in the election cycle’s first presidential debate.

Biden’s return shows that his and his wife Jill Biden’s taxable income in 2019 was $944,737, and they paid a 31 percent tax rate totaling $299,346 in federal income taxes.

“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,” said Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.

The Biden campaign also released the 2019 tax returns of his running mate Senator Kamala Harris.

President Trump has long refused to release his tax returns, saying they under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, a decision that makes him an anomaly among modern presidents, who have typically made their tax returns public during campaign season. On Sunday, Trump dismissed a New York Times report that stated he committed tax avoidance and paid minuscule amounts in federal income taxes over the last two years as “totally fake news.”

While Biden’s official wealth is relatively low for his political status, the former vice president and his wife have funneled millions of dollars through two corporations that were not subject to certain disclosure or self-employment taxes. In the years after Biden left the Obama administration, he and his wife reported more than $13 million in income from lucrative speeches and book deals that was routed through CelticCapri Corp. and Giacoppa Corp., the two S corporations the Bidens set up. From 2017 to 2019, Biden earned a total of $15.6 million.

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