(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had adjusted gross income of $608,611 last year, and they paid $112,214 in total taxes, compared to $162,074 in 2011, according to tax returns released by the White House on Friday.
The total income of the Obamas came in at $662,076 – about 22 percent down from $844,585 the previous year. They paid an effective federal tax rate of 18.4 percent in 2012.
The income from Obama's best-selling books – including Dreams From My Father, an autobiographical look at his early life published in 1995, and The Audacity of Hope, his policy vision published in 2006 – declined as he ran for re-election. In 2012, the couple had business income of $258,772, down from $441,369 in 2011 and $5.2 million in 2009, according to Reuters.
While Obama is entitled to a $400,000 annual salary, he reported a salary income of $394,800, after deducting pre-tax amounts for his health insurance premium.
The president and the first lady gave $150,034 to 33 different charities, representing roughly 25 percent of their adjusted gross income. They donated $103,871 to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides housing for military families near military hospitals, and $1,000 to the Palm Beach County Law Enforcement Foundation, whose police officer was killed last year while working in the presidential motorcade.
The Obamas also released their Illinois income tax return – they maintain their residence in Chicago – and reported paying $29,450 in state income tax.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that the president wants to increase the income tax rate for wealthy Americans. "The president believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up," he said. "Under the president's own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it."
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden also released their federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Biden filed a separate non-resident tax return for the state of Virginia. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $385,072. They paid $87,851 in total federal tax for 2012, $13,531 in Delaware income tax, and $3,593 in Virginia income tax. They donated $7,190 to charity.