Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, released their 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, September 29, ahead of the presidential debate and just a few days after President Donald Trump called The New York Times' report on his taxes "fake news."
In 2017, the couple reported making more than $11 million, and in 2018, they made $4.5 million. The two made money through book deals during those two years.
Meanwhile, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, reported $3,018,127 in taxable income and paid federal income taxes of $1,185,628. The pair donated $35,390 to charities.
"This is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people faith, once again, that their leaders will look out for them, not their own bottom line," Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call.
Trump, 74, only "paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency," the NYT reported. “In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750."
The report stated, "He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made." Trump took huge deductions, which included $70,000 on styling his hair during The Apprentice, and also "nine Trump entities have written off at least $85,464 paid to a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump," the outlet reported.
However, the former reality star denied the allegations. "It’s fake news," he told reporters at a news conference on September 27. "It’s totally fake news. Made up. Fake."
Trump even insisted that he can’t release his taxes because he’s under audit by the IRS. "It’s under order, they are under order for a long time. They are doing their assessment," he claimed. "We’ve been negotiating for a long time. Things get settled like in the IRS but right now, when you’re under audit, you don’t do that, so we’re under audit, but I will tell you that I look forward to releasing that, I look forward to releasing many things."
For years, Trump has been vague when speaking about his taxes. In 2016, he told The Associated Press that "there’s nothing to learn from his taxes." Before that, Trump said his tax returns were "very big and beautiful" but still refused to show them to the public. "It’s very complicated," he said.
Trump — who rose to fame as a businessman in New York — is clearly not as rich as people think. The newspaper said that Trump "takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president."