Obamas’ income, effective tax rate dropped last year, return shows

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama reported income of $608,611 in 2012 and paid $112,214 in total taxes, the White House announced Friday.

Tax documents released by the White House show the first family donated $150,034 to 33 different charities, representing nearly a quarter of their gross income. In addition to his federal salary, Obama made $258,772 from book royalties. The president’s effective federal income tax rate was 18.4 percent.

That represents a decline in both income and effective tax rate for the first family from 2011, when the president saw an income of $789,674 and paid an effective rate of 20.5 percent. The Obamas also made a larger charitable contribution in 2011, donating $172,130 to 39 different charities.

{mosads}In 2012, the Obamas’ largest charitable donation was $117,130 to the Fisher House Foundation. The president donates the proceeds from his children’s book to a scholarship fund organized by the charity for children of fallen and disabled soldiers.

The release of the tax returns comes just two days after the president revealed his 2014 budget, which called for the adoption of the so-called Buffet Rule that aims to put a floor on the deductions the wealthiest Americans can take on their income taxes. Under the president’s plan, no household making more than $1 million would pay less than a 30 percent income tax rate, with exceptions for charitable donations.

“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,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “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 Biden and his wife Jill reported an income of $385,072 — including $25,297 in Social Security benefits — and paid $87,851 in total federal tax. The Bidens also contributed $7,190 to charity in 2012; the family’s effective tax rate was 22.8 percent. 

In 2011, the vice president reported an income of $379,035 and paid $87,900 in federal taxes. That year, the Bidens contributed $5,540 to charity.

The tax returns can be viewed here.

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