Donald Trump broke a decades-long tradition, first established by Richard Nixon, of presidents voluntarily releasing their tax returns to the public.
President Trump’s taxes from the years he was in office were only made public in December of 2022 after a years-long congressional investigation.
VERIFY viewer Scott wanted to know whether President Joe Biden has resumed the tradition and released his tax returns.
Has President Biden released his tax returns?
Yes, President Biden has released his tax returns.
WHAT WE FOUND
President Biden published his most recent returns, filed jointly with First Lady Jill Biden, for the 2021 tax year on the official White House website in April of 2022.
The Bidens also released their 2020 returns in May of 2021, which are also publicly available on the White House website.
Biden’s campaign website has additional tax returns dating back to 2016. Using the Internet Archive, which stores old versions of web pages, VERIFY found that his returns for 2016, 2017, and 2018 were available in the summer of 2019, and that his 2019 returns were posted on September 29, 2020 – roughly a month before Election Day.
Vice President Kamala Harris’s returns are also available on the White House and campaign sites, though the campaign site didn’t publish any records earlier than 2019.
According to the Bidens’ 2021 tax return, they paid $150,439 in federal income tax on $610,702 of income. They paid another combined $33,486 in Virginia and Delaware state income tax.
Harris – who filed her taxes jointly with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff – reported $1,655,563 in income, on which she and her husband paid $523,371 in federal income tax and a combined $177,002 in income tax to California, New York, and the District of Columbia.
Another source of controversy regarding Trump’s taxes was whether the IRS had audited them every year, a practice not required by law but something the agency has done for every president since Nixon. The same congressional investigation that released Trump’s returns found the IRS had not audited Trump every year he was in office. You can read our previous story about presidential audits here.
VERIFY viewer Scott also asked whether Biden’s taxes have been audited. The White House has told reporters they have been. According to statements made to the Associated Press, in 2020 the IRS found the Bidens were due a larger refund than initially thought, and in 2021 it found they owed an additional $13, which they paid. Unlike the returns themselves, presidential audit details are not traditionally released publicly.