BY ARUL LOUIS
New York, Sep 30 (IANS) Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris have released their income tax documents for last year after a newspaper published what it said was leaked tax information of President Donald Trump who has refused to disclose them.
Harris and Biden made their tax and financial information for 2019 public before the presidential debate on Tuesday during which Biden taunted Trump, who, according to The New York Times, had paid only $750 in income tax in 2017 taking advantage to tax code loopholes.
According to their disclosure, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff who is an entertainment lawyer, paid $1.89 million in taxes on an income of $3 million of which $174,000 is her senator’s salary.
Biden, who has worked only in government or legislature for 47 years, and his wife Jill, a university professor, paid $299,346 in taxes on an income of $944,737.
Some of their income came from books and the speaker’s fees earned through a corporation they had set up. Biden also receives pensions for his service in the Congress, and as Vice President.
Biden, who prided himself as “Midde Class Joe” on being one of the least wealthiest members of Senate, and his wife, however, made $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million the next year, mostly from book royalties and speaking assignments.
While all presidential candidates of major parties have in the past decades released their tax information, Trump has refused to do that saying that he was being audited by tax authorities and would disclose them only when the audit is over.
But the Times published what it said were leaked tax information about Trump going back 20 years.
The publication said that he had not paid any taxes in ten of the 15 years before his election and only $750 in 2016 and 2017.
Asked by the debate moderator on Tuesday night about it, Trump would not say if the figures were correct and only said: “I paid millions of dollars in taxes. Millions of dollars of income tax.”
Trump boasted: “I don’t want to pay tax. Before I came here, I was a private developer, I was a private business people. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws and that’s what it is.”
He blamed Biden for the tax breaks that would have let him lower the taxes or even get refunds. “He passed a tax bill that gave us all these privileges for depreciation, and for tax credits,” Trump said.
“I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts,” Biden retorted.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)