Biden releases tax returns ahead of first presidential debate with Trump

Biden releases tax returns ahead of first presidential debate with Trump
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the Supreme Court at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/AP, File)

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, released their 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, hours before the former vice president is set to face off against President Donald Trump for their first debate of the election season.

The documents released Tuesday showed Biden and his wife, Jill, made $985,000 in taxable income last year and paid nearly $300,000 in federal income taxes.

>> See Biden’s 2019 tax return

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Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, made $3.1 million and paid more than $1 million in federal income taxes, the documents show.

The tax returns were made public two days after The New York Times reported that Trump paid $750 in federal income tax in both the year he won the race for the White House and his first year in office. The newspaper reported that in 10 of the past 15 years, he has paid no income taxes because he reported losing far more money than he had made.

Trump called the Times report “fake news.” Breaking a 40-year tradition, he’s refused calls to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing IRS audit.

Biden campaign officials told The Wall Street Journal that with Tuesday’s release, Biden has made public 22 years of tax records.

“This is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people faith once again that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told the Journal.

According to Axios, Bedingfield added that the Biden campaign’s message to Trump is: “Release your tax returns, or shut up.”

Trump and Biden are scheduled to appear in Cleveland on Tuesday night for the first presidential debate of the 2020 election. The event, which begins at 9 p.m. EDT, is scheduled to last for an hour and a half.