WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and his wife earned about $5.5 million in 2009 primarily from the proceeds of his best-selling books, and they paid $1.79 million in federal income taxes, the White House said on Thursday.
Obama’s joint tax return with First Lady Michelle Obama show the couple has become wealthier since he became president, largely on the back of the success of his books.
Obama’s two memoirs, “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”, were New York Times best-sellers. Both were published before he became president.
He reported annual adjusted gross income of $5,505,409 in 2009, which was an increase from $2,656,902 in 2008.
The couple also reported paying $163,303 in state income taxes in Illinois, which Obama represented as a senator before being elected president in 2008.
The Obamas donated $329,100 to 40 charities last year.
Their largest contributions were $50,000 to the international anti-poverty group CARE and $50,000 to the United Negro College Fund.
Obama also donated $1.4 million in award money from his Nobel Peace Prize to charity and did not count that as income or as a charitable deduction on his tax returns.
The White House released the Obamas’ tax details on the April 15 U.S. deadline for filing taxes.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, made considerably less money than the first family, according to the White House statement.
The Bidens reported adjusted gross income of $333,182 in 2009 and paid $71,147 in federal income taxes. They contributed $4,820 to charity “in both monetary and in-kind donations,” the statement said.
The full tax returns, which were made public, included some interesting, if unsurprising, details. Under “your occupation,” Obama’s tax return says “US President” and under “spouse’s occupation” it says “US First Lady.”
The first couple used a Chicago-based firm to complete their tax returns.
As president, Obama earns a salary of $400,000 a year. As vice president, Biden earned a salary of $227,300 last year.
Politico’s Kevin Coker contributed to this report from Girona, Barcelona.