Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released his 2019 tax returns ahead of his first debate against President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in Cleveland. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, also revealed her tax return at the same time. All of this comes about two days after the New York Times unveiled findings from an investigation that showed Trump did not pay any federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.
The former vice president's return shows that he and his wife, Jill Biden, made $944,737 in taxable income. With a 31% tax rate, the couple paid $299,346 in federal income taxes. After the news came out, Biden wrote on Twitter, "The American people deserve transparency from their leaders, it's why as of today, I've released 22 years of my tax returns." Harris' returns showed that she and her husband, Doug Emhoff, reported $3,018,127 in taxable income and had a tax rate of 39% or $1,185,628. Harris was vocal about Trump's tax return findings, calling it "inexcusable" on Twitter that many front line Americans paid more in taxes than Trump in 2016 and 2017.
The American people deserve transparency from their leaders, it's why as of today, I've released 22 years of my tax returns. https://t.co/6fwL20fWeI— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 29, 2020
The move by Biden comes at an ideal time and certainly was a strategic move ahead of the first of three presidential debates. Shortly after the New York Times' report came out, Biden and his team were quick to take a jab at the president, creating a website called "Trump Tax Calculator" that allows visitors to enter their tax info and find out how much more or less they paid in taxes compared to Trump. The website emphasizes how little Trump has paid over the years in federal taxes.
As for Trump, he called the report "fake news," adding that the amount he paid in taxes remains "under audit." He went on to say that the IRS does not treat him well, saying the workers "treat me very, very badly." When questioned further about it, Trump said he could not reveal the numbers.
Tuesday's presidential debate will air at 9 p.m. ET across all national broadcasts. The event will be held at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and will be the first of three debates ahead of the Nov. 3 election.