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Obama, Biden 2013 tax bills

By Kay Bell ·
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Posted: 12 pm ET

A lot of well-to-do people paid more taxes this filing season, thanks to the new taxes on wealthier individuals that took effect in 2013.

The president and vice president were part of that group.

The 2013 tax returns of both of the United States' top elected leaders, which they filed jointly with their wives, were released April 11.

The filings show that the Obamas and Bidens, like most taxpayers, get the bulk of their income from wages. The returns also show that President Barack and Michelle Obama's and Vice President Joe and Jill Biden's combined incomes were enough to trigger a couple new taxes that were enacted last year to help pay for health care reform. They were also subject to some tax break limitations passed as part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" tax bill.

White House wealth and taxes

The Obamas reported $481,098 in adjusted gross income and tax of $98,169. That puts the first couple's effective federal tax rate at 20.4 percent.

Their total tax bill included $2,310 from new Obamacare taxes. The president and his wife had to pay $2,174 more, thanks to the 0.9 percent added Medicare withholding tax, and $136 as part of the net investment income tax, or NIIT.

The Obamas also were prevented from lowering their tax bill more because, in addition to taxes related to health care, they faced other new tax laws that applied because of their income level.

They lost all of their $15,600 in exemptions. If the POTUS and FLOTUS had made less money, they could have claimed $3,900 each as well as the same amount for each of their two dependent daughters. And their itemized deductions were reduced from $153,202 to $147,769. Both of these tax-break limits were part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 enacted in January 2013.

The Bidens faced similar new taxes and tax-break restrictions.

The veep and his wife paid $96,378 in tax on $407,009 in adjusted gross income. The Biden's effective tax rate was almost 24 percent.

Their tax bill included $1,497 in the two new health care taxes. The Bidens were able to claim only $1,092 in personal exemptions instead of the $7,800 they could have claimed if they had made less money. Their Schedule A deductions also were cut from $70,794 to $67,584.

Both couples also took alternative minimum tax hits. The Obamas had to pay $9,513 more because of the parallel tax, while the Biden's AMT bill was an added $2,815.

State taxes, too

Both couples also filed state tax returns.

The Obamas paid $23,328 in state income tax to Illinois.

The Bidens' total state tax bill came to $18,114. Most of their state obligation -- $14,644 -- went to Delaware. Dr. Biden, who received her doctoral degree from the University of Delaware and teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax.

Have you finished your 2013 taxes yet? If not, Bankrate has plenty of last-minute tips on filing or getting an extension.

If you are done with your Form 1040, how does it compare with the returns filed by the Obamas and Bidens?

More tax info from Bankrate

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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book "The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes" and co-author of the e-book "Future Millionaires' Guidebook."

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April 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

This is completely deceiving as he is not a regular income earner. Everything is paid for including his utilities, mortgage, food, lodging, transportation, etc. He has no costs out of pocket for living expenses except for personal items. His vacations are even taken care of by us. So, the bottom line is this is really much more income to the average taxpayer.

April 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

I find it amusing the conversations I find on here. None except for James Prew's claims were backed with evidence. And unless you are the president himself your claims for, or against his new tax measures cannot be valid, until proven with evidence.

steven hylla
April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

I don't think anybody really care what he does anymore he is on a path to destroy the country.

April 28, 2014 at 9:10 am

This all talk and show to make us feel good. We all no better, cut the bull.
Thank god for the Nesara coming.

April 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

Surely you have got to realize this (1)man did not ruin this country. It was set in progress long before him and guess what not one person who complains about what is and what is not done will get that same opportunity to "grip" once more again. Unless until the return of Christ and we are all out of here. Give the man a break How are you running your own Household? or is it running you

James Prew
April 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

It’s that time of year again, Ahh the dreaded income tax season is upon us. Like many of you, I’ve filed mine and am ready to get that big refund check [cough cough] in the mail. And again like many of you, we claimed whatever deductions we could and our effective tax rate was somewhat higher than 20%.
You may have heard me state that I firmly believe in a flat tax. You pay the same percentage regaurdless of your income. Big business or small companies would have a single tax rate, individuals would also have a single rate, and investment income or the capitol gains tax would be at one rate. No sliding scale to work off of. Basically little or no need for the IRS to exist. For those of you that are math impaired here’s an example. Let’s say we set the individual rate at 15%, you make one dollar you pay 15cents, you make ten dollars you pay a dollar and a half and so on. The more you make the more you pay but everyone pays the same percentage, thus giving everyone an equal share in the burden and an equal voice when congress wants to take more of your money. And now I see I have strayed from my original purpose of this rant. Dear Mr. President, you and many others have stated on more than one occasion that the wealthy should be carrying more of the burden and once again you have disregarded your own statements. You and your wife made nearly a half a million dollars last year and reduced your effective tax rate down to 20.4%. You claimed every deduction you could to make that happen. You want the wealthy to pay a higher percentage but you don’t include yourself among them. There is no law that says you have to claim any deductions, and if you wanted as you have stated numerous times, for those of means to pay more, than why are you not paying the effective tax rate of 39.5%. You and the other advocates for higher tax rates want to impress me, LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

John Q Citizen
April 28, 2014 at 7:28 am

I'd say he gets about $480,000 too much.

KLC Frost
April 28, 2014 at 7:21 am

I think his SHOULDERS are strong because of his FAMILY support.

stewart love
April 28, 2014 at 5:21 am

And he gets paid to ruin our country?

April 28, 2014 at 12:28 am

do they understand some people don't even make what they pay in taxs a year..