Obamas earned $579,000 but income drops

Last updated 08:51 12/04/2014

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US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported over half a million dollars in income for 2013, down from the previous year as revenues from his best-selling books continued to fall, according to their tax returns.

The Obamas earned US$503,183 (NZ$579,224) last year and after deductions had an adjusted gross income of US$481,098. They paid US$98,169 in federal taxes, or 20.4 per cent, and donated nearly US$60,000 (NZ$69,000) to charities, the documents showed.

In comparison, the Obamas reported income of US$662,076 and paid US$112,214 in federal taxes at a rate of 18.4 per cent for 2012. In 2011, they earned US$844,585 while paying US$162,074 in federal taxes. After deductions, the couple's adjusted gross income was US$608,611 in 2012 and US$789,674 in 2011.

Obama's annual presidential salary is US$400,000. He had planned to return 5 per cent of his pay in 2013 as a gesture of solidarity with federal government workers who faced unpaid leave amid deep spending cuts. Obama reported US$394,796 in 2013 wages, and it was not immediately clear if or how he returned any portion of those earnings.

The tax filing shows continued weaker sales of President Obama's two books, Dreams From My Father, an autobiographical look at his early life published in 1995, and The Audacity of Hope, a policy vision published in 2006. Together, they brought in more than US$5 million in 2009 at the start of his presidency.

Last year, the Obamas reported outside business income of US$104,809, the tax documents showed. They were released ahead of the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns.

The Obamas also reported giving about 12 per cent of their adjusted gross income, or US$59,251, to charitable groups, according to the White House. The largest donation was US$8751 to the Fisher House Foundation, which offers military families housing near military hospitals.

The couple, who lived in Chicago before moving to the White House, also paid US$23,328 in state taxes in Illinois last year.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill earned US$408,733 last year and paid US$96,378  in total federal tax, the White House said.

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- Reuters

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