Biden made almost $16 million in two years after leaving White House, tax returns show

The former vice president, who is leading in the presidential polls, released financial information about his and his wife's sources of income.
Image: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia.
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia.Sean Rayford / Getty Images file

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By Mike Memoli and Marianna Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden, who long described himself as one of the poorest members of the U.S. Senate and built his political persona on his middle-class roots, became a multimillionaire after leaving the White House, according to new tax filings and a financial disclosure released by his campaign Tuesday.

The former vice president and his wife reported an income of more than $11 million in 2017 and $4.5 million in 2018, mostly from their respective book deals. Other income included the couple's salaries as professors — Joe Biden through his new affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania and Jill Biden from her continued employment as a community college professor in Virginia.

Biden also collected tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, some at events promoting his 2017 autobiography but also for at least a dozen tour events not related to books, ranging from as little as $25,000 to $190,000 for one lecture at Drew University. The Bidens continued to collect rental income from a cottage house on the grounds of their home in Delaware.

The Bidens reported paying more than $3.7 million in federal income taxes in 2017 and $1.5 million in 2018. They gave more than $1 million and $275,000 to charity in those years, respectively.

The Biden family donated more to a variety of religious and political charities, including thousands to The Joseph Biden Foundation and the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. In 2016, the family donated almost $6,000 to five charities and in 2017 they gave more than $1 million to almost two dozen charities. In 2018, the Bidens donated $280,000 to a dozen charities.

Biden has now released two decades worth of his tax returns. He released 10 years of his tax returns when he ran for president in 2008 and yearly while he served as vice president.

He made more money and gave the most to charity in 2018 out of any of the 11 candidates who have released their 2018 tax returns. Only Kamala Harris paid a higher effective tax rate.