Joe Biden has ensured that only one candidate in Tuesday night's debate is likely to face questions about not releasing tax returns. Biden released his 2019 tax returns Tuesday, hours ahead of the debate, showing that he paid just under $300,000 in federal tax for the year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Biden and his wife, Jill, reported an adjusted gross income of $985,233 from sources including Joe Biden's federal pension and Jill Biden's employer, Northern Virginia Community College. Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff also released their 2019 federal and state tax returns, showing that they paid taxes of $1,185,628 on an adjusted gross income of $3,095,590.
Kate Bedingfield, Biden's communications director, sought to draw a contrast with President Trump, who paid no federal tax in 10 of the last 15 years and just $750 in 2016, according to returns obtained by the New York Times. Bedingfield said Biden has now released tax returns covering the last 22 years, the Hill reports. "This is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people faith once again that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line," she said. Trump has broken a decades-long precedent by steadfastly refusing to release his tax returns, Fox notes. He has called the Times' reports on his tax returns "fake news"—but has also complained that the returns were "illegally obtained." (Read more Joe Biden 2020 stories.)