Obamas report $2.7 million in income for 2008 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Obamas report $2.7 million in income for 2008

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, millionaires from his best-selling books, made $2.7 million last year and paid just under one-third of their adjusted income in federal taxes. While the income, mostly his, was far more than the U.S. median household income of about $50,000, it was quite a decrease from the $4.2 million the Obamas made in 2007.

Both years, nearly all of the earnings came from Obama's best-selling books. "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope" - brought in about $2.5 million in royalties last year, according to copies of the returns released by the White House on Wednesday, the federal filing deadline.

Obama earned $139,204 as a Democratic senator from Illinois last year before leaving his seat after winning the November election. Michelle Obama received a salary of $62,709 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she was an executive.

The couple's total federal tax came to $855,323. That was 32 percent of their adjusted gross income of $2,656,902.

The Obamas overpaid by $26,014, and elected to apply that amount to their 2009 taxes.

The couple's federal tax deductions included about $50,000 in home mortgage interest.

They reported contributing $172,050 to charity last year, including $25,000 each to the CARE international relief agency and the United Negro College Fund. That $172,050 represented about 6.5 percent of the family's adjusted gross income. That is higher than the national average of roughly 4 percent among Americans who give to charity, according to U.S. government figures.

The Obamas gave a total of $1,400 to five churches. In contrast to 2007, they gave nothing to the Trinity United Church of Christ. Barack Obama was a longtime member of the church, and gave it $26,270 in 2007, but resigned from it and cut ties with its pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, after Wright made incendiary comments that became a campaign issue.

The Obamas' total Illinois income tax was $78,765, their state return showed.

The White House also released Vice President Joe Biden's tax returns. Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $269,256 last year.

The Bidens' main sources of income were salaries from the Senate, Widener University, Delaware Technical & Community College and royalties from the audio rights to the vice president's memoir, "Promises to Keep."

According to tax returns released by the vice president's office, the Bidens paid $46,952 in federal income taxes and $11,164 in Delaware state income taxes. They donated $1,885 to charity.

Biden served in the Senate from 1973 until Jan. 15 of this year.

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Associated Press writer Pete Yost contributed to this report.

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