WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama made less in 2012 than in any other year since taking office, with about 40 percent of the nearly $609,000 in income that he and first lady Michelle Obama reported coming from book sales.
Obama, who renewed his call for higher taxes on the wealthy in the budget he released Wednesday, paid $112,214 in taxes last year, putting his effective federal tax rate at 18.4 percent. The Obamas donated almost one-quarter of their income to charity, according to tax returns released by the White House.
Most of the $608,611 that the Obamas reported in adjusted gross income came from the president’s salary, as he reported $394,840 in wages. An additional $258,772 came from royalties from his books, including his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father, his 2006 political book, The Audacity of Hope, and a 2010 children’s book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.
Income from Obama’s books has fallen off since 2009, when his books sales surged after his inauguration. The Obamas made $5.5 million that year — his first year in office — but the figure dropped precipitously the next year to $1.73 million. In 2011, the Obamas reported about $790,000 in income.
The president and Mrs. Obama signed their tax returns Monday — one week before the deadline for Americans to file their 2012 returns.
Itemized deductions of $258,385 brought the Obama’s taxable income down to $335,026.
The first family deducted $45,056 in interest on the mortgage for their home in Chicago, plus $36,554 in state and local taxes and $26,751 in real estate taxes.
Through withholding and estimated tax payments during the year, the Obamas paid $129,029 to the Internal Revenue Service — an overpayment of $16,815.
The Obamas also claimed $39,875 in income from outside the United States. A White House official said all of that income came from book royalties.