Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden paid $299,346 in income taxes in 2019, according to documents released on Tuesday just hours ahead of his first presidential debate with Donald Trump, who has staunchly refused to reveal his tax returns.
The former US vice-president, together with his wife Jill, got a refund of $46,858 after paying $346,204 in income taxes, according to documents that pegged their total income at nearly $985,000.
The returns were shared less than two days after The New York Times reported that Trump had paid a mere $750 in taxes in both 2016 and 2017, and nothing at all in 10 of the last 15 years.
The Democrats’ deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said earlier on Tuesday that besides the Bidens, his running mate, Indian-origin senator Kamala Harris, and her husband would release their tax information, calling on Trump to do the same.
This is the 22nd year that Biden has publicly released his tax information and the 15th year for Harris.
The first Trump vs. Biden debate is starting at 6.30am, Indian time, on Wednesday in Cleveland, Ohio, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
Biden is going into the debate with a 7.1-point lead ahead of Trump in the FiveThirtyEight weighted average of national polls at 50.2% to 43.1%. He also leads by 6.1 points in the RealClearPolitics national average of polls at 49.3% to 43.2%.
There will be no drug tests before the debate as Trump has been demanding. And there will most likely be no handshakes as the debate is taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Joe Biden just announced that he will not agree to a drug test. Gee, I wonder why?” Trump tweeted on Monday.
In the build-up to the November 3 election, Trump and his allies have sought to portray that Biden is mentally and physically unfit for the presidency.
Six topics have been picked for the first debate, split into 15- minute segments: the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, racism and violence in US cities, and the integrity of the election.