U.S. presidents: They’re just like us, at least when it comes to paying Uncle Sam at tax time.
Presidents (or, more likely, their accountants) have to pull out W-2s, interest and dividend statements and any other tax documentation to file their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service by tax day, the same as the millions of Americans. There’s no special presidential exemption.
“U.S. presidents likely have some of the more complicated tax returns because of their income – both in terms of dollars and variety of sources – and deductions claimed for the same reasons,” says Jackie Perlman, senior tax research analyst with the Tax Institute at H&R Block. “However, U.S. presidents are governed by the same laws and regulations to which all taxpayers are subject.”
Sometimes, presidents overpay and get refunds or apply the excess to next year’s tax return. Other times, they don’t pay enough during the year and owe the federal government money.
They also take credits and deductions, including deducting expenses for moving to the White House. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy deducted $6,006 for the big move, while Bill and Hillary Clinton deducted $38,683 in 1993, according to copies of returns maintained by Tax Analysts.
Exactly how much do presidents pay the federal government they run? Click here for a breakdown.