Obama Paid 20.5% Tax Rate in 2011
Policy + Politics

Obama Paid 20.5% Tax Rate in 2011

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle paid an effective federal tax rate of 20.5 percent on income of $789,674 in 2011, the White House said on Friday amid a debate over tax burdens that is likely to shape the November presidential election.

Obama and his fellow Democrats have accused likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of backing policies that would shift the burden from wealthy taxpayers to the less affluent.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have spent much of the week promoting a minimum 30 percent rate for millionaires, known as the "Buffett Rule," after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, who famously noted that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Romney, who is worth up to $250 million, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010.

The Obamas earned about half of their income from his presidential salary of $400,000, while the remainder came from sales of Obama's books, the White House said.

They donated $172,130, about 22 percent of their adjusted gross income, to 39 different charities, the White House said. The biggest beneficiary was the Fisher House Foundation, a scholarship fund for children of soldiers who have been killed or disabled, which received the after-tax proceeds from Obama's book sales - a total of $117,130.