At first glance, the 2020 tax records recently released by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to be a run-of-the-mill gesture by an incoming administration.
According to Fox News, however, the vice president’s tax returns seemed to reveal that she violated an ethics rule for which she has previously voiced support.
Specifically, critics point to the revelation that she keeps a large portion of her assets in a KDH/DCE family trust.
One California law firm cited by Fox News explained that “a family trust, or a living trust, provides tax benefits to married couples by allowing them to maximize their federal estate tax exemption and are ‘ideal for people that own real estate in more than one state and an excellent method of asset protection.”
A notable feature of such family trusts is that the assets therein are not reportable — meaning that they are effectively hidden from the public.
Fox conducted further research and concluded that the real estate Harris keeps in the trust is valued at more than $7 million. These properties include a $2 million D.C. condominium, a Los Angeles spread worth $5.2 million, and her $860,000 condo in San Francisco.
Both the president and vice president have previously pledged to work toward the elimination of tax shelters and loopholes like the one Harris seems to be currently exploiting by holding her valuable assets in trusts.
Notably, Biden stated at one point that he would require officials working in his White House to disclose any holdings in such a trust.
In another partisan twist on the topic, the Biden administration emphasized the fact that the president released his tax returns by taking an oblique jab at former President Donald Trump for choosing not to release them during his administration.
“Today, the President released his 2020 federal income tax return, continuing an almost uninterrupted tradition,” a statement by the White House declared.
As for their respective tax records, Biden reportedly paid 25.9% taxes on $607,335 in income last year while Harris reported an adjusted gross household income of nearly $1.7 million.
Biden gave $30,704 to charity and the vice president’s charitable giving represented just under 2% of her earnings.