April 11, 2014 / 7:42 PM / 5 years ago

The Obamas earned $500,000 last year but income drops

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama step from Air Force One upon their arrival in Austin, Texas April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle reported half a million dollars in income for 2013, down from the previous year as revenues from his best-selling books continued to fall, according to their tax returns released by the White House on Friday.

The Obamas earned $503,183 last year and after deductions had an adjusted gross income of $481,098. They paid $98,169 in federal taxes, or 20.4 percent, and donated nearly $60,000 to charities, the documents showed.

In comparison, the Obamas reported income of $662,076 and paid $112,214 in federal taxes at a rate of 18.4 percent for 2012. In 2011, they earned $844,585 while paying $162,074 in federal taxes. After deductions, the couple’s adjusted gross income was $608,611 in 2012 and $789,674 in 2011.

Obama’s annual presidential salary is $400,000. He had planned to return 5 percent of his pay in 2013 as a gesture of solidarity with federal government workers who faced unpaid leave amid deep spending cuts. Obama reported $394,796 in 2013 wages, and it was not immediately clear if or how he returned any portion of those earnings.

The tax filing shows continued weaker sales of President Obama’s two books, “Dreams From My Father” an autobiographical look at his early life published in 1995, and “The Audacity of Hope,” a policy vision published in 2006. Together, they brought in more than $5 million in 2009 at the start of his presidency.

Last year, the Obamas reported outside business income of $104,809, the tax documents showed. They were released ahead of the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns.

The Obamas also reported giving about 12 percent of their adjusted gross income, or $59,251, to charitable groups, according to the White House. The largest donation was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation, which offers military families housing near military hospitals.

The couple, who lived in Chicago before moving to the White House, also paid $23,328 in state taxes in Illinois last year.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill earned $408,733 last year and paid $96,378 in total federal tax, the White House said.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alistair Bell and Lisa Shumaker

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