Despite improvements in the economy, President and Mrs. Obama saw their adjusted gross income in 2010 shrink to a third of what it was the year before.
Their tax returns for last year, released by the White House, show the Obamas declared total income of $1,795,614. That compares to their 2009 tax returns which showed earnings of over $5.6 million.
The president's salary didn't change but the amount of royalties received for his books was significantly less in 2010 than it was in '09. Still, he received over $1.5 million in book royalties last year, the bulk of his income. As a result, the first family had to file appropriate forms for self-employment tax.
The returns for 2010 show the Obama's owed 453,770 in taxes -- but they overpaid. They're applying their $12,334 refund to their 2011 taxes.
The Obamas declared nearly a quarter million dollars in charitable contributions to 36 organizations including the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, CARE, Central Illinois Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Miriam's Kitchen, National AIDS Fund, National MS Society, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the United Negro College Fund. Most of them received five or ten thousand dollars from the first couple.
Their single largest contribution of $131,075 went to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides lodging for families to be with loved ones receiving treatment at military hospitals.
The Obamas reported receiving $8,000 in interest payments and nearly $10,000 in ordinary dividends.
The Obamas' federal tax return runs 53 pages and often illustrates the mind-numbing complexity of the U.S. Tax Code - which the president has said he wants to simplify, though he hasn't said how.
His tax return includes forms for Foreign Tax Credit, Capital Loss Carryover and United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax.
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2010 tax returns. It shows total income of $379,178 on which they paid $86,626 in taxes. Their withholdings were not enough and they had to send Uncle Sam a check for over $7,000.
The Bidens deducted $30,000 in mortgage interest and made $5,350 in charitable contributions.
Both the Obamas and Bidens checked the boxes to provide $3 for the FEC's Presidential Election Campaign fund. And both couples also used accounting firms to prepare their returns.
The White House posted the tax returns of both the Obamas and Bidens on the White House website.