Obamas gave 22 percent of their 2011 income to charity

The biggest Obama charitable gift went to the Fisher House Foundation, a group that provides free or low-cost housing to military personnel or their families while they receive medical treatment.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters
First lady Michelle Obama participates in a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., April 4. The Obamas' largest 2011 charitable gift, $117,130, was to a group that provides housing to military personnel and their families while they receive medical treatment.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, gave nearly 22 percent of their income to charity in 2011, according to tax returns made public today.

The couple reported $789,674 in income and gave $172,130 to charity.

The largest gift was a $117,130 contribution to the Fisher House Foundation, a group that provides free or low-cost housing to military personnel and their families while they are receiving treatment at military medical centers. Mr. Obama has been giving the charity the after-tax proceeds of the sale of a children’s book he wrote.

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The Obamas’ giving represents a bigger share of their income than that of the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, and his wife, Ann, according to an estimate of their 2011 taxes, released in January. They reported they had given more than 16 percent of their income to charity in 2010 and 2011.

According to the Romney campaign, the couple reported $21.6-million in income in 2010 and gave $3-million to charity. In 2011, they reported $20.9-million in income and made $4-million in charitable gifts.

Both of the men who want to win the 2012 presidential race have given considerably more than the share of income reported by other people at their income level.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, in tax documents released today, reported that they had given about 1.5 percent of their income to charity in 2011. The Bidens, who reported income of $379,035, contributed $5,540 to charity in 2011, according to the White House.

This article originally appeared at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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