WASHINGTON — President Obama and his wife Michelle earned $2,936 in tax-exempt interest in fiscal 2008, while Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill did not report any in their 2008 tax returns released by the White House late Wednesday.

The Obamas’ tax-exempt interest stemmed from investments with Northern Trust Securities. They also reported $18,352 in taxable interest from U.S. Treasuries invested through Northern Trust.

White House staff officials yesterday said they did not have any information on the specific holdings that provided the Obamas with the tax-exempt interest.

But based on average rates of various municipal bonds, it appears the Obamas hold somewhere between $56,670 and $58,720 of tax-exempt debt.

The Obamas reported $2,656,902 in adjusted gross income for 2008. Although they owed just $855,323 in taxes, they paid $881,337, resulting in a net rebate of $26,014.

The vast majority of the Obamas’ earnings stemmed from the two books the president authored. The returns indicate he received almost $1.1 million from the literary management firm Dystel & Goderich, and another $1.5 million from Random House.

The president also earned $139,204 from his time as a U.S. senator, whereas his wife Michelle brought in $62,709 from her former position as a vice president at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

The Bidens reported $269,256 of taxable income on their returns. Joe Biden made $165,526 as a senator, and also earned $20,500 from Widener University, where he is an adjunct law professor. Jill Biden earned $67,840 from the state of Delaware for teaching English at Delaware Technical and Community College.

Biden also reported that he earned $9,563 in audio book royalties. The couple paid $48,890 in taxes and owed $47,764, resulting in a $1,126 rebate.

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