I figured already that his campaign is pretty dead at this point. But not yet! Romney is still trying to change the story after his 47% comments came out. He decided to release a little bit more information about his tax returns on a Friday…a news dump day where most of the country could care less about what’s going on in the news. The tax issue is pretty big for Romney, it shows a lack of transparency when he fails to release his 2011 full form tax returns like most recent presidential candidates. When he released a bit of his 2011 tax returns we find out that he paid more than the tax rate he previously suggested. Why? Because he made a political decision not to deduct $2 million worth of charitable donations which would most likely be made out to the Mormon church. This was confirmed because the ‘Romney family trustee’ and lawyer Brad Malt, told the Associated Press this. At least I can respect his lawyer’s honesty. This is from the AP, more after the quote.
The Republican presidential nominee, whose wealth is estimated as high as $250 million, seems hemmed in by a comment to reporters in August that he had never paid less than 13 percent in taxes in any single year over the past 10. Had he taken the full charitable deduction last year, it would have pushed his tax liability below 13 percent.
The former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann, could have claimed more in deductions, the trustee of Romney’s blind trust said when the candidate’s 2011 tax returns were released.
But, Brad Malt acknowledged, the couple “limited their deductions of charitable contributions to conform to the governor’s statement in August, based on the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13 percent in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.”
Romney probably also will be reminded by the Democrats by something else he said in August. Defending his right to pay no more taxes than he owed, he said, “I don’t pay more than are legally due, and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.”
The decision of Romney’s trustee to limit the use of charitable deductions in 2011 in order to adhere to the candidate’s claim raised the eyebrows of several tax law experts. They noted that the trustee’s use of numerous tax strategies gives Romney the rare ability to loosen or limit his tax payments at will.
The Romneys donated roughly $4 million to charities last year, but only claimed a deduction of $2.25 million on their tax return, filed with the Internal Revenue Service on Friday.
That information, Reid said, “reveals that Mitt Romney manipulated one of the only two years of tax returns he’s seen fit to show the American people – and then only to `conform’ with his public statements. That raises the question: What else in those returns has Romney manipulated?“
Romney made $13.7 million last year and paid $1.94 million in federal income taxes, giving him an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. That was a bit above the 13.9 percent rate paid on 2010 income.
More precisely, the returns showed that the couple paid $1,935,708 in taxes on income of $13,696,951.
Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates ever to seek the presidency, paid taxes at a rate lower than taxpayers whose income was mostly from wages, which can be taxed at higher rates.
He released his 2010 returns in January, but he continues to decline to disclose returns from previous years – including those while he worked at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded.
The Obama campaign and other Democrats have pushed for fuller disclosures, reminding the Republican candidate that his father, George Romney, released a dozen years of returns when he ran for president.
Overall, the Romneys’ main tax return and separate forms for blind trusts totaled more than 800 pages. The blind-trust income came from hedge funds and other complex investment vehicles. The couple also reported $3.5 million in income “from sources outside the United States,” citing “various countries.” Their forms included filings on holdings in Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and the Cayman Islands.
The Obama campaign accused Romney anew of profiting from millions invested overseas and “loopholes and tax shelters only available to those at the top.”
Apparently hoping to resolve basic questions voters might have, the Romney campaign released a letter from his accountants saying that in the 20 years prior to 2010 the Romneys paid an average annual effective rate of 20.2 percent, never lower than 13.66 percent.
On average, middle-income families – those making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year – pay 12.8 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation. But many pay a higher rate.
Romney is aggressively competing with Obama for the support of middle-class voters.
First, Romney made a comment about not paying lower than 13% before he knew the facts about his own tax returns. That speaks volume to his leadership as he’s willing to say bullsh*t to reporters just to get them to shut up and move on to the next question. Second, to have your own trustee telling the press this speaks volume to the amount of discipline lacking in the Romney camp or even among his friends during an election where anything can hurt him. I for one am happy to see some honesty from a lawyer though. That was a blunt statement and direct answer as to what the heck and why he’s paying more than he should.
Third, Romney just completely disqualified himself as President. He obviously paid more than what he should in taxes. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with what he actually does which is take advantage of the tax code and loopholes. If I were rich and wanted to keep my money, I’d do the same thing. However, I also know I wouldn’t make the best President because I really don’t like to disclose things about me and I’d take advantage of any loophole related to taxes that I could get at this point. But I don’t want a President like me, I want someone who is transparent and not take advantage of a system that they claim they want to fix. In my book, Romney has no chance of winning, but this makes it even better, so the public can see how untrustworthy Romney is.
I usually don’t enjoy agree with Harry Reid but why only has Romney release 2 years of tax returns. In the article it mentions that the campaign is stating that Romney paid over a 20%, averaged over the past 10 years. But, who is going to believe that statement when he only paid below 15% for the last two years and refuses to let us see the tax returns from the other 8 years. Romney camp seems to have a weird strategy of making assertions that they don’t want to back up with evidence. I understand that Romney has a lot of money in a lot of countries, just sitting and not being taxed. However, I feel like if he had nothing to hide and truly believed he would beat Pres. Obama, then he just would have released the whole tax return instead of bits and pieces, just to get it out of the way and focus on important issues. However, Romney is just making the issue of transparency bigger than it really has to be.
Oh and lets not forget, he submitted his tax deductions on Friday, he still has til after the election to amend his taxes. Ya know, in case he loses the election, he can still decide to go back and add the charitable donations and end up paying a tax rate lower than 13%. I’d like to believe the American people won’t fall for Romney’s little switch-a-roo there….