Seven Tax Return Questions Mitt Romney Left Unanswered Today

ProudProgressive 2012/08/16 19:33:56

Poor Mitt Romney. Try as he might, Mitt just can't escape the ongoing controversy about his desperate obsession with keeping his tax returns a deep, dark secret. Despite allegations by a Bain insider who claimed that Romney actually paid zero in taxes in at least some of the years he's covering up, today Romney claimed, with nothing whatsoever to back it up, that he has paid "at least 13 percent" in each of those years. Considering that he should be paying somewhere around 35%, even if Romney's claim is to be believed (and given his history there's no reason to believe anything he says) that means he's bragging about paying a little more than a third of what he should be paying.

Somehow, I just don't think a politician saying "Yeah I screwed the government, but I didn't screw it as badly as some people say I did" isn't going to end the legitimate and pressing questions of the American public. What do you think?

Article excerpt follows:

Seven Tax Return Questions Mitt Romney Left Unanswered Today
By Pat Garofalo
Aug 16, 2012

Mitt Romney said on Thursday on the campaign trail that he never paid less than a 13 percent tax rate, adding that continued calls for him to release his tax returns are “small-minded.” “I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent,” he said. “And if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

Leaving aside that Romney expects everyone to simply take his word for it that this is true, there are still many questions that can’t be answered without seeing Romney’s tax returns. Here are seven:

1) What kind of taxes? Does that 13 percent cover income taxes, capital gains taxes, or some combination? By Romney’s own admission, nearly all of his income comes from investments (so the low capital gains tax rate helps him drive his overall rate far below that of many middle-class families).

2) What sort of deductions did Romney employ? In addition to the deduction they receive for classifying Ann Romney’s horse as a business, what other deductions are the Romneys using to lower their tax rate?

3) How did Romney’s IRA grow so large? Romney’s retirement account contains more than $100 million, despite annual limits on contributions. How did that happen?

4) What sort of offshore tax strategies does Romney use? While Romney was on the executive committee of Marriott, the company employed complex strategies known as “Son of Boss” to dodge taxes, prompting consequences with the IRS. Did Romney use a similar strategy for his own taxes?

5) Was Romney’s Swiss bank account disclosed on all tax returns for all years? Did he file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) as required by the deadline for each year he had the account?

6) Did Romney participate in the IRS’s settlement initiative for undeclared offshore financial accounts (the amnesty)? In 2009, the IRS gave American citizens a window to declare their Swiss bank accounts and avoid prosecution for tax dodging, before it launched a crackdown on foreign accounts. As Slate’s Matt Yglesias wrote, “Romney might well have thought in 2007 and 2008 that there was nothing to fear about a non-disclosed offshore account he’d set up years earlier precisely because it wasn’t disclosed. But then came the settlement and the rush of non-disclosers to apply for the amnesty.”

7) Why did Romney invest in Houston rental real estate that was explicitly marketed as a tax shelter? As The New York Times reported, Romney was an investor in a real estate scheme in which the organizers “played up the tax shelter benefits.” The deal turned out to be a lousy investment.

On a final note, does Romney think that the 20 prominent conservatives calling for more tax returns are “small minded”?

Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/16/700611...

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Top Opinion

  • JaguarSocialist 2012/08/16 19:36:49
    He has no intention of releasing tax records, and the fact he may have paid a tax rate of only 13% is an insult to working class Americans.

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  • JCD aka "biz" 2012/08/17 11:58:38
    JCD aka "biz"
    Where is Julian Assange when his assistance is urgently needed? And are there no real patriots in the IRS who can give the information George's son refuses to disclose?
  • hasher 2012/08/17 01:46:35
    got some bad news for you liberals. obama may not be eligible to run for pres. his father is not a natural born citizen of the united states and BOTH parents have to be natural born in the us to qualify for pres. if the liberty legal foundation gets its case heard and if the court rules that obama is not qualified. then he wont be able to run. the case is set to be heard sept 24 go to liberty legal foundation to read about it. its the same reason marco rubio cant run for pres.same thing.
  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/08/17 00:15:28
    This isn't going away whether he shows them or not. Romney has proven that he could care less what the American people think he should do.
  • ..::localeye::.. 2012/08/16 21:11:12
    I will apologize in advance to all conservatives because this link is not from the holy FOX news...so its probably untrue and Santa Claus is real. He is sitting next to me right now.
  • voice_matters 2012/08/16 20:53:52
    tell me libby why do you care? where are obama's returns. stop being an ignorant lib. oh nevermind that is all you are
  • Rebel Yell 2012/08/16 20:47:38
    Rebel Yell
    Willard cracks me up. He requested “several” years of tax returns from his potential running mates, a senior adviser to Romney said ... Beth Myers, who was charged with heading the vice president selection process.

    Yet he and hs wife have meltdowns when asked about their own. Hypocrits. Is Mr. Romney too good to give his tax returns to his prospective employers, the voters.? It certainly appears so. Are we supposed to just see that he is a business genius who doesn’t need to stoop to do the mundane things he would require of other lesser mortals?
    Willard lied ( no surprise there ) when he told ABC he would look into whether or not he ever paid less than 13.9% and then get back to them. It IS a legitimate and real issue and he needs to address this.

    This has become a character issue for a presidential contender.
  • CA Gal 2012/08/16 20:41:20
    CA Gal
    13%?!!! His problem is that he sees nothing wrong with it. He believes it's fair for wealthy people to pay 13% of their major income while I'm paying 33% of my middle class income. Even if his claim is true (which I highly doubt) he wants to cut taxes for the top 1% even more and increase the tax burden of the middle class.
  • Keeping It Real 2012/08/16 20:26:01
    Keeping It Real
    The Democrats needs to bring up Reverse Robinhood Romney refusal to show more of his tax returns up every chance they get.
  • gfreeman BN-0 2012/08/16 20:11:01
    gfreeman BN-0
    Based on that IRA alone, the IRS should be looking into this guy.
  • JCD aka "biz" 2012/08/16 20:07:15
    JCD aka "biz"
    George Romney released his tax records, he was probably an honest man.
  • CAROLYN... JCD aka... 2012/08/17 00:17:03
    Yes, and his son should man up!
  • Rusty Shackleford 2012/08/16 20:04:52
    Rusty Shackleford
    Do you have any evidence of criminal activity?
  • Morningstar 2012/08/16 20:02:34
    Those supporting Romney should all be asking themselves these questions!
  • The Electrician 2012/08/16 19:46:10
    The Electrician
    Romney is a Felon on all counts.
  • Rusty S... The Ele... 2012/08/16 20:05:36
    Rusty Shackleford
    Then why doesn't Eric Holder arrest him?
  • The Ele... Rusty S... 2012/08/16 21:47:33
    The Electrician
    Why didn't they prosecute Bush, Cheney or Rove, their criminal acts were much greater.
  • Rusty S... The Ele... 2012/08/16 22:07:26
    Rusty Shackleford
    Is that Holder's reasoning for not arresting Romney?
  • JaguarSocialist 2012/08/16 19:36:49
    He has no intention of releasing tax records, and the fact he may have paid a tax rate of only 13% is an insult to working class Americans.

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