On Friday GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return plus enough financial data to keep accountants busy till after the election, a complete 2011 tax return as well as their already completed 2010 tax return.
Beyond the tax returns, Gov. Romney released nine financial disclosures since 2002 ---three are federal Public Financial Disclosures (from 2007, 2011, and 2012), and 6 are Massachusetts Statements of Financial Interests (from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007). He also released a letter from his tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, which provides an overview of the Romneys’ tax returns covering an additional 20 years, from 1990-2009.
Oh, and he also released a statement from his doctor saying he’s healthy enough to be president.
Let’s face it folks, the guy has now released everything except a HS diploma, kindergarten report card, the results of the driver’s test he took when he was 17, and a Bar Mitzvah certificate. The campaign tells me there is no way he is going to release a Bar Mitzvah certificate-turns out Romney is not Jewish (who knew?)
My wife the CPA is too busy to give me an executive report of what the Governor has released, but after giving it a few looks over I have been able to tweak out ten very key points from the release.
1.Romney gave tons of money to Uncle Sam in taxes and gave even more to charity: In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income. They donated $4,020,722 to charity; but only took a charitable deduction of $2,250,772. Liberals will say “big deal,” his Church requires charity. True, the Mormon Church requires a 10% charitable tithe. Romney gave 29.4% of his income to charity. Or to look at it another way, he gave more than double the amount to charity than taxes.
2.Romney’s Tax Rate was higher than 80% of Taxpayers; Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, paid a 14.1 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011. In an analysis conducted last February by the Tax Policy Center of the liberal leaning Brooking’s institute, 80% of taxpayers pay an effective tax rate of 12.9% or less on their tax returns.
3.Harry Reid is a liar! Remember that interview with the Huffington Post where Reid cited an anonymous Bain investor to report that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid any taxes for the past ten years? According to the notarized letter provided by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, not once in the past 20 years did the Romneys not pay both state and federal taxes! Reid owes Romney an apology. It will never happen, though.
4.Romney’s Tax Rate for the past 20 years is about the same as what Obama paid last year. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP--over the 20 year period, Mitt Romney’s averaged annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%, about the same as Obama’s was last year (20.5%)...
5.When you compare Romney’s tax rate to Harry Reid’s, the man who made the ridiculous tax charges against Romney--oh, wait, we can’t make that comparison--Reid hasn’t released HIS returns for the past three years..
6.Joe Biden is a CHEAP B*****d! While Romney gave almost 30% of his income to charity and Obama gave a respectable 22%, the SCHMOTUS, Joe Biden gave only 1.45% of his income to charity (a total of $5,500). And that’s an improvement! In the ten years before he was elected VP, Biden averaged only $369/year of charitable giving. I thought “regular Joe” cared about the poor and the sick. If he cared so much he would give a lot more. Note to Paul Ryan: your 4% should be higher.
7.The Romneys have no say on how their money is invested. Their assets are in a blind trust. All assets are under the control and management of an independent trustee. I also have no say on how my money is invested. There is no blind trust, but my wife tells me that information is available on a “need to know basis” and I don’t need to know (she is probably right!).
8.When you compare Romney’s tax rate to that of Nancy Pelosi. Oh, wait, we can’t do that either--Pelosi hasn’t released her returns.
9.Romney filed his tax returns about a month before me. People with a lot of investment income tend to file later. Investors have to wait for every tax return from each of the investments so they can figure out their totals. If you invest in funds, it takes doubly long as the funds have to wait for the returns from their investments to figure out their returns. Oh, keep in mind, the extension is only for the piece of paper. Romney, as well as everyone who gets extensions, had to send the IRS its money by 4/15, and if the amount paid was too little, there is the matter of interest and penalties. The latest one can file a return is October 15th, which is when my return is usually filed--not because I have a lot of investment income but because my wife’s a CPA and my return is the last one she does.
10.Did Romney evade taxes through “offshore accounts?” The “blind trust” that manages all of Romney’s investments did put money in funds established in the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions--but there were no “offshore accounts.” Those investments in funds organized outside of the U.S. were taxed in the very same way they would be if the shares were held in the U.S. Each of the funds was registered with the IRS and reports all income to investors and the IRS, just like domestic funds.
Now that Romney (and Ryan) have released this tome of financial information, the presidential campaign can finally focus on the important issues facing the country, our failing economy, declining power in the world, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons into terrorist states such as Iran.
Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid”