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A peek inside Mitt Romney's $42.5 million tax filings

Mitt Romney reported owing $6.2 million in taxes on $42.5 million in income over the last two years, according to documents released by the Republican presidential contender's campaign Tuesday.

The former Massachusetts governor made an estimated $20.9 million in 2011 and expects to pay $3.2 million in taxes, a 15.4 percent rate.

In 2010, he earned $21.65 million, and paid $3 million in taxes, a 13.9 percent rate.

Romney has been under pressure from rivals to release his returns. There were no major surprises in more than 500 pages of documents released Tuesday.

They confirm what's long been known—that Romney is far wealthier than most Americans. His net worth is between $190 million and $250 million.

Romney earned almost all his income from dividends and interest on investments. His tax bill was reduced as he took about $7 million in charitable deductions, including $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church.

Virtually all of Romney's income comes from investment income that's taxed at a 15 percent rate. Ordinary income, or income from wages, can be taxed as high as 35 percent.

The Romneys paid a lower rate than their chief political rivals. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, paid at a rate of about 31 percent, and President Barack Obama last year paid at a 26 percent rate.

Gingrich has been pressing Romney hard to release the returns. During the South Carolina primary campaign last week, Gingrich routinely drew cheers from crowds when he wondered what Romney could be hiding.

Romney at first said he would release the returns in April, when they are complete, but relented after being crushed by Gingrich in the South Carolina primary.

At Monday night's Tampa Republican debate, Romney called his tax liability "entirely legal and fair."
And, he added, "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."

Romney Tuesday released a statement of support from Fred Goldberg, former Internal Revenue Service Commission.

"These returns reflect the complexity of our tax laws and the types of investment activity that I would anticipate for persons in their circumstances," he said. "There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities. In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers."

More here on the returns for the Romney campaign

Comments

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RJ

Really?
"peak" vs "peek"?

Jared

At least they didn't put 'pique.'

PhoneBill

"The Romneys paid a lower rate than their chief political rivals. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, paid at a rate of about 31 percent, and President Barack Obama last year paid at a 26 percent rate."

Seriously??? That's an apples and oranges comparison. One is a rate on wages and one is a rate on investment income. Romney would have already paid income taxes on the monies he received that was used to invest in the accounts that were paying the dividends. Money that is being used to build other companies (that pay taxes) and money paid as income to other people (which is also taxed).

I know most of us will never have this problem (present company included, but I'm working on it) but please don't try to mislead readers into thinking that Romney "only" pays 15%.

Dave Peterson

I cannot imagine democracy prevailing in November. The next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin's bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she's not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren't in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.
http://www.PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot.com

Javier

Phonebill... Dont be dishonest. He paid taxes already on the principal of the investments...not the earnings... there is no double taxation here. If you invest one million dollars... and youe capital gains are $1 you only get taxed on that dollar...not the principal

Neal Apfelbeck

This is when an Alternative Minimum Tax makes sense. I paid 15% on income that wasn't a tenth of Romney's. Ever wonder why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

Neal Apfelbeck

Oops, did I say a tenth. I meant 1/100th. Not enough coffee this morning.

chris

Yeah its apples and oranges. The working man that builds this country with his hands and on his back gets the shaft, while the elite get off paying half the rate while playing the games with money that put us in the worst recession since the 30s.

Michael

Missing here is that his tax details show he had an account in Switzerland that was closed in 2010 and accounts in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Tax shelters don't really help the US coffers, and using them can't really be considered a patriotic thing to do.

Brewster

Yeah right, that 15% was from dividends. The company that made the profit so that it could issue a dividend had already paid a 35% tax. Assume that the company profit is not taxed, that would increase the dividend by 35%. Romney is effectively paying that 35% on top of the 15% since the corporate tax is being passed onto him. That works out to Romney's real tax rate being about 45%

Sophie

Romney employed household help for $20,603 - I say show the employee(s) were legal. Wouldn't be surprised his houselhold help paid taxes at a higher rate than his highness.

Jerry

Wow.

I can understand the whole 15% thing on investment income.... I just wanna know (if he's only worth $190-$250 million) where is this guy getting at least a 10% return on his money year after year?

Must be that privileged Washington insider trading that the rest of us paupers don't have access too... because I don't know anyone getting that kind of return.

whasup

The reason Romney keeps piles of money hidden overseas is because their bank secrecy laws make it hard for anyone (other than the government) to find out just how huge those hidden stashes of cash are.

When he releases information about those we will know what he is really hiding. I wouldn't be surprised if he is truly worth $1 billion. And if true and if that came out during the election, the voters will turn him down flat in the Republican primary and in the general election ... because we all know that we don't need a billionnaire banker running the country as President.

Mark

It's interesting that his "estimated" 2011 taxes are just high enough to bring the 2-year (2010 and 2011) average to exactly 15% while 2010, the only actually documented bill was only 13.9%, not his previously "estimated" 15%. It's also interesting that he waited until he could come up with the new 2011 estimate to bring the average up to 15%.

ELSADICO1

AND YOU'LL BE SURPRISED HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR HIM,IT'S A SHAME, I FEEL SORRY FOR THE NEW GENERATION, THEY WILL NOT HAVE ANY CAPABLE PERSON TO RUN THIS COUNTRY.

Steve

Romney paid his taxes on time. Gingrich paid a late payment penalty. That's the big news from the tax returns. Otherwise, they aren't very newsworthy.

However, when taken with the fact that Gingrich didn't make it on time either to get his name on the ballot in Virginia or Missouri, it says something important about his ability to govern as president.

xbronx

So i guess being rich is a dirty word. Mmmmm i wonder if russia started like this?

xbronx

Over 40% pay no taxes. I bet a bunch of them are here right now posting comments. Go out and get a friggin job. Then try to setup a retire plan that gets taxed besides your salary. You will gain a new perspective.

Tommy Wood

Thanks President Romney for being as successful as you can! It shows the average taxpayer that we have something to strive for... money so we can invest and make a profit.

This should shut the "NEWT'S up!

As for "Giving to Charity, Who won there? hummm 10% or 2%.... Still again, Thanks Mr. President for showing us an example of what should and could be done.

Andy

Lets not let the facts get in the way of a good argument. A married couple with $50,000 income filing jointly pays taxes of 7.7%, if you up it to $100,000 income the tax is 13%. If you can itemize deductions the rates go down. Mitt is paying a higher percentage than most Americans, not a lower percentage.

JJ

People are asking the wrong questions...

It's not about Romney's tax bracket, it is why he didn't anticipate the question and have a ready answer, or better yet just put the damn returns out there... ????

This reflects poorly on his stragedly and preparation more than anything else.

Chuck

Each day of this 2012 election we continue to bash the idea that capitalism. It is becoming poster image of what is causing all the pain and suffering in today’s world. By the time we get around to vote we will be carrying banners of Saul Alinsky and lining up to join the communist party.

Randall Bennett

Yes, thousands of us will vote for him because it will take a very good man to beat Obama and lead this country. We need a man who will heal this country by virtue of his character and his profound faith in God. Mitt does not just talk it, he walks the walk. Newt is not a good man and in fact he is a pathetic liar who will not admit and answer to his mistakes and his deficiencies. Conservatives will not stand by and have Newt represent them no matter how he spins it. Our feelings about him are not in theory. He is corrupt and only seeks greater power to add to his corruption. The father of all lies wants us with him too, but not for our good. We need Mitt Romney to lead the Republican party and this nation. We do not need Newt to invite all of us to be miserable like him.

Senior Mike

It is tiresome to read comments that say Romney paid dividend taxes on top of corporate tax rates of 35%, and also that over 40% of other citizens pay "no taxes." First of all most corporations pay far less than the top rate of 35% - and some, like General Electric pay no corporate tax at all! Secondly, us poor suckers pay social security taxes, medicare taxes, disability taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, utility taxes - and many more taxes and fees. Thus leaving us with not with a heck of a lot left of discretionary income.

lmmd

to phonebill - do you know how hedge funds work? because from your post it's kinda obvious you don't - romney will have always paid 15% from the gains of bain capital - that's why the tax code is so unfair!

Marshall Fox

So what exactly is this article trying to dig up? The fact that romney is smarter with his money than most americans are? Come on, we've got a 16 trillion dollar deficit on our hands and here people are arguing about what income tax percentage a candidate is paying. Get a grip people...

PeterPan

Romney paid the normal and lawful tax rate of 15% investment income that everyone else pays when they risk and invest $$. He is a successful American story of how anyone in this country can make it from nothing.

Instead of critiquing success, we need to focus more on the things that make (or made) this country great and the opportunity it gives everyone to pursue happiness, liberty and success.

Jessica

This is totally nonsense. Yes his rich now what? Rich people can't run for president? I remember reading that he didn't inherit anything and earned everything from scratch. Also he paid his taxes legally according to what IRS required him to. I am sick and tired of all this media trying to make rich people look bad. I am not rich myself but someday want to be. Now if I or anyone of us becomes rich does that mean we should have a worse chance of becoming president? The opposite should be true! People who became rich usually work hard and are successful (something the president should have in my opinion). And if people have problems with how much taxes he paid go to the government and complain to them because they made the tax system and not Romney.

Marshall Fox

Its people like this that grind my gears. They're so worried about controversy and who's got the bigger problems that their state of mind couldn't be any further from the real problem at hand...who is best fit to run our country! So set the b&ll sh@t aside and get to the point.

Chris W

xbronx,Once agin people like you keep perpetuating the same MYTH over and over about those who don't pay taxes.The 40% you claim that don't pay taxes,actually do pay taxes on their pay checks it's called the FICA tax they just don't make enough to pay any federal taxes but they do spend more of their pay check in sales tax,property taxes and other taxes than the wealthy do when comparing wages and taxes.

Sarah Beths

The Obamas are already cracking open bottles of Champagne!

Romney should retire and spend his golden years cleaning up fundamentalist Mormon polygamy in mainstream Mormon communities. Now there's a worthy cause! No one who's seen the doc film "Banking On Heaven" (available in most libraries) would ever vote for a Mormon. Powerful Mormons and their followers raise tens of millions of dollars to crush same-sex marriage and do NOTHING about corrupt polygamists in their own backyard. Mormon communities are overrun with "lost boys" who are expelled from hundreds of polygamous Mormon sects so older men can take "child brides", and most polygamous wives raise their children on welfare. How much time and money have Romney and his wealthy Mormon pals contributed to help victims of fundamentalist Mormon polygamy? ZERO.

mike t

Mitt Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Not "fundamentalist Mormons". You should check your facts before making a comment.

Steve

Now if Rick Santorum or Ron Paul would release their tax returns. Romney took all the flak when Gingrich hadn't released anything. This was all just an orchestrated attempt to attack the best Republican in the field.

Joe Goldstein

In a slick piece of propaganda the national media has suckered the GOP into supporting the weakest of all GOP candidates (Newt the expelled speaker, adulterous Gingrich) to run against their hero, Obama. In a highly touted grudge-match debate between the "smartest man in the room" Blustering Liar vs. the Teleprompter Kid president, GOP voters have fallen for the event like it was a national boxing match, not an election for president. Most ironic is the lack of focus on integrity, a quality Americans used to be require in a president. Media won, we lost and for those ignorant enough to have fallen for the propaganda, Obama would never agree to such a debate anyway.

Joe Goldstein

To my fellow dedicated Americans concerned about the direction of this nation. I am confident that when you vote in this upcoming primary election you will vote to support the constitution that so many generations before us have given their lives to defend. I know you understand the problems before us which must be solved, and the painful truths in those solutions. Like those many patriots of our past, I am sure we will rise to this occasion and show the world that we; the American people, have not lost control of our government, that we do not blindly follow media direction, and that our military strength will no longer be used to invade other nations sovereign in their right to defense . We will demonstrate to the world by our actions that we are a peaceful people, and when the chips are down, Americans pull together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as American citizens defending the aspirations of our forefather's, taking to task what those generations to come later will call, "Our greatest moment".
I am positive that one day we will look back at these most troubling times that have befallen our nation and proudly know that we had the courage to support Ron Paul, the man who inspired all Americans to defend their constitution, and reminded us all of our God given greatness.

cheeca

Romney gave 15 pct to charity and mr obama gave 1 pct, even cheaper than the obamas is biden who gave 369 dollars, wow all these obama/bidens do is take take take

cyrusgrey45

Since when it is a bad thing to make a lot of money? Since when it is a bad thing to pay as little tax as legally allowable? Oh! Yes. It is bad since Obama and the Democratic party took office.

Maria

The Republican anti-tax position has always been primarily aimed at reducing taxes paid by wealthy Americans. Since Americans tend to oppose tax cuts for the rich, Republicans always tied together middle-class tax cuts with the upper-bracket cuts they really wanted. The traditional Republican tax cut over the last 30 years has combined a small tax cut for the middle class with a huge tax cut for the rich — increasing the proportion of federal taxes paid by the middle-class, but reducing the level. They sold this position to the public by expressing it as a generalized, across-the-board opposition to taxes, everywhere and always.
It is an american tradition to pay taxes, and it is the republicans that have departured from this. Do your homework and stop defending the super rich. They should pay their fair amount of taxes just like everyone else.

Sunset

You guys have to understand,
1. Romney paid 35% on his earned income
2. He took that income and invested it into another company, etc.
3. The profit he made on the investments was taxed at 15%

If we as a country taxed that income at 35%, investors who can save companies and such wouldn't take the risk. It wouldn't be worth it to them. We are fortunate to have people wealthy to do these things.
The great thing about Romney is on top of taking risks, he is generous with his money and gives to Charity. Even if it's his church, that church does amazing things for the less fortunate. Most times they are first to respond to any disaster in the world and help many who are struggling.

Sunset

And by the way to all of you Gingrich fans, he is planning on making the Capitol Gains tax (the 15%) and making it ZERO!! If you dont believe me, watch the FL debate from Monday and you will hear it from the horses mouth.

Sunset

One more thing, this proves that Romney doesnt NEED to do this, get his name drug through the mud, so he can have a job and a career as a politician. He wants to do it and has no special interest. He doesnt need money! Did any of you know that he took no pay for fixing the Olympics (and donated 1 Million to it), took no pay for being governor of MA, and he will donate all his earnings as POTUS to charity! Does that sound like a man with a personal agenda? I DONT THINK SO. He loves our country and will use his expertise to fix the mess we are in.

Frank glodberg waflestein

We need newt! I can't trust mitt because he is a secret European socialist who is part of a cult who wants to turn the us into sweat shops and playground for the extreme rich. newt is the best guy for the job,

Frank glodberg waflestein

Newt! We need the Newt! He will turn this economy around!

Vanessa piazza

Sorry Frank you need to stop drinking the cool aid if Newt is elected then Obama will get another for years. Newt is a crupt bully who spent his life womanising and changing his views with the wind. Ron Paul has a better chance the Newt of beating Obama. I would rather have a president who has morals Mitt has my vote.

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