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Friday, September 30, 2016

What We Still Don’t Know About Mitt Romney’s Taxes

What We Still Don’t Know About Mitt Romney’s Taxes

by Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica.

With the documents Mitt Romney released recently, we know a bit more about his taxes.

We know, for instance, that Romney paid a rate of 14.1 percent on $13.7 million in income on his 2011 tax return, which he achieved by purposely overpaying. Though he was entitled to deduct $4 million in charitable contributions, Romney deducted only $2.25 million to keep his tax rate above 13 percent.

(Romney, it has been pointed out, could file an amended return to claim the full deduction after the election. We’ve contacted the Romney campaign, and Michele Davis, a spokeswoman, assured us he would not do so.)

We know, according to a letter from his accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers, that Romney has paid state and federal income taxes each year since at least 1990, which would seem to disprove Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim in July that Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade.

And we know that Romney’s tax rate since 1990 never dipped below 13.66 percent, according to his accountants. Romney paid an average effective tax rate between 1990 and 2009 of 20.2 percent.

But there’s still a lot we don’t know. “I think most of the major questions we had before [last Friday] are still out there,” said Brian Galle, a tax law professor at Boston College. Here are a few:

How much did Romney make before 2010?

While Romney has disclosed his average effective tax rate for the last two decades, he hasn’t said how much he earned in those years or how much — the dollar amount — he paid in taxes.

That’s an important distinction, said Daniel Shaviro, a tax law professor at New York University. Various tax-planning strategies may have enabled Romney to reduce his adjusted gross income in some years.

In 2008, for instance, investors everywhere lost money when the stock market tanked. Romney may have carried those losses forward, Shaviro said, and used them to reduce his adjusted gross income in 2009. While we know Romney paid at least 13.66 percent of the income he recorded on his taxes in a given year, we don’t know what percentage he paid of the money actually took home that year.

  • bcarreiro

    how one can manipulate the system and the people. do you do the same at home with your children???

  • Sand_Cat

    Do we really “know” anything about Mitt’s taxes aside for the amount paid? Are we sure he doen’ have millions still squirreled away somewhere? Does Mr. Romney even know the difference between the truth and a lie?

    • bcarreiro

      its called sandbag his inventory??????

    • I’m sure he KNOWS the difference, he just doesn’t care!!

  • I’d like to know more about Romney’s charitable contributions. The NY Times website did not help me in that regard. Did Romney donate mostly to the Mormon Church? How does the Mormon Church use that money? Do they use the money for missionary work–in say, Paris–to convert people to Mormonism? My point is that when you and I talk about charitable contributions, we think of the American Heart Association, United Way, or the Julian Assange Defense Fund. Were his contributions primarily for charity? I have never, not once in my life, taken my contributions to charity as deductions, nor do I believe that they should be allowed.

  • And the fact that he paid 13.66% of whatever income he claimed, doesn’t mean that he didn’t claim income from offshore accounts that should have been included. I’ts my sense that the answer to that is that he intentionally did not report some income (why else would he have gone to the trouble to set up so many offshore accoutsa?) ; which is why he is so determined not to show previous tax returns that would give someone the opportunity to match up records of his income earned on offshore accounts with his prior tax returns to see that he did infact do that.

    And as a second thought, given all the questions that people have that have been reviewing the two obviously doctored returns he’s made available, why is the IRS not reviewing his returns to answer some of the questions for themselves that have been asked? Especially how he was able to create a 401k with over 100 million when during the number of years since it was opened he could have only deposited around $450,000 ($30,000 each year). There’s no way that $450,000 could have grown to over 100 million unless he intentionally under valued some of the stocks he put into the account to shield (lower his) income at the time…which should be illegal.

    • dljones

      Maybe he mowed lawns and did extra baby sitting jobs.

      If you did the proper analysis it portrays the perfect financial storm-an act of genius. Romney would make the perfect mentor for creating a plan to resolve one of the largest economic screw ups in American history.

  • The only thing we know about Mitt Romney’s taxes is that the few returns he made public show he paid a lower rate on millions of dollars earned via investments than his cook did. Don’t expec his tax accountants to finish ammending his other returns until after the election…if ever! His tax returns may turn out to be the tip of the iceberg, the probability of insider trading is far from being far fetched. I wonder how the Tea Party will feel if they find out they voted for a larger version of Martha Stewart!

  • irishtap

    Think about it, we’re looking at a Republican presidential candidate whose actions his own father (a Republican presidential candidate himself) would not condone. Mitt Romney is the poster child for how sick and twisted the GOP has become. This man does not possess the critical thinking skills neccessary for addressing the many complex issues this nation and world faces. He’s only a greedy, vacuous Ken doll, in this thing for his own aggrandizement. This man’s sensibilities have been demeaned from his own privileged upbringing and by the seedy practices that delivered his great wealth to the point of suggesting $394.000,00 is little more than pocket change in his world. Romney has repeatedly demonstrated he is incapable of empathising with the economic plight of ordinary American citizens.

  • IThinkthereforeIVoteMHO

    It has been said that, Romney “Digs This” as well …
    Some Folks are born to wave the Flag … Oooh, they’re Red, WHITE, and Blue.
    And when the band plays “Bain I’m it’s Chief” … Oooh, they point to the damage You Do.
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I am a Governor’s son, Son
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I am a Fortunate one … Yeah !!!
    We 1% Folks are born silver spoon in hand.
    Lord, don’t We help ourselves, Oh.
    But when the taxman comes to the door, Lord, the U.S. House looks like a rummage sale, yes
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I am a Millionaires Son, Yo
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I am a Fortunate One
    We GOP’s inherit star spangled eyes, Ooh, we send you down to war, Lord
    But when you ask us, “how much will you serve ??”
    Oooh, WE only answer No More ! No More ! No More ! Yeah
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I ain’t no military son, Son
    I’m Romney … I’m Romney, I am THE Fortunate One.

  • Come on…if it was you or me would have been forced to give them up a long time ago.

  • dljones

    Get over it poor people. He is a self made millionaire and builder of businesses that create jobs. He builds wealth, not takes wealth. My ambition is to generate income as you follow “Obama the poverty maker” over the cliff. Love those who sit on their rears moping and complaining and then wonder what happened.

    • He is not a self mad millionaire, he was given millions by his Dad before his death and after his death, the same for his running mate Ryan got his millions by inheriting them and married into money. He cost people more jobs than he and Bain created. Most of the jobs that he “created” was sent overseas not created in the US. People like you djones needs to do some of your own research instead of going by what others say. Neither Romney nor Ryan are self made millionaires. He builds wealth not yours or anybody else just his and he has made a lot of his millions by destroying businesses and even taking the pension funds that the workers have paid into along with the companies he destroyed. The money that he and the rest of his Bain partners took that was the pension fund then had to be replaced by us the taxpayers because they were federally insured. Read about your hero in articles and books that are by neutral authors and you will find out that Romney is no one’s hero.

      • dljones

        Mountain William:: Your “research is pathetic. Your batting a thousand. Nothing you wrote is further from the facts. Must be a result of an over dose of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow or Axelrod and a backfire of your medication. Good judgement tells me your are a true liberal with a bias for telling campfire stories. Stay with your rant as you’re going to be miserable when Romney wins the election. I want a tax return that looks like his.

        Currently, all we have to look forward too is a tomorrow that looks like a yesterday.

      • dljones

        If you can go by what others say, why can’t I?

  • dljones

    He is a multi-millioniare, get over it.