Former corporate raider and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has decided to release his full 2011 tax returns today, but as a preview, it was revealed that he and wife Ann reported $13,696,951 in income, paying just over $1.9 million in taxes, which works out to a 14.1% effective tax rate. That's slightly above his 13.9% tax rate for 2010. And while Romney refuses to release more tax returns (while he complains about poor people), his tax preparers will offer a summary of his 1990-2009 taxes.
A trustee for his blind trust, Brad Malt, posted some details about the 2011 returns on the Romney campaign blog:
- "In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income."
- "The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%."
- "The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income."
- "The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions."
- "The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor's statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years."
Thank goodness for tax jujitsu! Daniel Gross Tweeted, "By my crude math, if Romney had taken deductions for all his charitable donations, his effective tax rate would have been about 9%."
As for the 1990-2009 summary, PriceWaterhouseCoopers claims, "Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%" and "Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%." The Caucus reports, "His decision to release the of tax documents on a Friday afternoon could help his campaign minimize news coverage of them. Politicians often try to release potentially damaging information just before a weekend, when voters are often paying less attention to their televisions and newspapers. In spite of the timing, the release of the tax return is almost certain to rekindle the discussion about Mr. Romney’s personal wealth and Democratic attacks that his aggressive use of legal tax avoidance techniques sets him apart from average Americans."
President Obama paid a 20% effective tax rate in 2011.