Tax Returns Primer
Now Mitt's manipulating his taxes in plain sight. He just won't come clean.
WHAT THE NEW RETURN SHOWS
Romney thinks he should get to play by a different set of rules.
- Presidents and Vice Presidents routinely release many years of their tax returns, including Obama and Biden. Mitt's father George released 12 years of returns when he ran for president.
- Yet Romney won't release more than just two years of returns. He only released misleading summaries of his taxes for 1990-2009, failed to fully disclose his 2010 tax return, and manipulated his 2011 return for political reasons.
- Romney gave Sen. McCain's then-presidential campaign 23 years of returns and demanded 10 years of returns from his candidates for Vice President, as well as his political opponents.
Romney thinks that overpaying taxes on purpose should disqualify him for president, except when he manipulates the rules to do it.
- Just two months ago, Romney said that "frankly if I had paid more than are legally due, I don't think I'd be qualified to become president."
- Then he did just that to make his 2011 tax return look like he pays a higher rate.
- Romney can still amend his 2011 return after the election and apply his unused deductions then.
Sure, Romney can get whatever result he wants when he manipulates the rules.
- Romney actually paid a 10% federal income tax rate and donated $500,000 to the IRS to manipulate his effective tax rate, but even after doing that, his tax rate comes out to 13%.
- Romney used a sneaky way of averaging his tax rates across his 1990-2009 returns and to calculate his effective tax rates to make his numbers look better politically.
- His actual tax rate would be far lower if we count the other types of financial gains Romney makes, like the untaxed $9 million to $10 million in gains made in his IRA each year.
The tax code is rigged to let the wealthiest few like Romney pay lower than working families.
- Romney's 10% federal income tax rate is lower than a regular American's, including what many middle-class families pay.
- Romney actually thinks that his tax rate is "fair" because it "encourages economic growth" -- despite all evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy did not help our economy over the past 65 years.
- More than 65% of his 813 pages long tax return for 2011 deal with his overseas investments -- the kinds of special tax loopholes used by the wealthiest few to lower their tax bill.
For Romney, nothing says "I believe in America" like stashing his millions in the Caymans and investing in China.
- Of Romney's investments in 34 offshore companies, 30 are located in offshore tax havens, like the Cayman Islands. He even has investments in a state-owned China oil company.
- Romney got $100K back from the U.S. government as a refund for the taxes he paid to other countries, after receiving $3.5 million in foreign income.
- Romney claims that his wealth is managed in a blind trust, but how "blind" is it really if it's managed by his longtime friend and personal lawyer (with whom he has attorney-client confidentiality) and somehow happened to invest $10 million in his son's company?
Almost none of Romney's income came from work.
- In his 2011 return, Romney listed no wages, salaries or tips -- the type of income that average people make by working in a job. Instead he made $7 million in capital gains, almost $4 million in dividends, and $3.5 million in foreign income.
- Romney paid 0.2% in payroll taxes, instead of the 15% that working people pay into Social Security and Medicare with each paycheck.
- Even when he overpays his taxes, Romney pays lower taxes than many of the middle-class Americans he insulted as "victims" who will "never take personal responsibility" for their lives.
WHAT THE NEW TAX RETURN DOESN'T SHOW
Romney would more than recoup the money he overpaid on his 2011 taxes under his own tax plan -- by making the rigged tax code even worse.
- Based on his 2010 income, Romney's own tax plan would give him an estimated $4.5 million tax cut and save his family a cool $100 million.
- We do have a good idea how he'd pay for his own tax cut: he thinks half of America are irresponsible deadbeats who aren't paying enough taxes.
He still refuses to come clean on his taxes before he started running for president. What else is Mitt hiding?
Possibilities for what he's hiding in his tax returns before 2010 include:
- Participation in the 2009 amnesty deal for tax cheats illegally hiding their money overseas;
- The still-live possibility that he has paid close to 0% in federal taxes, since we cannot verify his claims to the contrary;
- Profits from the 2008 financial crisis, such as through bets on home foreclosures or investments in bailed-out Wall Street banks;
- Ownership in Toyota stock when he wrote, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt";
- Penalties, fines, or back payments for cheating on his taxes;
- Business dealings with countries, like Iran, that are banned from doing business with the U.S.
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Posted in - Taxes - Economy - 2012 Elections