Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return today, revealing that he made $13.7 million in 2011 and paid $1.94 million in federal income taxes for an effective tax rate of 14.1%. The returns are posted with a summary of tax rates paid by the Romney family for the period between 1990 and 2009.
According to a note posted on Romney's campaign website by Brad Malt, Romney's blind trust manager, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes each year during the 20-year period, and paid an average annual federal tax rate of 20.20%. The lowest annual federal personal tax rate paid was 13.66%, and on average the Romneys gave 13.45% of their adjusted gross income to charity. The note states that "Governor and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed."
The Romney campaign said in a statement on its website: "First, as a successful businessman, Governor Romney has not only added value to our economy through his investment and business activity, but he has paid millions in taxes every year to the US government... Mitt Romney has scrupulously complied with the US tax code, and his income is reported and taxed at the applicable rates, and he has paid 100 percent of what he has owed." Romney's income was derived almost entirely from capital gains and dividends, investment income that is typically taxed at 15%, below the 35% top tax rate for wage income.
"Today's release of Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax returns confirms what we already knew - that people like Mitt Romney pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class families because of a set of complex loopholes and tax shelters only available to those at the top," said Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. "These types of investments, the use of tax loopholes, and the resort to foreign blocker corporations enabling him to reduce his US tax obligations all raise basic and still unanswered questions - why does Mitt Romney not just release the full returns, instead of the bare summary he has provided of the last 20 years, so voters can make their own judgments about Mitt Romney's finances?"
Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, released his final 2011 tax return this summer. He paid $65,000 on $323,416 in income, giving him an effective tax rate of 20%.
Alistair Bell, "Romney Paid $1.9 Million in Taxes in 2011: Campaign," chicagotribune.com, Sep. 21, 2012
Matthew Yglesias, "Why Mitt Romney's Effective Tax Rate Is So Low and Why It Probably Should Be," slate.com, Sep. 21, 2012
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