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Romney To Release 2011 Tax Return Today, Share Tax Data Going Back To 1990

The Romney campaign announced just a short time ago that the candidate will be releasing his 2011 tax return, which is due on October 15th, later this afternoon. According to a note from the person who manages Romney’s blind trust, they will also be releasing information about Romney’s taxes going back to 1990:

The complete 2011 tax return, with full schedules, statements, and attachments, will be made available with all other previously-disclosed information at www.mittromney.com/disclosure.

Also posted will be a notarized letter from the Romneys’ tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PWC), giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys’ tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009.

In advance of the posting of these new documents, I wanted to provide some top-line details.

Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:

  • 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.

As with the 2010 tax return, the 2011 tax return will appear as four separate documents. It includes Governor and Mrs. Romney’s Form 1040 as well as three underlying Massachusetts trusts detailing the sources of their income. Those are The W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust, The Ann D. Romney Blind Trust, and The Romney Family Trust.

The investments within the trusts are managed on a blind basis by me, the trustee. I have sole responsibility for making, holding and disposing of the investments.

Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

  • In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.

Finally, in addition to new documents related to tax filings, the campaign will also be posting on the same website physician letters for both Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, making public their current state of health.

This is, as The West Wing famously called it, “Take Out The Trash” Day, something that the Obama Administration, and many Administration’s before it, has taken advantage of so it’s not entirely surprising that the Romney campaign would do the same thing.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Fiona says:

    Look, it’s a shiny new object to detract the media’s attention from Romney’s flailing campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  2. I saw those earlier. I have three observations:

    1) The Romneys did a lot of charity

    2) The Romneys did pay a lot of tax

    3) By using 20 year averages it makes less obvious the effect of the Bush tax cuts on the very rich.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  3. Modulo Myself says:

    Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

    This should pretty much put the spike through the heart of the lie that government taxes have crippled the wealthy. It should, but it won’t.

    And this doesn’t even take into account the raw numbers behind what he paid. We’re just getting percentages.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  4. The Romney campaign announced just a short time ago that the candidate will be releasing his 2011 tax return, which is due on October 15th, later this afternoon.

    Wait, wait, wait…. you mean Romney only just now got around to filing his return for last year?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  5. chas holman says:

    Well…. that’s one way to change the narrative of the last few weeks.

    I like the ol ‘drop late Friday afternoon and get out of Dodge for the weekend’ trick. Nice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. David M says:

    The 20 year average rate isn’t really news, if you averaged the capital gains tax rate over those years you would have guessed the rate Romney was paying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Perfectly legal. I know a guy — in fact, I’ve known him literally all my life — who still hasn’t filed f0or 2011.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. Moosebreath says:

    Well, now we know even Romney thinks he needs to change the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. Anderson says:

    Anything to prove he’s not one of the 47%!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  10. Jen says:

    So, like his economic plan, what we’ll be getting is a summary and no details?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  11. michael reynolds says:

    What’s interesting to me is that he suddenly ballooned his charitable giving this last year. Why? And why 20 years and the focus on overall percentages within that 20 year time period. And why 13.45% to charity (the Mormon church) averaged over that 20 years? Is the average tax rate based on taking the total earned in 20 years and dividing using the total paid? Or are they average 15% of one million and 10% of 100 million?

    What would the percentage of charity be if you subtracted the suddenly large payment to charity in 2011?

    Mr. Romney is an official in the LDS church and is required to tithe 10%. Not suggested, required.

    So, let’s say he tithed 10% or a little better in most of those years. But let’s say he also had a couple of really good years when he cashed in big-time and decided to pony up just a little less to Salt Lake City. 10% 12% 10% 13% 12% 13% 10% 5% 5% 30%. Then, you could basically get your 13% overall rate — averaging the yearly rates — but still have a couple of years where maybe you had a real bonanza and decided to stiff the church.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  12. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    till have a couple of years where maybe you had a real bonanza and decided to stiff the church.

    If there’s something unpleasant in his tax returns, I really, really doubt that’s what it is. My guess is that at least part of the problem is he’s been too aggressive classifying income as capital gains, and the individual returns would make that clearer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. legion says:

    I think Orly Taitz needs to file a lawsuit to get the actual tax returns, rather than just the summaries…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  14. Anderson says:

    @legion: What Legion said.

    WHERE ARE THE LONG-FORM TAX RETURNS?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @David M:

    You may be right, and I admit my little theory is an outlier. But I think Mr. Romney would be proud of aggressively chasing tax breaks. He would be destroyed at a very personal level if he was screwing his church. Obviously he’s hiding something. He is going to get hit regardless for paying a far lower tax rates than many people (me included.) That’s baked into any revelation. So there’s something else he’s hiding. Could just be the size of his income.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  16. David M says:

    So is Romney now saying he’s no longer qualified to be president:

    if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  17. @David M:

    Poor guy had to choose which promise to keep: “not less than 13%,” or “more than legally due.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  18. C. Clavin says:

    After saying that if he paid more taxes than legally required he wouldn’t be qualified to be President…he deferred charitible donations in order to inflate his tax bill.
    I think that pretty much settles it…by his own words he is not qualified to be President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. stonetools says:

    Let’s give the man some credit. He has released some tax info. Not enough-but a good start. Let’s encourage him to do more-like the complete returns.

    We have to admit he gives generously to charity. Good on you , there, Mitt.

    Now about those 2007-20009 returns…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Sorry, but I don’t consider donations to your own church to be charity. It’s the equivalent of society folk in New York donating to the ballet. It’s an expense of maintaining your social standing. How is paying for your church to recruit members a charity or evidence of generosity?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  21. David M says:

    Let’s not forget that he could have paid 9% under our current tax code which the GOP has repeatedly said is holding back the job creators. Is there anything more ridiculous?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  22. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m not a fan of the Mormon (or any other) church, but it actually does a sizable amount of charity work around the world.

    Whether or not Romney’s donations were directed into the church’s various charities is a separate question, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Lynda says:

    @michael reynolds:
    What makes sense for you and what makes sense for Romney are two different things :-)

    I know it is perfectly legal for Romney to only be filing his 2011 tax returns now but tactically it is also perfectly dumb.

    His campaign knew that his taxes were going to be an issue and by releasing a summary earlier on in the year and the actual one now they have given their opponents two bites of the cherry rather than one. The cherry on the cake for the Obama campaign is that it is the same week as the “47%” and federal income tax rates are in the news!

    Also, despite this being buried on a Friday, it will get attention. This could well leak into Monday making him lose yet another media cycle when he wants the media focusing on his bus tour in Ohio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. JKB says:

    All right, all right, let’s just say it. Romney gave over 30% to charity so that Obama and other liberals couldn’t direct it toward their favorite crony, I mean cause. Not to mention, he enslaved his wealth so that it worked while he played at running for president. Poor, poor money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  25. @michael reynolds:

    I know it’s legal, but routine use of extensions is something that bugs me. =P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. @john personna:

    Poor guy had to choose which promise to keep: “not less than 13%,” or “more than legally due.”

    It should be noted that he has up to three years to file an ammended return. How much you want to bet after the election he files another return to claim the deduction for the rest of his charitable contributions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  27. @Stormy Dragon:

    lol, I would.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. Barry says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “Wait, wait, wait…. you mean Romney only just now got around to filing his return for last year? ”

    Getting extensions is trivial paperwork, and it’s quite reasonable for a tax preparer to take them, since it gives more time to optimize returns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Ben says:

    @Mikey:

    I see a whole lot of vague references to the Mormons doing charity work for non-Mormons, with no actual specifics. But a whole lot of former Mormons have come out and said that anyone who received aid from the LDS church either has to convert, or sit there and be endless proselyzed to, while also committing to either pay back the money or do volunteer work for the church afterwards. They are not a true charitable organization. They are simply recruiting for new members. And all of their work overseas is related to missionary work to get more converts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  30. legion says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    How much you want to bet after the election he files another return to claim the deduction for the rest of his charitable contributions?

    No bet. Probability = 1.0.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  31. DGarr says:

    Release the tax returns that we *really* want to see, 2005-2009, Mr. Romney.

    If you are looking for a way to reboot your campaign, this would be it.

    Show everyone that, indeed, there is nothing to hide.

    Now THAT would really change the momentum of the campaign to your advantage.

    This is the single issue for which you have never once flip-flopped. Why? It makes voters wonder.

    Mr. Romney, you are running for President of the United States.
    This is a position of Trust.
    Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but Verify.”
    Mr. Romney has said, “Trust me,” re his tax returns.
    It is not unreasonable for voters to want to “Verify.

    The longer you delay, Mr. Romney, the more suspicious it appears.

    Obama released 8 years of tax returns
    GW Bush 10 years
    Clinton 12 years
    GHW Bush 14 years
    George Romney 12 years.

    What is the problem, Mr. Romney? Release your tax returns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  32. anjin-san says:

    There is a Fox News headline about Romney “affirming” 20 years of tax returns. WTF does that mean?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. Rob in CT says:

    So, just to clarify: he’s not actually releasing the returns, right? It’s some sort of summary?

    Meh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  34. sam says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What’s interesting to me is that he suddenly ballooned his charitable giving this last year

    Had he claimed the whole amount, it would have dropped his tax rate to a much lower rate than he paid. Optically, not so good. If he loses the election, he can file an amended return and go the Full Mormonty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. Bobbynorwich says:

    The 14% tax rate paid by Romney is not only less than the 15% in payroll taxes paid by the working poor, it is much less burdensome. A hardworking person making $30,000, paid $4,500 in payroll taxes. That hurts much more than Romney’s paying $1,950,000 on his investment income (which he did not have do any work to earn) of $13,700,000. He can at least afford to pay for more than decent housing, more than adequate food, more than any necessary medical care, more than excellent educations for his family, and more than enough luxuries despite his tax burden —- which is not the case for the guy making a subsistence living but who pays a higher tax rate than Mitt.

    Mitt, go back to one of your many stupendous vacation homes, perfect your tan and golf game, be fawned over by your adoring family, meet with your accountant to squeeze every last tax dollar out of the American treasury, tend your off-shore tax-sheltered accounts, but butt out of further screwing the struggling middle and lower classes — just for the greedy gain of you and your class.

    You are not one of us, Mitt, so just go away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  36. Jc says:

    all sorts of interesting things on Mitt’s return and disclosure of previous years.

    During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed

    Many have noted that this does not say when they paid them. Hence it does not trump Reid’s claims. Had it said those taxes were paid in the year they were owed, may have been different, but the statement above leaves open the likely scenario that he did amend prior years returns and had to pay back taxes, and would be a true statement if that is in fact what he did. i.e. he took the 2009 amnesty and settled his account with the IRS for prior years. Prior years where he may have in fact paid little to no taxes.

    Another note people noticed is in his extension for 2011 it was based on around $21MM of income, but the actual filing only came in at 13.9MM, so he obviously made some moves or some strategy change. And as for not taking the full charity deduction, he can just take that later years or amend I believe.

    •Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income

    Take out 10% for the church and he gives about the same percentage as many people who have far less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. WJS says:

    @john personna:

    I believe that the statement:

    1) The Romneys did a lot of charity

    Should be amended to state that they gave a lot of money to their own church. It can be debated as to whether or not this is the same as supporting actual charities, but still.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. Herb says:

    Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

    That’s nice.

    I’m not sure what number would satisfy me, but since Romney wants to raise my taxes to give his rich buddies a tax cut, 13.45% ain’t gonna do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  39. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: obama got very charitable when he had presidential aspirations- look at his returns. less than 2% some times and then…..well see for yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Andre Kenji says:

    @Ben:

    I see a whole lot of vague references to the Mormons doing charity work for non-Mormons, with no actual specifics.

    My BFF is a former Mormon. She said that she quit the church when she saw that her Mom was sick in the bed and the church leader went to her home, telling her that she was sick because she did not pay her church dues. She said that she thought that was the most absurd thing in the world because they did not care about the health of her mother, only with money.

    Well, maybe that explains a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. Mr. Replica says:

    http://www.mittromney.com/disclosure/mitt/tax-return/2011/wmr-adr-return

    Foreign Country Name: USA

    I do not know if I should laugh at this or be concerned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  42. tiredoftherunaround says:

    @Anderson:
    Whatever he does, the libs bitch & moan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. tiredoftherunaround says:

    @Bobbynorwich:
    Depends upon who “we” is.

    I know I’m certainly not one of Obama’s “we”, the guy trying to destroy our country.
    Most centrist Democrats see that Obama is a hard left liberal, with which only 19.2% identify.

    You do know that Obama is worth $12+Million? Is he one of the “we”?
    http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_20632392/obama-assets-valued-between-2-6-million-and
    And, he gave 1% of his income to charity, or $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004.
    ….. when their income rose in 2005 and 2006 after the Illinois senator published a bestselling book. The $137,622 they gave over those two years amounted to more than 5 percent of their $2.6 million income.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/25/obama-gave-only-1-of-inco_n_93376.html

    Of course, when he began running for President, he upped his charity giving. o_O

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. tiredoftherunaround says:

    Here’s a freebie by another Democrat that doesn’t care for Bummer.

    “Write About Terrorism? Nah, Let’s All Bash Mitt Romney Instead!
    Sep 28, 2012 11:57 AM EDT
    The mainstream media is ignoring the Obama administration’s shifting explanations for the U.S. Consulate attack in Libya—and the very real terror threat it implies—in favor of piling on Romney. Kirsten Powers on why we should all be worried.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/28/write-about-terrorism-nah-let-s-all-bash-mitt-romney-instead.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0