Lord Willard was so desperate to change the subject from his stated disdain for workers, that he actually released his 2011 tax return, tailored for an election year. I suppose we’ll learn more as time goes on, but I noticed two things from the start. Most of the return covers money rat-holed away in offshore tax havens, and is therefore impossible to verify. Willard picked his own rate by not claiming all his allowable charitable deduction. I have no doubt that he will refile after the election to lower his rate to near 10%.
Mitt Romney responded to months of political pressure on Friday by making public his most recent tax return and limited information from previous years, asserting that he had paid a double-digit federal income tax rate for more than two decades.Mr. Romney’s return for 2011 showed that he paid an effective federal income tax rate of 14 percent last year, or a little more than $1.9 million on adjusted gross income of about $13.7 million.
A letter from his accountants said his tax rate from 1990 through 2009 had never fallen below 13.66 percent but did not disclose the amount of tax paid. Mr. Romney’s 2010 return, which he made public in January, showed that he paid a rate of 13.9 percent.
Mr. Romney’s tax return for last year showed just how sensitive a political matter his wealth and tax rate has become. In a bit of reverse financial engineering, he and his wife, Ann, gave up $1.75 million worth of charitable deductions, raising his tax payments significantly.
Had he claimed all the deductions to which he was entitled in 2011, his effective rate could have dipped to near 10 percent, contradicting his past assurances that he had never paid below 13 percent.
But forgoing the full deductions available to him put him at odds with his own past assertions that he had never paid more taxes than he owed and his statement that if he had done so, “I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president,” as he put it to ABC News in July… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
Photo credit: Class Warfare Exists
I put no stock in the letter from the accounts he pays to do what he tells them to do.
Rachel Maddow covered Lord Willard’s tax return in two segments. In the first, she showed how Romney disqualified himself, how he rigged the return to keep his rate over 13%, his tax-avoidance schemes, and how his earlier disclosures, like the letter from his accountants, were dishonest.
In the second she discusses Willard’s scams with Chris Hayes.
Hayes caught what I did about how Willard will refile to reduce the rate to about 10%, and how 225 pages of Willard’s return are related to the offshore tax shelters we know about. Of course the return makes no mention of the offshore accounts we do not know about.
In the end, despite Lord Willard’s attempt to distract, one fact remains. Were there nothing in the other returns that would prevent Willard from being elected, he would have released them.