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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Romney Settles This Tax Return Thing Once and for All

Posted by on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Hey, Mitt Romney, I hear you maybe didn't pay anything in taxes for ten years. Is that true?

"I did go back and look at my taxes, and, over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13 percent," he said, later adding: "Every year, I paid at least 13 percent, and if you add in, in addition, the amount that goes to charity, the number gets well above 20 percent."

Oh, cool! That settles everything! This means you won't mind releasing your taxes, then?

Wait, is that a yes?


Comments (34) RSS

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Gay Dude for Romney 1
I miss crickets.
Posted by Gay Dude for Romney on August 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
hey willard, your charitable donations ARE NOT TAXES. just because you took a deduction for them doesn't mean you get to count them as part of what you paid.

Posted by Max Solomon on August 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Zebes 3
Does he count funding Mormon investments... er... tithing the church as a charitable donation?

If he does, does he know that doesn't count?
Posted by Zebes on August 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Mattini 4
Wait... I thought Romney wanted us all to stop talking about his past tax returns?
Posted by Mattini on August 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
I'll make a deal with him - give everyone in the US a 13% tax rate and then we can move on

Posted by freshnycman on August 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
Is that 13% of earnings?

Or of"taxable income"?

I pay between 8 and 9 % on "taxable income" but my earnings are bigger.

Because if much of his income is hidden in tax shelters, it is NOT "taxable income".

(caveat - own a house, pay college tuition, donate massive amounts, max out retirement contributions - you probably pay 28% if you rent)
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Right on schedule. We now have the talking point for the Sunday morning talk shows. Prediction; next Thursday, the 23rd, Reid will toss whatever hand grenade he's been holding back and blow this whole thing up anew just before the Republican convention opens on the 27th.

*gets the popcorn out*
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Where are the teabaggers screaming "SHOW US THE TAX RETURNS!!!"?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Yeah, I assume he's counting the obligatory 10% to the Mormon church, which means it sounds like he does very little other charitable donating. Not surprising, really.
Posted by Levislade on August 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
"Given the challenges that America faces -- 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty, -- the fascination with the taxes I paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues we face," Romney told reporters gathered for a press conference at the Greer airport in South Carolina, where Romney had just arrived to attend a fundraiser.

So release them already and focus on the "issues" that you want to focus on.

But if you keep refusing to release them then there is obviously something in there that you are afraid will do more damage to your campaign than hiding them does.

And no, no one is going to take your word about what you paid and when.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on August 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
blip 11
Way to put the issue to rest once and for all, Mittens! Self-reported figures like "never less than 13%" will surely satisfy everyone's curiousity, especially since it's a fraction of what most people pay. He's getting so good at this!
Posted by blip on August 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
The Max 12
I don't know about y'all, but this southern boy is hopin' that Harry Reid's "Pants on Fire" Bain source will have the courage to come forward at this point now.
Posted by The Max on August 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Sure, he "paid taxes," but to who? Somehow, I don't think that's his federal bite alone. Luxembourg? Switzerland?

On a second point, sure he "paid taxes," but on what? More than one tax law specialist, looking at his 2010 return, thinks he took massive paper losses in 2008 & 2009, offsetting other income, in an investor move normally called "tax loss harvesting," but in his case also involving nested shell companies.

There is no substitute for seeing the actual tax returns. This is not over, by any means.

Oh! And don't forget the issue of the gift tax return, which was attached to one of those years. He transferred $100 million to his sons in a move probably involving undervaluing the stock. Best guesses are that he failed to pay tens of millions in gift taxes with this finagle.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on August 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Attention! The party of Lee Atwater wants you to stop being meanies.

Posted by Large Hardon Colluder on August 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
My sister once dated a guy who's father was a mormon and a tax guy of some sort. He had a vanity license plate that said SLASHTAX or something like that. Basically if you were rich, he would help you put your money into various non-profits and charities(and churches), and take advantage of any loop-hole that existed, to help get your taxes low.

Considering Romney is a rich businessman, you can bet someone does this for him, if he doesn't do it himself. I'm sure he paid his taxes, legally, but you just know it's so full of off-shores, and bullshit charities, and church-givings, and shit like that, that his actual amount paid is very very low compared to what he's making. Hell, he'd be a bad businessman if he DIDN'T do this according to our current value system. (I think the whole tax system is totally fucked personally).

So, he can say that he paid his taxes with a straight face. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't look good for a presidential candidate. This kind of attitude is no longer respected in this country, it makes him an asshole, and (hopefully) no one wants a rich asshole for president.
Posted by Avtar on August 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Or maybe he just did some (barely) legal stuff like @13 says. I hope so. I love that he's like, hey, I looked back over 10 years, and it's more than 13% every year. Like he just pulled em out of a shoebox and there's the "tax percentage" column and that's that. Idiot.
Posted by Avtar on August 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
disintegrator 17
Taxes, or Federal Income Taxes? It's an important distinction...
Posted by disintegrator on August 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
Good point, @13.

When you pay taxes to the IRS on earnings from other countries, like say Italy, which Mittens defrauded of billions, it's deductible on your US tax return.

But we know he illegally avoided paying taxes in Italy, Spain, and Greece. There are lawsuits that Bloomberg News is reporting on some of that.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
sloegin 19
@17 gets it.
Posted by sloegin on August 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
@13: that would just give the Fox noise machine an ad hominem target. mitt is twisting in the wind quite nicel yover this issue, hoisting himself by his own petard repeatedly and without provocation. his campaign has him hiding behind anne's skirts, making her even less sympathetic to women voters.

reid doesn't need to set this guy up to be metaphorically lynched.

Posted by Max Solomon on August 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 21

Many people want a rich asshole for president, and most of them aren't even rich. Like John Steinbeck remarked, they're just temporarily embarrassed rich people. But, it remains to be seen whether they make up more than half of the voting public. I certainly hope not.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Ok, since I'm not a tax person, simple question. If I paid 13 percent and gave lets say 20% if income to charity, can I claim I paid a 33% tax rate? Also, can't I claim that 20% as a deductible and get more money back in refund, thereby decreasing the amount I paid in taxes so I would not in fact have paid 33%?
Posted by hal on August 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
evilvolus 23
@22 - You can claim anything you want. If you take my tax rate, and add in, in addition, the amount spent on feeding and housing myself, I paid well over a 75% tax rate!
Posted by evilvolus on August 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
Not only are charity donations not taxes, taxes aren't charity! Mittens is a tax-dodging, biohistorical revisionist, glad-handing, dishonest, hypocritical, lying piece of scum.
Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on August 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
veo_ 25
Also, Mormon tithings are not "charity".
Posted by veo_ on August 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Granny Smith 26
Charity is the nice girl who receives checks at the temple.
Posted by Granny Smith on August 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 27

When Romney's talking about his effective tax rate, he's probably talking about the percentage he pays on his entire gross income when all is said and done. When I do my taxes on TurboTax, it gives me the same percentage. And, if I remember correctly, even back when I did my taxes by hand, the IRS sent me the percentage with my refund.

So, let's say Romney made $200 million last year. If his effective tax rate is 13 percent, he would have paid $26 million in taxes total. If he paid $40 million to charity, that is, indeed, 33 percent of his income going to the "undeserving".

He would have, of course, deducted that $40 million from his taxes; no rich person isn't going to take advantage of that. So, without the charitable deductions, his effective tax rate would have been around 16 percent.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 16, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
This is as stupid am answer as Bush's 'haven't done cocaine in the past 10 years" schtick. He'd have been better off continuing to resist revealing anything.

As if admiting to being a rich fuck who pays only 13% in taxes (under the most generous interpretation of his statemet) isn't enough, now when he continues to refuse to release his returns, we can all wonder what he's hiding that's even more damning.

Play on, playa.
Posted by madcap on August 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
@17 As a registered Delaware holding company for a Barbados shell company managing an anonymous Swedish bank account, Mitt Romney is not subject to state or local taxes. Also, as a subsidiary of the Mormon church, Romney is also exempt from sales taxes.

Taxes are for the little people.
Posted by madcap on August 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 30
By taking this position now, he has guaranteed that he will never, under any circumstances, provide his actual returns.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on August 16, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 31

And, thanks to that, I have to know. Like it eats at me whenever this topic comes up. What the hell is in there that's so terrible? I don't even care from a political standpoint, the curiosity is killing me. Is it as bad as my worst speculations? Is it worse than my worst speculations? Arghhh!!!
Posted by keshmeshi on August 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM · Report this
@30 Yeah, just like the White House never wound up releasing Obama's birth certificate.

He'll release them, I don't know about 10 years' worth, but more than 2. There probably won't be anything worse in there than what we already know, and it'll turn out to be a stupid line he drew that did nothing but hurt him politically.
Posted by madcap on August 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
My post on August 6, 2012 (@18), raised the question "to whom" had Governor Romney "paid taxes." Now a follow up: Has he paid taxes to countries considered hostile to the United States?
Posted by Julian in Seattle on August 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM · Report this
stinky 34
Add in the amount I pay for food, transportation, housing, entertainment, and savings- you are right at 100%. Top that.
Posted by stinky on August 17, 2012 at 7:32 AM · Report this

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