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Mitt Romney's Tax Forms' Craziest Revelations: Swiss Accounts, Mormon Payouts, Low Taxes

Categories: Politicks
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Mitt Romney released his tax filings late last night as he desperately tries to run down Newt Gingrich's ballooning lead in Florida, telling a Tampa audience: "I'm proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes."

But in the harsh light of morning, it's hard to see how Floridians will be swayed by seeing Mitt's finances. They show Romney is insanely rich -- with more than $21 million just in investment returns last year -- that he pays crazy low taxes, gives millions to the Mormons and even had tax haven accounts from Switzerland to Ireland to the Cayman Islands. Just like your average voter!

Romney's tax filings are "voluminous and extraordinarily complex," according to CBS, with last year's return alone clocking in at more than 200 pages. That means the real dirt on Romney's cash may not come out for a few days as his opponents hire tax lawyers to comb through the papers.

But here are the most eye-popping revelations so far from the tax filings:

Romney is rich: Yeah, you knew that already, but the tax forms show he's not just wealthy, he's actually "one of the richest men ever to run for president," CBS writes. Last year he made $21.7 million, and the year before $20.9 million -- all in pure profit from investments, not working wages.

The Mormons get as much as the feds: Since 2010, the Romneys gave away $7 million to charity, with the vast majority -- $4.1 million -- going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The IRS, meanwhile, got just $3 million last year from Mittens.

Romney pays crazy low taxes for a rich guy: If you've got a couple mil in the bank, you might want to hire Romney's accountants. The guy pays a tax rate of about 15.4 percent, CBS reports, which is equivalent to the average Joe's rate. But it's a fraction of what other millionaires pay, leaving tax advocates like Warren Buffett fuming this morning.

Mitt had scores of offshore tax havens: Romney had dozens of accounts and investments in noted tax havens including Luxembourg, the Caymans, Ireland and Switzerland. Romney tells CBS that "these entities are not evading one dime of taxes," but then why have scores of investments in tax havens? It's not clear.

This is the first time Romney's ever released his finances: Yep, Romney's a career politician, and one who's financed his own campaigns with his personal fortune for decades, yet this is the first time he's decided to show voters how much cash he's got and what he does with it. Wonder why?

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Tim Elfrink writes about crime, politics and South Florida insanity @timelfrinkmia.

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27 comments
OtterWithKids
OtterWithKids

Just an aside: I doubt Governor Romney ever gave a penny to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’m sure it’s a nice church and all, but it’s a tiny Protestant group with about 250 members worldwide. Why would he give them millions of dollars, and even if he did, what would they do with it?

If Mitt donated millions of dollars to anyone, I suspect it was to the Church to which he personally belongs, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which uses the money to run its thousands of church buildings, temples, and humanitarian-aid centers. (Funny what a difference capitalization and punctuation can make, eh?) ;-)

SemperFi
SemperFi

Does Romney donate to his own Super PAC that he says he has no control over?  There's no law against it.  BTW, I knew Romney when he was at Bain.  He was slimey then and he's slimey now.  He would tell anybody, anything he thought you wanted to hear.

Djmills
Djmills

So where is the problem?  Maybe he should have made his money playing baseball or making movies?  Maybe he should be a rapper or dope dealer?  Would that satisfy you?  He didn't write the tax codes and now you are angry because he follows the law?  Wow.  Someone who makes his own money instead of inherieting it (Kennedy, Gore, et.al.) must be a criminal because in America you aren't allowed to succeed.  Give me a man with some honor and integrity, who is with his first wife, and who gives millions to charity.  Go Mitt!

Peter
Peter

So you don't have as much as Mitt. Get over it. Conservatives are fighting for financial  freedom but I suspect that there are some who are democrats in disguise and would rather take Mitts money away and spread it around. The point is not to redistribute wealth. It is to create an environment where all can be rich. Mitts wealth is not the cause of people being poor. If we spread around everyones wealth, we would all be poor in the end.

Mitt takes advantage of tax laws. Heck, anyone who has mutual funds takes advantage of the same capital gains rates. If you don't like it, strive to change the tax code. Or do you think that Mitt should donate some of his money to our wasteful government. Best to donate to charities.

Pete
Pete

Clearly an extremely biased article.  Shameful twist of the facts.  What does it mean to be "insanely rich?"  Is it insane that someone is extremely successful?  "Millions to the Mormons?"  Really?  I'd much rather he give millions to the church than to a zillion other places.  By the way, the LDS church has given away more than $50 million per year to humanitarian aid for at least a couple of decades.  Look it up, it's not hard to find.  Then, his taxes are completely legal.  His off shore accounts are completely legal and above board.  The tax rate is also completely legal and above board.  It's the law!  Maybe if "journalists" like this actually did some very basic research, they could educate instead of inflame.  Shameful. 

chazzwick
chazzwick

Heaven forbid we have a principled, honest, and respectable canidate, because that is it exactly what the tax return shows.  Donating to charity and his church is a good thing because it shows that he is comitted to higher causes and not just the obtaining of money.  All the offshore accounts?  Taxes all paid, nothing to see here.  The offshore accounts are better managed and regulated than the rediculous environment we have here.  The tax rate?  Not his fault, it's the governement's fault.  The amount of money he makes from investments? It shows that he is using his resources wisely and not squandering them.Can I really relate to Romney? No.  I can't.  But in comparison to Gingrich, Paul, Santorum and Obama I will pick Romney every day of the week and all this tax business shows me that he really is the best man to be the executive of this country.(And anyone who thinks Gingrich is a feasible canidate is not thinking.)

JaneMiami
JaneMiami

Gifted $100M to sons, tax free. 

Fix that tax code, Congress!  Seriously, don't make me start yodeling!

Sam Lotkin
Sam Lotkin

Obama,s mate Jeff Immelt of GE made 14 BILLION $,s --and paid WAIT 4 it--ZERO TAXES.Gingrich made his money from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae- who is being bailed out by the taxpayer by 175 BILLION $,s.Romney-ASTUTELY invested and made 21 million--paid 3 million and charitied a further 3 million--who would u rather be with as President--If he can make 21 mill for himself he can make trillions for OUR BELOVED country-Go Romney Go

Realist
Realist

15% is the tax on capital gains, the U.S. got JUST $3 million from Romney is an interesting take since Obama JUST GAVE Solyndra 170 times what Romney paid. The return on Solyndra is ZERO.

Thanks for pointing out the big difference between Romney and Obama, the lesson is don't let a community organizer invest your money, stick with a business man. Ridiculous reporting.

Jephri
Jephri

I can't believe this story.  This is the most biased and spiteful article I have ever read.  The other side of the story? Romney has contributed more to charity, and paid more taxes in a year than most Americans will in a lifetime.  And guess what, he will pay the same next year and the year after!  

Nolan
Nolan

Where's the scandal? Oh wait, there isn't one. He's on the up and up, he gives millions to his church and then gives millions more to other charities. He keeps money off shore, big deal, if I had that much so would I, not like its illegal. Looks like he's a good steward of what he's been blessed with.

Frank
Frank

Yeah...because we only want failures who can't do anything else to be our government leaders.

bm
bm

to damn rich to be president!

guest
guest

He's not as bad as Gingrich who is the all time swindler, cheater, liar

Randy Gage
Randy Gage

This post is absolutely riddled with negative, money-is-bad, rich-people-are-evil memes.  Wording like "insanely rich," "all in pure profit from investments, not working wages," and "the real dirt on Romney's cash" is quite catchy, but certainly very slanted.  You may want to check if this hatred for money is really serving you. 

And don't you think describing someone's tithe to their church as "Mormon payouts" is a bit over the top?

-RG

Bob
Bob

No.  We want people who earned success and who have some understanding about the struggles of middle class and working class who comprise 80% of the country.  Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He has numerous tax havens for goodness sakes.  The only reason for that would be to avoid paying taxes to the US ... the country that made his success possible.  In fact, it appears that he's more comfortable giving money to the Latter Day Saints than his is to Uncle Sam, as he's voluntarily given them millions while putting effort into paying as few taxes as possible.

Romney's used to looking out for the welfare of the rich, often at the expense of the working.  I don't begrudge him his success, but I don't want someone like that running the country.  

Rachel
Rachel

Don't make it sound like this guy came up from the middle class and made the big time on his own.  He comes from a privileged background to begin with.

Rwh2home
Rwh2home

Yea! We shouldn't have elected the Roosevelts or Jack Kennedy either or all the other elected officals who become millionaires while in office. Capitalism only works if your ambitious and socialist love the money of the rich, because they want live off the dole of their taxes.

VT
VT

I agree, and though I don't necessarily jive with the Mormon beliefs, I respect that he and his wife have given away a substantial amount (relative to his annual roi) to various organizations. What bothers me, and others I assume, the most after reading the article is the numerous off-shore accounts. And him claiming that not one cent in any of them is evading taxes. How does that work exactly?

Blackpanther
Blackpanther

I bet you have RG monogrammed into the sleeves of your crisp dress shirts don't you?

TG
TG

Well put Randy.

It is really difficult to take this article seriously.

Congratulation to Mitt Romney for his success! God help us all if we ever convince ourselves, or convince each other as the writer of this article seems to want to do, that success and prosperity is a bad thing.

OtterWithKids
OtterWithKids

No, he didn’t, but I’m not sure that’s a crime, either. Bill Gates also came from money, but is praised for what he did with his own acumen.

As an aside, I’ve read that Mitt gave 100% of his inheritance to charity.

Randy Gage
Randy Gage

What he has done is completely legal.  He has invested in some investment funds headquartered there.  But it was a tone-deaf, really stupid move.  He's been running for president for the last six years.  He should have got out of those a long time ago for perception's sake.  Gingrich is killing him on it this morning.  Sound bite I heard was, "You'd have to live in a world of Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts, earning $20 million a year without working to..."  So legal, but not very clever.  -RG

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