Romney’s claim to pay 13% tax rate still leaves a lot of questions


Mitt Romney said in a press conference Thursday that he’s never paid less than 13 percent on taxes in the past 10 years, and labelled continued calls for him to release his returns “small-minded.”

But there are still a lot of questions about Romney’s finances, and about that number, that have gone unanswered. On PoliticsNation, Rev. Al Sharpton got into a few of them.

The Romney campaign confirmed to The Washington Post that Romney was referring only to federal income taxes, in using the 13 percent number. But Rebecca Wilkins, of the Citizens for Tax Justice, explained to Sharpton that Romney also potentially has income that wouldn’t show up on tax returns.

“There’s a lot of types of income that aren’t taxable, that don’t show up on your income tax returns, income earned by an Individual Retirement Account for one,” she said. “We know from his financial disclosure forms that his IRA has at least $20 million and maybe as much as $102 million, and all of the earnings on that is not being taxed.”

In addition, as Sharpton asked: How are Romney’s tax shelters set up, and how much income does he have in those off-shore accounts that has not been taxed at all?

And as ThinkProgress points out, there are also questions about what kinds of deductions Romney takes that could drive down his tax rate. In the past, for example, the Romneys have claimed Ann Romney’s Olympic-qualifying horse as a business, and received a tax deduction.

And of course, there’s the simplest and most compelling question of all: If there really is nothing to hide, why not just release the returns already?



Mitt Romney

Romney's claim to pay 13% tax rate still leaves a lot of questions