Romney Tax Returns 2011 PDF: 3 Crushing Reasons the Tax Debate Will Destroy Romney in the Polls

You know the 47% comment must be polling abysmally when Romney is attempting to release some version of his tax returns as a political distraction.

Earlier today, the Romney campaign announced that they would be releasing Mitt’s 2011 tax returns and a prepared summary of the candidate’s 1990-2009 returns.

A few thoughts:

First, the fact that they’re releasing any new tax returns at all is a victory for the Obama camp. Romney HQ knows that they’ll get slammed for this no matter what comes out. Romney’s rates are well below what many folks magnitudes poorer than him pay as a percentage of their income and Obama for America won’t hold back to remind everyone of that for the next 45 days.

Second, the donation numbers make Romney look more like a scheming political candidate, which is not something he needs. As The New York Times pointed out, Romney took a smaller deduction on his taxes for charitable giving than he could have, leaving $1.75 million in deductions unclaimed.

Now, this could be because Romney felt the patriotic duty to pay more in taxes. Considering the rest of his tax returns, this is unlikely to be true. Instead, what many will soon realize is that Romney can claim those deductions against future taxes – meaning he can take those $1.75 million in deductions after the election. Why wait? Because it makes his obnoxiously low actual tax rate look somewhat higher during his presidential run. Smart politics? Absolutely. Will it play well with independents? Unlikely.

Third, the fact that Romney absolutely refuses to release any tax returns prior to 2009 leads many speculators to even more adamantly believe that what Mitt is so scared of revealing is the fact that he took advantage of the 2009 Tax Amnesty program. That program allowed those hiding money illegally in accounts abroad to claim that money and pay taxes on it without facing fees and potential criminal charges.

The Romney campaign is attempting to side-step this issue by extending their “summary” all the way back to 1990, but the fact remains that they won’t release Romney’s actual tax returns. Claiming his lowest rate was 13.66% is one thing, showing how we got there is quite the other.

Many questions still remain about Mr. Romney’s tax history. How deeply is Romney still tied into Bain investments? What offshore accounting gimmicks did he use before he was concerned about cleaning up his taxes for a presidential run? How did he get to his average tax rate – trick accounting or actually higher tax rates?

In the end, this release will probably have its intended effect of shifting the dialogue away from his 47% remark. Whether the shift helps or hurts the Romney campaign remains to be seen.

Click on Mitt Romney's full 2011 tax return below.


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Mark Kogan

Mark is a lawyer and Mic contributor living in Washington, D.C.

MORE FROM

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un: A timeline of their bizarre bromance

It's been a mostly one-sided love affair.

Southwest China landslide buries 120 people

It was the worst regional landslide since those in the aftermath of a 2008 earthquake.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un: A timeline of their bizarre bromance

It's been a mostly one-sided love affair.

Southwest China landslide buries 120 people

It was the worst regional landslide since those in the aftermath of a 2008 earthquake.