Mitt Romney just announced that he has sought an extension to file his 2011 tax
Spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement, “Sometime in the next six months, and prior to the election, Governor Romney will file and release the 2011 return when there is sufficient information to provide an accurate return."
The Romney campaign claims that the postponement of his filing has nothing to do with political timing, and everything to do with the fact that some of the companies in which he invested have yet to report their earnings — making it impossible for him to calculate his income.
Tax returns released earlier this year revealed that Romney made lots of money — $42 million or so — in the past two years. Romney made no wages in 2010 or 2011, deriving his entire income from capital gains, interest payments and stock dividends. Average Americans make the vast majority of their income via wages.
He paid an effective tax rate of 13.9% on $21.7 million for 2010. Romney estimates that he will pay about $3.2 million for an effective rate of 15.4% on $20.9 million earned in 2011. (Source: Washington Post)
Which begs one to wonder...how bad can the economy really be (as Mitt Romney is always saying) when he seems to be doing quite well. The stock market is up 63% since Obama took office. So how many jobs has Mitt Romney created with his very profitable "investments" and low tax rates? And why doesn't his tax plan include a "shared sacrifice" from him to help pay down our national debt?
Mitt Romney also has foreign bank accounts in Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, both of which are well known tax havens. He
said he closed his Swiss bank account back in 2010. Did he move that money into his Luxembourg or Cayman Islands accounts?
Romney has insisted that he pays the exact same amount of taxes in these accounts that he would if they were based in the United States. Oh really? Then why does he bank overseas? Does he fear that the American economy might collapse, or that the U.S. authorities might freeze his assets for some reason?
Who does Mitt Romney pay these taxes to, the government of Luxembourg? In the
Cayman Islands there
are no taxes on profits, capital gains, income or any withholding taxes
charged to foreign investors. There are no estate or death duties payable on
Cayman Islands real estate or other assets held in the Cayman Islands
An offshore bank is typically in a low tax jurisdiction (or tax haven) that provides financial and legal advantages. These advantages typically include:
- greater privacy
- low or no taxation (i.e. tax havens)
- easy access to deposits
- Offshore banking is often associated with the underground economy and organized crime, via tax evasion and money laundering.
- Offshore banking tax havens hold 26% of the world's wealth, including 31% of the net profits of United States multinationals.
- Offshore banking may provide higher interest rates than the legal rate in the home country. Interest is generally paid by offshore banks without tax being deducted. This is an advantage to individuals who feel that they can illegally evade taxes by hiding the interest income.
- Offshore banking may offer anonymous (numbered) bank accounts.
According to the “World Wealth Report”, one third of the wealth of the world's “high net-worth individuals”—nearly $6 trillion out of $17.5 trillion—may now be held offshore.
The IMF has said that between $600 billion and $1.5 trillion of illicit money is laundered annually. Today, offshore is where most of the world's drug money is allegedly laundered, estimated at up to $500 billion a year. Add the proceeds of tax evasion and the figure skyrockets to $1 trillion. Another few hundred billion come from fraud and corruption.
Is Mitt Romney one of those tax dodgers?
The Romney team knows that the candidate’s tax returns are a political loser for them. The best way to deal with losing issues is minimize them to the greatest extent possible. Filing for an extension — whether that was by necessity or born of political calculation — to release his returns allows Romney to handpick that moment.
* Romney's tax returns — nearly 550 pages, including the 2010 returns for three family trust funds and a foundation can viewed here: