TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, April 20, 2012

Is Mitt Romney's Plan to Release Only Two Years of Tax Returns Consistent With John Kerry's Approach?

New York Times, Was Romney Right About John Kerry?:

George Romney released 12 years of income tax returns when he ran for president in 1968. George Romney’s son, Mitt, plans to release just two, so his campaign’s looking outside the family for precedent.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesman, told The Huffington Post: “John Kerry released two years.” In a CNBC interview with Larry Kudlow on Tuesday night, Mr. Romney said: “John Kerry released two years of taxes…I’ve released one already, put the estimate out for the next year. We’ll have two years of taxes.”

There’s a slight problem with this claim: It’s not accurate.

As the Huffington Post notes, Mr. Kerry made a habit of releasing tax returns to the Massachusetts press during his senate campaigns

Daily Caller, ThinkProgress Misleads on Romney vs. Kerry Tax Comparison:

During a recent CNBC interview with Larry Kudlow, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney asserted that John Kerry had only “released two years of taxes” when he ran for president.

ThinkProgress quickly accused Romney of lying, noting that Kerry actually released twenty year’s worth of tax returns. The HuffPost dialed it back a little, calling Romney’s assertion “misleading,” and explaining the confusion (Kerry had also released tax returns during his previous Senate races.)

When he ran for president in 2004, Kerry released his ’03 tax return, showing an income of $395,338. However, the Kerry-Heinz net worth was estimated between “at least $900 million and possibly as much as $3.2 billion” in 2004.

Theresa Heinz Kerry never really released her tax returns – at first refusing, and then in October 2004 just weeks before election day, releasing (as the HuffPost notes) just two pages of only her 2003 tax return.

So, for all of the John Kerry tax returns that he may have released over the years when he was a senator, there was never a full release of their household income — because Theresa’s were never released.

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I have a question for Obama and Romney supporters. With our nation bankrupt and in 16 Trillion dollar debt along with multiple never ending wars. With social security, medicare, and medicaid being unsustainable for our seniors. With a massive influx of illegal aliens pouring into a jobless country draining what's left our social services. With growing unpunished corruption by bureaucrats such as David Corzine, Fast and Furious and the Colombian Secret Service scam. With SCOTUS ruling that it is justifiable for police to strip search you for minor offenses (traffic violations). With Totalitarian Police State legislation being passed overwhelmingly...

Posted by: Ashley | Apr 25, 2012 1:35:31 PM