TaxProf Blog

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

NY Times: Mr. Romney’s Financial Black Hole

New York Times editorial:  Mr. Romney’s Financial Black Hole:

Paying taxes forthrightly has long been a matter of civic pride for most American politicians, a demonstration of honesty and of a willingness to share in society’s burdens. Since the Watergate era, presidential candidates have released several years of tax returns, allowing voters to peer at their financial choices and discern their entanglements.

Mitt Romney has upended that tradition this year. He has released only one complete tax return, for 2010, along with an unfinished estimate of his 2011 taxes. What information he did release provides a fuzzy glimpse at a concerted effort to park much of his wealth in overseas tax shelters, suggesting a widespread pattern of tax avoidance unlike that of any previous candidate.

Mr. Romney has resisted all demands for more disclosure, leading to growing criticism from Democrats that he is trying to hide his fortune and his tax schemes from the public. Given the troubling suspicions about his finances, he needs to release many more returns and quickly open his books to full scrutiny.

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Isn't it obvious? Governor Romney applied for and received FBAR amnesty in 2009 for his formerly secret foreign accounts.
Its hard to explain Governor Romney's adamant refusal to release his returns earlier than 2010, otherwise. We know he pays a plutocrat's tax rate. We know he has some big paydays.
His political spokesman announced that Governor Romney didn't pay a "penny less" of taxes on his foreign accounts. Cagey, that. Of course he didn't. He paid tax and penalty when he received FBAR amnesty.
Foreign bank accounts did not appear on his pre-2010 conflict of interest disclosure forms. They wouldn't of course, they were secret.

Posted by: jimharper | Jul 12, 2012 12:38:07 PM