Romney releases tax returns, pays $1.9 million in 2011

6:57 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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Mitt Romney. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return this afternoon, showing that he paid an effective rate last year of 14.1%.

Brad Malt, who manages blind trusts for Romney and his wife, Ann, disclosed some broad outlines of the couple's return in a letter posted on the Romney campaign website.

The Romneys paid more than $1.9 million in taxes on about $13.7 million in income, most of which come from investments. Capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15% -- a lower rate than the 35% on ordinary income such as wages and salaries.

The Romneys also donated slightly more than $4 million to charity last year, amounting to nearly 30% of their income. The received a tax refund last year just under $1.5 million, the documents show.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid a little over $162,000 in federal taxes last year on adjusted gross income of $789,674 for a rate of 20.5%.

Romney's complete tax return and supporting documents are available on the disclosure page of Romney's website.

Romney, the wealthiest GOP presidential nominee in decades, has been under fire from President Obama and Democrats for refusing to release more than two years of tax returns. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has asserted with no proof that Romney has paid no income taxes in some years -- a point that Romney has vehemently denied.

Romney's campaign also released a notarized letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, showing that Mitt and Ann Romney owed both state and federal income taxes for a 20-year period, starting with 1990 and going through 2009.

The letter states that PricewaterhouseCoopers stated it is "not aware of any outstanding income tax amounts for the period owed to the Internal Revenue Service or to any state tax authority."

Malt said in his letter that the Romneys paid an average annual effective federal tax rate of 20.2% during the entire 20-year period. The lowest personal rate paid was 13.66% -- which would support Romney's claim in August that he's paid at least 13% every year.

In that period, Malt said the Romneys gave an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income to charity.

Romney's disclosures -- coming on a Friday afternoon in a week in which the campaign took fire from conservatives such as Peggy Noonan -- are unlikely to end a debate that has raged for months about the GOP presidential nominee's finances. Obama and his Democratic allies have assailed Romney for not providing more information, and for having financial holdings overseas in places such as the Cayman Islands.

Romney is worth an estimated $190 million to $250 million, according to his most recent financial disclosure report.

He made his fortune as a co-founder and CEO of Bain Capital, a private equity firm that has helped get companies such as Staples off the ground. Romney left the company in 1999. The 2011 tax return shows he earned $190,350 in speaking fees and $260,390 as a director of other companies.

Associated Press

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