(CNN) - That the Romneys' tax returns are complex is not surprising.
The tax code itself is a complex mess. And those with lots of money and sophisticated investment and tax advisors will often end up with convoluted tax filings that take accounting gurus to deconstruct.
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But what should be fairly simple –it would seem– is that Mitt Romney's tax returns should line up with his financial disclosure forms. He made the financial disclosure forms public in 2007 and 2011 in his two bids for the presidency.
However the Los Angeles Times found 23 funds and partnerships left off the disclosure forms. In response, the Romney team is now putting together what it calls some "minor technical amendments" to the campaign's first financial disclosure forms (see full campaign statement below).
Democrats say that's not enough and are calling for total transparency. In a statement Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called on Romney to "come clean" by "immediately releasing those returns for every year he filed personal financial disclosure forms, as well as the years he was CEO of Bain Capital."
What's fair here? Is it possible to know if these were, as the Romney campaign says, "minor technical" inconsistencies or, as his opponents hint, something more?
Here's just one example of why it seems difficult to know based on just one year's tax returns.
In his 2010 tax returns Romney declared he and Ann Romney own 100% of Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It is one of the only entities on the tax returns entirely controlled by the two of them. According to documents in the returns, it was founded in Bermuda in 1997. But it doesn't appear on Romney's 2007 or 2011 disclosure forms.
The tax returns show Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors was worth just $10,342. That's a drop in the bucket compared to his net worth - and there are many other Sankaty entities (though these are held by the family trust) that are worth more.
But if this really is one of the only entities wholly owned by the Romney couple (they're partial owners of most of many other investments) presumably they had total control over its funds.
For someone who has literally tens of millions of dollars in investments, and lawyers and accountants charged with overseeing those funds, having an entity that doesn't appear to have a purpose could raise questions.
Since the public sees only one year of returns and it wasn't declared on the 2007 or 2011 personal financial disclosure forms – we can't know whether its omission was a trivial one.
Jan Witold Baran, campaign and election lawyer with Wiley Rein says there are two reasons something would be disclosed to the IRS but not on election disclosure forms.
"One is that the laws don't require it. Some investment funds don't trigger disclosure. And the other is they missed something. Usually it is an oversight by a candidate's lawyers," he said.
That would sound trivial.
But Democrats point out that Romney repeatedly said he didn't need to release his returns because everything had already been made public.
The DNC's Wasserman Schultz says that points to the not so trivial, "It was the very existence of Romney's personal financial disclosure forms that he used as an excuse not to release his tax returns. That's because he claimed that everything there was to know about his assets was already known. Clearly, that was not the case."
Here's the Romney campaign's full statement, from Spokesperson Andrea Saul:
"The inescapable fact is that by releasing over 600 pages of information regarding his finances, Mitt Romney is clearly coming down on the side of disclosure. Any document with this level of complexity and detail is bound to have a few trivial and inadvertent issues. We are in the process of putting together some minor technical amendments which will not alter the overall picture of Gov. and Mrs. Romney's finances as disclosed in August."