Romney camp: No further tax returns, despite 'audit' remark
July 30th, 2012
01:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney camp: No further tax returns, despite 'audit' remark

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's campaign said Monday they would not release any more of the candidate's personal income tax information, despite an acknowledgement from Romney that he had been audited in the past.

"Mitt Romney has paid his taxes in full compliance with U.S. Law, and he has paid 100 percent of what he has owed," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams wrote.

Williams later told CNN that "The audit did not result in a fine or penalty."

In his original statement, Williams added, "As has previously been reported, in 2011, the Romneys will pay more than $3.2 million in taxes on $20.9 million in mostly investment income and will have donated more than $4 million to charity. In 2010, The Romneys paid more than $3 million in taxes on $21.6 million in mostly investment income and donated nearly $3 million to charity."

Romney has disclosed his income tax returns from 2010, and released an estimate of his 2011 tax information in April. He has vowed to release 2011's full return one it's completed by his accountant.

Democrats and some Republicans have called on Romney to release more information, saying voters are entitled to know more about a presidential candidate's financial history.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith repeated the call in a statement on Monday.

"It's not surprising that Mitt Romney – the most secretive nominee in recent history – is once again siding against transparency and breaking his promise to 'go back and look' at additional tax returns to see if he ever paid less than his 2010 rate of 13.9%," she said. "His refusal to do so raises serious questions about just how much he has paid in taxes and whether he has resorted to tax loopholes and dodges to avoid paying his fair share.

"He can put these questions to rest by following decades of precedent by releasing additional years worth of returns and providing the full account of the income tax rates he paid, as he promised he would just days ago," Smith continued.

Romney and his campaign argue they have met all the legal requirements for tax disclosure, and claim Democrats are waging a war on wealth by demanding more information.

On Monday, Romney said he was confident that the taxes he's paid in the past were all perfectly legal.

"My view is I've paid all the taxes required by law," Romney said on ABC News. "From time to time I've been audited, as happens I think to other citizens as well, and the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job [to] pay taxes as legally due."

According to an Internal Revenue Service report, nearly 1.6 million audits were conducted in 2010 out of roughly 143,000,000 individual returns filed. That's an audit rate of 1.1%.

Wealthy individuals, however, were subject to a much higher rate – 12.5% for people making more than $1 million in 2011. That was a jump from 8% in 2010 and 6% in 2009.

That spike is partly due to the creation of the IRS's Global High Wealth Industry Group, a division that examines the tax filings of those with incomes or assets of $10 million or more.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    The only people we like to have secrets in the U.S. is the C.I.A...
    I have 5 words for you. Fast And Furious Executive Privilege. How many US Officers do you think were killed as a result of Mitt Romney's tax returns?

    July 30, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. v_mag

    This issue alone can cause Rob-money to lose the election, and yet he is willing to risk that to cover his tracks. The inescapable conclusion is that there is something damning in those returns that is worse than the chance of losing the election over them. My guess is that it is something worse than paying a very low rate, because he could justify that based on taking all legal deductions.

    Perhaps it's the sources of income he's worried about. Maybe he made lots of money from China or Saudi Arabia or some other country that would send up red flags. Maybe he found ways to pay nothing some years. Maybe he made vastly more money than everybody thought. Maybe his profits are closely associated with off-shoring jobs and causing pain to American workers. Maybe the tax returns would show associations with something his base would find abhorent, such as abortion or Muslims.

    Maybe he cheated on his taxes, and the IRS didn't catch it, but he knows some smart accountant will.

    July 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. ejktexas

    The people should have privacy and there should be transparency in government- not the other way around. Show your cards Mitt.

    July 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Nathan

    How anyone is comforatble with supporting thisman without knowing anymore aout his background is beyongd me. Failure torelease more tax returns jsut tellms me he has something to hide. Something tat he knows the American people will not behappy with. Even if you support him how could you not want to know?

    July 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Andy Culley

    Ahh...the understatement of the year

    July 30, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Right, let's get all uptight about tax returns instead of unemployment, deficits, etc."

    His tax returns, even his failure and refusal to produce them, are indicative of how he would address those other issues. If you can't wrap your head around that, then perhaps you shoudl remove the tinfoil hat. Mittens fervently believes that there is a ruling class in America who "deserves" the advantages and privileges baked into the tax code. The man wouldn't know egalitarianism if it crawled up his backside and laid eggs.

    July 30, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. rs

    To all you Goppers whining about interest in Mr. Romney's tax returns- you of all people should talk! The whole point of your attacks on Mr. Obama have relovled around "vetting". You people support the whole birther nonsense-remember? I think there is ample evidence of the lack of Mr. Romney's character and morals for people to want to know who he is in bed with financially BEFORE we make him President. He is a businessman completely lacking in character or ethics (off-shoring jobs, raiding retirement accounts, etc.). He needs to PROVE he has played by the rules, and has nothing to hide.

    Otherwise, it is becoming clear we're better off with a devil we know, than one we don't.

    July 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Its interesting that people seem to think this making Obama squirm. Romney is the one who has to justify why a sitting president needs to be replaced: the only thing he has done is stand up for people like himself and claim victim status. Sorry,Romney is the one squirming since he can't come up with a coherant plan for anything after running for the office over the last 6 years. Aside from shameless pandering to the far Right of the political spectrum, is there anything that could be remotely described as a " Romney Doctrine" on anything? Everything he spouts off about is either a knee-jerk reaction to whatever the President does, or its a goal without explaining the method of achieving it. His pathetic attempts at sounding tough rival Mike Dukakis in a tank, rather than sounding like the Gipper. He has run like a scalded dog from his healthcare acheivement, the one thing of substance he did in MA besides raise taxes on working families through fees, cutting services, and forcing so many businesses to leave the state he created a labor shortage and HE STILL RANKED 47TH IN JOB CREATION. The taxes would either go a long way towards defusing a character issue ( looking shifty, evasive and condescending), or it might make it worse. He is easily the weakest GOP nominee in my lifetime.

    July 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. No Vote For You

    I refuse to vote for a guy who has something to hide from Americans. I personally think that If Romney thought showing his tax returns would win him the presidency, he'd would have posted them all online for all Americans to see. The mere fact that he won't show them means he thinks that there is something in them that would lose him votes. So Mitt Romney has made my decision easy. If you've got something you think the American people wouldn't like, then I'm going to go ahead and trust Romney on that decision. No more tax returns? No vote for you.

    July 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Anonymous


    Most people don't care Governor Romney is not producing additional tax returns.
    Absolutely incorrect! Most Americans do want to see what he's hiding. Conservatives keep talking about his business experience and that's a valid point to stress. Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff had great business experience – want somebody like that as our President? Let us see the tax returns and we'll be able to judge his character and honesty as a business person. He's offered absolutely nothing regarding how he plans to pay for low taxes, new healthcare program, or wars with Iran, Russia, Syria, etc.

    July 30, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Bob weber

    How many times audited?
    How many years zero tax paid?
    What else is he hiding?

    July 30, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine


    Most people don't care Governor Romney is not producing additional tax returns. People are interested if Governor Romney can improve this terrible economy and can he brings us jobs, jobs, jobs. If he is richer than most who cares, most Senators and Congressman are richer than any of us and many presidents have been richer than most of us.

    Wrong, yet again. People do care, because it goes to character, and the increasing evidence that Mitt suffers from a lack of it( just ask his Primary opponants).

    July 30, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Smeagel4T

    Wall Street Mitt's camp just doesn't get it (or maybe they do). The problem IS precisely "in full compliance with U.S. Law". That would be "in full compliance" with the laws that Wall Street Mitt, Bain, and the other wealthy plutocrats have brybed congress to create for them.

    I'm a job creator. I'm an engineer who creates products that create jobs for manufacturing professionals, sales professionals, marketing professionals, accounting professionals, and my apologizes to all my fellow professionals I'm overlooking. We all work together as a team to create the wealth that creates jobs.

    Without the manufacturing professionals, there would be no one making the products I design. Without the sales professionals, there would be no one selling the products I design. Without the marketing professionals, there would be no one marketing the products I design. Without the accounting professionals, there would be no one keeping track of all the wealth we have all generated through our team effort.

    And guess what, Wall Street Mitt!! ALL of us professionals who actually create the wealth that you have been busy siphoning off like a vampire are also paying our taxes “in full compliance with the law”. However we haven’t brybed congress to gives us special unjust tax breaks and unjust loopholes. We are all AMERICANS. We don’t have all our money stuffed away in foreign countries.

    July 30, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Smeagel4T

    Wall Street Mitt (use your best Nixon impression): "The American people need to know if their GOP presidential candidate is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook!"

    July 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. v_mag

    I'm not jealous of Rob-money's wealth. I am concerned about his transparency, though. To me, it's like another rich guy named Al Capone. Al didn't pay his taxes, and he went to the Big House. Mittler won't prove what taxes he's paid, and he's trying to go to the White House. Al had something to hide, and it sure looks like Mittler does, too.

    July 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. array1

    If romney says we don't need to know his tax status that should be good enough for the country

    July 30, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Would we want Ken Lay or Bernie Madoff as President? They had extensive business skills and exploited capitalism to the fullest. Like Romney, they trashed the savings and pensions of thousands of people – "business is business'. We need to see Romney's tax returns because he's hiding exactly the same, slimy business ethics. He's not a honorable man and a ridiculous choice for President.

    July 30, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Transparency?

    Mr. Romney is always talking about Transparency in Government – but he refuses to release his Taxes, 2002 Olympic Records during his tenure, Bain Capital – to prove he was not in charge, Donors to his Super Pacs, his overseas bank accounts .... If this is Romney Transparency what would a Romney Presidency look like – I guess Transparency to the upper 1% is quite different than to the rest of us!

    July 30, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. b0bc@t

    When Romney's father produced more than a decade of tax returns, the tax laws were much simpler in 1967. Todays tax return for a millionaire is exhaustive and complex. Just as the Democrats misuse ever word he says and nuances it to be some demonic plot against the middle class, and just how they called him an outsourcer for the time that Bain was under the guidance of others, he would be maligned for the mere mention of every tax connection and company that reported to him. When investing in a Global Fund, moneys can go to areas with humanitarian issues and war crimes connected to it... He will be blamed for the Haitian earthquake relief fund, African independence,and the Japanese tsunami before the Democrats are through. The Clintons had their Whitewater investment dragged through the courts up until and beyond their partner's death in prison. This far exceeds the scope of intrusion that The Community Organizer ever had to answer for his pastor and his College professor who fought the cops on his doorstep in Mass.

    Time for another "Beer Summit" to clear the air and get the country back to work. He paid his taxes ... SETTLED!

    July 30, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Karm99

    These are the question that need a straight answer:

    Are there any years you paid zero taxes?

    What were your off shore accounts for the last 12 years?

    Were you in the IRS Amnesty program for tax cheaters?

    Until those questions are answered, Mr Romney, you have not answered anything.

    The media and the American people will not let you get away not answering these question.

    July 30, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    "How can anyone vote for a guy they know nothing about and is part of a religion they know nothing about".
    Luke you definitely make more sense than anyone regardless of what anyones party affiliation may be.

    July 30, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. CBR

    The tax records would be an important piece of information about Mr. Romney. He has put money into off-shore accounts which are not taxed by the U.S. government. Have other candidates had off-shore accounts? Is anyone concerned that a candidate for President has money in off-shore and Swiss accounts?

    The money is his to do with as he wishes. However, as a candidate for President he needs to be more candid about his finances just as those before him. A refusal indicates that he is willing to turn away from common practice and that he is above the precedent that is in place.

    Why do people need to see college records? The years between college and the next 20 or 30 years are not dependent of college classes. One would hope that a person would change and mature during that time. Is there intent to embarrass the President or to use his choice of classes against him?

    July 30, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What is Romney hiding?
    Mo' money! Mo' money! Mo' money!!!!

    July 30, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. winky

    Republicans always counter with unemployment wasn't it about a birth certificate not long ago! The republican Congress is the source for unemployment plus those wallstreet CEO's sitting on two trillion!

    July 30, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. rs

    Wow! Four and The Door- you had to pull up "Fast and Furious". Let's look at that. Because the AZ. GOP-run Legislature is in the pocket of the NRA, they allow guns to be sold to straw buyers- about 40% of current sales. Because 1 gun, sold to a homeless person, got lost and would up in the hands of the cartels-YOU think that makes Obama guilty of something? Ha! The ATF NEVER had possession of that gun.

    Whereas Mr. Romney, in the guise of Bain Capital directly closed companies, leveraged loans (that the government would up paying on); wrecked the retirements of thousands of Americans; off-shored jobs- you're cool with that. Not much of an American if this is how you roll!

    July 30, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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