August 17th, 2012
07:24 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan paid a higher income tax rate than Romney, returns show

(CNN) – Tax documents released Friday by Republican vice presidential candidate show Paul Ryan had an income tax bill in 2011 of approximately 20% of his income, and 16% in 2010.

Those numbers indicate he paid a larger percentage of his income in taxes in the past two years than did his running mate Mitt Romney, whose effective tax rate over the same two years was approximately 14.5%, according to returns the Republican presidential candidate and his wife released earlier this year.

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Ryan and his wife, Janna, earned $323,416 in 2011 and owed $64,764 in federal income taxes, the returns showed. That year, he claimed $12,991 in charitable gifts.

In 2010, Ryan earned a total of $215,417 and owed $37,457 in federal taxes, including $3,224 he paid as the employer of a household worker.

He deducted $2,600 in charitable giving that year.

Ryan's income - $538,000 in the last two years - is miniscule compared to the $42 million Romney reported in the last two years.

Romney has refused to disclose returns beyond the most recent two years, which he released in January. He has faced pressure recently from Democrats - and during the primary months, from Republicans, to release additional years. Romney said at a press conference on Thursday that he has not paid less than 13% of his income in federal income taxes in any of the last 10 years.

In an interview this week on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Ryan said he would release two years of returns, comparable to Romney's release.

President Barack Obama's campaign manager on Friday sent a letter to the Romney campaign offering to drop the tax return issue altogether if Romney would disclose at least five years of documents. The Romney campaign declined.

Ryan's returns were prepared by separate CPAs in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin.

– CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Taxes
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Lowdown rotten scoundrels

    "... including $3,224 he paid as the employer of a household worker." You can bet that the Dems will be all over this one. They'll claim that she was illegal to discredit Ryan if they can find any possible way.

    August 18, 2012 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  2. loops808

    Blah, blah, blah, taxes, taxes, taxes. Uber-rich Kerry disclosed 2 years of taxes and not ONE article by CNN or calls from Democrats to release more taxes. Very Rich McCain released 2 years of taxes and no hoopla to release more taxes. It's unbelievable that CNN has taken the talking points and narative from the Obama administration. CNN has done more articles about taxes than the bismal economy. And I doubt this comment will be posted because Sound Off moderators mostly post pro Obama posts.

    August 18, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  3. tee1227

    Remember Mitt 2010 – 2011 federal income tax are still incomplete that 13% is just a estimate. I listen to this financial tax advisor on tv he said if Mitt can`t release just 5 years of tax returns then he is hiding something very damaging that will make him unelectable.

    August 18, 2012 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  4. Aru

    So what. Ryan has already proven he is a liar on political stands.

    August 18, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  5. Randy Johnson

    Wow – just think if he only made 60k – he would have paid 20%. I guess we all know who the republicans care about!

    August 18, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  6. SN

    Amazing, however two points still make a straight line and no conclusions can be made from these two instances.

    August 18, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  7. GT

    Funny how this demonstrates exactly how the tax system favors the ultra rich. Romney making almost 80 times what Ryan makes and paying 3.5% less in tax rate, so about 20% lower.

    August 18, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  8. robj

    Attacking the candidates's tax rates is irrelevant to the presidential election. If the candidates did not pay their taxes as they supposed to do, let the IRS proscecute them not the White House. Remember that no one would pay more tax than they suppose to.
    One of the topics that is relevant for debating and discussion and no one did is why Obama has wasted so much tax payers' money to fill his donors' and friends' coffers such as in Solyndra. Solyndra clearly showed the abuse of power and cronyism to the extreme by the Obama Administration.

    August 18, 2012 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  9. Jazzster_1

    Which illustrates the debate perfectly....the wealthy pay fewer taxes, by percentage of income, than the average middle class American. And, before the argument is made, lets clarify...not all weathly Americans are job creators. Given the cost of everyday living (food, gas, utilities, college tuition, mortgage, car payments), a tax bill of 25%, after deductions, for a family making 100K a year is far more constraining than a tax bill of 15% for a multi-millionaire. As for the 25%...thats what I pay every year. My wife and I make over 100K per year and no matter how much we try, we can't get below the 25% bracket. Hmmm, if I could only afford a full time tax attorney...

    The debate regarding tax reform is only an exercise in lip service for the purpose of the election. Tax deductions are too important to the wealthy and will never be addressed by legislation. Too many special interest groups, too many tax attorneys AND too much political capital required to fix the system. Don't be fooled by the false promises.

    August 18, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  10. Dan

    Taxes will not go away.

    August 18, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. gwh

    This tax percentage issue is way beyond ridiculous. If you're against the Republicans the percentage question (ie. Romney pays a lower percentage than, say, an office secretary) works in your favor, as long as no one crunches the numbers. If you're against the Democrats, you should be pointing out the amount ($$) Romney's 13% equals as opposed to a middle class worker who pays maybe 20%.

    August 18, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  12. clarke

    Most American's, (the common folks) pay more in taxes than Mitt and make less than what it costs to keep one horse. I don't care that he is very rich, there is nothing wrong with that, what is

    August 18, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  13. clarke

    (sorry) What is wrong are all the loop holds for the rich, we the common folk can't afford to carry the burden any longer. IMO

    August 18, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  14. liberal disease

    you idiot libs are obsessed at what they paid in taxes but you you could care less about how much Obama has spent on that bogus stimulus package and continues to spend our tax dollars like its monopoly money. you are empty indivuduals

    August 18, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  15. TBS

    If these two clowns are elected, watch out middle class!!! We will pay more in taxes while they and their Koch brother friends will pay hardly any federal tax at all! HOW FAIR IS THIS??!!!

    August 18, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  16. America

    So what, we have tax laws in this country and both Democrats and Republicans take advantage of them.

    August 18, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. justjoe

    Here's the thing. Romney and Ryan have both had real jobs in the private sector. Barry hasn't. Obama has received tax dollars his entire life/career. Pays his taxes with tax dollars. He is the new 'American Dream'. Get others to work. Tax them. Take yours off the top and what is left the country will have to make do. And even better – borrow money on the stupid taxpayers' children's future.income then give yourself a raise!!!

    August 18, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  18. Walter Jasniewski

    All this talk about how much the Republicans paid in taxes, how come the media never made a big deal of Charlie Rangel's Tax Fraud? What about John Kerry, how much did he pay in Taxes, Nancy Pelosi? If we want to trash Politicians, why not make all Elected Officials make their tax records public.
    Its all a distraction from the real issue, the TAX CODE, Romney paid the least amount of taxes that he could, which is what every sane person does. Obama would love to pay less, he only released his taxes to make himself look good. What about the Birth Certificate, why did that take so long? College Transcripts?

    The problem is that the people with the credit card running the country are destroying the country, all in the name of buying votes. Its all about REMAINING IN POWER.

    August 18, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. FloydZepp

    Seriously, is this what my sad GOP has come to.....?

    August 18, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. Gaunt

    In the history of the US presidency, NO president has ever been compelled to release his long form Birth certificate, nor his college transcripts. Not once. Romney, notably, has released neither. yet the tea baggers keep squealing for Obama to do these things. On the other hand, it is absolute standard practice for all presidents and candidates to release their past tax returns. Obama and Biden have released 12 years, so did Clinton and Gore. Kerry released 20 years. Its not just democrats: Bush jr and Cheney released 8 years, Reagan released 6 years. Go back to FDR, he released ALL his tax returns. Romney's father, when he ran for office, released 10 years. Yet Romney (who is running as a 'business' candidate) feels he is special, and does not have to do what nearly everyone else has done. yet the tea baggers defend this with the same hypocritical ferocity that demand more and more releases from Obama. Why dont we hold Romney to everyone's standard before we demand more of Obama that NO president has ever had to face? Why cant Romney meet the current President's stand of openness, and release 12 years of income taxes as well? Why do the lunatic, frothing tea baggers insist on this staggering double standard, defending Romney's cowardice while attacking Obama for not releasing even more?

    August 18, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. squoose

    And remind me again how many jobs Romney created as a wealthy "job creator" whose taxes must be kept as low as possible so we can get more jobs... despite the fact that the Bush tax cuts have been around for a number of years and we haven't seen job growth from them.

    August 18, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  22. Sam Smith

    And I have news to CNN: even though Ryan's rate was higher, Romney paid more effective taxes than Ryan, Biden, and Obama, combined! And he wasn't even working! His money came from investments, which should be taxed lower. Can you report that?

    August 18, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  23. Rick1948

    If Romney did actually pay 13%, and there's no proof of that, then most everybody paid a higher percentage than him.

    August 18, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  24. Qi

    No worries. Under their plan the ultra wealthy will pay 0. Taxes are for the little people. The same ones that will have to fight and die in war.................Party On

    August 18, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  25. martyy

    Without seeing both tax returns the headline is completely free of relevant information. Given that, there's not likely to be relevant information in the article either.

    August 18, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
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