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. Ted Davenport

    My canary paid a higher tax rate then RobMe...

    August 18, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. case

    capital gains and income should have the same tax rate

    August 18, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. Please Grow Up

    If I were to make $200,000 and have to pay $100,000 (50%) in taxes, I could still live comfortably. If I had to pay $35K out of that $200,000 I could live even more comfortably. But when I have to pay $20K out of $70K – I'm struggling. That, friends, is my unfair share. How's yours?

    August 18, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. MikeA

    I made less and paid a higher rate than of them. Regressive taxation is one of the (many) reasons I don't vote for them.

    August 18, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. dd

    got to laugh...all the time wasted on wanting to see returns.when we should be focusing on changing the tax laws...(lightbulb)...but the media likes the circus this draws better...it makes em more $$...hmmm how much did cnn inc. pay in taxes the last 10 years?, or anyone in congress?...

    August 18, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  6. nytw

    Why would Ryan have a higher tax rate than Romney? Ryan had more earned income which is taxed at a higher rate than unearned income.

    August 18, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  7. acutabove

    What a biased story.
    All this means is that a higher percentage of Romney's income came from capital gains which are taxed at a lower rate. But no mention of that in this article. And it is all legal.

    I don't know anyone who fills out a tax return who does not try to pay the least possibe. Therefore MR is even successful at paying taxes. Of course, anyone who wants to pay more of their own money to the government can donate as much as they want. But liberals are always trying to spend other people's money and not their own.

    August 18, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  8. kmhunt

    And that's the difference between EARNED income and PASSIVE income... dividends are taxed when the company earns the profit, and then taxed again when they pay any leftovers to the shareholders. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate as well, the money invested was taxed originally when it was earned. Neither one accounts for inflation eating away at the value of the money originally invested.

    Keeping more of what you work for isn't greed... wanting more of what someone else worked for is!

    August 18, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  9. mark ducharme

    Romney paid more than the 99%. In percentage and in ammount. Yet the have nots and the do even less think somehow he owes them something.

    August 18, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  10. snoway

    Robert,
    This is a story? Really? Did you draw the short straw? How about "Biden"? Or the fact we hae massive oil reserves and aren't doing everything we can to get it to those who really need it, the working class. The wealthy can afford enery no matter what it costs. It's the middle Americans, and especially the working poor who are hit the hardest by higher prices at the pump.

    August 18, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. William

    This is getting old. How about the 50% in this country that pay no taxes whatsoever? Most of Romneys money is tied up in a blind trust fund that he has no control over. Taxes were paid on it as the law required. If you want to blame anyone point a finger at DC who created our convoluted tax system.

    August 18, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  12. pprty

    Looks like Ryan should be running for President, not Romney.

    August 18, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Reemo

    I still never fully understood how income tax works. I make $36,000 a year, but after taxes and insurance, I'm really only getting about $25,000 a year, but my "effective tax rate" on my 2011 returns was still only 9.08%. If my tax rate is so low, why am I still getting so much taken out of my check? There's no way my insurance and state taxes are making up the other 20% that's being taken out of my income.

    August 18, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. John

    You would think the more money you make the more taxes you would pay, but with Mitt Romney and all they other rich people It seem to be the other way around and they pay less. And this Isn't right ,It should be that the More you make the more you pay In Taxes not less. The Rich want to keep paying less ,and they want the Middle Class to pay more and this Isn't fair.

    August 18, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. TheTruth21

    Most people have paid higher tax rates than Romney

    August 18, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. riamb60

    Obama gave 12 yrs in tax returns.
    Biden gave 14 yrs in tax returns.
    Romney gave zero yrs in tax returns.

    NO TAX RETURNS = NO WHITE HOUSE,,,,,,That simple

    Obama / Biden 2012

    August 18, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. Anonymous

    So what? The fact of the matter is that both these men paid taxes according to the tax codes all Americans adhere to. Because more of Representative Ryan's income is from his job, his tax rate is computed on a different standard than Governor Romney's which is derived from investment income. A big yawn, really, being used by the left to try to demonize these two men.

    August 18, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. american

    Romney will not show his tax returns prior to 2010 is he is missing Form 8938 which he never filed prior to 2010. The 2010 return was filed around the time he decided to run for nomination and has yet to file 2011.Filing the tax returns without the form 8938 which asks for income from foreign investments Even his foreign investments seems to be unreported income. And that is why there is a no to showing tax returns.Liar.

    August 18, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Even with 20% and 16% it's still LOWER than the average American making $45,000 a year.
    This still doesn't make me feel any better when I have to pay 28% and I don't have the loopholes and dancing horse for deductions.

    August 18, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Darn it. I forgot to add that the altar boy is worth $4M at last count. I don't think he is hurting like the middle class either.

    August 18, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. Bob Ho

    lets see the tax returns of the propaganda merchants that run CNN.

    August 18, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. nolimits3333

    Both Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt thought Capital Gains and Dividends should be taxed at the same rate as a working man's paycheck.

    They thought being able to make money WITHOUT ACTUALLY WORKING was benefit enough....

    August 18, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. John

    The issue is not the tax rate, which is not determined by the taxpayer but by the overly complex U.S. tax code. If there was some tax fraud, this would be a relevant topic. Otherwise this is just sensationalism. If CNN does not agree with current tax laws which reward investing with a smaller tax rate than earned income... Focus on that rather than "yep, all the candidates paid their taxes and they were different because they had different levels of income...".

    August 18, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. Anerican

    Romney will not show his tax returns prior to 2010 is he is missing Form 8938 which he never filed prior to 2010. The 2010 return was filed around the time he decided to run for nomination and has yet to file 2011.Filing the tax returns without the form 8938 which asks for income from foreign investments Even his foreign investments seems to be unreported income. And that is why there is a no to showing tax returns.Liar.

    August 18, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. jimmybrick

    Here's the weirdest thing.

    What's this "we need to fix the tax code" garbage? Romney's already paying less than 15%. You mean...he wants to pay even less less?

    August 18, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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