August 17th, 2012
07:24 PM ET
10 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. Sean74cnn

    No worries. Romney will show Ryan how to game the system for next year so he can pay a smaller % than middle class voters too.

    August 18, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. dabble

    OMG – they both earn tons more than me, and yet pay a much lower rate.........and yet they claim they need to pay an even lower rate???? So that I can pay an even higher rate to make up for it?
    What incredible gall. And what incredible stupidity for those who aren't rich to be supporting and voting for them.
    It's bad enough they are bald faced liars, but to claim they pay too much in taxes is the last straw.

    August 18, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Palin2112

    What is Rommey hiding? If he has nothing to hide, he should release his tax returns just as every other presidential contender has done for the past 50 years.

    August 18, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Big Bob

    This is really getting stupid! If these guys make so much money, don't you think the IRS would be after them if they didn't pay taxes? There must be some issues in this elections other than this?

    August 18, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Alex

    I also paid a higher tax rate than Romney, and earned less than Paul Ryan.

    That is the point. The tax system is progressive so you pay more as you get wealthy to a point, then it gets regressive and you start paying less. I would love to pay less, but the fact of the matter is even with large cuts to federal spending, the budget would not be balanced. The tax revenue the government gets as a percentage of GDP is the lowest since before 1950, the wealthy pay the lowest tax rates since 1928. Since these years many decades ago, the country has decided to keep a large military, pay to help the very poor kids eat lunch in school, give the elderly perscription drugs (which Paul Ryan voted for with zero funding) etc. You can't support this government with the taxes of 100 years ago. And we don't want to return to the government of 100 years ago. So we need a blanced approach of spending cuts, military cuts and tax increases. ( I would repeal all the Bush tax cuts, go to the Clinton rates for everyone) Yes, this will increase my taxes, Romenys taxes, and the taxes of most people. But only slightly and is needed to make this country secure. Right now the biggest threat to this country is the debt, not a nuclear Iran or some other external threat being used by political leaders to scare people into supporting them stand against it. (read about the Leo Strauss playbook) If we want to secure our country, we need to cut defense in order to cut the deficit.

    August 18, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Angrymiddleclass

    Totally hate how the news media is trying to spin the Romney tax issue. Romney's tax rate is based on investments and Ryans taxes are based on income . Who in the he'll in this day and age of wasteful spending wants to pay a higher percentage on their investment income? Spin that media! No one in America will save money if they will have to give half of it back to the government to waste especially after already paying taxes on it yo begin with

    August 18, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. JOE

    Nobody cares, except whiny libs

    August 18, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Liz Walshe

    EVERYONE paid a higher rate than the Romneys! Shame on them!

    August 18, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. fernace

    I don't think we need any more tax returns from Romney! The writing's on the wall, y'all! Ryan pays more than the multimillionaire & people in the $30-50,000 income range pay more than Ryan! This is so backwards! Tax is an investment in the building & increase of resources of our own nation! When the richest among us get tax-breaks, cuts, subsidies & loopholes, they are not doing their fair share & the burden doesn't "trickle" down, it gains size & momentum like a snowball downhill! Romney, w/his responses to this subject, has proved that he's taken advantage of every legal & semi-legal advantage available to a person in his "pricerange"! He said doesn't want to show more returns because it gives the opposition fodder for more attacks! He pays "no less" than 13% of income tax! Who of us average citizens Ever paid such a low tax, but he appears proud of this #, like he's done his job! That alone makes me not want this man to represent me as a leader! He has no inkling of the life of an average American!!

    August 18, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. riamb60

    Ryan lived on American tax payer's money for a long time.

    August 18, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. adam

    Only little people pay tax, Helmsley/Romney/Ryan.

    August 18, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. sunsohot

    of course Ryan paid a higher rate...he just doesn't have the business chops that Romney has and can't afford the financial wizards who know how to keep that rate down to....I don't know....say 13%

    August 18, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Sanity

    CNN, can you please make your reporters understand the differences between earned income and capital gains income? If not, then assign then to covering the Little League,

    August 18, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Faith

    This whole tax argument is so inane. If Romney was smart enough to pay a lower tax rate. Great. I WANT a smart president. Why is it people think a poor blue collar person as president is a virtue?! What has happened to our country? What about aspiring to success and greatness by having leaders who lead and inspire?! I PRAY Romney wins. Four more years of Obama and this country will not be the country we know any more.

    August 18, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. IronyBurrito

    It is a sad time for the party of Lincoln
    Their candidate, Mitt, looks like he's sinkin'
    In October the leaks will be no surprise
    And prove to the People some very big lies
    Of tax amnesty and special Swiss banks
    Then a wave of resentment will roll over the ranks
    All will then know why Willard's so mysterious
    The Republican trouble will be the most serious 

    The Romneys must realize the truth will surface in a while
    Perhaps they suffer from the worst case of denial
    In the primaries, Mitt's megalomania slipped by undetected
    Although Newt would declare it's what he expected
    The Romneys have betrayed the party of Eisenhower
    For reasons, look simply to Mitt's lust for power

    August 18, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. DG

    Yes Ryan paid a higher tax rate than Romney for the two years that they submitted, but Ryan also paid a lower tax rate than the average middle class person. Further substantiation that all Romney-Ryan care about are tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of the middle class and poor.

    August 18, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Cindy

    After Ryan/Romney raid $716 billion from Medicare to pay for tax cuts for the rich, they will both have a tax rate just below 1%. OH, YES, THEY FORGOT TO TELL THOSE SENIORS ABOUT THAT DIDN'T THEY!!!!!

    August 18, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. db

    If Romney made $42M, this was probably as a result of Long Term capital gains off of his investments. The federal tax rate is 15% on Longterm capital gains and was extended into law by Obama in 2010.

    August 18, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. REG in AZ

    Romney's tax rate has consistently been below the 15% minimum for investments / dividends yet he is in the very high earners category, even for those in the 1%. it would be very interesting to know how he accomplishes that; obviously even Ryan would like to understand it.

    August 18, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Me

    I keep hearing Romney say he paid "taxes." If you listen closely to his 13 percent remarks he again only says "taxes." He does not say FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. He's hiding something guys.

    August 18, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. T'sah From Virginia

    Mostly all middle class paid a higher tax rate than both of them!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 18, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. jorge washinsen

    Why not post what percentage Cafferty paid last year or our President?

    August 18, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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