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Romney campaign releasing tax information

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In what very much smacks of sheer panic, the Romney campaign is suddenly releasing a whole bunch of the candidate’s tax information:

Romney camp: In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.

Romney camp: The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.

The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.

Romney camp says they could have written off more of their giving but didn’t so that Romney’s tax rate remained over 13%

A notarized letter from PWC will also be released re tax returns for last 20 years

PWC letter will say: Over the entire 20-year period, the Romney’s average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.

PWC: Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.

PWC: Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

Couple of points:

(1) Assuming these numbers are correct, it’s hard to see why they didn’t release all this stuff months ago. Sure it’s bad, but given that the candidate is a Galtian Overlord it could hardly have been better, and there was naturally much speculation that it was worse. (The fact they’re dumping this on a Friday afternoon indicates they’re still spooked about the whole thing).

(2) If you are employed and make less than $110,000, then normally you pay a higher effective federal tax rate than Romney did in 2011, even in years, if any, in which you pay no federal income taxes. This is because normally you pay 15.3% of your income in FICA and Meditax (the employer contribution is in economic terms a straight deduction from what would otherwise be your wages).

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