“The campaign has never told us why he had a Swiss bank account. It just looks bad.”
~Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel for Citizens for Tax Justice
Thanks to reporting by the Huffington Post – we now know that Mitt Romney has shared exactly ZERO complete tax returns. There are addendums that he has yet to share in his disclosure with the ONE tax return from 2010 that would tell us more about his offshore bank accounts. He hasn’t disclosed that. O.o. This is getting embarrassing; despite calls by a growing list of conservatives, editorial boards and journalists to release his tax returns … the Romney campaign continues to say NO. It makes you wonder just how bad these tax returns are.
The Huffington Post explains HERE:
Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.
By serving as a curtain between Romney’s U.S. accounts and his foreign holdings, Romney’s Swiss account could shield many financial activities from American scrutiny. Hypothetically, any politically unpopular investments, clever and complex asset sales designed to lower Romney’s tax bills or other activities would be far more difficult to decipher.
We don’t know how Mitt Romney hoarded as much as $100 million in an offshore IRA that has zero disclosure (source) and that directly correlates to how Romney made his money when he was at Bain … and for what years. That’s central to the campaign because Romney claims his business experience at Bain capital as his reason for being qualified for President. But Romney doesn’t want to take ownership for all the outsourcing that happened when he was still the lone shareholder, CEO and Chairman. In other words – he wants you to think he’s a job creator as opposed to what he actually was … a job destroyer.
Greg Sargent piggybacks off of the Huffington Post report HERE:
As far as I can tell, this goes directly to what tax experts told me yesterday: It’s likely that Romney has paid a far lower tax rate in multiple years, and that this could help explain why Romney won’t release his returns. If he paid nothing in any given year, of course, that would be even more politically toxic. But even a far lower rate would be hard to explain. And as the experts told me, the returns could also reveal how Romney reduced his rates — whether he relied on “aggressive sheltering,” which would be politically very problematic, or more standard techniques, which would still be hard to explain, depending on how much lower his rate ended up being.
In 2009 – the IRS under the direction of the Obama administration took a much more aggressive action towards high net worth individuals who were cheating their taxes by having offshore bank accounts. ”Swiss bank accounts” are known for their secrecy and for the first time – Switzerland agreed to actually give up the names of American clients that held these famously secret accounts. The IRS allowed for Americans to step forward without fear of criminal action to claim their assets and pay the appropriate taxes for those offshore accounts. This would have very likely affected Mitt Romney and many of his billionaire donors . We do not know the names of those who engaged in this tax amnesty program.
“It’s unclear why he would have valued the Swiss bank account secrecy, and it wouldn’t have enabled him legally to avoid U.S. tax. This is why there’s speculation that he was into the amnesty program.”
~Daniel Shaviro, a tax professor at New York University School of Law
The Dow Jones explains the IRS crackdown HERE:
Amnesty for tax evaders who come forward under their own steam has been around for 50 years. The IRS mounted a series of three special programs, the first in 2009, as a high-profile crackdown unfolded for evaders who rely on Swiss and other offshore accounts. UBS AG (UBS), HSBC Holding PLC (HBC), Credit Suisse Group (CS) and other banks were involved.
As the crackdown continued, thousands came forward to report accounts at Swiss banking giant UBS AG (UBS) under an IRS program that offered special amnesty. Penalties were capped for taxpayers who confessed to accounts.
When the IRS announced the latest program in January, it said it has collected more than $4.4 billion so far from the two previous efforts.
Erin Burnett from CNN says:
“It’s time, Mitt. Time to put them on the table. We all know what it is. Your taxes.” [...]
“If he refuses to release them, it is because: one, he had a lot more money in tax shelters in prior years than he does now. Two, he did something shady. Or, three, he’s stupid,” Burnett said. “Now Mitt Romney is not a stupid man and if he did something shady — well, he didn’t, because if he did, the IRS would already have found it. So let’s assume it’s number one. He had a lot of tax shelters. Took advantage of every loophole known to man in the 72,536 page IRS tax code. That’s fair and square. That is why the tax code is so long so people can take advantage of it. But here’s our decent proposal. Release the returns.”
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