“If challenged in court, Bain would lose. The Bain partners, in my opinion, misreported their income if they reported these converted fees as capital gain instead of ordinary income.”
~Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado
There is nothing patriotic or exceptional about a rich guy worth $250 million or more using tax avoidance schemes in order to accumulate wealth while the rest of us suckers are actually paying our taxes. Using highly complex tax avoidance schemes IS Mitt Romney’s modus operandi and there is a high correlation between his avoiding taxes and his ability to hoard wealth. And no matter what you hear … Mitt Romney has actually produced ZERO complete tax returns. The one tax return he has provided left out important disclosures on offshore bank information (source); I’m sure that was just an oversight.
“I pay all the taxes I’m required to pay by law…and by the way – not a $ more.”
The NY Times has jumped into the treasure trove of documents released by Gawker yesterday. If you didn’t hear about this document dump with 950 pages of “confidential financial documents” from 21 different Bain Capital hedge funds and offshore tax entities mostly based in the Cayman Islands … you should read this HERE.
What Bain Capital did in order to minimize the tax rates for Mitt Romney and other investors/partners was equivalent to money laundering. You NEED to read the NY Times article HERE; an excerpt:
Bain private equity funds in which the Romney family’s trusts are invested appear to have used an aggressive tax approach, which some tax lawyers believe is not legal, to save Bain partners more than $200 million in income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes.
Details in the documents suggest that Bain funds in which Mr. Romney’s fortune is invested also used a variety of legal mechanisms to help some investors avoid significant taxes.
The documents also showed that some of the funds owned equity swaps, which have been used to avoid taxes that would otherwise be owed on dividends paid by American companies to foreign-based investors, like funds based in the Caymans.
In other words – this guy is paying less in taxes than Al Capone did. And he thinks you’re just envious of him; no – we just realize that the utlra-wealthy are taking advantage of loopholes and flat out abusing the tax system to avoid paying taxes. If anything – Romney would like to make this kind of thing LEGAL.
I want to share ten points on just how bad Romney’s tax return situation really is:
#1 – The Washington Post reports that Romney declined to disclose his holdings in Bain Capital on financial disclosure forms 48 separate times HERE.
#2 – Vanity Fair wrote an awesome expose on Romney’s taxes where his campaign said all of these investments in offshore tax havens weren’t to avoid taxes HERE:
But that would mean the Romney camp’s claim that Mitt’s tax consequences of investing via the Cayman Islands is “the very same” as it would have been had he invested directly at home is simply not true. (Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul says Romney “gets the same benefit anyone would get from an I.R.A.,” but she did not respond to questions on whether his I.R.A. had used blockers or avoided taxes by investing via tax havens.)
#3 – But the records from Gawker show that blocker corporations were in fact used; they are used to avoid paying taxes. Americans have been asking to see Romney’s taxes for a very long time now; you can see a timeline of a year’s worth of headlines calling out Romney for not disclosing his tax returns HERE.
#4 – A whole host of conservatives have called out Romney for not disclosing his taxes out HERE.
#5 – Romney admits that putting out his tax returns would be politically damaging HERE.
#6 – It has been disclosed that Romney’s offshore IRA holdings could be worth as much as $100 million HERE.
#7 – Romney promises you that he has paid “a lot of taxes” but will not disclose his tax returns HERE.
#8 – Romney oversaw the “Son of Boss” tax shelter as a Marriott board director using offshore tax havens which has now been referred to by CNN as “the largest tax avoidance scheme in history”. People went to jail for this. You can read more about this HERE.
#9 – When Romney was CEO – he used offshore tax havens to “rip off” Italian taxpayers as described by Bloomberg News HERE.
#10 – Romney sitting in an interview refusing to answer whether or not he has ever paid less than 13.9% in taxes HERE.
Romney has said that he has always paid more than 13% in taxes but he’s not willing to provide documents to prove it. Tax lawyers say that its very likely he paid as low as 5% in some years given his aggressive use of the tax code even when challenged by the IRS. Romney has not said whether or not his so called 13% tax rate is federal taxes only or if he’s including his donations to the Mormon church etc etc. He simply will not answer that question and he will not provide documents to prove otherwise.
Mitt Romney’s tax returns are an important discussion for a few reasons:
#1 – The American people deserve transparency and releasing tax returns is standard practice among presidential candidates
#2 – The American people deserve to understand how this man earned all of his wealth since he claims he should be elected based off of his experience in the private sector i.e. his time as CEO at Bain Capital.
#3 – Romney continues to call for huge tax cuts for the rich even though he is right now paying significantly lower taxes than a majority of Americans despite making tens of millions a year as a self-described “unemployed” man.
#4 – Romney has already been caught lying about his taxes both recently and when he was running as Governor in Massachusetts. He believes that voters should “just trust him” on his claims despite all of the irregularities.
#5 – Given all of the problems he has faced regarding his unwillingness to share his taxes – you have to understand that he is making a calculation that whatever he shares publicly will be far, far worse than his taking heat for not sharing his tax returns. In other words – whatever he is hiding … its EPIC. And he really, really doesn’t want you to know what that is.
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