Eyewitness News

Romney's tax returns

Friday, September 21, 2012
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

He said he wouldn't. Now he has. Mitt Romney tonight releasing a summary of 20 years worth of tax returns - he said he'd do only 2 - and he released his 2011 return. Nearly $14 million in income, most of it from investments. And he paid nearly $1.9 million in federal income taxes - an effective tax rate of 14%.

The rate is slightly higher than the 13.9% the Romneys paid the year before. He would have paid more in taxes - had he not tithed about $4 million. In prior years, most of his charitable contributions went to the Mormon Church. Interestingly, his rate would have been lower had he claimed the entire $4 million in charity payments.

And if this had not been investment income - just regular income - the tax rate would have been much higher. That's part of the current debate, of course - whether to let capital gains and other investment income tax rates of 15% expire and be taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

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Is that more fair?

We'll have the latest at 11.

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I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER

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