Full transcript of the ABC David Muir- Mitt Romney interview can be read here.
Muir: You are here on what some have termed your world audition and democrats, not surprisingly, continue to hammer you back home on taxes, you remain firm two years and two years only. So from what you have released and from what we have seen we know that there was one year when you paid about 13.9% tax rate. Can we clear this up by asking a simple yes or no question? Was there ever any year when you paid lower than 13.9%?
Romney: I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law.
Romney: From time to time I’ve been audited as happens I think to other citizens as well and the accounting firm which prepares y taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due.
Romney: I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.
Muir: You said you would go back and look, would you look for us?
Romney: I haven’t looked at the tax rate paid year by year. I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall.
Really, Mitt? Your campaign has stated that you haven’t been AUDITED.
From Mother Jones: Romney’s campaign has said he’s never been audited. “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,” Romney said during a January primary debate. …
Please check out these articles on Mitt’s MAGIC tax audits:
Talking Points Memo: Romney Says he’s Been Audited
Daily Kos: Romney: I’ve Paid Very Substantial Taxes Every Year, So as Far as I Can Recall
We’d need to see more of your tax returns than this, Mitt:
First Read- MSNBC: Recapping Romney’s Israel stop|
Romney admits he’s been audited by the IRS: Romney made some other — call it accidental — news yesterday in his interview with ABC. He mentioned he had been audited by the IRS. In response to question about his tax returns, the GOP candidate said, “y view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law. From time to time I’ve been audited, as happens I think to other citizens as well… I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.” The Romney campaign will not say what year he was audited — only that he was found to be in compliance and that the audit took place more than 10 years ago. But while being audited isn’t that odd, it only adds to the narrative that his tax returns are so unique that it invites an audit.
If Romney’s PREVIOUS tax returns warranted an audit, and his campaign stated he was in compliance, why doesn’t he RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS?
Mitt Romney’s Financial Mysteries
By MICHAEL J. GRAETZ
Published: July 30, 2012
PRESSURE is mounting for Mitt Romney to release more of his financial records. Mr. Romney has made public only his 2010 tax returns and has said his 2011 documents will be released soon. “That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances,” he said recently. He is “simply not enthusiastic,” he also said, about giving the Obama campaign “hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.”
But it is a good bet that Mr. Romney’s vetters have picked through more than two years of returns of his vice-presidential contenders. And the Senate typically requires more for confirmation to a cabinet or even a subcabinet post. Until Mr. Romney recognizes the right of voters to understand the finances of their leaders, all we are left with is speculation.
Some commentators have suggested, for example, that — like tens of thousands of other Americans who have taken advantage of an Internal Revenue Service amnesty — he might not have declared and paid taxes on his Swiss bank account. I can’t imagine that he would have engaged in such blatant tax cheating. He is far too smart for that.
Another suggestion is that in 2009 he paid income taxes significantly below the 13.9 percent he paid in 2010. This is more plausible, and potentially more damaging politically, even if perfectly legal.
After all, the one year’s tax returns that he has released raise doubt about his campaign’s claims that his offshore accounts did not save him one penny of tax. Putting business assets into an individual retirement account invested in a Cayman Islands corporation allows Mr. Romney to avoid the “unrelated business income tax” — a 35 percent levy — on at least some of his I.R.A.’s earnings, a tax that he would have had to pay if his I.R.A. were held directly by a financial institution in the United States.
With an I.R.A. account of $20 million to $101 million, the tax savings would be more than a few pennies.
It’s not surprising that Mitt Romney – the most secretive nominee in recent history – is once again siding against transparency and breaking his promise to ‘go back and look’ at additional tax returns to see if he ever paid less than his 2010 rate of 13.9%.
His refusal to do so raises serious questions about just how much he has paid in taxes and whether he has resorted to tax loopholes and dodges to avoid paying his fair share. He can put these questions to rest by following decades of precedent by releasing additional years worth of returns and providing the full account of the income tax rates he paid, as he promised he would just days ago.”
—Lis Smith, campaign spokeswoman
Romney Campaign Mum on Previous Tax Rates, Audit
ABC // Z Byron Wolf
Published: 5:03 PM
Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign has not yet clarified if the candidate has ever paid less than a 13.9 percent tax rate.
Romney has said he’ll only release two years of tax returns, but he told ABC’s David Muir over the weekend he didn’t know offhand if he’d ever paid a rate lower than the 13.9 percent he paid in 2010. Romney suggested that he would look into it.
“I haven’t calculated that,” said Romney. “I’m happy to go back and look, but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law.”
As proof that he had paid all the taxes required by law, Romney said to Muir that he had been audited in the past.
The Romney campaign did not respond Monday to questions about when, specifically, the audit took place.
“The audit did not result in a fine or penalty. Mitt Romney has fully complied with U.S. law and he has paid 100 percent of what he has owed,” said Ryan Williams, a campaign spokesman.
Another staffer, Brad Malt, has said there was an audit that took place more than a decade ago.
“Governor Romney has not been audited by the IRS in the last 10 years,” Malt said in January.
In a statement Monday, campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho did not say what tax rate Romney has paid in the past or whether he ever paid less than 13.9 percent of his income, but she did reiterate that he has paid all the taxes he legally had to pay.
“Mitt Romney has paid his taxes in full compliance with U.S. law, and he has paid 100 percent of what he has owed,” she said in a statement to ABC News. “As has previously been reported, in 2011, the Romneys will pay more than $3.2 million in taxes on $20.9 million in mostly investment income and will have donated more than $4 million to charity. In 2010, The Romneys paid more than $3 million in taxes on $21.6 million in mostly investment income and donated nearly $3 million to charity.”
Gitcho pointed out that the Romneys have released hundreds of pages of tax returns from 2010 and provided an estimate for what they paid in 2011. The final 2011 returns are expected when they are completed.