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Romneytroubles with tax returns already released

Published:

TPMDC

Dem Lawmakers Want Answers About Romney’s Enormous IRA

Brian BeutlerAugust 3, 2012, 8:26 AM 49337

Leading House Democrats want to turn Mitt Romney’s enormous IRA into more than just a political problem.

Romney’s most recent financial disclosure form revealed that his tax-deferred individual retirement account holds upwards of $100 million — an amount that awkwardly showcases his enormous wealth but also raises legal and ethical questions.

IRAs are intended to allow workers to put away modest sums of money each year in order to help finance a middle class retirement. The savings are tax deferred, but there’s a legal limit — now $6,000 — on how much each IRA holder can contribute annually.

Now top Democrats on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Education and Workforce Committees want to know how people of Romney’s wealth can end up with 100,000 times that much money in a single IRA, and how much the tax and investment strategies they employ cost the Treasury in revenue every year.

In a letter Thursday to senior officials at the Treasury and Labor departments, Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) want to know: Is this legal? How easy is this strategy to get away with? How much does it cost the government every year? And what can be done to end the practice?

“[W]e are alarmed to learn that wealthy taxpayers may be taking advantage of a tax subsidy that is designed to provide for retirement to instead accumulate massive amounts of tax-sheltered assets,” the lawmakers write. “Given your commitment to the rule of law and equitable treatment of taxpayers, we hope that you will evaluate this issue carefully to ensure that a select few are not being provided with a loophole that allows for wrongful tax evasion.”

The lawmakers’ inquiry has a substantive, policy basis — but the politically charged question is also a shot across Romney’s bow.

“[R]ecent news reports indicate that Bain Capital allowed service partners and employees to co-invest in investment deals via tax-preferred retirement accounts … in some cases providing one-fourth of the total capital in the investment deals,” the lawmakers write.

They go on to speculate about how it worked.

“Some experts have expressed the view that the investments made through these accounts and plans may have been assigned a nominal value that was significantly lower than the fair market value of the investments, perhaps using a liquidation value methodology. In particular, this strategy has been cited as one explanation for how presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s IRA is valued at between $20 and $101 million despite the annual contribution limits that apply to tax-preferred retirement accounts and plans.”

To translate, Romney could have skirted the annual contribution limit if his IRA invested heavily in Bain projects by dramatically lowballing the value of the stakes.

If the administration is forthcoming — and why wouldn’t it be? — its answers to these questions will be general, not about Romney specifically. But those answers will broadly apply to Romney and his IRA, and could bring some clarity to one technique people of Romney’s wealth can use to amass even more.

You can read the entire letter below.

 

 

IRATaxLetter-8.2

Entry #266

Comments

1.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - August 5, 2012, 12:04 pm
So where is the IRS if there is any wrong doing with Romneys IRA.

We need a statement from the IRS director himself on the matter of Romney. Without the director revealing contents of Romneys return.
I think that is little Timmy. Forget about that.
2.
Comment by scorpio - August 5, 2012, 12:39 pm
I think romneys trying to hide his wealth from the mormon church as he would owe big tithes!
3.
Comment by scorpio - August 5, 2012, 12:47 pm
does anyone care that we are sending 89 billion dollars to afphaganistan next year,i thought we were outa there!
4.
emilygComment by emilyg - August 5, 2012, 12:59 pm
How come IRS is not going after him?
5.
TenajComment by Tenaj - August 5, 2012, 1:16 pm
Emily, the letter asked that question along with others.
6.
Comment by scorpio - August 5, 2012, 1:55 pm
they have a habit of going after millions of low income, middle class,rather then a few millionaires who rob millions from the irs.
7.
TenajComment by Tenaj - August 5, 2012, 2:22 pm
His punk ass dodged the viet nam war too.
8.
Comment by bobbya - August 5, 2012, 4:23 pm
If Willard Romney had Nothing At All to hide common sense says he would release the tax returns just to make Harry Reid look bad if nothing else.
It would be a feather in his cap and help him and the GOP tremendously if he proved the allegations wrong by SIMPLY releasing the tax returns.
It will not happen because the allegations are ABSOLUTELY TRUE!
Heh,heh,heh,heh,heh,heh,heh..................
9.
Comment by scorpio - August 5, 2012, 4:58 pm
agreed and graham and the other red necks are lying to protect his millions from taxation and mormon church.do we want another nixon/bush,i don't think we're that dumb!
10.
Comment by Piaceri - August 5, 2012, 6:47 pm
I'm willing to bet the IRA program in question was IRS approved before it was implemented. I'm also willing to bet the IRS has been in Romney's tax returns more than they've been in any of you here snickering over something you don't really understand.

The only thing that has come out of Romney releasing any of his tax returns is the Democrats using it for class warfare. No one had problems with Kerry and his millions. No one had problems with any of the Kennedys and their millions. No one had any problems with Gore and his millions. And no one had a problem when Pelosi's net worth sky rocketed 62% in 2011 while the rest of us peons were losing our asses.

The only purpose in releasing Romney's tax return is to continue to use it for class warfare. Period.
11.
TenajComment by Tenaj - August 5, 2012, 7:19 pm
None of those people were accused of bankrupting 100s of companies, involved in ponzi scheme and caught hiding their money in Swiss bank accounts, Caymen and Bermuda. They didn't lay off people and send their jobs overseas either. Except what Kerry did was pretty bad, Kennedys too for that matter.
12.
Comment by Piaceri - August 5, 2012, 7:39 pm
Your Romney accusations are BS. If Romney was 'hiding' money how would you even know about them? I think this guy quoted below knows a little more about taxes than a bunch of ignorant party hacks:

"These returns reflect the complexity of our tax laws and the types of investment activity that I would anticipate for persons in their circumstances," said former Internal Revenue Service commissioner Fred Goldberg, in a statement.

"There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities. In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers," Goldberg said.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/01/mitt-romney-releases-taxes-/1#.UB8DSrRDwrU
13.
TenajComment by Tenaj - August 5, 2012, 8:36 pm
Then why won't he release them?

Romney is saying to the American people: I've been accused of bankrupties 100s of companies, sending jobs overseas, laying off workers, lying about when I left Bain, caught hiding money in the Cayman, Bermuda and Swiss bank accounts, under investigation for ponzi schemes but since the law only requires that I release 2 years of tax returns, I chose not to release them. People are telling lies on me. BUT CAN I BE YOUR PRESIDENT.
14.
Comment by Piaceri - August 5, 2012, 9:16 pm
Great talking points Tenaj. How do you like that Democrat Kool-Aid? I believe I answered your question earlier.
15.
TenajComment by Tenaj - August 5, 2012, 9:32 pm
Then you should go and seek clarity.

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