Mitt Romney tax returns: Romney paid $3 million in 2010 federal income taxes
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010, having earned more than seven times that from his investments.
He will pay $6.2 million in taxes on a total of $42.5 million in income over the years 2010 and 2011.
The earnings from his investments, $21.7 million, put him among the wealthiest of American taxpayers. Romney, however, also gave nearly $3 million to charity - about half of that amount to the Mormon Church - which helped lower his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent, according to records his campaign released early Tuesday morning.
For 2011, he'll pay about $3.2 million with an effective tax rate of about 15.4 percent, the campaign said. Those returns have not yet been filed yet with the Internal Revenue Service.
The former Massachusetts governor had been under pressure in recent weeks to release his tax returns, as his GOP opponents are casting him as a wealthy businessman who cut jobs in the private sector. Rival contender Newt Gingrich made his returns public on Saturday, showing he paid almost $1 million in income taxes—a tax rate of about 31 percent.
Romney's campaign confirmed the details of his tax information after several news organizations saw a preview of the documents. He had said he planned to release his returns in full Tuesday morning, and campaign officials would be prepared to discuss them in detail with reporters.
"You'll see my income, how much taxes I've paid, how much I've paid to charity," Romney said during Monday night's debate in Tampa. "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."
Romney's 2010 returns show the candidate is among the top 1 percent of taxpayers. The returns showed about $4.5 million in itemized deductions, including $1.5 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Before the tax records were released, Romney's old investments in two government-backed housing lenders stirred up new questions at the same time his campaign targeted Gingrich for his work for Freddie Mac.
Gingrich earned $1.6 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac. Romney has as much as $500,000 invested in the U.S.-backed lender and its sister entity, Fannie Mae.
Romney keeps some of his personal fortune in investments that are housed in the Cayman Islands, where many international investors shelter their income from American taxes. Romney aides say he doesn't use the funds to avoid or put off paying the appropriate taxes.
The returns could also reveal more details about his annual take as founder of the Bain Capital private equity firm.
Most of Romney's vast fortune is held in a blind trust that he doesn't control. A portion is held in a retirement account.