, TAMPA, Jan 24 – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released tax records on Tuesday showing he made more than $20 million in each of the past two years and paid just 13.9 percent in taxes in 2010 – a far lower rate than the average American.
Romney reported income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year in tax documents posted online on Tuesday.
The documents showed that Romney – a former venture capitalist and one of the richest people to ever seek the presidency – paid some six million dollars in the past two years on more than $40 million of income, almost all from investments taxed at a lower investment rate than salaried income.
Democrats and some of Romney’s Republican opponents had been clamouring for the presidential contender to release his tax statements, amid controversy over the massive wealth the former Massachusetts governor accrued as a venture capitalist.
The 13.9 percent taxes paid by Romney in 2010 is a fraction of the tax rate paid by salaried workers in the United States, who can pay up to 35 percent of their earnings in federal taxes.
His estimated taxes for 2011 are expected to be levied at a rate of about 15.4 percent, the tax records posted online showed.
Critics said his high income and low tax rate also underscores the difficulty Romney appears to have relating to the concerns of working-class people, at a time that the country is struggling with recession.
They say the relatively low tax rate he paid highlights a lopsided US revenue system that unfairly favours the wealthy.
And his detractors – both Democrats and Republicans – have accused the on-again, off-again presidential frontrunner of pillaging companies and destroying jobs during his 15-year career at equity firm Bain Capital.
The former Massachusetts governor, for his part, has presented himself as a managerial wizard who turned around failing firms and created tens of thousands of jobs, saying his business acumen would make him an ideal president.
The tax issue has plagued Romney’s campaign of late and the candidate admitted on Sunday that it had been an error not releasing the information sooner.