The former Massachusetts governor, whose wealth is estimated at perhaps $250 million, is aggressively competing with Obama for the support of middle class voters.
Obama’s own tax return for last year showed that he and his wife, Michelle, paid $162,074 in federal taxes on $789,674 in adjusted gross income, an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent. Their income plunged from $1.7 million in 2010, with declining sales of the president’s books. In 2009, the Obamas reported income of $5.5 million, fueled by the best-selling books.
The Romneys’ 2011 rate was slightly above the 13.9 percent effective rate they paid for 2010 when their federal tax bill was about $3 million.
They paid federal taxes of $1,935,708 on income of $13,696.951 for last year, according to the returns filed yesterday with the Internal Revenue Service. They had obtained a filing extension beyond the usual April 15 tax deadline. His campaign earlier estimated that he would pay about $3.2 million in taxes for the year, well above the $1.9 million actually paid.
Most of Romney’s income is from investments held in a blind trust, and campaign aides have stressed that he makes no decisions on how his money is invested.
Most of the income for the year came from investments, which are now generally taxed at 15 percent whereas the top marginal rate for income from wages is 35 percent.
The Romneys reported $6.8 million in capital gains, such as from the sale of stocks and other securities, and $6.37 million from dividends and taxable interest.
Romney’s vast fortune and his long association with Bain Capital have been much discussed this year.
Several tax law experts said yesterday that his newly released tax returns would not be much help in resolving critics’ questions about his sprawling finances — whether he used aggressive tax-deferral strategies, what might be the specifics and tax advantages of his numerous offshore investments, what was the source of his massive retirement account and what are the details behind his now-closed $3 million Swiss bank account.