Bowing to increasing political pressure to provide more detail about his vast wealth, the former private equity executive released tax returns indicating he and his wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. They expect to pay a 15.4 percent rate when they file their returns for 2011.
Romney’s tax rate is below that of most wage-earning Americans because most of his income, as outlined in more than 500 pages of tax documents, flows from capital gains on investments.
Under the U.S. tax code, capital gains are taxed at 15 percent, compared with a top tax rate of 35 percent for wage earners.
Romney released the tax returns after a week in which his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, questioned whether Romney was hiding information about his finances and cast him as being out of touch with most Americans.
Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans — along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney — were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.
They also stressed that Romney, whose holdings are in three blind trusts, makes no decisions as to how his money is invested.
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