Romney's tax rate 14% | Bangkok Post: news

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Romney's tax rate 14%

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Under-pressure White House hopeful Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return and a 20-year summary of his payments on Friday, but failed to calm a clamour for more transparency over his finances. 

Mitt Romney pauses before entering his SUV after arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada. Romney's refusal to reveal any of his tax returns from before 2010 has led to allegations that the multi-millionaire private equity baron has used sharp accounting practices to protect his fortune from the US tax authorities.The Republican challenger insists his arrangements are entirely above board, but that he does not want his opponents to pick over the fine detail of a decade of family finances, despite fierce political pressure.Friday's fresh data showed that Romney, who faces President Barack Obama in November's election, paid $1.9 million in taxes on an income of $13.6 million in 2011, an effective rate of 14.1%.The campaign also released a summary showing that Romney and his wife Ann paid taxes for each year between 1990 and 2009 at an average effective rate of 20.2%, and that the lowest rate for any given year was 13.6%.Democrats have branded Romney a wealthy plutocrat who is out of touch with everyday Americans, is too secretive about his own income and taxes, and pays a rate lower than the average middle class US tax rate of 15%.Romney released his 2010 returns -- which showed he paid a rate of 13.9% on $21.6 million in income -- and promised he would do the same with 2011 before his October filing deadline.But he has stressed he will not likely release full tax data for years prior to 2010. Most candidates in recent decades released several years of returns.Romney's rates are far below the top marginal rate of 35% because the bulk of his income is in capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate.With Friday's release, the campaign was clearly seeking to draw a line under the issue and refocus the race for the White House on the state of the US economy."Mitt Romney has now released more than 1,200 pages of tax returns, giving voters an incredibly detailed look at his finances," said Senator John McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 election."It's time to get back to discussing the issues that voters care about."The Obama campaign wasted little time getting in its jab, saying Romney's tax rate was so low "because of a set of complex loopholes and tax shelters" for the wealthiest Americans.Romney has pledged to slash income taxes by 20% across the board if he is elected, but Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Romney "wants to give multi-millionaires an additional $250,000 tax cut at the expense of middle class taxpayers who will see their taxes go up."She said the...

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