Tax Returns: Romneys Gave More than Obamas

Tax returns for 2011 set to be released today by Mitt and Ann Romney reveal that they gave away a higher percentage of their income to others than did Barack and Michelle Obama, when both taxes and charity are taken into account.

The full returns, along with a notarized letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the Romney's tax preparer, giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys’ tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009, will be released at 3 p.m. eastern time. 

In 2011, the Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity, which was 30% of their income. The Romneys also paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in income, which is an effective 2011 tax rate of 14.1%. In total, they gave 44.1% of their income to others.

In 2011, the Obamas paid $162,000 in income tax in 2011. They donated $172,000 to charity.  Their effective tax rate was 20.5% and they gave roughly 22% of their income to charity, which means the Obamas gave about 42.% of their income to others. 

Thus, when voluntary and involuntary contributions are both taken into account, the Romneys are more generous than the Obamas--not just in absolute terms but also in percentage terms.

The Romney campaign will also release details of 20 years worth of tax returns. Over the entire 20-year period, according to the campaign, the Romney's average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20% and the Romneys gave, on average, 13.45% of their adjusted gross income to charity. 

The Obama campaign and the mainstream media have hounded Romney to release his tax returns, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even accusing Romney of paying no taxes at all. 

The evidence suggests that Romney not only had nothing to hide, but had been more than generous with his money. 


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