Romney Says His Tax Rate Is 'Probably Close' To 15%

Jan 18 2012 | 12:12pm ET

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney admitted yesterday that his effective tax rate is much lower than that of the average American taxpayer.

Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, told reporters in South Carolina, whose crucial primary is next on the Republican nominating calendar, that his tax rate is "probably closer to the 15% rate than anything." The former Massachusetts governor has refused to release his tax returns, as is customary, though not required, of presidential candidates. During a Republican debate on Monday, Romney indicated that he would release his taxes in April.

Over the last decade, Romney said, "my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income, or rather than earned annual income." Romney co-founded Bain Capital, retiring 11 years ago; his fortune is estimated to be as high as $250 million, making him one of the richest men ever to seek the presidency.

Romney's admission is likely to reignite the debate over the so-called "carried interest" loophole, which allows hedge fund and private equity executives to pay the 15% capital gains rate, rather than the higher ordinary income tax rate, which can be as high as 35%, on their share of investors' profits.

Romney also told reporters that he gets "speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much." According to his financial disclosures, "not very much" is $374,327.62, or $41,592 per speech.


In Depth

Don’t Overlook These 6 Hybrid Cloud Concerns

Sep 14 2017 | 6:27pm ET

Cloud-based technology solutions have made tremendous inroads into the alternative...

Lifestyle

CFA Institute To Add Computer Science To Exam Curriculum

May 24 2017 | 9:25pm ET

Starting in 2019, financial industry executives sitting for the coveted Chartered...

Guest Contributor

Cash: An Asset In Adolescence

Aug 31 2017 | 3:34pm ET

If the investment industry has a rebellious teenager in the house today, that teenager...

 

From the current issue of