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Wealthy Mitt Romney Releases 2011 Tax Records

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made nearly $14 million last year, while paying nearly $2 million in federal income taxes, according to tax records his campaign released Friday afternoon.

The campaign also announced that from 1990 through 2009, Romney paid an average annual effective federal tax rate of 20.2 percent.

In 2011, Romney and his wife Ann donated 30 percent of their income – more than $4 million – to charity. They claimed a deduction for $2.25 million for those charitable contributions. Most of that income came from investments, said Brad Malt, a lawyer who presides over Romney’s blind trust, in a blog post.

Romney, who had already released his 2010 returns, has been criticized by both Democrats and even some Republicans for not releasing more than two years’ worth of tax records. Criticism reached a crescendo when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, repeatedly claimed, without identifying the source of his information, that Romney hadn’t paid federal income taxes for a decade.

Romney responded by saying that he never paid less than a 13 percent effective tax rate in any year over the past decade.

And the GOP presidential nominee has often gotten flak for having paid a low effective tax rate given his outsized income.

But his effective federal income tax rate is still higher than that of most Americans – 80 percent of whom have an effective rate below 15 percent. That number, however, does not include other federal taxes such as the payroll tax.

Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, released his final 2011 tax return this summer. It showed that he paid $65,000 on $323,416 in income, giving him an effective tax rate of 20 percent.

Romney’s tax rate is relatively low despite having one of the highest incomes in the country because the money was derived almost entirely from capital gains and dividends from his extensive portfolio of investments. And that form of investment income is typically taxed at just 15 percent, well below the 35 percent top tax rate for high earners.

In 2010, the Romneys earned $21.7 million and paid $3 million in federal income taxes, for an effective rate of 13.9 percent, according to tax filings his campaign released in January.

Mitt Romney’s net worth is estimated to be at $250 million.

Democrats have raced to portray him as an out-of-touch aristocrat, but the Republican candidate has long argued that he should not be wrongly judged because of his business success.

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