FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Romney’s Big Tax Dilemma

GOP presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as noted in my previous piece, Mitt’s Big Secret, is probably stonewalling demands that he release his 2009 and earlier IRS filings because they could expose to the public that he availed himself of a 2009 IRS amnesty for those who admitted to earlier felonious hiding of income in Swiss and other foreign tax havens.

Some 30,000 wealthy taxpayers did just that after a whistleblower broke the news that thousands of clients of Swiss Bank UBS were illegally hiding income at the bank, and the IRS sued for the names, while also offering the get-out-of-jail amnesty pass option.

But a reader, Phil Birkhahn, points out in his own blog called Romney the Tax Cheat that the slippery Harvard Law grad Romney may also have fraudulently ducked paying taxes in later — and earlier — years. Either that or he has to man-up and accept managerial responsibility for the obnoxious anti-worker and anti-America policies of his Bain Capital company during the 1999-2002 years, and in later years, during times when he asserting that he played none any but a passive investor role in the venture capital firm.

The problem for Romney is that the IRS taxes income significantly differently and allows far fewer deductions, especially for losses, for people who say they were only passive investors in a company than for those who say they were active in management.

Although Romney, whose whole basic argument to voters is that they should elect him because he is a great businessman who will run America “like a business,” also bizarrely at the same time claims that on “Feb. 1999 I left Bain Capital and all management responsibility,” and says “I had no ongoing activity or involvement,” meaning he was a passive investor in the firm, which he still owned 100% from that date until 2002, He is also listed as late as 2002 as one of the two managing members of Bain Capital in its annual report, and the company’s SEC filings list him as CEO, President and managing director as well as sole owner in 2000 and 2001. That would make him an active investor.

If Romney was in fact an active investor, he would have been able to deduct so many expenses and losses that as a shrewd tax lawyer he probably managed to get his taxes down substantially. But if he was really, as he claims on the stump and in interviews when pressed about Bain’s atrocities, like the exporting of jobs of companies it bought to China and elsewhere, then he was not entitled to those deductions he claimed.

It should be easy to find out, if the man would release his tax forms. (And by the way, even the several hundred pages of  2010 IRS tax forms he did release did not include an important one he had to file, the so called FBAR form that lists any money in foreign bank accounts, interest-bearing or not. That’s a form he had to file because that year he admitted having money in a Swiss bank account, but the form is not in what he released publicly — probably because it includes other non-interest-bearing accounts of the type millionaires use to legally duck out on taxes. That’s not something he wants the public to see.)

So let’s see the Obama campaign, voters at public events, and the so-called mainstream press, start demanding that Romney ‘fess up and show his tax forms — all of them — for not just 2011, but for 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, and hey, how about those forms for 1999-2002, just to straighten out this matter of whether he was an active or passive investor in Bain all these years…or a tax cheat.

At this point, you’d think that some auditor at the IRS would be deciding it might be worth poking around in the candidates tax files too. Tax Fraud doesn’t have a three-year statute of limitations: In 1995 a federal court allowed the IRS to pursue a taxpayer for tax fraud going back 31 years to 1964.

Dave Lindorff is a  founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He lives in Philadelphia.

COMING IN SEPTEMBER

A Special Memorial Issue of CounterPunch

Featuring recollections of Alexander Cockburn from Jeffrey St. Clair, Peter Linebaugh, Paul Craig Roberts, Noam Chomsky, Mike Whitney, Doug Peacock, Perry Anderson, Becky Grant, Dennis Kucinich, Michael Neumann, Susannah Hecht, P. Sainath, Ben Tripp, Alison Weir, James Ridgeway, JoAnn Wypijewski, John Strausbaugh, Pierre Sprey, Carolyn Cooke, Conn Hallinan, James Wolcott, Laura Flanders, Ken Silverstein, Tariq Ali and many others …

Subscribe to CounterPunch Today to Reserve Your Copy

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
September 23, 2019
Kshama Sawant
Amazon vs. the Socialists in Seattle
Jason Hirthler
American Iago: On Washington’s Character Assassins
Craig Collins
Naomi Klein, Autism and Climate Activism
Michael Welton
The Serpent of Their Agonies
Binoy Kampmark
Strong Men in Europe: Tony Abbott Visits Hungary
Amitai Ben-Abba
And in Those Days There was No King in Israhell
Phil Rockstroh
A Careless Bully at the KFC at the End of Empire
Emiliana Cruz
Commemorating Tomás Cruz
Julian Vigo
Legacy College Admissions Are a Testament to What is Legacy Culture
Manuel García, Jr.
See “Official Secrets”
Dave Lindorff
Faux ‘Working Man’s’ Candidate Biden Looking Like a Loser after Philly AFL-CIO Presidential Summit
Tracey Aikman
President Trump, I’m One of the Workers You Lied To
B. R. Gowani
How news media should handle Trump’s lies
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail