23 Sep 2012

Multi-millionaire Romney reveals he paid 14% in taxes

8:14 am on 23 September 2012

The Republican Party candidate in the United States presidential election, Mitt Romney, has released his much-anticipated 2011 tax return, which shows he paid a rate of 14.1%.

Mr Romney paid $US1.9 million in taxes last year on $US13.7 million of income, the BBC reports.

The private equity tycoon has already released his 2010 tax return, which revealed he paid about $US3 million, a 13.9% rate.

The top rate of income tax in the US is 35% but Mr Romney lives mainly on income derived from his investments for which only 15% tax is payable.

Critics, including President Barack Obama, whom Mr Romney will challenge for the White House in November, have called on him to release more tax returns.

Mr Romney's 2011 tax rate of 14.1% compares with a previous estimate of 15.4% for the year by his aides.

The Romneys filed their 2011 return with the Internal Revenue Service on Friday after applying for an extension earlier in the year.

The campaign also released a letter from his accountants with a summary of his returns from 1990-2009, which said he paid an effective average of 20.2% over the period, with the lowest return at 13.66%.

Obama taxes

The move came amid attempts by the Romney campaign to shift the focus of recent days away from remarks he made at a private donor dinner.

In the video secretly recorded earlier this year, he disparages Democratic voters, saying they pay no income tax.

On average, US middle-income families - those making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year - pay 12.8%, according to congressional research.