The Real Reason for Romney’s Reluctance to Release Returns?

The Real Reason for Romney’s Reluctance to Release Returns? September 27, 2012

Holy alliteration, Batman! Paul Abrams, writing at the Huffington Post, continues to argue that the real reason why Mitt Romney has refused to release most of his tax returns is because he took advantage of an amnesty provision to close a Swiss bank account that was being used to avoid taxes that he legally owed.

His disclosure of his 2010 account omitted information about his Swiss bank account at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Why is the press not asking for this form? UBS was fined $760 million for putting Americans into abusive tax shelters and forced to reveal more than 4000 Americans who banked with them under numbered accounts.

The 4000+ Americans who were exposed by UBS were offered amnesty from criminal prosecution for tax evasion if they closed their Swiss Account, recalculated and paid all back taxes and paid a 25 percent penalty on the largest amount…

To review, here is the circumstantial evidence:

i) Romney closed ONLY his Swiss UBS Account, not Caymans or Bermuda or Luxembourg. Hence, he cannot claim “bad optics for a campaign” as the alternative explanation;

ii) Romney closed the UBS account during the time required to receive amnesty;

iii) Romney omitted from his public disclosure of his 2010 returns the specific information about the UBS account;

iv) Romney took six extra months to prepare his 2011 returns, disclosing them in the countdown to the election, whereas he could have disclosed 2009 immediately with 2010, getting all that bad news out at once, during the primary, so that it would be ancient history by now. That is strong evidence that 2009, that would have shown the amnesty with flashing lights, was too toxic.

The press should be pressing for answers to each of these questions, as well as the over-arching question of amnesty. Otherwise, there is a real chance that a man who committed a federal crime and received amnesty could be occupying the nation’s highest office.

I suspect he’s right. I also suspect that he released only the summary of previous years because he was forced by teh amnesty to revise many years of tax returns. How else to explain why they’ve taken the enormous political damage that has occurred by playing all these games with the release of his tax returns? The only logical reason is because they know the alternative would cause even more damage.

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  • Reginald Selkirk

    Whether this particular speculative scenario is correct, I don’t know. But you are right: the Romney campaign knows that continued speculation hurts them, and whatever they are hiding, they have calculated that releasing the info would be worse than allowing the speculation to continue.

  • cry4turtles

    Romney looted America. Now he wants to loot the White House.

  • Mr Ed

    y closed their Swiss Account, recalculated and paid all back taxes and paid a 25 percent penalty on the largest amount…

    Yesterday we learned that Romney paid an average of 20+% for the last ten years even though the two years released were far below the average. Could the average be inflated by this penalty?

    I think the speculation is worse than the reality time for him to come clean.

  • Randomfactor

    Could the average be inflated by this penalty?

    Yup. Which means that his actual average, minus the penalties, is MUCH lower.

  • I’m guessing 9% for 2011 and less for earlier years. And that’s on the adjusted gross income, not the real gross income.

  • Actually, this probably wouldn’t hurt Romney with the base; they would cheer on a “job creator” who did his part to strangle the hated government beast of money. It’s kind of like Reuben Sturman, the former porn king who did his level best to avoid any and all taxes with the philosophy: Why should I give money to fund the government agencies that want to put me in jail?

  • lofgren

    Amnesty is bad when it is given to Mexicans whose crime is slightly more grievous than trespassing.

    Amnesty is good when it is given to white millionaires whose crime was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • baal

    One way corps avoid their share of US taxes is to charge the earnings to foreign nations. The problem with this trick is that the company pays some tax when they ‘repatriate’ the profits. Bush the lesser did a business tax amnesty to try and get some of that money back into the US to boost the economy.

  • danielrendall

    What happened to the intriguing hypothesis that Romney may have committed voter fraud by voting in a Massachusetts election while not actually resident in the state? If that’s the case (and his tax returns would show his address during the year in question), then it would be quite a serious embarrassment to him…