While the Obama reelection campaign on Friday tried to goad him into releasing multiple years of tax returns, likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced that he has filed for an extension of his 2011 return.
The Romney campaign said the wealthy candidate needs more time to collect information in order to file an “accurate return,” which is not unusual for taxpayers with large incomes from many investment sources. In his application for an extension, which was released by the campaign, Romney estimated he will pay between $3.2 million and $3.4 million in taxes for 2011.
Earlier this year, Romney disclosed income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million in 2011, almost all of it from dividends or interest from investments. He also released his 2010 return, which showed that he and his wife, Ann, paid about $3 million in taxes for an effective tax rate of about 14 percent.
Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement Friday: “Sometime in the next six months, and prior to the election, Gov. Romney will file and release the 2011 return when there is sufficient information to provide an accurate return.”
President Obama earned $789,674 in 2011, the White House announced on Friday. He and first lady Michelle Obama paid $162,074 in taxes, with an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5 percent, according to the returns.
The release, four days before Tuesday’s tax deadline, capped a week in which the president repeatedly spoke about the obligation of the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes. It also provided Obama’s campaign the opportunity to once again jab Romney for his reluctance to release more information on his taxpaying history.
“On the eve of April 17th, Governor Romney has yet to provide tax returns from the period in which he made hundreds of millions as a corporate buyout specialist, or as governor of Massachusetts, the experience he says qualifies him to be president,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement. He added: “Mitt Romney’s defiance of decades of precedent set by presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle, including his own father, begs the question -- what does he have to hide?”
Saul dismissed the Obama campaign demand. “It’s no surprise with the worst job creation record in modern history that President Obama would try to distract Americans from the real issues with a series of sideshows,” she said. Saul noted that Romney has released his 2010 return and said he will put out his full 2011 return “when it is filed.”