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Romney Releases Tax Returns

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney takes part in a South Carolina Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 16, 2012. South Carolina Mitt Romney takes part in a South Carolina Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Paul J. Richards/Getty)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010, having earned more than seven times that - $21.7 million - from his investments and making him among the wealthiest of American taxpayers.

At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity - about half of that amount to the Mormon Church - which helped lower his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent, according to records his campaign released early Tuesday.

For 2011, he'll pay about $3.2 million with an effective tax rate of about 15.4 percent, the campaign said. Those returns haven't yet been filed yet with the Internal Revenue Service.

The former Massachusetts governor had been under pressure in recent weeks to release his tax returns, his GOP opponents casting him as a wealthy businessman who slashed jobs in the private sector. Rival Newt Gingrich made public his returns on Saturday, showing he paid almost $1 million in income taxes - a tax rate of about 31 percent.

Romney's campaign confirmed the details of his tax information after several news organizations saw a preview of the documents. He had said planned to release his returns in full Tuesday morning, and campaign officials would be prepared to discuss them in detail with reporters.

"You'll see my income, how much taxes I've paid, how much I've paid to charity," Romney said during Monday night's debate in Tampa. "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."

Romney's 2010 returns show the candidate is among the top 1 percent of taxpayers. The returns showed about $4.5 million in itemized deductions, including $1.5 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The dimensions and the sources of Romney's wealth, which he has estimated to be as much as $250 million, have become pivotal issues in the roiling GOP primary campaign. For months, Romney dismissed calls to release his personal income tax records. But after mounting criticism from his rivals and others, coupled with his stinging weekend loss to Gingrich in the South Carolina primary, Romney agreed to release his 2010 return and 2011 estimate

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