The PJ Tatler

Romneys Donated More than $4 Million to Charity in 2011; Paid 14.1% Tax Rate (Update: You Can't Make the Medialeft Happy)

Mitt Romney is set to release his 2011 tax return this afternoon. He keeps his money in a blind trust, and trustee Brad Malt has posted a note on the Romney campaign blog about what the return shows.

This morning, Gov. and Mrs. Romney filed their 2011 tax return with the IRS. At 3:00pm today, the Romney for President campaign will be posting the 2011 return online.

The complete 2011 tax return, with full schedules, statements, and attachments, will be made available with all other previously-disclosed information at

Also posted will be a notarized letter from the Romneys’ tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PWC), giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys’ tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009.

In advance of the posting of these new documents, I wanted to provide some top-line details.

Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:

  • In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.
  • The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
  • The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.
  • The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.
  • The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.

As with the 2010 tax return, the 2011 tax return will appear as four separate documents. It includes Governor and Mrs. Romney’s Form 1040 as well as three underlying Massachusetts trusts detailing the sources of their income. Those are The W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust, The Ann D. Romney Blind Trust, and The Romney Family Trust.

The investments within the trusts are managed on a blind basis by me, the trustee. I have sole responsibility for making, holding and disposing of the investments.

Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

  • In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.
  • Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.

Finally, in addition to new documents related to tax filings, the campaign will also be posting on the same website physician letters for both Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, making public their current state of health.

After you have reviewed all of the newly-posted documents, you may have further questions. The campaign asks that you direct them to an e-mail account set up for that purpose. That e-mail address is returns @

Thank you.

R. Bradford Malt is a partner at Ropes & Gray, LLP. He has been the trustee of the Romney’s blind trust since 2003.

Update: The entire trove, tax returns and doctors’ letters, is now posted here.

Update: I know I’m supposed to care a great deal about the Romneys’ taxes, but can I let you in on a little secret? I don’t. It has been obvious for a long long time that Mitt Romney is clean as a whistle. The best the Obama campaign could come up with over the long, hot summer was to attack him for creating jobs at Bain and accuse him of killing some guy’s wife.

Nevertheless, for the record, Romney’s tax returns show that he’s generous. He gave fully 30 percent of his income away to charity in 2011. That’s commendable. So watch the left come up with a negative spin…right here. Reuters calls the tax return release a “Friday news dump,” totally ignoring the fact that Friday news dumps tend to happen after 6 pm on the East Coast, to avoid giving reporters time to write about bad stuff before they leave work or hit evening deadlines. Romney released his returns in the middle of the afternoon, and have been driving the headlines ever since with the fact that the Romney’s paid a lot in taxes and a lot more in charity. The campaign is not treating this as a bad news dump.

By the way, the liberal Joe Biden gives about 1 to 2% of his income to charity. It’s his money, I don’t care, but then he goes off saying things like it’s patriotic to pay higher taxes. And the media doesn’t really call him out for being a rank and obvious hypocrite who is only generous with other people’s money.