Mon Oct 29, 2012, 12:28 AM
MALiberal (34 posts)
Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations
In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.
Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. That included Mitt Romney, then the chief executive officer of Bain Capital, who had just established such an arrangement in June 1996.
The charitable remainder unitrust, as it is known, is one of several strategies Romney has adopted over his career to reduce his tax bill. While Romney’s tax avoidance is legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become an issue in the campaign. President Barack Obama attacked him in their second debate for paying “lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”
In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity -- the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing -- to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In general, charities don’t owe capital gains taxes when they sell assets for a profit. Trusts like Romney’s permit funders to benefit from that tax-free treatment, said Jonathan Blattmachr, a trusts and estates lawyer who set up hundreds of such vehicles in the 1990s.
“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said. Despite the name, giving a gift or getting a charitable deduction “is just a throwaway,” he said. “I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero.”
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-29/romney-avoids-taxes-via-loophole-cutting-mormon-donations.html
23 replies, 3529 views
Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations (Original post)
|Marie Marie||Oct 2012||#5|
|Major Nikon||Oct 2012||#8|
Response to aletier_v (Reply #3)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 12:43 AM
Marie Marie (2,109 posts)
5. At this point, Mitt Romney would screw over Mitt Romney if he could make a buck out of it.
Honestly, it must be sad to be such a slave to money and spend all that energy constantly trying to get more of what you do not need. Pathetic.
Response to Marie Marie (Reply #5)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 12:47 AM
aletier_v (1,773 posts)
6. It is. I was arguing this last night with a tea partier
the sin of avarice. it's a massive personality flaw, the blind pursuit regardless of health family or morals. maybe that's the real reason he won't release his records. the Mormon church would find out the truth about his donations.
Response to Zynx (Reply #4)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 01:26 AM
Major Nikon (10,096 posts)
8. If churches didn't receive tax benefits (subsidies), their tax bill would be about $100 billion
Churches are ripping off the taxpayer already, so I don't see how they have much room to complain.
Response to MALiberal (Original post)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 01:41 AM
progressivebydesign (19,363 posts)
9. I'm sorry, but sometimes I think the entire Mormon thing is one big ponzi scheme.
They only spend their money to send people to recruit more people to pay into the church. the charity they do seems to only benefit others who are paying into the church... AND they own shopping malls, and huge investment vehicles, and seem to only do business with other Mormons. Could it be that this was all conceived to enrich a select group of people?
Response to progressivebydesign (Reply #9)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:15 AM
MessiahRp (5,404 posts)
14. It is.
This is why I say Churches should all be taxed. Including all of their related investments. Some of these churches, not just Mormons, have made tithing into a way to expand the wealth of the people in charge. They're selling a product that provides nothing in return and they get away with it constantly. Most of these churches are also doing little to no actual charity and some only do charity (like "Missionary work") if it ties into proselytizing. We shouldn't be giving tax breaks to churches on charity work based on conversion attempts. Frankly if the only way you do something good for someone else is if they do something for you, that's not charity at all. (I feel the same way about rich people making "charitable" donations when they only do it as a tax write-off and would discontinue the practice if the Government didn't flip the bill.)
So I say tax them all. Most of them are subverting the law by preaching politics illegally anyway. Why bother with this continued charade. I can only imagine how much more money our tax coffers would have if we got to tax some of these super rich, bloated, mega churches.
Response to MALiberal (Original post)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 07:55 PM
Sentath (1,530 posts)
20. A scam mentioned in the Bible
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/4015.htm Item 3 outlines it quite cogently:
3. (4-6) An example of how their traditions dishonored God: the practice of not helping your parents with resources said to be devoted to God.