MICHAEL GRAETZ ON THE UNREBUTTED PRESUMPTION THAT MITT ROMNEY IS A TAX CHEAT WHO WOULD, IF AUDITED, OWE US ALL $50 MILLION PLUS PENALTIES
It is a presumption that Romney could rebut by releasing his tax returns since he took over running the Salt Lake City olympics. Romney has chosen not to rebut the presumption.
Michael Graetz, who knows what he is talking about:
Some commentators have suggested, for example, that — like tens of thousands of other Americans who have taken advantage of an Internal Revenue Service amnesty — he might not have declared and paid taxes on his Swiss bank account. I can’t imagine that he would have engaged in such blatant tax cheating. He is far too smart for that….
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(M)y bet is that — if Mr. Romney filed a gift tax return for these transfers at all — he put a low or even zero value on the gifts, certainly a small fraction of the price at which he would have sold the transferred assets to an unrelated party. Otherwise, he should be happy to release his gift tax returns. According to a partner at Mr. Romney’s trustee’s law firm, valuing carried interests, such as Mr. Romney’s interests in the private equity company Bain Capital, at zero for gift tax purposes was common advice given to clients like Mr. Romney in the 1990s and early 2000s.
It looks to me as though a full audit of Romney's taxes would likely produce an unpaid tax liability on the order of $50 million--plus penalties.