Mitt Romney delays filing 2011 income tax return

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney asked for an extension Friday to file his 2011 tax return.

The former Massachusetts governor and his wife Ann expect not to owe any further taxes, having estimated $3.2 million in liability and made $3.4 million in payments, according the documents filed.

Romney will file his return prior to the November election, according to a spokeswoman.

Romney’s taxes have been a continual cause of controversy in the 2012 presidential campaign because of his reluctance to release details. Under pressure from his Republican primary rivals, he released his 2010 returns in January, which showed he paid about $3 million on nearly $22 million of income.

He also contributed about $3 million to charity, reducing his effective tax rate to less than 14%.

The disclosures prompted additional controversy, because some investments listed on the tax returns, such as a now-closed Swiss bank account and other overseas funds, were not explicitly disclosed in a personal financial disclosure statement Romney filed in August.

President Obama’s campaign as well as his GOP primary rivals have called on the multimillionaire to release more years of returns, notably from when he headed the private equity firm Bain Capital and when he was governor.

They point out that he released 23 years of returns to Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, when he was under consideration to be his running mate, and that his father George released 12 years of returns publically during his presidential bid, and former President George W. Bush released 17 years.

“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?” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement Friday. “Did he exploit loopholes in the tax code by keeping his investments offshore and is that why he’s protecting those loopholes now? Why did he open a Swiss bank account instead of an American bank account and establish a corporation in Bermuda instead of on our shores? Did he pay a lower income tax rate than the 13.9 percent he paid in 2010 and is that why he opposes the Buffett Rule to ensure millionaires don’t pay less taxes than middle-class families?”

“Governor Romney may try once again to play by his own set of rules, but Americans will hold him accountable for trying to hide his record,” Messina said.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have released returns from more than a decade. On Friday, Obama released his 2011 return, which showed that he and his wife reported a joint adjusted gross income of $789,674 last year and paid $162,074 in total federal taxes, or about 20.5%.

Tax time comes as the White House has spent days pushing the so-called Buffet Rule, named after investor Warren Buffet, which would require that people with annual incomes of $1 million or more pay at least 30% of their income in federal taxes.

Original source: Romney delays filing 2011 taxes, expects to pay $3.2 million