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Mitt Romney has a curious Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with a value of $100 million.  He refuses to divulge meaningful information about the account, possibly because it could not stand the "light of day" public scrutiny.  Romney also continues to hide his prior years' federal tax returns (unlike his late father who disclosed a decade of prior tax returns when he ran for President - and who had nothing to hide in those returns).  Romney continues to hide how much money he moved out of the USA during the onset of the Great Recession (and earlier years), and to what particular foreign tax havens, in his effort to increase his massive wealth from its $250 million level to even higher amounts.  When confronted with a mystery it is sometimes solved by looking at the simplest explanation.  IRA accounts like Mitt Romney's (at least for the rest of us who are not named Mitt Romney) have $6000 annual investment limits.  In other words, an employee can only invest up to $6000 a year to such an account.  Dividing the $100 million value of Mitt Romney's curious IRA account by $6000 per year could mean that Mitt Romney is actually 1,666 years old!  Since my (and probably everyone else not named Mitt Romney) IRA account value plummeted during the Bush Great Recession and is only now years later recovering to that earlier value, and allowing for some reasonable rate of return on Mitt Romney's annual $6000 contributions to his IRA account, he could possibly be only 800 or even 500 years old, and not 1,666 years old.  Some of you may think that this explanation is far-fetched, but it has more credibility than any explanation the Romney campaign has released to date.  Since this is the most logical explanation, we should all assume that Mitt Romney does play by the same rules as the rest of us - but at the age of 1,666 years, he's had longer time to invest those annual $6000 investments.

Poll

Do you think it is more likely that Mitt Romney has fully complied with U.S. tax rules and limits on annual IRA account contributions, OR do you think Romney is actually nearly 1,666 years old?

28%16 votes
71%41 votes

| 57 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Two words: tax fraud. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 09:36:34 AM PDT

  •  I worked out the same math... (4+ / 0-)

    $100,000,000 = Romney's IRA
    $           6,000 = maximum annual contribution

    Romney must be 16,666 years old.
    No wonder he's so muddled & confused!

  •  Seriously, now... (3+ / 0-)

    Are there any financial wizards here who can explain how Mitt accomplished this seemingly impossible feat? Where did the $100,000,000. IRA figure come from? This seems like an easily confirmed pathway to destruction of the Romney campaign if it's true. Is there an element missing here? It's funny and all but is it an actionable offense of some kind?

    •  Two words - Roth Conversion (0+ / 0-)

      There was a period a few years ago when one could convert tax deferred accounts (such as IRAs), into Roth IRAs. The big difference is that a IRA uses pre-tax money, grows with the taxes deferred, and is taxable when the money comes out.  With a Roth IRA, post-tax money goes in, and grows tax free. When tapped, no further taxes are due.  

      During this conversion period, one could prepay the taxes on a fund and convert it to a Roth IRA.  Although I have no visibility as to what Romney did, this is one way that he could have made his IRA grow - converting something into a Roth IRA.

      Likewise, there are other ways to get more than $13K per year into a retirement account. For example, a SEP IRA has/had higher limits (a percentage of self-employed income).

      However, without any transparency, there is no way to know what went in and where it came from.

      (no, I'm not an accountant/lawyer/financial planner - just a political speculator)

  •  If he's 1,666 years old, he's earned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont

    a chance to live out his golden years on an island far, far away, relaxing in a hammock full of $1000 bills.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 10:30:53 AM PDT

  •  My guess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski

    is he rolled over some other type of account (such as profit sharing) into the IRA to avoid taxes on it.  

    Direct contributions aren't the only way to build an IRA.

    In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

    by Cixelsyd on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 10:46:40 AM PDT

    •  There are also "non-deductible" contributions (0+ / 0-)

      Those are taxed before being put into the retirement account, and (my understanding) is that the growth of such contributions would not be taxed when removed from the account.

      So not only does he get a break on the income tax he plays since it's "carried interest", he gets to flaunt the tax system with an IRA.  As if he needs one.

  •  Some financial instruments can be valued very low (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre, BPARTR

    but can dramatically rise in value if certain conditions are met. If you are the one controlling those conditions (like if you own the company issuing those financial placeholders) then you have a sure bet to increase the value of your non-taxed account while certainly denying collection of taxes on that amount. And if you don't like it go start your own company with the 10 million dollars your daddy gave you.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

    by OHdog on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

  •  I think that he played games with stock prices. (0+ / 0-)

    When Bain took over a bankrupt corporation, they valued the stock at essentially zero. They distributed it to the partners. who put it into retirement accounts. Then they waved their magic wands and the stock became incredibly valuable, but since it was in their retirement accounts they didn't have to pay taxes or even capital gains.

    It was apparently all legal, although I would not advise trying it without a six-figure tax attorney on your payroll. Give Mitt credit- he is a very sharp operator and can see a tax loopholes that even other predatory capitalists miss.

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