Ah ha. An answer to the "no taxes in ten years" paid by Mitt Romney claim by Senator Harry Reid. Would you believe it? Turns out newly released figures from the IRS shows it is something that some of the 400 wealthiest persons in America do. The shocking truth came out today.
James Stewart in the New York Times asks IS IT POSSIBLE? Can People as Rich as Romney Escape Taxes?
Now, Romney is not one of those 400 but if they do it he presumably can as well.
How nice of the IRS to give us data from this "elite ultrarich group" who:
earned on average $202 million in 2009Fortunately for us:
buried in the data is the startling disclosure that six of the 400 paid no federal income tax.We can finally see how these richiest of the rich operate. And these are the people closest to Romney's, or "the closest proxy."
The I.R.S. has never before disclosed that last fact.
How do they pay low or zero taxes? Besides those six:
The startling truth is that 1/4 of these people who earned on average $200+million
27 paid from zero to 10 percent of their adjusted gross incomes and another 89 paid between 10 and 15 percent...
per year paid under 15% in federal taxes. And Romney would keep it that way for them.
Because of the crash in 2008 the next year the stock market bottomed out and that made it possible for a lot of fancy tax footwork possible in 2009. And since they do not work for that money, the money is working for them, they can take advantage of the lower tax rate their lobbyists convinced their friends in Congress to make possible.
But as to how they can get down to 10% or zero, you'll have to read the article and find out about "tax loss carry-forwards to offset capital gains, and tax shelters." The good professor analyzing all this thinks it unlikely Romney paid zero, but says some things, such as his using the dancing horse Rafalco as a deduction of $77k shows a:
propensity to engage in aggressive tax strategies.Because these top 400 earned $81 billion in 2009 and their average tax rate was just 19.9%, Professor Kleinbard said about our tax system:
“It’s regressive because capital gains and dividends dominate the top returns and are taxed at a preferential rate....”
So those dancing horses and all their super rich owners are dancing all over us.