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Romney’s tax audit issues

By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Posted: 12 pm ET

Mitt Romney is still holding his tax return cards close to his vest. He says all he will show the American electorate is his final 2011 return when it's filed sometime between now and the Oct. 15 extension deadline. I'm voting it'll be at the last possible moment.

I'm a pretty private person, so I understand Romney's reluctance to bear his finances via Form 1040. But I'm not running for president of the United States.

Sure, it's only a voluntary tradition that presidential candidates make public their returns, but it's one that's become entrenched. And that poses another problem for Romney.

We all get to speculate on what it is Mitt and Ann don't want us to see.

Over the weekend, the Internet was abuzz about a story that the Internal Revenue Service database had been hacked and Romney's tax returns from the last 25 tax years had been put online.

It was a joke from a satirical website, following in the footsteps of Jon Stewart who on "The Daily Show" a couple of weeks ago revealed "The Romney Returns." Yep, Stewart and staff made up goofy tax breaks for the Romneys.

But we also learned this weekend that the IRS has audited the Romneys. The candidate told ABC News that while he and his wife pay only what the tax code requires, they have "from time to time" been audited.

So maybe Mitt doesn't want us to see how creative he and his accountants have been over the years in filling out the Romney tax returns.

Personally, I think finding out exactly how Mitt pushed the tax envelope would make him more personable.

C'mon, who among us hasn't at least thought about fudging our Form 1040 numbers a bit?

To be clear, I'm not recommending that you do so. Neither am I admitting to anything. I'm just saying that considering how to slip one by Uncle Sam at tax time is just human nature.

Of course, if you get caught cheating on your taxes, you'll owe not only what you should have paid in the first place, but you'll also pay penalties and interest. So it's generally not worth it.

As a reminder, you might want to check out the red flags that could cause the IRS to audit you. And if you do ever get word that the IRS wants to more closely examine your filings, Bankrate also has some tips on how to handle a tax audit.

What do you think Romney is trying to hide by not revealing his tax returns? A very low or no tax bill in one or many years? Some tax cheating? Or is he just a really private guy?

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13 Comments
Herb Barretta
September 05, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I have been told by an attorney that Mr Romney was charged with cheating on his taxes for offshore funds parking. He confessed and was charged. How can these charges be verified?

bob
August 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Give me a break. If he has been audited and not in jail then the obvious answer is he followed the law. This is just a pathetic attempt by the liberals and obama to hide the complete failure of the obama administration. Why doesn't the main stream media ask obama for his admission forms where he applied for federal grants as a foreign exchange student. The media used to be independent but no longer.