Romney releases his 2011 tax return


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The Independent US

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his long-promised 2011 tax return, capping a rough week dominated by a leaked, secretly recorded video of his remarks on the poor that threatened to draw an even sharper contrast between the multi-millionaire and the average US voter.

The tax release gave no hint that Mr Romney would give in to pressure to release many more years of tax forms that would provide insights into his sprawling finances.

Mr Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates ever to seek the presidency, earned almost $13.7m (£8.4m) last year and paid more than $1.9m (£1.2m)  in taxes - an effective tax rate of 14.1 per cent.

By comparison, President Barack Obama's tax return shows he earned nearly $790,000 (£490,000) last year and paid an effective tax rate of almost 21 per cent.

In the US, wages are taxed at a higher rate than investments, which make up the bulk of Mr Romney's income.

The tax rate Mr Romney paid last year is lower than that of millions of middle-income Americans, but it is more than he had to pay, since he limited tax deductions on the more than $4m he and his wife gave to charity.

Mr Romney spent the week trying to get past the furore over his remarks in the leaked video, which shows him telling wealthy donors that nearly half of the US does not pay income taxes, supports Mr Obama and is dependent on government.

"My job is not to worry about those people," Mr Romney said in the video, released this week on the website of Mother Jones magazine.

That led to even more criticism from some fellow Republicans over the workings of the Romney campaign. The race for the election remains tight, but Mr Obama holds a slight lead in recent polls and has pulled ahead in cash on hand for the crucial final campaign push.

Romney campaign officials said he and his wife, Ann, filed the tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, after receiving an extension. Most Americans faced a tax filing deadline of April 17 this year.