(LAS VEGAS) – After months of criticism for not being transparent enough as a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has filed his 2011 tax returns which the campaign says shows the presidential candidate paid a 14.1 percent tax rate.
Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes on $13.7 million in income for the year 2011.
The rate falls in line with Romney’s estimate back in August that he had paid “13.6 [percent] or something like that.”
In a surprise move, the campaign will also release a summary of 20 years of returns. Romney had previously pledged to only release the two most recent years of returns.
The full returns for 2011 will be posted later Friday afternoon, as will health reports for both Romney and Ryan.
According the campaign, the Romneys donated nearly 30 percent of their income to charity in 2011.
The release of Romney’s full 2011 return and the 20 years of summaries comes after months and months of hounding by Democrats for the documents, who argued that Romney’s lack of transparency was worrisome for a could-be president.
Romney’s tax saga has been ongoing since January, when in a hastily arranged press conference after a dismal showing at a rally just days before the South Carolina primary, he disclosed that his tax rate was “probably closer to the 15 percent rate.”
At that time, Romney said it was traditional for nominees to release their returns in April — “tax season,” he explained — but the candidate back pedaled just days later, when in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace he announced he would, in fact, release the documents.
He told Wallace at the time that he’d “made a mistake for holding off” as long as he had in releasing them.
So on Jan. 24 he took the plunge, releasing his 2010 returns and an estimate of 2011 returns, which weren’t ready yet, his campaign said.
His 2010 releases show that Romney took in $21.7 million in income in 2010 and paid $3 million in taxes, a tax rate of just under 14 percent.
The returns also show that Romney gave $3 million in charitable donations in 2010, including $1.5 million to the Mormon church.
As calls intensified for him to release as many as 10 years of returns, Romney continued to point to Sen. John McCain as his role model on the issue, highlighting that McCain only released two years of his tax returns, and maintaining that he had done everything “required of him by law” when it came to his financial documents.
But the criticism only continued when it emerged that Romney’s campaign had requested “several years” of tax returns from those who were vetted as potential vice presidential candidates.
The focus on Romney’s tax returns has long irritated Romney advisers, who felt the issue took Romney off message and dominated the news cycle when they would have rather it be focused on the economy.
For example, during a press conference in August that was meant to focus on his Medicare plan, Romney was dogged about his tax rate, the candidate asked whether he’d kept his promise to ABC News, which he made during an interview in Jerusalem, to “go back and look” and see if he’d ever paid a tax rate lower than 13 percent.
“I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13 percent,” Romney said at the time.
So why did Romney wait so long — and until Election Day was so close — to release his returns? The candidate and his wife told Parade magazine in August that one of the reasons they have been hesitant to release their financial documents is due to the amount of money they give the Mormon church.
“Our church doesn’t publish how much is given,” Romney told the magazine. “One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”
======= SEE THE FULL DOCUMENTS =======
2011 Mitt & Ann Romney Return
2011 Mitt Romney Trust Return
2011 Ann Romney Trust Return
2011 Family Trust Return
Physician’s Letter on Mitt Romney’s Health
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jennifer Rizzo, CNN
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN
Rachel Sande, EastIdahoNews.com
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News