Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Friday released tax returns showing he paid an effective tax rate of 20 percent last year, roughly in line with President Barack Obama’s rate and likely higher than that of his running mate Mitt Romney, reports Reuters.
Ryan and his wife Janna wife paid a 15.9 percent effective tax rate on an adjusted gross income of $215,417 in 2010 and a 20 percent rate on $323,416 in 2011–a weighted average of just over 18 percent for both years.
In 2010, Ryan and his wife reported an adjusted gross income of just over $215,000. Most of that came from Ryan’s congressional salary. According to The Huff Post, they paid more than $34,000 in federal taxes on that income. They also paid $3,168 in employment taxes for a household worker.
In 2011, the couple reported an adjusted gross income of more than $323,000 and paid nearly $65,000 in federal taxes. In addition to Ryan’s salary, the couple made more than $50,000 in investment income from capital gains and qualified dividends.
Moreover, they made more than $116,000 in rental income, royalties and trust income. The couple owns rental property in Oklahoma, according to the return.
According to financial disclosure documents filed earlier, Ryan’s net worth ranges between $2 million and $7.7 million.
Candidates’ federal tax returns have become an unexpectedly prominent issue in the election after Mr Romney refused to release more than two years, writes The Telegraph.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who last week tapped Ryan to join him on the Republican ticket, has released tax information showing that he paid a 13.9 percent rate for 2010. He said in January he would probably pay 15.4 percent for 2011, and has said he will release his full return for that year in coming weeks.
President Barack Obama and his wife reported paying $162,074 in federal taxes last year on $789,674 in adjusted gross income, for an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent.
President Obama’s campaign has seized on Romney’s unwillingness to disclose his tax forms speculating that they might show Mr Romney used foreign tax shelters to minimise his tax exposure.
On Friday, Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, challenged the Republican candidate to release five years of returns and vowed that if he did then Democrats would stop their calls for further releases. Mr Romney’s camp flatly refused.
Romney’s campaign posted the Ryans’ tax returns on its website alongside Romney’s financial disclosures. “It’s time to focus on the real issues in this campaign – turning around the economy and getting America back to work again,” the campaign said.
President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have both released 12 years of tax returns and their campaign continues to make political capital on the issue.
Mitt Romney has been haunted by the example set by his father, George Romney, who released 12 years during his 1968 presidential bid, warning that one or two years could hide politically embarrassing disclosures in other years.
Democrats and even some fellow Republicans are urging Romney to release more than two years of his returns. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reignited the debate by making an unsubstantiated claim – roundly criticized – that Romney had not paid any taxes for 10 years.