GOP vice presidential pick Ryan releases 2010, 2011 tax returns

McClatchy NewspapersAugust 17, 2012 

— Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his wife paid taxes at effective rates of 20 percent last year and 15.9 percent in 2010, according to returns released Friday.

The couple reported $323,416 in adjusted gross income last year, about half of it from Ryan’s salary as a Wisconsin congressman, and paid $64,764. The previous year, Ryan and his wife, Janna, reported $215,417 in adjusted gross income and paid $34,233.

The release of the returns, made quietly and without any formal announcement on a Friday night, is the latest chapter in an ongoing drama involving the Republican ticket’s financial disclosures. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released his 2010 return and estimates of his 2011 taxes.

But he – and now Ryan – have released no earlier tax filings, and Democrats have demanded that Romney put out at least five years of returns. They had been seeking 10 years, but Friday modified that request, saying that if Romney would release returns dating to 2007, they would ease up on their criticisms. The Romney campaign resisted that request.

Ryan has been pushing to collapse the current income tax system, with a top rate of 35 percent, into two rates of 10 percent and 25 percent. It was not immediately clear from their tax filings how he and wife would fare under that system.

The Ryans amended their 2011 tax return to include more than $61,000 in income from a one-third interest in a family trust that Janna Ryan inherited after her mother died.

Paul Ryan amended his House financial disclosure statement on June 6, stating that his wife had received distributions from the trust in a range between $100,000 and $1 million during 2011. He said that her third of the trust was valued at $1 million to $5 million as of Dec. 31, 2011.

Citing an exemption from the House Ethics Committee, Ryan declined to disclose any of the underlying assets of the trust.

The amendment to the tax return was filed by the couple’s accountant on May 23, more than a month after Romney disclosed that his campaign counsel had begun vetting prospective vice presidential candidates. Brendan Buck, a Romney campaign spokesman, said that the Ryans filed their return before receiving a required tax form from the trust stating Janna Ryan’s share of the 2011 income

When the form was later received, “the omission was realized and corrected,” Buck said.

Romney paid at a 13.9 percent rate in 2010 and an estimated 15.4 percent rate this year. Virtually all of his income came from investments.

The Ryans reported a large amount of income from investments. In 2010 they reported $39,013 in income from estates, trusts and elsewhere. Last year, the same sources brought $116,143. They gave $12, 991 to charity last year and $2,600 in 2010.

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