The story about Romney’s tax returns is that he will suffer a bad political image for paying little or no taxes. By now you have heard both sides of the story, both agreements are lame. So why doesn’t Romney release the tax returns? All political strategists agree that it is best to get the bad news out and then move on. That is the accepted play book for sexual scandal, political blunders and internet pictures. The best political strategy for Romney is to release the tax returns; he is not releasing the tax returns so it must be something other than political risk. I think he is scare of being audited by the IRS.
Promotion within the IRS agency is based on the quantity of successful audits. Rich tax payers have the resources to fight an audit, poor tax payers do not. I usually do my own tax returns and I have been audited three times in 45 years. Two audits occurred when I was young and earned little income. The audits were the result of simple errors and a slam dunk for the auditor. The last audit was because I lost a receipt and could not provide acceptable documentation, another slam dunk for the IRS. I have become much better at completing my tax return and use Turbo Tax with a comprehensive filing system. A person receiving food stamps and child care credits is more likely to be audited than Mitt Romney. The accountants hired by Romney pushed every possible tax advantage, his walking the edge was not tested by the IRS. If Romney releases his tax returns leagues of accountants will be hired by news organizations to weed through the numbers line by line. He fears that something questionable will be found and the IRS will be forced to audit his returns.
Nothing matters more to Mitt Romney than his money. One reason he wants the presidency is to legally reduce his tax rate to zero. He outlines this on his website; his tax plan contains reducing taxes on interest to zero. This is the only known tax he currently pays.
Mitt Romney does not fear the political blow back, he fears losing some money.