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Leaked documents reveal Romney made offshore investments to avoid taxes

Last Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 18:58

Washington: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s offshore financial accounts are coming under new scrutiny after the publication of internal audits and private letters related to his 250 million dollars fortune.

New York-based website Gawker has published a 950-page document that has given a complex picture about Romney’s finances.

Romney’s wealth is held in a complex series of holding companies in tax havens, including the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and in the US, the Guardian reports. According to the report, the documents published by Gawker make clear that Romney made some his investments with the primary aim to avoid paying taxes.

Romney and his wife, Ann, have both invested in Absolute Capital Return Partners, a Delaware-based partnership that uses a technique called equity swapping to avoid tax According to the report, Romneys have invested in a Cayman Island-based fund called Bain Capital Fund VIII.

The fund has assets worth of 3.7 billion dollars and according to the documents “intends to conduct it operations so that it will not be engaged in a United States trade or business and, therefore, will not be subject to United States federal income or withholding tax on its income from United States sources”, the report said.

The documents revealed that Romney’s investments include stakes in funds invested in high-risk derivatives like the credit default swaps that contributed to the credit crisis, and an investment vehicle that loaned money to the parent firm of the National Enquirer, a racy US tabloid, the report said.

According to the report, Romney’s individual retirement account (IRA) has between 1 million and 5 million dollars in Absolute Return in 2011 and earned between 100,000 and 1million dollars.

Romney has been consistently attacked by Democrats for refusing to release more details about his finances, and his offshore accounts have become the subject of attack ads now running across the US, the report added.


First Published: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 18:57
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