By Patricia L Johnson
Did you ever read something and a certain portion of it caught your eye because it just didn’t look right, yet you just couldn’t put your finger on what was wrong with it?
The day Governor Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011 I spent some time reviewing the numbers. One of the many hats I wore during my career was that of corporate accountant so I probably spent a little more time reviewing the returns than the average voter and the more pages I read, the more questions were raised. I thought sooner or later I’d go back and spend a little time digging into the numbers. Unfortunately, time isn’t something that I have an abundance of lately so the tax returns went to the bottom of the pile, but one question just kept popping into my head.
Who pays the capital gain tax on the $920,573.00 indicated as a non-cash donation to charity on the Romney’s 2011 Federal Tax Return?
If you go to STMT 5, you’ll see that the non-cash donations totaling $920,573.00 originated on Form 8283.
Form 8283 indicates three separate donations to the Tyler Foundation in Boston Massachusetts in the form of shares of stock as follows:
Sensata – 7,243 shares with a market value of $232,863.00
Warner Chilcott – 19,799 shares with a market value of $468,840.00
Dunkin Brands – 8,600 shares with a market value of $218,870.00
There is a Tyler Foundation in Boston that makes donations to parents whose children are undergoing epilepsy treatment at Children’s Hospital Boston, or UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center.
Unfortunately that Tyler Foundation is not the recipient of the $921 thousand dollars in stock; instead it was Governor Mitt Romney’s personal foundation, the Tyler Charitable Foundation. Past donations from this foundation have been to GOP causes [$260,000] and the George W. Bush Presidential Library [$100,000].
The most recent tax return for the foundation, calendar year 2009, does list some actual donations to organizations that will probably do some good with the money as follows: My Sister’s Keeper received $5,000., and the Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital received $1,000.
Out of the $631,000., the two large contributions went to Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, $600,000. and The Beckett Fund, a Boston law firm, received $25,000. This particular law firm litigates on behalf of different religious groups and one of its most recent cases was representing the Muslims in Tennessee who had been trying to get a permit to use their new mosque, The Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, in time for Ramadan.
Our tax system is such that Mitt Romney can donate almost a million dollars in stock to his own personal foundation, use the money for whatever purpose he chooses and it’s all quite ‘legal’.
I think it’s totally unethical, but that’s simply a personal opinion. My real concern is not what is done, but what isn’t done. It’s unlikely the Romney’s purchased the above listed stock for $921,000 so what happens to the capital gains on this stock?
Who pays it and when, or does it also just disappear into the woodwork along with all the other taxes that fall through the cracks due to loopholes?
© 2012 Patricia L Johnson