No doubt prepping Americans to brace themselves, the Romney campaign released a statement from former IRS commissioner Fred Goldberg on Romney's tax returns, referencing "complexity of our tax laws," saying there was "no indication" that the Romneys took part in "any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities."
The release of the tax returns came on the same week of what is now a famous "47 percent" video, in which Romney is heard in a secretly recorded address to wealthy donors referencing half of Americans, saying they portray themselves as victims and do not pay income taxes.
"I have reviewed Governor and Mrs. Romney's joint tax return for 2011, including returns for the Ann and Mitt Romney Family Trust, the Ann D. Romney Blind Trust, and the W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust. My reaction following this review is the same as my reaction after reviewing the 2010 returns. As I said then:
"These returns reflect the complexity of our tax laws and the types of investment activity that I would anticipate for persons in their circumstances. There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities." In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers. They have done so by relying on a highly reputable return preparer and other advisors, who have in turn relied primarily on information provided by third parties to them and to the IRS. The end result of that process has been returns that include a multitude of schedules, IRS forms and accompanying statements that provide appropriate transparency and the proper payment of taxes that Governor and Mrs. Romney owe under current law.