As I mentioned the other day, there are so many unanswered questions about Mitt Romney’s taxes.
One issue that is increasingly being asked is whether Mitt Romney closed his Swiss bank account at UBS to avoid serious prosecution for avoiding taxes.
UBS reached a settlement with the IRS for nearly $800 million for their role in helping rich Americans avoid paying US taxes. Following the settlement, the IRS announced an amnesty period for Americans who may have been hiding money at UBS, and thousands came forward.
It’s still not clear whether Mitt Romney participated in that amnesty period, but what we do now know is that he no longer has a Swiss bank account with UBS as of 2010. The timing is certainly interesting.
Because Romney won’t release full details of his taxes, and instead only released a pile of documents signed by PWC and lawyers, we can’t say for sure whether he hid millions in Switzerland or not.
Paul Abrams at the Huffington Post has been following this closely for a while now and has made a list of the circumstantial evidence that points towards Romney participating in the amnesty program. Romney is only answering questions via email about his taxes and of course, he’s not answering any questions about amnesty.
To review, here is the circumstantial evidence:
i) Romney closed ONLY his Swiss UBS Account, not Caymans or Bermuda or Luxembourg. Hence, he cannot claim “bad optics for a campaign” as the alternative explanation;
ii) Romney closed the UBS account during the time required to receive amnesty;
iii) Romney omitted from his public disclosure of his 2010 returns the specific information about the UBS account;
iv) Romney took six extra months to prepare his 2011 returns, disclosing them in the countdown to the election, whereas he could have disclosed 2009 immediately with 2010, getting all that bad news out at once, during the primary, so that it would be ancient history by now. That is strong evidence that 2009, that would have shown the amnesty with flashing lights, was too toxic.
Someone in the traditional media needs to ask Mitt Romney directly whether he did or did not close his Swiss bank account during the amnesty program. But they also need to demand that he release the full details of his taxes like every other candidate for president in modern times.