The mainstream media is finally raising the question of whether Mitt took advantage of the IRS’s 2009 tax amnesty for Americans with previously undisclosed Swiss banks accounts. Participation in that amnesty would have required him to pay back taxes and a fine, but allowed him to avoid prosecution.
Matt Yglesias has raised it in the WashingtonPost, “If Romney releases his tax returns, what are the worst things we could find?” Yglesias has previously written about the amnesty scenario in Slate, but WaPo is a big step up for the story to get some legs.
Yglesias also suggests that Mitt may have had either big profits from the financial crash, when most people were suffering, or big losses from the crash, so that he paid a teeny, tiny amount of taxes. While his campaign has denied that he paid nothing, Yglesias rightly asks, “But would paying $2.75 really look all that different from paying $0?”
Of course, there is an easy way to end all the speculation about his taxes. Mittens, the ball is in your court. You know, the private court that’s part of your New Hampshire vacation estate.
I had previously posted about the possibility that Mitt isn’t releasing more tax returns because his 2009 return would show that he took advantage of a “general amnesty” the IRS offered those with secret Swiss bank accounts — pay the back taxes and a fine, and we won’t prosecute you.
Today I’m delighted to see that Josh Marshall from TalkingPointsMemo (who has a few more readers than I do!) has picked up the story (“Is the FBAR FUBAR?”):
“Given the radioactive-ness of the whole Swiss bank account issue I’m a little surprised that this whole thing hasn’t gotten more attention. And I’m also surprised since to the best of my knowledge — hard to prove a negative — Romney or his representatives have never been asked whether he took advantage of the amnesty program.”
The issue is finally getting some traction, as media types connect the dots between the timing of the IRS amnesty and the closure of Mitt’s Swiss account. At some point, he’ll get asked.
Given Mitt’s vehement insistence against “amnesty” for any illegal immigrants and his priggish defense of his own virtue and uprightness, it would be so great if he were caught with his magic Mormon underwear down, benefiting from a government “amnesty.” Maybe we could make him replace his flag pin with a scarlet “T.”