Do We Now Know Enough About Mitt Romney’s Taxes?

BY Paul Solman  September 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM EDT

Mitt Romney; photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado, on July 10, 2012, where he said he has ‘nothing hidden’ in his taxes. Photo by: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

It’s hard enough to figure out my own taxes every year without having to worry about Mitt Romney’s. But because the issue of Romney’s taxes has come to loom so large, I thought I’d better get some professional advice. So I sought out a friend, estate planning lawyer Matthew Berlin, who has modest clients like me as well as the high and well-heeled, some of them with assets abroad. I asked him if we now knew all we need to know, at least with respect to the tax returns Mitt Romney has disclosed publicly.

Making Sense

No, said Matthew. There are a host of questions that any inquiring tax attorney or journalist might ask. Without them, a true picture of Romney’s finances would be impossible. So I asked Matthew if he wouldn’t share the questions with us. Here they are:

Do you own or have control over bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, option accounts, real property, art, antiques, precious metals or similar assets located outside of the United States?

Was income generated by these accounts or assets, and if so was it reported on your 1040?

Were these accounts and the countries in which they are held identified in Part III to Schedule B of your Form 1040?

Did you file, in a timely fashion, all required informational reports as required by the IRS and Treasury Department?

Did you file Form TD F 90.22-1 to report the existence of every foreign account or asset which you own or hold signature authority over?

Have you filed any required Forms TD F 90.22-1 late?

Are you or were you a participant in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for the purpose of disclosing previously unreported foreign accounts?
Is any trust of which you are the beneficiary located outside of the United States?

Have you received a gift from any foreign source, including a trust of which you are the beneficiary located outside of the United States?

Was any informational report filed with regard to those gifts?

Did you file Form 3520 to report any such gift in a timely fashion? Have any been filed late? If so, why?

This entry is cross-posted on the Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions