Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann Romney, have declined to release more than one year's worth of their tax returns to the public so far, saying more in-depth records would only serve as fodder for his political opponents.
But the former Massachusetts governor has provided new details of his effective tax rate amid speculation that he paid little or no taxes at all over the past decade.
Speaking to reporters this week, Romney said his effective tax rate over the past 10 years has been at least 13 percent.
"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years," Romney said. "I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has claimed Romney paid no taxes for 10 years - a claim that's based, Reid says, on a conversation he had with an investor with Bain Capital. That Romney has released his tax returns for only 2010 and an estimated filing for 2011 has only fueled speculation about his effective tax rate.
Romney's 2010 return show he and his wife paid more than $3 million in taxes and had an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent. The couple's estimated 2011 return shows the couple expected to pay about $3.2 million in taxes at an effective tax rate of 15.4 percent.
In his comments this week, Romney declined again to release more returns to the public.
"I just have to say given the challenges that America faces - 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty - the fascination with taxes I paid, I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues we face," Romney said.
The Obama campaign, in a written statement provided to the Boston Globe, said Romney's internal review did not suffice.
"Since there is substantial reason to doubt his claims, we have a simple message for him: Prove it," the campaign said. "Even though he's invested millions in foreign tax havens, offshore shell corporations, and a Swiss bank account, he's still asking the American people to trust him. However, given Mitt Romney's secrecy about his returns, coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word."