Mr. Romney has already stated under oath that he doesn't prepare nor reads his tax returns. He merely signs them under penalty of perjury. (in case you didn't catch that, Romney effectively admitted to breaking the law).
There's dirt in them there 1040 forms. Since he won't release the forms we can only guess - and gossip about our theories- making his decision a potentially fateful one.
REID WAS RIGHT - ROMNEY DID NOT PAY TAXESVery plausible, given the economic downturn and Romney's use of off shore accounts. Governor Romney is a very wealthy man. His riches are largely in stocks and capital gains. IRS rules allow for citizens to deduct losses in the stock market and if the losses are large enough, one could pay $0 in income taxes. From 2007 to 2009 the market was in a downfall, steep enough to allow corporate giants like GE to pay no taxes. So it is entirely possible the Romneys had at least 2 years of zero taxes.
ROMNEY GOT CAUGHTAnother possibility is that the Romneys were hiding money in foreign bank accounts for years to avoid paying taxes. When the IRS cracked down on such scofflaws in 2008, offering amnesty, Romney obliged. Tax records would show this to be the case. Is this the "ammunition" Ann Romney spoke of?
Mitt Romney clearly doesn't understand what the issue is. There is a reason that Democrats, Independents, and yes even Romney's own surrogates are pressing for him to release his tax returns. Tax returns say a lot about the candidate - not just how much money he/she makes, but whether they are dutifully fulfilling their obligation as American citizens.
Romney isn't trusted by many people including me. He's claims to be a businessman who knows how to create jobs, but yet he didn't bring that "experience" with him to the Governor's mansion in 2002 where Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation while he was in office - and this was BEFORE the Great Recession. The unemployment rate went down only because young talent left the state (a situation known as "brain drain"). Hence why he doesn't speak of his time in office.
Romney passed universal health care in Massachuesetts - a crowning achievement that has by all accounts been successful. But now he wants to repeal Obamacare - a carbon copy of Romneycare. Y'all know the stories... Which is the point: his tax returns will show he is honestly and truthfully paying his share in taxes and that he's not this vague, deceitful, little rich guy we've come to know.
But then again - maybe his returns will reveal just how deceitful he really is and that's why he cannot release any more than 2 years of returns.
It may be too late though. By fighting this so hard, Rommey has forced people to guess what's in them. And that's never good. It also makes him appear to be hiding something or perhaps he's stalling - amending returns to make them look "better" before releasing them. He's done that before when he paid taxes as a Utah resident back in 2000 when he was running the Olympic Games. Then when he wanted to run for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he found himself in a pickle.
Massachusetts law stipulates that an eligible candidate must have lived in the state continuously for at least 7 years prior to the election. The 2000 tax returns was a problem since it clearly showed he wasn't living in Massachusetts. No Problem! Just file an amended return to say he lived in Massachusetts. Tada! Problem solved.
This question will never go away and will become even more fodder as we approach the debates.