As Republicans roll into Tampa this week alongside Tropical Storm Isaac, one topic sure to be discussed by Democratic opponents and news commentators is the ongoing controversy over presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns.
However, the one year of tax returns the Romney camp has released (with one more year promised to come) show a number of sophisticated wealth transfer and estate planning strategies employed by the former governor of Massachusetts that have led to an estimated $100 million fortune now held outside of the estate.
Bloomberg reports that Romney and his wife, Ann, created trusts as early as 1995, when Romney was CEO of Bain Capital LLC. They packed one for their children with investments that stood to appreciate and set up another for charity that provides a tax deduction and income, according to the news service. The candidate’s individual retirement account is valued at as much as $87.4 million.
“It’s beneficial for your kids and grandkids to push the money downstream,” David Scott Sloan, chairman of the national private wealth services estate planning practice at the law firm Holland & Knight in Boston, told Bloomberg. “The Romneys appear to be doing things that are similar to what other high-net-worth families do.”