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Can You Dig It?
Author: Raine    Date: 09/27/2012 12:56:35

Mitt Romney can.

I'll betcha $10,000 you don't dig it dimply because you can't afford to dig it.

In January 1999, a trust set up by Mitt Romney for his children and grandchildren reaped a 1,000 percent return on the sale of shares in Internet advertising firm DoubleClick Inc.

If Romney had given the cash directly, he could have owed a gift tax at a rate as high as 55 percent. He avoided gift and estate taxes by using a type of generation-skipping trust known to tax planners by the nickname: “I Dig It.” (snip)

Digging It

Romney’s vehicle is known as an “intentionally defective grantor trust” or by the acronym IDGT -- hence the nickname: “I Dig It.” Such trusts permit donors to give potentially unlimited amounts to children free of estate and gift taxes.

Here’s how they work: the person setting up the trust, like Romney, contributes assets such as an interest in a fund or shares in a company. If he makes that contribution before those assets appreciate -- particularly when they are privately held and difficult to value -- he can claim the gift tax obligation is low or non-existent since the declared value is low or zero.

If the trust generates any income -- such as by selling stock -- the eventual tax bill is the responsibility of Romney, not the trust. By paying the capital gains tax, which was 20 percent in the late 1990s and is now 15 percent, he can avoid depleting the funds in the trust -- in essence making an additional donation that’s free of gift taxes. (snip)

Romney sold additional DoubleClick shares in at least two other transactions, securities filings show.

DoubleClick was purchased by Google Inc. (GOOG) for $3.2 billion in 2008.

I think it is time he release a few more tax returns.

58 comments (Latest Comment: 09/28/2012 03:03:55 by Will in Chicago)
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