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Romney adds Swiss bank income to disclosure form

February 03, 2012|By Matea Gold
(Justin Sullivan/Getty…)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney amended his personal financial disclosure Friday evening to reflect income from a now-closed Swiss bank account and one other investment fund he had originally failed to report on an ethics form.

A review by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau last week found that at least 23 funds and partnerships listed in the 2010 tax returns of Romney and his wife did not show up or were not listed in the same fashion on Romney’s most recent financial disclosure, including 11 based in low-tax foreign countries such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.

The Romney campaign described the discrepancies as trivial. Some of the undisclosed foreign funds are part of larger investment portfolios that were reported on the financial disclosure form but required individual reports in the Romney tax returns because they were overseas companies, a Romney associate said. In other cases, the assets did not meet the minimum threshold of value required to be reported on financial disclosure forms.

Still, the campaign undertook an internal review to make sure Romney’s assets were reported correctly and said it would file any necessary amendments.

The letter sent Friday to the Federal Election Commission by a law firm representing the campaign noted that the two funds left off the report together generated less than $5,000 in income.

The account in the Swiss bank UBS, which held $3 million until it was closed in 2010, earned about $1,700 in interest. Another fund--the Intercontinental Real Estate Investment Fund I LLC --earned between $1,001 and $2,500, the amendment said.

A note attached to the amendment said that some other investments that Romney reported on his tax returns in 2010 and 2011 were not included in his financial disclosure because their value did not meet the reporting threshold.

Romney also filed an amendment to his 2007 financial disclosure noting that the UBS bank account had erroneously been reported as an asset held by the couple, when it was held by a blind trust in his wife’s name.

 “The inescapable fact is that by releasing so much information regarding his finances, Mitt Romney is clearly coming down on the side of disclosure,” spokeswomen Andrea Saul said. “There are more than 1,500 entries between the 2007 and 2011 financial disclosures, and any documents with this level of complexity and detail are bound to have a few trivial inadvertent issues. We have filed technical amendments to address these issues, but it does not at all change or alter the overall picture of Governor and Mrs. Romney’s finances as disclosed in the original filings.   

 “The Office of Government Ethics has advised us that most of the additional information we are providing isn’t even required.  They have also confirmed that nearly all of the differences between the Romneys’ tax returns and these financial disclosures were due to differences in the reporting requirements.  However, we chose to volunteer additional information in the interest of disclosure.”

matea.gold@latimes.com

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