Inside Politics: Did Romney earn tax credits for overseas profits?

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Do you remember what’s on page 169 of your income tax return? Neither does Mitt Romney.

At a town hall-style meeting Monday in Euclid, Ohio, the GOP presidential candidate got this pointed question about his investments: In this age of tough foreign competition, could Romney explain the “over $1.5 million in foreign tax credits” he received since 2000?

“I’m not familiar with that,” Mr. Romney told the man who asked. The crowd booed. “I didn’t think I paid any foreign income taxes, but I’ll be happy to take a look at it.”

In fact, Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, paid more than $1.2 million in foreign taxes on so-called “passive investments” from 2000 through 2010, and paid about $800,000 in taxes on general income to unspecified countries. That’s according to the couple’s tax returns.

Their foreign tax bills entitled them to more than $1.5 million in tax credits in the United States since 2000, thanks to Internal Revenue Service rules that prevent businesses and investors from being doubly taxed on money they earn abroad.

Mr. Romney’s GOP primary opponents and President Obama have sought to make Mr. Romney’s overseas earnings an issue in the campaign. Just last week, Mr. Obama ran a TV ad slamming the former Massachusetts governor for having Swiss bank accounts.

Mr. Romney’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ARKANSAS

Green Party picks ex-Globetrotter for seat

LITTLE ROCK — The Green Party of Arkansas says it has nominated former Harlem Globetrotter Fred Smith for a state House seat after he was ruled ineligible to run for the Democrats.

The Green Party chose Mr. Smith as its candidate for House District 50 at its nominating convention Sunday.

Mr. Smith was elected to the House on a Democratic ticket but resigned last year because of a felony theft conviction. He filed in March to run as a Democrat again, but the party filed suit to keep him off the ballot.

A Chicot County judge dismissed Mr. Smith’s theft conviction, but a judge in Pulaski County ruled he couldn’t run as a Democrat because that conviction wasn’t cleared when he filed.

Mr. Smith will face Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum in November. No Republicans are running.

CALIFORNIA

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