ABC News reports Romney has millions parked offshore

Mitt Romney has millions of dollars invested in funds set up in the Cayman Islands, according to an ABC News report.

ABC said it had reviewed “official documents” that show the presidential hopeful has up to $8 million in at least 12 funds registered in the Cayman Islands, as well as another investment worth between $5 million and $25 million.

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The records also show that Bain Capital, the private-equity firm at which Romney was once an executive, has “set up some 138 secretive offshore funds in the Caymans,” according to ABC.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul sent out a statement reiterating that the offshore funds are taxed the same as if they were established in the United States, and saying that the accounts are not “tax havens.”

While the ABC report cites an anonymous spokesman for the Romney campaign, who said the candidate follows all domestic and foreign tax laws, the former Massachusetts governor was already fighting the perception that his interests are more aligned with wealthy individuals and powerful corporations than with middle-class Americans.

Romney has been under fire from his GOP rivals for not releasing his tax returns, accompanying speculation that he likely pays a lower rate than most working Americans.

On Tuesday, Romney confirmed this, saying he “probably” pays a tax rate of about 15 percent because most of his income comes from investment interest.

At Monday’s debate in South Carolina, rival Rick Perry directly challenged Romney to release his taxes, and Newt Gingrich has said they should be released before the South Carolina primary so voters there have the full story on all of the candidates.

Gingrich, who told reporters on Wednesday that his income was taxed at 31 percent, said he will be releasing his taxes Thursday.

—This story was updated at 6:28 p.m.