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Paul Ryan, Wife Paid 15.9 Percent In Taxes In 2010; 20 Percent In 2011

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and wife, Janna, have released the tax returns for the past two years.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the returns show that in 2010, Ryan and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 15.9 percent and one of 20 percent in 2011.

The Journal reports that a little more than half of the couple's income for that period came from Ryan's Congressional salary. The paper adds:

"A little more than half of the Ryans' total income in that two-year period came from the congressman's congressional salary.

"But the couple also earned significant outside income from dividends, capital gains, real estate and other sources. ...

"A Ryan aide told the Journal Sentinel last week that much of Ryan's investment income is from holdings that belonged to his wife.

"'As these are properties Rep. Ryan "married into," for lack of a better term,' Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said last week, 'he does not play an active role in them and has no plans to.'"

The Romney campaign has posted the returns on its website: 2010 are here; 2011 are here.

The Ryans had a total adjusted gross income of $323,416 in 2011, up from $215,417.

Tax returns have become a big issue in this presidential campaign, because Romney has refused to release more than the legally-required two years.

Democrats have called for up to 10 years and have pointed out that Romney's father released 12. Romney has said that he will not release any more because Democrats will distort the contents and use it as ammunition in the campaign.

He called the focus on tax returns "small minded." Still, pressed by reporters, yesterday, Romney said he had paid at least 13 percent every year.

Update at 6:16 p.m. ET. 2011 Returns Were Amended:

The 2011 returns add detail to a USA Today story that ran on Wednesday. In it, USA Today reported that during the vice presidential vetting process, Ryan amended financial disclosure statements.

The 2011 returns show that Ryan reported an additional $61,122 in income that came from "the Prudence Little living trust," which was "inadvertently omitted on the originally filed return."

USA Today reports that trust was an "inheritance of Ryan's wife, former Washington lobbyist Janna Little Ryan."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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