And Chicago tax lawyer Robert E. McKenzie, who has defended rich folks claiming losses on everything from deer farms to race horses to yachts, says the Romneys -–despite the fact that Ann Romney’s statements on what dressage has done for her personally suggests lack of profit motive– likely did all the paperwork right and can assert they thought they’d make a profit, even if they never do. “The way I would argue it is `this horse competed in the Olympics and we’ll breed it and make money off the foal’,’’ says McKenzie. “When you’re that rich you can afford to have talented tax advisers.”
However, some tax law experts said it is possible to reach some rough financial estimations. Robert McKenzie, a partner at Arnstein & Lehr in Chicago, estimated that the low range of income Romney reported for 2010 indicates a likely breakdown of $4.8 million taxed at the 15% rate and just over $5 million taxed at the normal, higher rate.