By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who on Friday requested an extension to file his 2011 tax forms, estimated his tax liability at $3.2 million for last year, according to the forms.
In filing for the extension, the likely Republican presidential nominee said he had made total tax payments of $3,434,441 for 2011 but estimated his tax liability for the year at $3,226,623.
The forms gave no information about his total income for 2011, but estimates he released in January indicated he expected his family's income for last year to be about $20.9 million.
That would put the tax rate for Romney - a former private equity executive with an estimated net worth of up to $250 million - at about 15.3 percent, a rate far below the top U.S. tax rate on wages of 35 percent.
Nearly all of the income for Romney and his wife, Ann, was from capital gains on investments, which are taxed at lower rates that tax rates on regular wages.
Romney also released a 2012 estimated tax form that indicated he was making a quarterly payment of $887,000 on his projected 2012 taxes.
The release of Romney's tax payment forms came the same day that President Barack Obama released tax forms indicating that he and his wife, Michelle, paid an effective tax rate last year of 20.5 percent on income of $789,674.
The Obamas paid $162,074 in federal tax, the White House said. They earned about half of their income from his presidential salary of $395,000, while the rest came from book sales. They reported $11,000 in interest income.
Romney released the forms amid pressure from Democrats, who are pushing an Obama plan that would require the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates.
Lower tax rates on investment income were designed to encourage investing. But as the relatively low rate paid by Romney became widely known during his run for the presidency and the country battles persistent federal deficits, they have been criticized as unfair to middle- and lower-income people.
The information released on Friday is in line with data that the Romney campaign put out in January, which showed that Romney earns most of his income from investment profits, dividends and interest.
His tax return from 2010 and an estimate for 2011 indicated that over the two years he expected to pay a total of $6.2 million in taxes on income of $42.5 million.
(Editing by David Lindsey and Philip Barbara)