Do you have to pay taxes for Rover?

That seems like a pretty big deal.

Cheryl E. Schreiber, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service, said there had been no official determination of an excise tax, but that the IRS was working with Rover on the issue.


“Although tax matters are handled separately, if a taxpayer has a claim for the tax on income, we consider that claim an application,” she said.

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That is how the company handled its 2010 acquisition of Rover in which it paid a $4.2 billion dollar cash and equity acquisition. Mr. Romney paid a mere $1.5 billion, a fraction of Mr. Schreiber’s claim.

Mr. Schreiber, a former federal prosecutor, was the first of the Romney sons to speak on the matter and now holds a seat on both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

“It’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of,” he said. “I’m not sure where the idea came from that we should be exempt from paying income to Uncle Sam. It should be no different with regard to other tax exemptions, because those, as well, are treated in the same way.”

What is the tax on vehicles? I’m not sure who’s doing the calculating. But here’s one idea, from the Federalist Papers: one might call the income from automobiles taxed as a business-income tax — like many other kinds of business income — a capital-income tax (or capital-income dividend tax) with a $5,000 cap. That cap is supposed to prevent the federal treasury, through interest on debt, from subsidizing corporations. And in addition to being a form of corporate welfare, I’m not sure the idea makes any sense, given the state and local tax deductions available for businesses.

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There’s not much to the notion that taxpayers should have to pay federal income tax on their profits if they decide