TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Debt Collectors Urge Taxpayers To Raid 401(k)s, Use Credit Cards To Pay Delinquent Taxes

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book, Outside Collectors for I.R.S. Are Accused of Illegal Practices:

Raid your 401(k). Ask your boss for a loan, load up on your credit cards, or put up your house as collateral by taking out a second mortgage.

Those are some of the financially risky strategies that Pioneer Credit Recovery suggested to people struggling to pay overdue federal tax debt. The company is one of four debt collection agencies hired by the Internal Revenue Service to chase down late payments on 140,000 accounts with balances of up to $50,000.

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June 24, 2017 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nice Twitter Milestone


June 24, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, David Gamage (Indiana) reviews a new article by Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Taxing Capital Appreciation, Tax Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2016.

Gamage (2017)Income and wealth inequality have been rising as issues of national concern.  One would think that these concerns should motivate tax reform proposals designed to address income and wealth inequality.  However, many leading tax law experts believe that the current structure of the U.S. income tax cannot support much higher tax rates at the high end.  As Avi-Yonah and Zelik have persuasively explained, the reason is that we are “trapped” by our realization and capital gains rules.

The realization rule—that gains are not taxed until realized by sale or similar transaction—has long been understood as the “Achilles heel” of the income tax.  The higher the tax rate on capital gains, the more that wealthy taxpayers are incentivized to delay realization of gains, and accelerate realization of losses, while borrowing to the extent that money is needed to fund consumption. Because of these sorts of realization games, economists estimate that the revenue maximizing tax rate on capital gains is probably in the range of between 28% and 32%.  Hiking the capital gains tax rate above this range would thus be expected to decrease revenues.

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June 23, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panel

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panel at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Tax Administration and Tax Compliance (David Elkins (Netanya), Chair/Discussant)

  • Richard Beck (New York Law School), Foreign Information Reporting Initiatives
  • Andy Grewal (Iowa), Some Reservations About Treasury's Reserved Powers
  • Ausher Kofsky (Western New England), Congress Should Empower the U.S. Tax Court with Concurrent Jurisdiction Over the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty of 26 U.S.C. § 6672
  • Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane), The Law of the Leak

June 23, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Death Knell For Charlotte Law School?

Retired U.S. Tax Court Judge Sentenced To 34 Months In Jail For Tax Fraud Committed While She Sat On The Court

TCKFollowing up on my previous posts (links below): Minnesota Lawyer, Former Tax Judge Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud:

Former Minnesota Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa is headed to prison for — wait for it — tax fraud. So is her husband, who received a shorter sentence.

Kroupa, 61, was sentenced to 34 months and Robert Fackler, 63 was sentenced to 24 months. They must pay $457,104 in joint restitution.

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June 23, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top Students Increasingly Are Not Interested In Law School

Following up on my previous posts:

Indiana Lawyer, Top Students Still Not Interested in a JD:

A few months before law schools around the country begin a new academic year, the number of people applying for admission has slipped, with the greatest decline coming from applicants posting the highest LSAT scores.

The number of applications to law schools has reached 344,358 as of June 9, according to the Law School Admissions Council. That represents a 1.4 percent increase over the applications submitted in 2016 but the number of applicants for the 2017-2018 school year is 53,101, a 0.5 percent decline from last year.

Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law and author of the Tax Prof Blog, crunched the data and found the top performers are turning away from legal education. ...


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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Elaine Wilson Wins Faculty Scholarship Award

WilsonWest Virginia Record, Wilson Wins WVU Law's 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award:

West Virginia University College of Law has selected its 2017 Facility Significant Scholarship Award recipient, an in-house honor that recognizes work addressing significant public issues.  

Elaine Wilson, a WVU tax professor and president of the West Virginia Tax Institute, won for her article titled Cooperatives: The First Social Enterprise. It examines the issues of “charitable values and economic benefit within the corporative business model,” the WVU announcement said. She joined the university's faulty in 2012. Her work will be published in DePaul Law Review in the coming months.

“I was surprised, especially because of the talent (here) – there’s a lot of really great scholars who are doing really interesting work and competition is stiff," Wilson told The West Virginia Record.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morse Reviews Johnson's Seminole Rock in Tax Cases

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Susan Morse (Texas), The Tax Court: “Insubordinate” or “Prescient” on Auer/Seminole Rock Deference? (JOTWELL) (reviewing Steve Johnson (Florida State), Seminole Rock in Tax Cases, Yale J. Reg. Notice & Comment (2016)):

Auer/Seminole Rock or “ASR” deference is a hot topic right now in administrative law. ASR gives agencies deference when agencies interpret their own regulations, such as in litigation briefs or in guidance. If you want to know how ASR deference works in the tax context, and in particular in the Tax Court, read Steve Johnson’s work. This includes his 2013 article and his entry in the Yale Journal of Regulation’s recent online symposium on ASR deference. ...

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June 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Economic Justice and Taxation of Wealth (Lisa Philipps (Osgoode Hall), Chair/Discussant)

  • Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky), Comparative Wealth Transfer Taxation
  • Neil Buchanan (George Washington), Economic Justice and Taxation
  • Montano Cabezas (Georgetown), Migration and Taxation in the Public Imagination
  • Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Progressive Taxation of Income and Wealth

International Aspects of Taxation (Heather Field (UC-Hastings, Chair/Discussant)

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June 22, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below): News & Observer,  The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte School of Law to Prove It’s Financially Stable:

The Charlotte School of Law has until early August to prove its financial stability or face revocation of its license to operate in North Carolina.

A committee of the UNC Board of Governors, acting on behalf of the full board, voted Wednesday to severely restrict the school’s activities as it seeks to survive long enough to graduate its remaining 100 students.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shanske:  Interpreting State Fiscal Constitutions

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Interpreting State Fiscal Constitutions: A Modest Proposal, 69 Rutgers L. Rev. ___ (2017):

The fiscal constitutions of many states limit the ability of governments to raise taxes. These same constitutions typically do not impose similar limits on the ability of governments to impose a fee, say a building permit fee. But what if a locality chose to levy a gigantic building permit fee and used the proceeds to fund general services? Such a fee would – and should – be considered a “hidden tax” and thus subject to the same limitations as ordinary taxes.

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June 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Critical Tax Theory (Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky), Chair/Discussant)

  • Leo Martinez (UC-Hastings), U.S. Taxation and Latinos
  • Kerry Ryan (Saint Louis), Hitting Pause on Expanding the Childless Worker EITC
  • Camille Walsh (University of Washington), Taxpayers, Schools, and Race in the Early 20th Century: Separate and Double Taxation

Law & Society Tax Scholarship, Illustrative Examples (Neil Buchanan (George Washington), Chair/Discussant)

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June 21, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wonder Woman And Female Law Professors

Wonder WomanLawProfBlawg, Wonder Woman And Academia:

I enjoyed [the movie] because the first thought in my mind when she entered a room full of men was, “Oh, it’s like she’s joining a law school faculty.” Of course, she wasn’t. But the way that portion of the movie went reminds me of so many job talks.

She turns out to be an expert at languages, a point rejected by the men. The men actually don’t initially believe her, and there seems to be a point where they are flabbergasted that they do not know more than her. That’s like many of the job talks I’ve seen or head described to me, usually ending with the candidate’s demise because “she couldn’t possibly know more than me,” right?

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Marian Reviews Blank's The Timing Of Tax Transparency

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Omri Marian (UC-Irvine), Is Tax Transparency A Panacea For Popular Discontent With the Tax Ssytem? (JOTWELL) (reviewing  Joshua D. Blank (NYU), The Timing of Tax Transparency, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 449 (2017)):

Tax transparency is all the rage these days. The brouhaha around the disclosure (or, in one instance, the non-disclosure) of presidential candidates’ tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign brought the matter of tax transparency to the front and center of public discourse in the United States. Around the world, recent revelations that multinational corporations dramatically reduced their tax bills by securing secretive rulings from tax authorities, and that billionaires are able to use intricate offshore shell structures to evade taxation, are causing major popular uproar and a demand for increased transparency on tax matters. The demand is heard by intergovernmental as well as national bodies. For example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently adopted country-by-country reporting standards, which would require multinational corporations to disclose to tax authorities their activities and tax payments in each country in which they operate. Remarkably, some countries have announced they are considering making the reports public. Another example is Luxembourg, which—responding to international criticism—recently announced it will start publishing redacted versions of advance tax agreements with taxpayers. This represents a dramatic shift in Luxembourg’s usual secretive tax stance.

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June 21, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trial Date Set For Alleged Hit Man In Dan Markel's Murder

Garcia 2A trial date has been set for Sigfredo Garcia, one of the two alleged hit men in the 2014 murder of Florida State law professor Daniel Markel.  The other hit man, Luis Rivera, plead guilty, and is serving a 19-year second-degree murder. The other alleged accomplice, Katherine Magbanua, plead not guilty, and is awaiting trial. Garcia will be brought to court on January 22.

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Journal of Tax Administration Publishes New Issue

JATAThe Journal of Tax Administration has published a new issue (Vol. 3, No. 1 (2017)):

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June 21, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

House And Senate Agree To Cut North Carolina Law School's Budget 'Only' 4% ($500k), Not 30% ($4m) Sought By Senate

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my prior posts (links below):  News & Observer, UNC Law School’s Budget Is Cut – but It Could Have Been Worse:

The negotiated state budget deal leaves UNC’s law school with a cut of $500,000 – smaller than an earlier $4 million proposed reduction.

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hatfield:  Cybersecurity And Tax Reform

Michael Hatfield (University of Washington), Cybersecurity and Tax Reform, 93 Ind. L.J. ___ (2017):

The IRS collects information on more Americans and handles more money than any other agency. The cybersecurity risks are high. This Article takes seriously both the challenges and the agency's limitations in solving those problems through technological advances. This Article describes the cybersecurity problem as a legal problem for Congress to address rather than merely a digital problem for IRS technicians. By legislation, Congress defines what information is tax relevant, and then the IRS digitally collects, stores, and process the information. Over the years, without any regard for information security, Congress has designed a tax system that requires the IRS to collect more information than it can now protect. But there is ample flexibility for Congress to reform tax law to decrease the information held by the IRS and increase the likelihood the IRS can defend it. This Article explores specific ways in which the tax laws and its administration could be changed to simplify the information needs of the IRS, making its information system both a less appealing and a more defensible cyberattack target. In short, if the tax law were simpler in specific ways, the information technology needs at the IRS would be simpler, and adequate cybersecurity for it would be easier.

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June 20, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

BYU Law School Launches New Legal Design Lab

LawXPress Release, Introducing LawX, BYU Law's New Legal Design Lab:

BYU Law School is pleased to announce the launch of LawX, a legal design lab that will create products and other solutions to address the pressing issues relating to access to legal services. 

“LawX will tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our legal system today,” said Gordon Smith, Dean of BYU Law School. “Some gaps in legal services may not be attractive targets for innovation by small, private startups or larger profit-oriented businesses, but closing these gaps would make a tremendous difference to many people who feel priced out of the market for legal services. A legal design lab embedded within a law school is an ideal platform for addressing these issues. LawX will use design thinking to address these problems, and when appropriate, to create products to solve them.”

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June 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Reviews Hayashi's The Tax Effects Of Refund Anticipation Loans

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina), Are Tax-Time Financial Products Good for the Poor? (JOTWELL) (reviewing  Andrew Hayashi (Virginia), The Effects of Refund Anticipation Loans On the Use of Paid Preparers and EITC Take-up (2016)):

The conventional wisdom about refund anticipation loans, at least among many academics, is that they are predatory lending products that benefit big businesses at the expense of the poor. Andrew Hayashi turns this notion on its head in his insightful paper, The Effects of Refund Anticipation Loans on the Use of Paid Preparers and EITC Take-up. 

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June 20, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three More Female Law Profs Sue University Of Denver Over Pay Gap

DenverFollowing up on my earlier posts (links below):, Three More Female Law Profs Sue U of Denver Over Pay Gap:

Three women law professors at the University of Denver have joined a pay discrimination lawsuit filed last year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a colleague, alleging that the law school pays women faculty substantially less than men in the same jobs.

Nancy Ehrenreich, Kris McDaniel-Miccio and Catherine Smith on June 16 intervened in the EEOC suit centered on the case of longtime professor Lucy Marsh. That suit has garnered significant attention within the legal academy.

The four women professors claim that the law school pays men significantly more, and that their attempts to gain pay parity went nowhere with former law dean Martin Katz. The school has denied in court papers that any such pay disparity exists, and said pay is based on performance.

“Despite their laudable performance in [teaching, scholarship and public service], plaintiff-intervenors were and continue to be paid less than the mean annual salary for male full law professors,” reads the complaint from the three new plaintiffs, filed June 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. ...

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June 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Pareja:  The Problem With Using Advanceable, Income-Based Tax Credits To Subsidize Health Insurance

Affordable Care ActMary Leto Pareja (New Mexico), Inviting Everyone to the ACA (Risk) Pool Party: The Problem with Using Advanceable, Income-Based Tax Credits to Subsidize Health Insurance, 20 Fla. Tax Rev. 551 (2017):

The year 2014 marked the first opportunity for American taxpayers to receive subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) new Premium Tax Credit (“PTC”). About 4.8 million people enrolled in an ACA plan in 2014 were eligible, and nearly 97% of these claimants were approved for advance payments of the PTC.

The year 2015 marked the first tax return where taxpayers received the unpleasant surprise that they must repay excess credits due to reconciliation. Advance PTC estimates turned out to be highly inaccurate, with only 8% of claimants receiving accurate advance payments. A majority, 51%, had to repay some or all of the advance payments.

These figures reveal systemic problems in the PTC’s design. While the PTC’s function is to entice the uninsured to purchase insurance (and dive into insurance risk pools), reconciliation lurks as a financial danger for those who make the plunge. A shark is swimming in the pool.

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June 20, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nominations Sought: Best Law Mentors, Best New Lawyers

HUPFollowing up on his book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013), Michael Hunter Schwartz (Dean, McGeorge) is seeking nominations for his two forthcoming books:

What the Best Law Mentors Do (Harvard University Press Forthcoming 2019):

We are looking for the best law mentors in America. Our goal is to find the mentors who transform junior lawyers’ careers and even lives, study those mentors in depth, understand why they are so effective, and, in so doing, synthesize a set of behaviors, attitudes, and habits of mind for the benefit of all the rest of us who aspire to be transformative mentors. We hope to produce a work that is a manual for mentors, a source of inspiration, and a tool that new and newer lawyers might use to find good mentors.

Our methodology will be qualitative: we will solicit nominations, gather evidence of nominees' excellence, pare the list to the most extraordinary legal mentors, and then study the mentors where they work, interviewing both the mentors and focus groups of current and former mentees. We also hope to observe mentoring interactions. The interviews and our notes will generate thousands of pages of data. We will sift that data, identify what the best mentors have in common and areas of important difference, and organize the book by the common themes. We plan to finish our research over the next three years and complete What the Best Law Mentors Do by January 2019.

What The Best New Lawyers Do (Harvard University Press Forthcoming 2019):

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June 20, 2017 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Herzfeld:  The Case Against BEPS

BEPS (2017)Mindy Herzfeld (Florida), The Case Against BEPS : Lessons for Coordination:

In 2013 the OECD, at the behest of the G20, embarked upon an ambitious project of coordinating and harmonizing countries’ international tax rules under the guise of curtailing multinational companies’ cross-border tax planning, generally referred to as base erosion and profit shifting, or BEPS. The project was finalized with great fanfare in October 2015. But the proclamations of success masked real underlying differences between participant countries. I argue that the project suffered from a number of flaws that that largely precluded effective coordination, as a result of which the project’s recommendations largely gloss over key differences in participants’ goals and commitments while doing nothing to solve the systemic problems it was seeking to address. For example, while a key stated goal of the project was to align the taxation of profits with value creation, there was no attempt made to define the location of value creation, nor to address the fact that this principle is fundamentally at odds with the arm’s length principle that serves as the backbone of transfer pricing rules.

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June 19, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hayashi Reviews Batchelder's Accounting For Behavioral Considerations In Business Tax Reform

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Andrew Hayashi (Virginia), Do Taxes Motivate Corporate Managers? (JOTWELL) (reviewing Lily Batchelder (NYU), Accounting for Behavioral Considerations in Business Tax Reform: The Case of Expensing (2017)):

Tax scholarship is interdisciplinary. To evaluate tax policy it helps to know at least a little about economics, a little about philosophy, something about budget processes, and a lot about the dizzying creativity of the marketplace in exploiting loopholes and facilitating tax-advantaged transactions. In her recent article Accounting for Behavioral Considerations in Business Tax Reform: The Case of Expensing, Lily Batchelder shows us that we must add financial accounting and firm (and corporate managers’) behavioral considerations to the mix.

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June 19, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Need For Better Eligibility Regulations In The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Federal Student AidGregory Crespi (SMU), The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The Need for Better Eligibility Regulations:

People will start seeking tax-exempt debt forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) program in October of 2017 after satisfying the requirements of 10 years of post-October 1, 2007 employment in a “public service job.” I estimate that eventually 200,000 people a year or more will obtain debt forgiveness under this program, at a total cost to the Treasury of $12 billion/year or more. Estimates are that up to one-quarter of all employment will qualify as a public service job.

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June 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Independent Accountant Confirms Financial Viability Of Florida's Graduate Tax Program

Florida Logo (GIF)Following up on my previous posts on Florida Law Prof Robert Rhee's remarkable critique of its graduate tax program (my perspective is here) and Dean Laura Rosenbury's ambitious plan to become a Top 35 law school (links below):  an independent accountant has issued an in-depth report on the finances of Florida's graduate tax program.  The report takes a detailed look at revenues and expenses, including the 10% overhead charge paid to the university and the method of allocating faculty compensation to the program.  As Dean Rosenbury notes in an email to the Florida tax community, the report "puts to rest concerns about the program's financial viability so long as we maintain or increase student enrollment."

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June 19, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

86% Of The Civil Legal Needs Of Low-Income Americans Are Unmet

LSCLegal Services Corp., The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans:

The phrase “with liberty and justice for all” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance represents the idea that everyone should have access to justice, not just those who can afford legal representation.In criminal cases, legal assistance is a right. Americans accused of a crime are appointed legal counsel if they cannot afford it. As a general matter, however, there is no right to counsel in civil matters. As a result, many low-income Americans “go it alone” without legal representation in disputes where they risk losing their job, their livelihood, their home, or their children, or seek a restraining order against an abuser.

This “justice gap” – the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs – has stretched into a gulf. State courts across the country are overwhelmed with unrepresented litigants. In 2015, for example, an estimated 1.8 million people appeared in the New York State courts without a lawyer. And we know that 98% of tenants in eviction cases and 95% of parents in child support cases were unrepresented in these courts in 2013. Comparable numbers can be found in courts across the United States. 

This study explores the extent of the justice gap in 2017, describing the volume of civil legal needs faced by low-income Americans, assessing the extent to which they seek and receive help, and measuring the size of the gap between their civil legal needs and the resources available to address these needs.

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June 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 18, 2017

As More States Kill Their Estate Taxes, Will The Push To Repeal The Federal Estate Tax Become Irresistible?

Wall Street Journal Tax Report, Why More States Are Killing Estate Taxes:

WSJ 2Want proof taxes can actually go down? In the past three years, nine states have eliminated or lowered their estate taxes, mostly by raising exemptions.

And more reductions are coming. Minnesota lawmakers recently raised the state’s estate-tax exemption to $2.1 million retroactive to January, and the exemption will rise to $2.4 million next year. Maryland will raise its $3 million exemption to $4 million next year. New Jersey’s exemption, which used to rank last at $675,000 a person, rose to $2 million a person this year. Next year, New Jersey is scheduled to eliminate its estate tax altogether, joining about a half-dozen others that have ended their estate taxes over the past decade.

This tax-cutting trend has been fueled by competition between the states for affluent and wealthy taxpayers. Such residents owe income taxes every year, but some are willing to move out of state to avoid death duties that come only once. Since the federal estate-and-gift tax exemption jumped to $5 million in 2011, adjusted for inflation, state death duties have stood out. ...

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June 18, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Charleston President Touts Rebirth Of Law School With 150% Enrollment Boost, Removal From DOE's 'Naughty List'; He Urges Graduates To Work As Policemen And Firemen

Charleston Logo (2017)Following up on my previous post, Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail 'Gainful Employment' Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone:  Post and Courier, Charleston School of Law Off U.S. Education Department's 'Naughty' List:

Several years after the Charleston School of Law became engulfed in chaos over a pending sale to a private company, its president says the institution has rebounded in enrollment and finances.

"The school is turning around quicker than anyone could imagine," President Ed Bell said Friday. "We literally thought it would take four to five years, but we've done it in less than two."

Bell noted that in October 2015, the school had only 82 members in its freshman class. Last year, that had climbed to 202, and he said he expects between 200 and 225 this fall. ...

Meanwhile, the law school's Financial Ratio Responsibility score — a federal benchmark of a school's financial health — rose from a failing minus 0.6 in 2014 and 2015, to 2.6 last year, he said. A school must score a 1.5 or higher to avoid getting on the department's so-called "naughty list." The Department of Education has not published its 2015-16 list.

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June 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThere is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #3:

  1. [223 Downloads]  Can New York Publish President Trump's State Tax Returns?, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago)
  2. [166 Downloads]  A Taxonomy for Tax Loopholes, by Heather Field (UC-Hastings)
  3. [163 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  4. [137 Downloads]  Shareholder Wealth Effects of Border Adjustment Taxation, by Fabio B. Gaertner (Wisconsin), Jeffrey L. Hoopes (North Carolina) & Edward L. Maydew (North Carolina)
  5. [133 Downloads]  Why Don't White Supremacists Pay Taxes?, by Eric Franklin Amarante (UNLV)

June 18, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

12th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Concludes Today At Toronto

TorontoPanel #5:  Inequality

Daniel Hemel (Chicago), Gambling for Good
Commentators: Rebecca Morrow (Wake Forest), Erin Scharff (Arizona State)

Zach Liscow (Yale), How to Structure Transfers to Low-Income Americans
Commentators:  Andrew Hayashi (Virginia), Emily Satterthwaite (Toronto)

Goldburn Maynard (Lousiville), The Cold of Tax Justice
Commentators:  Allen Madison (South Dakota), Gabriel Shobe (BYU)

Orly Mazur (SMU), Taxing the Robot
Commentators:  Tessa Davis (South Carolina), Ari Glogower (Ohio State)

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June 17, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Professors Can Avoid The 'Summer Slump'

Chronicle of Higher Education, More Than a ‘Summer Slump’: How the Loss of Structure Affects Academics:

For nine months a year at research universities, instructors and students build communities from a transient group of academics unified by one thing: classes. Professors invest time in students, committees, and teaching; students invest time in their assignments. Pushed to the side are research projects, dissertations, authorial goals, and, often, social lives.

That changes in the summer. The fixed schedule disappears, the community disperses, and the work that has been building up over the school year can loom dangerously close to deadline. Although professors sometimes teach summer courses, those classes are often less time-intensive, leaving weeks of unregulated time between sessions.

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June 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Ari Glogower (Ohio State) reviews a new work by Heather M. Field (UC-Hastings), A Taxonomy for Tax Loopholes, 55 Hous. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2018). 

Glogower (2016)Heather Field’s new work introduces a taxonomy of different types of “tax loopholes,” to guide policymakers and the public, and to promote analytic rigor in the public discourse over tax policy. 

Field first demonstrates that the term has no independent and consistent meaning, other than as a vague pejorative (except when used by some advisors and clients proud to “beat the system”). This nebulous terminology, Field argues, impedes meaningful tax policy analysis, and the prospects for tax reform.  In order to bridge the gap between loophole rhetoric and substantive tax policy analysis, Field subsequently introduces a taxonomy of loopholes, divided along two axes.  First, tax loopholes may be categorized by reference to their normative policy objections. 

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June 16, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

12th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Kicks Off Today At Toronto

TorontoPanel #1:  The Family Unit

Christine Allie (Widener), Negating the Cost of “I Do”: Ending the U.S. Tax Code’s Family Penalty Through Permissive Joint Filing
Commentators:  Kathleen Delaney-Thomas (North Carolina), Sloan Speck (Colorado), 

Tessa Davis (South Carolina), Freezing the Future: Fertility, Choice, and Taxing State of the Art Reproductive Technologies
Commentators:  Pippa Browde (Montana), Erin Scharff (Arizona State)

Khrista Johnson (Pepperdine), The Offshore Whistle During Divorce: An Examination of the Whistleblower Program and Innocent Spouse Relief
Commentators:  Gabriel Schobe (BYU), Genevieve Tokić (Northern Illinois)

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June 16, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bilionis:  Bringing Purposefulness To Professional Identity Formation

Louis D. Bilionis (Cincinnati), Bringing Purposefulness to the American Law School's Support of Professional Identity Formation,  13 U. St. Thomas L.J. ___ (2017):

Ten years after the publication of Educating Lawyers, a growing number of American law schools are taking initiative to better support their students in the formation of professional identity. There is widespread recognition that success in these efforts requires an element of “purposefulness” on the part of law faculty and staff. Experiences, environments, and pedagogies that actually work for professional identity formation must be crafted and promoted with intentionality. Bringing the requisite purposefulness to the effort, however, will take a mindset about the education of a lawyer that will be new to many in legal education.

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June 16, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Call For Papers: Penn State Workshop On Property Implications Of The Sharing Economy

Penn State Logo (2016)Call for Papers, Property Implications of the Sharing Economy Workshop:

This workshop at Penn State Law (University Park) will bring together an interdisciplinary and transnational group of scholars to explore the many property implications of the sharing economy. The workshop is being co-organized by Dean Hari Osofsky, Penn State Law and School of International Affairs; Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law; and Shelly Kreiczer-Levy, College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, Israel. It is co-sponsored by Penn State Law, the AALS Property Section, and the AALS Commercial and Related Consumer Law Section.

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June 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lawsky:  Formalizing The Tax Code

Sarah B. Lawsky (Northwestern), Formalizing the Code, 70 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2017):

The Internal Revenue Code is notoriously complex, both substantively and structurally. This article examines one source of structural complexity in the Internal Revenue Code: dependency among sections that stems from defined terms. In particular, the article examines what it terms the problem of “definitional scope”: when the structure of the Code leaves unclear to what a term refers. The article uses the problem of definitional scope as a case study to suggest that those who draft tax legislation should formalize proposed statutory language — translate it into logical terms — prior to its enactment.

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June 15, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Newspaper Editorializes Against GOP Senate's 30% Cut To UNC Law School Budget As 'Petty Revenge Politics' Against Gene Nichol

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  News & Observer editorial, Cutting the UNC Law School Budget Is a Clumsy Attempt to Quiet a Critic:

The state Senate proposes to cut 30 percent of the school’s state appropriation, or $4 million. ... The proposed cut isn’t aimed at Martin Brinkley, the respected and affable dean who took over in 2015 after a successful career in corporate law. Brinkley is a North Carolinian who moves well among Republicans and Democrats and he’s most interested in preparing law students for careers.

Rather, the proposal seems to squarely target Gene Nichol, another unquestionably brilliant faculty member. ... That’s not responsible budgeting. It’s petty revenge politics, and at its worst, it’s a dangerous attempt to muffle free speech in a place where it should thrive. If anything, his outspokenness spurs more intelligent debate from the right as well as the left. ...

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June 15, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Kleinbard:  Business Taxes Reinvented — The Dual Business Enterprise Income Tax

Edward Kleinbard (USC), Business Taxes Reinvented: The Dual Business Enterprise Income Tax:

This short overview and accompanying term sheet summarize the key features of a proposed comprehensive business tax environment termed the Dual Business Enterprise Income Tax (the Dual BEIT). The term sheet format is a useful mode of presentation for capturing in one accessible document the major policy recommendations of the Dual BEIT (or any other comprehensive tax reform proposal).

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June 15, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nick Mirkay Leaves Creighton For Hawaii

Bursting The Legal Scholarship Bubble: Some Retrograde Recommendations

BubbleFrank O. Bowman III (Missouri), Days of Future Past: A Plea for More Useful and More Local Legal Scholarship, in The Fate of Scholarship in American Law Schools (Cambridge University Press 2017):

Legal scholarship is at an inflection point because the legal education industry, to which legal scholarship is merely an internally overvalued appendage, is passing from a period of affluent abundance to a period of relative austerity. Scarcity stimulates self-examination.

This essay describes how the population explosion in American law schools during the 1990s and the simultaneous rise of the U.S. News rankings mania created a kind of tulip bubble in legal scholarship — a bubble that is rapidly, and properly, deflating. I make several concededly retrograde recommendations for dealing with a post-bubble world, including changing law school hiring practices to favor professors with more legal experience than has long been the fashion, assessing scholarship more by effect and less by placement, and devoting more of our scholarly attention to questions of state law and practice.

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June 15, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (37)