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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Columbia Journal of Tax Law's Tax Matters: Tax Strategy Patents

Columbia I am delighted to publish the second prompt for the Columbia Journal of Tax Law's new feature, Tax Matters -- designed to have multiple short pieces respond to a specific cutting-edge tax law issue.  Here is my prompt, along with the invited replies:

The enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act on September 16, 2011 addressed a decade-long controversy over the propriety of granting tax strategy patents, denying patents to “any strategy for reducing, avoiding, or deferring tax liability, whether known or unknown at the time of the invention or application for patent.” The Act’s stated purpose was to keep the ability to interpret the tax law in the public domain, available to all taxpayers and their advisors.

How will the new legislation affect tax practice and the development of tax-saving strategies? What (if anything) does the tax strategy debate tell us about the impact of horizontal equity on tax policy? Does it foretell a resurgence of horizontal equity concerns as the nation faces unprecedented budgetary pressures amidst increasing criticism of income and wealth inequality in America? Or does it represent merely reining in a USPTO that simply was not well equipped to adequately assess claims of novelty and non-obviousness in the tax context?

The first prompt was Marvin A. Chirelstein (Columbia), Codification of the Economic Substance Doctrine, 2 Colum. J. Tax L. Tax Matters (2011), with these invited responses:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/01/columbia-journal-of-tax-law.html

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