Thursday, March 29, 2012
Critical tax scholars ask why the tax laws are the way they are and what impact tax laws have on historically disempowered groups, such as people of color; women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; low-income and poor individuals; the disabled; and nontraditional families. Critical tax scholarship shares the following goals:
- To uncover bias in the tax laws
- To explore and expose how the tax laws both reflect and construct social meaning
- To educate nontax scholars and lawyers about the interconnectedness of taxation, social justice, and progressive political movements
Critical tax scholars employ a variety of methods to achieve these goals such as bringing “outsider” perspectives to the study of tax law; using historical material, contemporary case studies, and personal or fictional narratives to illustrate the practical impact of the tax laws on individuals and groups; interpreting social science and economic data to show how the tax laws impact groups differently; and exploring the interconnectedness of tax laws with economic forces such as the labor market and international financial and political development. (With permission from Critical Tax Theory: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2009), by Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh) & Bridget Crawford (Pace).)
On Thursday, March 29 at 5 p.m., Anthony Infanti and Bridget Crawford will be presenting Taxing Civil Rights Gains, cosponsored by Lambda Law Alliance, Tax Law Society and Dean’s Diversity Council. This panel will first address why tax should be at the forefront of progressives' agenda. Tax law touches all of our lives, cutting across lines of class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical ability. But the ways that tax law touches our lives can differ radically based on these characteristics. As a particular example, the panelists will explore the ways in which the federal tax laws impact same-sex couples and both overtly and covertly serve as a tool of discrimination and oppression.