Saturday, October 26, 2013
Bobby Dexter (Chapman) presents Tax Transparency at Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris today:
Both codified and non-codified tax provisions of highly limited applicability achieve enactment for any number of different reasons. Focusing on legislation incorporating contours not addressed by existing literature, this Article discusses the transparency issues presented by both non-codified tax law and technically opaque codified law and argues that non-codification, in particular, presents a host of problems. Wholly aside from minimizing transparency generally and stifling the necessary provision of notice to all deserving taxpayers, routine acceptance of the practice of placing some tax laws outside the Internal Revenue Code substantially enhances the likelihood that non-codified provisions can evade detection/suspicion and thus routinely serve as an avenue for the unduly favorable treatment of specific taxpayers. Moreover, non-codification of a provision which rightfully restricts its benefits to a limited number of taxpayers risks the augmentation of apparent impropriety, thwarts the pursuit of horizontal equity, and challenges the research efforts of tax professionals. Prolixity objections notwithstanding, a codification mandate in the tax arena would enhance transparency, promise the minimization of inequity, facilitate notice to all deserving taxpayers, and serve as a gravitational, centralizing force with respect to regulatory guidance and doctrinal development.