Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Erik M. Jensen (Case Western), The Constitutionality of a Mark-to-Market Taxing System, 143 Tax Notes 1299 (June 16, 2014):
This article comments on Is a Broadly Based Mark-to-Market Tax Unconstitutional, 143 Tax Notes 952 (May 26, 2014), by Gene Magidenko. Magidenko gets all the big points right in questioning the constitutionality of a mark-to-market system of taxation, but this article suggests he did not emphasize one point enough: the Supreme Court’s 1920 decision in Eisner v. Macomber, which concluded that realization is a requirement for a tax to be on income within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment, continues to reflect the Court’s understanding. Although the Court cut back on Macomber’s scope over the years, it has not repudiated the case. And in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, decided in 2012, Chief Justice Roberts, in an opinion joined in relevant part by four other justices, cited Macomber favorably on an issue of constitutional law.