TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

De Simone Presents Repatriation Taxes And Foreign Cash Holdings: The Impact Of Anticipated Tax Reform Today At NYU

De Simone (2018)Lisa De Simone (Stanford) presents Repatriation Taxes and Foreign Cash Holdings: The Impact of Anticipated Tax Reform (with Joseph Piotroski (Stanford) & Rimmy Tomy (Chicago)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

We examine whether anticipation of a repatriation tax reduction affects the amount of cash U.S. multinational corporations (MNCs) hold overseas. We find that U.S. MNCs most likely to benefit from a repatriation tax reduction accumulated significant cash holdings once Congress proposed legislation, at the expense of reduced shareholder payouts, relative to firms unlikely to benefit. This behavior was accompanied by complementary activities designed to maximize expected tax benefits. We contribute to the literature on how firms respond to taxinduced incentives, provide a new explanation for U.S. MNC cash holding growth, and raise questions about the consequences of U.S. tax reform.

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March 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Goldin Presents Complexity And Take-Up Of The Earned Income Tax Credit Today At Georgetown

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Tax Benefit Complexity and Take-Up of the Earned Income Tax Credit at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

Tax benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) represent an important source of income to their recipients, but millions of those who are eligible to claim tax benefits fail to do so. One possible explanation is that the rules governing most tax benefits are extraordinarily complex. I consider efforts to increase tax benefit take-up in light of this complexity. A key fact in thinking about this issue is that the vast majority of tax filers today prepare their taxes with assisted preparation methods (APMs) like software or professional assistance. Because APMs eliminate most of the barriers to claiming tax benefits for which one is eligible, I ague that efforts to increase benefit take-up should focus on inducing benefit-eligible individuals to file a tax return using an APM. In contrast, efforts aimed at increasing awareness of a benefit (of the type widely employed by governments and nonprofits) are less likely to be successful, except to the extent they themselves induce an increase in tax filing.

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March 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mann Presents I Robot: U Tax? Today In Australia

Mann (2018)Roberta Mann presents I Robot: U Tax? today at Australian National University:

In a 2017 interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates recommended taxing robots to slow the pace of automation. Funds raised could be used to retrain and financially support displaced workers. Up to 47 per cent of US jobs are at risk by advancements in artificial intelligence. Low-wage workers currently hold a majority of those at-risk jobs. Increased automation is likely to exacerbate income inequality.

While employment changes due to automation are not new, advances in artificial intelligence threaten many more jobs much more quickly than historic automation did. When considering how to tax job replacing robots, we should think about the broader purpose of a tax system. Taxes raise revenue, but for whom?

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March 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was updated in March 2018.


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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2018), here is the full list of the 193 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.8 Yale 1
1 4.8 Stanford 2
1 4.8 Harvard 3
4 4.6 Chicago 4
4 4.6 Columbia 5
4 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.4 Penn 7
7 4.4 Michigan 8
7 4.4 UC-Berkeley 9
10 4.3 Virginia 9
10 4.3 Duke 11
12 4.2 Northwestern 11
12 4.2 Cornell 13
14 4.1 Georgetown 14
14 4.1 Texas 15
16 3.9 UCLA 16
16 3.9 Vanderbilt 17
18 3.6 Washington Univ. 18
18 3.6 Minnesota 20
20 3.5 USC 19
21 3.4 Boston University 22
21 3.4 Emory 22
21 3.4 Notre Dame 24
21 3.4 Wisconsin 27
21 3.4 UC-Davis 37
21 3.4 North Carolina 45
27 3.3 UC-Irvine 21
27 3.3 George Washington 24
27 3.3 Boston College 27
27 3.3 Iowa 27
27 3.3 Ohio State 32
27 3.3 Univ. of Washington 32
33 3.2 Washington & Lee 26
33 3.2 Alabama 27
33 3.2 Georgia 32
33 3.2 Indiana (Maurer) 32
33 3.2 Fordham 37
33 3.2 Illinois 37
33 3.2 William & Mary 37
33 3.2 Florida 41
41 3.1 Arizona State 27
41 3.1 Wake Forest 32
41 3.1 Arizona 41
41 3.1 Colorado 46
45 3.0 Florida State 47
45 3.0 Tulane 54
45 3.0 UC-Hastings 58
48 2.9 BYU 41
48 2.9 Maryland 49
48 2.9 Utah 54
51 2.8 George Mason 41
51 2.8 Connecticut 50
51 2.8 Miami 65
51 2.8 American 80
55 2.7 Temple 47
55 2.7 SMU 50
55 2.7 Cardozo 56
55 2.7 Denver 63
55 2.7 Case Western 65
55 2.7 Tennessee 65
55 2.7 Kansas 74
55 2.7 Pittsburgh 74
55 2.7 Oregon 85
64 2.6 Richmond 50
64 2.6 Houston 56
64 2.6 Georgia State 65
64 2.6 Kentucky 65
64 2.6 Loyola-L.A. 65
64 2.6 Missouri (Columbia) 65
64 2.6 San Diego 95
-- 2.6 Pepperdine --
71 2.5 Nevada 59
71 2.5 Oklahoma 63
71 2.5 Villanova 65
71 2.5 Loyola-Chicago 74
71 2.5 Rutgers 74
71 2.5 Nebraska 80
71 2.5 Brooklyn 83
71 2.5 Chicago-Kent 85
71 2.5 South Carolina 88
80 2.4 Baylor 50
80 2.4 Seton Hall 59
80 2.4 Northeastern 74
80 2.4 Michigan State 88
80 2.4 Lewis & Clark 95
80 2.4 Indiana (McKinney) 98
80 2.4 Hawaii 101
80 2.4 Santa Clara 113
80 2.4 Howard 128
89 2.3 Cinncinnati 65
89 2.3 Penn State (Univ. Park) 74
89 2.3 Texas A&M 80
89 2.3 Arkansas (Fayetteville) 88
89 2.3 LSU 88
89 2.3 New Mexico 88
89 2.3 St. Louis 88
89 2.3 Syracuse 88
89 2.3 Marquette 95
89 2.3 Maine 106
89 2.3 DePaul 128
89 2.3 Seattle 128
101 2.2 Penn State (Dickinson) 59
101 2.2 St. John's 83
101 2.2 Univ. of Mississippi 101
101 2.2 SUNY-Buffalo 106
101 2.2 West Virginia 106
101 2.2 Catholic 110
101 2.2 Hofstra 110
101 2.2 Louisville 113
101 2.2 Vermont 133
101 2.2 Arkansas (Little Rock) 141
111 2.1 New Hampshire 85
111 2.1 Stetson 98
111 2.1 Drexel 101
111 2.1 Tulsa 101
111 2.1 Gonzaga 113
111 2.1 Idaho 119
111 2.1 Missouri (Kansas City) 119
111 2.1 Montana 119
111 2.1 CUNY 125
111 2.1 Wyoming 133
111 2.1 Loyola-New Orleans Tier 2
122 2.0 Wayne State 98
122 2.0 Baltimore 119
122 2.0 Mercer 128
122 2.0 North Dakota Tier 2
122 2.0 San Francisco Tier 2
127 1.9 Florida Int'l 101
127 1.9 Albany 106
127 1.9 New York Law School 110
127 1.9 Cleveland State 113
127 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 113
127 1.9 Texas Tech 113
127 1.9 Washburn 119
127 1.9 Creighton 125
127 1.9 Pace 125
127 1.9 South Dakota 128
127 1.9 Drake 133
127 1.9 Quinnipiac 133
127 1.9 Memphis 137
127 1.9 Toledo 137
127 1.9 Chapman 139
127 1.9 Akron 144
127 1.9 Suffolk 144
127 1.9 McGeorge Tier 2
127 1.9 Willamette Tier 2
146 1.8 Duquesne 119
146 1.8 Dayton 141
146 1.8 Southwestern Tier 2
146 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
150 1.7 Widener (PA) 143
150 1.7 N. Illinois 144
150 1.7 John Marshall (IL) Tier 2
150 1.7 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
150 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
150 1.7 Samford Tier 2
150 1.7 South Texas Tier 2
150 1.7 St. Mary's Tier 2
158 1.6 Cal-Western Tier 2
158 1.6 Elon Tier 2
158 1.6 Mississippi College Tier 2
158 1.6 N. Kentucky Tier 2
158 1.6 Nova Tier 2
158 1.6 Ohio Northern Tier 2
158 1.6 S. Illinois Tier 2
165 1.5 Campbell Tier 2
165 1.5 Capital Tier 2
165 1.5 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
165 1.5 District of Columbia Tier 2
165 1.5 Florida A&M Tier 2
165 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
165 1.5 NC Central Tier 2
165 1.5 New England Tier 2
165 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
165 1.5 Texas Southern Tier 2
165 1.5 Touro Tier 2
165 1.5 UMass Tier 2
165 1.5 Valparaiso Tier 2
178 1.4 Belmont 139
178 1.4 Southern Tier 2
178 1.4 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
178 1.4 W. New England Tier 2
182 1.3 Charleston Tier 2
182 1.3 John Marshall (GA) Tier 2
182 1.3 Regent Tier 2
185 1.2 Appalachian Tier 2
185 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
185 1.2 Barry Tier 2
185 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
185 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
185 1.2 La Verne Tier 2
185 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
192 1.1 W. Mich. Cooley Tier 2
192 1.1 Western State Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

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March 20, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Newman Responds To Drennan's Conspicuous Philanthropy

Joel S. Newman (Wake Forest), Conspicuous Philanthropy: A Response, Am. U. L. F. 1 (2018):

In his Article [Conspicuous Philanthropy: Reconciling Contract and Tax Laws, 66 Am. U. L. Rev. 1323 (2017)], Professor Drennan notes that naming rights often have significant value. Therefore, he reasons that, when charitable contributions are made, the value of such naming rights should be subtracted from the amount of the contribution. Only the excess should be a tax-deductible contribution, and the burden should be on the donor to show that such an excess exists. To make this proposal work, there must be a way to determine (1) which categories of naming rights might be significant benefits; and (2) how such benefits can be valued.

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March 20, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Foremost Legal Mind On Sexual Harassment Didn’t Get Tenure For More Than A Decade

Quartz, The Foremost Legal Mind on Sexual Harassment Didn’t Get Tenure For More Than a Decade:

Catharine MacKinnon’s work led to the creation of the field of anti-sexual harassment law. A book she wrote in her twenties argued that sexual harassment in the workplace constitutes sexual discrimination—a claim the US Supreme Court later agreed with. And yet, the brilliant lawyer and scholar had trouble securing academic tenure.

In an interview with The New York Times columnist Philip Galanes, which she did with Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor and anti-sexual harassment advocate, MacKinnon talks about her tenure process.

Galanes asks if the “wandering in the desert” as a visiting professor for more than a decade “killed her.” ...

MacKinnon answers:

It did not kill me. I am right here. I just kept doing what I did. But let’s get realistic: What people do is trim their sails in terms of content. They don’t tell the truth about what’s really happening to women, for example, so they get the job. It never occurred to me to do that. And even though I didn’t get the jobs, there continued to be major fights about appointing me for two decades.

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March 20, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

CBO: The Distribution Of Household Income, 2014

CBOCongressional Budget Office, The Distribution of Household Income, 2014:

In 2014, household income was unevenly distributed: Households at the top of the income distribution received significantly more income than households at the bottom of the distribution. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates:

  • Average income among households in the lowest quintile (or fifth) of the income distribution was about $19,000 (see Summary Figure 1).
  • Average income among households in the highest quintile was about $281,000.

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March 20, 2018 in Congressional News, Gov't Reports, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hemel Presents The Death And Life Of The State And Local Tax Deduction Today At BYU

HemelDaniel Hemel (Chicago) presents The Death and Life of the State and Local Tax Deduction at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

The December 2017 U.S. tax law imposed stringent limits on the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). But the new law does not necessarily spell SALT’s demise. Several states are poised to enact statutes that could restore the SALT deduction for some of their residents and extend it to others who never claimed the deduction before. Ironically, the effort to kill the SALT deduction as part of the December 2017 tax law may have the unintended consequence of spurring states to enact reforms that effectively expand the deduction’s scope.

This essay takes stock of SALT’s history and offers a tentative forecast as to its future.  It casts the recent rollback of SALT as the culmination of a seven-decade trend of successive SALT limitations, which even before 2017 had put the SALT deduction effectively out of reach for more than two-thirds of the taxpaying public.

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March 19, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Penn Law School Mob Scores A Victory

Following up on last week's post, After 'Disparaging' Comments About Black Students, Amy Wax Barred From Teaching 1L Course At Penn:  Wall Street Journal op-ed:  The Penn Law School Mob Scores a Victory, by Heather McDonald (Manhattan Institute):

The campus mob at the University of Pennsylvania Law School has scored a hit. Prof. Amy Wax will no longer be allowed to teach required first-year courses, the school’s dean announced last week. Now the leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania wants Ms. Wax’s scalp. According to a weekend newspaper report, if she isn’t fired within a week, “he plans to make things on the West Philadelphia campus very uncomfortable.”

Ms. Wax’s sin this time was to discuss publicly the negative consequences of affirmative action. Her punishment underscores again the dangers of speaking uncomfortable truths in a university setting. ...

The latest outrage arises from a web video Ms. Wax recorded in September with Glenn Loury, an economist at Brown University. Forty or so minutes in, the discussion turned to racial preferences. Mr. Loury noted that, on average, students admitted via preferences “are less academically qualified—by definition!” Ms. Wax brought up the “mismatch” effect: the idea that the so-called beneficiaries of preferences have difficulty competing with peers who were admitted without them. “Take Penn Law School, or some top 10 law school,” Ms. Wax said. “Here’s a very inconvenient fact, Glenn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class and rarely, rarely in the top half. I can think of one or two students who’ve scored in the top half in my required first-year course.”

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March 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Hemel: The Living Anti-Injunction Act

Daniel Hemel (Chicago), The Living Anti-Injunction Act, 104 Va. L. Rev. Online 74 (2018):

For decades, individuals and entities wishing to contest their federal tax liabilities have had a choice among three paths. First, they could file a prepayment petition in the U.S. Tax Court. Second, they could pay the tax and then sue for a refund in their local federal district court. Third, they could pay the tax and then file for a refund in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. What they could not do is seek an injunction preventing the Internal Revenue Service from assessing or collecting the tax in question. Standing in their way would be the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA), which provides (in relevant part) that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person.” But all that is now in doubt. In 2017, a federal district court in Texas held that the AIA did not bar the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from bringing a pre-enforcement challenge to an Obama administration regulation that specified the circumstances under which domestic companies that seek to move their legal domicile overseas will be subject to a targeted tax on inversion gain. As far as judicial decisions on matters of tax procedure go, this one was a bombshell, with commentators noting that the holding breaks from decades of judicial precedent and opens the door to more challenges to IRS rules. The IRS is now contesting the district court’s ruling in a closely watched appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

In a though-provoking and comprehensive article [Restoring the Lost Anti-Injunction Act, 103 Va. L. Rev. 1683 (2017)], Kristin Hickman and Gerald Kerska argue that the district court’s holding in the Chamber of Commerce case is largely consistent with the “lost” history of the AIA.

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March 19, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Students Fare In The Labor Market After Graduate And Professional School

AccessLex Institute, After Graduate and Professional School: How Students Fare in the Labor Market:

Although on average, advanced degrees are valuable in the labor market, students pursuing a graduate or professional degree face considerable uncertainty. Research doctoral and professional degree recipients have lower unemployment rates and higher average earnings than those with master’s degrees, and there is wide variation in outcomes, even among students who complete the same type of degree. As noted in the first brief in this series, Who Goes to Graduate School and Who Succeeds?, about a quarter of students who enroll in graduate and professional degree programs leave school without earning a degree. Among those who complete their studies, outcomes vary based on type of degree, field of study and occupation, as well as race, ethnicity and gender.

This brief explores employment and earnings outcomes among advanced degree recipients. Examining these outcomes across degree, occupational and demographic categories paints a nuanced picture of the payoffs of graduate and professional education. This information is critical for prospective students and others seeking to assess the value of these degree programs.

Figure 3A

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March 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Students Who Handwrite Their Notes Outperform Laptop Users

Colleen P. Murphy (Roger Williams), CJ Ryan (Vanderbilt) & Yajni Warnapala (Roger Williams), Note-Taking Mode and Academic Performance in Two Law School Courses:

The use of laptops in law school classrooms has become fairly commonplace, especially in the last decade. Yet, studies in other higher education settings have found an association between note-taking mode and academic performance; specifically, using a laptop to take notes in the classroom is associated with negative academic performance outcomes.

This study endeavors to assess the relationship between note-taking mode and academic performance in the law school setting. We compare the academic performance of handwriters to laptop users in two required, doctrinal courses as well as the effect of a randomly assigned treatment, exposing roughly half of the students in our analysis to a memorandum explaining the possible pitfalls of using a laptop to take class notes. We find that handwriting class notes has a strong positive association with academic performance in these two law school courses, supporting findings of the benefits of handwriting class notes in other academic settings.

Table 4B

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March 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Lesson From The Tax Court: The Turbo-Tax Defense

Turbo TaxDespite the adage “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” the Tax Court issued an opinion last week suggesting that sometimes ignorance of the tax law can indeed be an excuse, at least to escape the §6662 accuracy-related penalties.   In Karl F. Simonsen and Christina M. Simonsen v. Commissioner, 150 T.C. No. 8 (Mar. 14, 2018), the Tax Court held that a California couple who messed up the tax treatment of a short sale of their former residence were not liable for accuracy-related penalties. Judge Mark “I’m No Caligula” Holmes wrote for the Court. The actual basis for the holding was that the IRS “failed to meet [its] burden of production on the accuracy-related penalty” because it did not introduce any evidence of compliance per the Tax Court’s newly discovered reading of §6751(b)(1). Our colleagues over at Procedurally Taxing have been following the §6751 issue for some time. If you are interested, here’s a good post by Professor T. Keith Fogg to start you out.

But immediately after throwing out the penalty for the IRS’s failure to produce the required evidence, Judge Holmes wrote four pages of dicta about how even if the IRS had met its burden, the taxpayers here acted with “reasonable cause and in good faith” within the meaning of the exculpatory language of §6664(c)(1). Why did he spend so much time doing this? Because he wanted the world to know that “we will not penalize taxpayers for mistakes of law in a complicated subject area that lacks clear guidance.” And one of the factors that went into the “good faith” conclusion was that Mrs. Simonsen not only consistently used TurboTax for over 11 years to prepare the couple’s returns, but had to upgrade to “a CD-ROM version of TurboTax instead of the usual online version because she needed a special properly report the...income.” That caused my colleague Gregg Polsky to email me with this query: “So this case means that taxpayers that follow Turbo Tax to a completely illogical result are immune from penalties?”

Well, maybe...but then again remember this is just dicta. And while the Tax Court is correct that tax is a “complicated subject area” I do not think it was correct in finding that the taxpayers here had no “clear guidance.” But reasonable minds may disagree.

Along with the penalty lesson, this case teaches a nice lesson on the tax treatment of a short sale of property encumbered with a non-recourse loan.  I’ll run through that first because it may help us understand why the Tax Court here was willing to let ignorance of the law be a defense to accuracy-related penalties.

Details below the fold.

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March 19, 2018 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Tax | Permalink | Comments (8)

Morse: Seeking Comparables In Patent And Tax

Susan C. Morse (Texas), Seeking Comparables in Patent and Tax, 37 Rev. Litig Brief ___ (2018):

In their Article, Tax Solutions to Patent Damages, Jennifer Blouin and Melissa Wasserman argue that tax transfer prices can provide data to help calculate patent litigation damages. But tax transfer prices are imperfect for reasons of theory, doctrine, taxpayer and government incentives, and enforcement constraints. A court that relies on tax transfer prices to help set patent damage awards takes on the herculean task of analyzing many subtle contextual factors in two intricate regulatory systems, patent and tax.

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March 19, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 18, 2018

George Washington Discontinues Use Of GRE In Admissions Because It Has Not Done A School-Specific Validation Study

GREAt least 17 accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT (Arizona, Brooklyn, BYU, Cardozo, Columbia, Florida State, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall, Northwestern, Pace, St. John's, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, and Washington University), and two law schools allow the GRE in limited circumstances (Chicago (admissions committee may grant LSAT waiver), UCLA (students enrolled in, or applying to, another UCLA graduate program).  George Washington may be the first of these schools to change its mind and no longer accept the GRE:

Above the Law, LSAT Notches Unexpected Victory In Ongoing Slugfest With GRE:

Members of the administration at this law school have changed their minds about accepting the GRE for this application season. ...

We reached out to GW Law to find out what was being done to accommodate the students who relied on their December announcement and a spokesperson had this to say:

In terms of notifying students, we told everyone that applied in an email. We did announce it to all GRE applicants when we decided to discontinue the first week of January, less than four weeks after we started accepting (including the winter break). ...

[W]hy exactly did the school do an about face?

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March 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cockfield: Taxing Global Digital Commerce In A Post-BEPS World

Arthur J. Cockfield (Queen's University), Taxing Global Digital Commerce in a Post-BEPS World:

This chapter evaluates the recent OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative directed at global digital income, and concludes that tax planning will not be inhibited by any significant extent.

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March 18, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

A National Study Of The Long-Term Outcomes Of A Law Degree

AccessLex Institute, Examining Value, Measuring Engagement: A National Study of the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree:

The Gallup-AccessLex Institute study of Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree holders provides important insights for educators, employers, law school alumni and prospective students about the factors that contribute to great jobs, lives and experiences for law school graduates. A law degree is one of the most valuable advanced degrees as evaluated by law graduates and other degree holders. As described in the key findings, most law graduates strongly agree that they would still get a J.D. if given the opportunity to go back and do it all over again. Furthermore, nearly half strongly agree that their degree was worth the cost. While many recent law graduates have negative views of the J.D., graduates who are more advanced in their careers tend to have higher levels of well-being and more positive assessments of the value of a J.D.

Figure 5

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March 18, 2018 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThere is quite a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and new papers debuting on the list at #4 and #5:

  1. [1059 Downloads]  Federal Income Tax Treatment of Charitable Contributions Entitling Donor to a State Tax Credit, by Joseph Bankman (Stanford), David Gamage (Indiana), Jacob Goldin (Stanford) & Daniel Hemel (Chicago) et al.
  2. [738 Downloads]  Is New Code Section 199A Really Going to Turn Us All into Independent Contractors?, by Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) & Diane Ring (Boston College)
  3. [402 Downloads]  Choice-of-Entity Decisions Under the New Tax Act, by Bradley Borden (Brooklyn)
  4. [265 Downloads]  The Elephant Always Forgets: U.S. Tax Reform and the WTO, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) & Martin Vallespinos (S.J.D. 2018, Michigan)
  5. [260 Downloads]  Beat It: Tax Reform and Tax Treaties, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)

March 18, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Fair Shot:  Rethinking Inequality And How We Earn

Fair ShotNew York Times Book Review, Chris Hughes Made Millions at Facebook. Now He Has a Plan to End Poverty. (reviewing Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn (2018)):

Chris Hughes, as he will be the first to tell you, has too much money. As he relates in his new book, “Fair Shot,” he co-founded Facebook, asked his roommate Mark Zuckerberg for 10 percent of the company, received 2 percent instead and became dynastically wealthy as a result.

Hughes is acutely aware of how unfair this is. “Most Americans cannot find $400 in the case of an emergency,” he writes, “yet I was able to make half a billion dollars for three years of work.” He’s also aware that the flip side of people like himself having too much money is that tens of millions of Americans have too little. Over 40 million Americans live below the poverty line, including one in five children under the age of 6.

There is a simple solution to the problem of people having too little money: giving them some. As Hughes efficiently and compellingly recounts, the proven and far-reaching effects of cash grants include more work; higher incomes; better performance in school and college; less tobacco and alcohol use; and fewer hospitalizations, illnesses and untimely deaths. In short, grants strengthen and empower the poor, making them much more economically and socially productive.

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March 17, 2018 in Book Club, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

How Much Time Does It Take to Write a Law Review Article? 250-500 Hours

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), How Much Time Does It Take to Write a Law Review Article?:

How long does it take to write a law review article? This question sometimes arises as law faculties balance the competing expectations of teaching, service, and scholarship. ...

In an attempt to develop some back-of-the-envelope estimates on the amount of time to write a law review article, I ran the following poll on Twitter. The poll received 246 votes and the results appear to reflect a fairly surprising degree of consensus. 


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March 17, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

Spotlight On The AALS Tax Section

AALS (2019)AALS News, Spotlight on Sections: Taxation:

The AALS Section on Taxation promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among members and makes recommendations on matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of the law relating to taxation. AALS News caught up with Larry Zelenak (now Immediate Past Chair) and Shu-Yi Oei (Chair) onsite at the 2018 Annual Meeting in San Diego.

How do your section members interact and collaborate outside of the AALS Annual Meeting?

LZ: The National Tax Association’s annual conference has become almost like a second annual meeting for us in terms of having a place to meet other tax law professors. Most of us are not economists, but there’s a lot you can learn as a consumer of tax and economic research without having to be one yourself. Historically, there has been a tendency for tax law professors to be doubly siloed: within law schools but also within tax. Maybe that’s why we’re such a tight group among ourselves. We haven’t traditionally talked a lot to accountants or economists. We are becoming much less siloed in both respects.

Other than that: a lot of email. We mostly use the tax prof listserv rather than our AALS Section listserv, because it was already running before the AALS one existed.

SO: The listserv and the tax prof blog are generally how tax law professors get together outside of the meeting. There’s also the Law and Society Conference, which has a number of tax panels.

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March 17, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lawsky Presents A Logic For Statutes And Formalizing The Code Today At Florida

Lawsky (2017)Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern) presents A Logic for Statutes, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2018), Formalizing the Code, 70 Tax L. Rev. 377 (2017), at Florida today as part of its Graduate Tax Speaker Series:

A Logic for Statutes:

Case-based reasoning is, without question, a puzzle. When students are taught to “think like lawyers” in their first year of law school, they are taught case-based common-law reasoning. Books on legal reasoning are devoted almost entirely to the topic. How do courts reason from one case to the next? Is case-based reasoning reasoning from analogy? How should case-based reasoning be modeled? How can it be justified?

In contrast, rule-based legal reasoning (as exemplified in much statutory reasoning) is taken as simple in legal scholarship. Statutory interpretation — how to determine the meaning of words in a statute, the relevance of the lawmakers’ intent, and so forth — is much discussed, but there is little treatment of the structure of statutory reasoning once the meaning of the words is established. Once the meaning of terms is established, statutory reasoning is considered, roughly speaking, to be deductive reasoning.

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March 16, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Scharff Reviews Satterthwaite's Smallness And The VAT

This week, Erin Scharff (Arizona State) reviews a new article by Emily Ann Satterthwaite (Toronto), On the Threshold: Smallness and the Value-Added Tax, 9 Colum. J. Tax L. ___ (2018):

Scharff (2017)Emily Satterthwaite’s latest article explores the ways tax law should reflect the needs (and especially the relatively high-compliance costs) of small businesses. Her focus is on Value-Added Taxes (VATs) and, in particular, on the VAT exemption threshold.  

Though there is widespread expert agreement that VATs should exempt small firms, there is significant variation in the VAT thresholds, particularly among developing countries. Further, exemption thresholds are often set much lower than what VAT experts have recommended for optimal efficiency. Satterthwaite’s article argues that this expert recommendation not only advances efficiency goals, but would also improve distributional equity.

Satterthwaite does yeomen’s work in making her argument accessible, particularly to U.S. readers who might be less familiar with the way VATs operate, and the first part of her article is an excellent and highly accessible introduction to VATs and its relative advantages over cascading turnover taxes and retail sales taxes. 

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March 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2019 U.S. News Rankings

As most of you know, on Tuesday morning U.S. News released to law schools an embargoed confidential electronic version of the 2019 edition of its annual rankings to be published online on Tuesday, March 20.  At Pepperdine, we immediately analyzed the data U.S. News used in calculating our ranking.  To our horror, we learned that we had made an inadvertent data entry error in reporting our median LSAT for the class that began in Fall, 2017.

We immediately contacted U.S. News Tuesday morning to inform them of the error and requested that they update the rankings with the correct median LSAT.  On Tuesday afternoon, anonymous source(s) leaked the embargoed rankings which were posted on several blogs, showing Pepperdine’s ranking as 59 (up from 72 last year).

Unfortunately, U.S. News has denied our request and instead issued a revised embargoed electronic version of the rankings that replaced the original.  In the new version, Pepperdine is removed from the rankings.  Instead, Pepperdine is listed as “unranked due to a data reporting error by the school.” 

We contacted three law school rankings experts — Bill Henderson (Indiana), Andy Morriss (Texas A&M), and Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting) — who all confirmed our analysis that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th had U.S. News recomputed the rankings with our correct LSAT median.

It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year. But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year. 

For a fuller description of the rankings snafu, see here.

March 16, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Corporate Tax Avoidance And Honoring The Fiduciary Duties Owed To Corporation And Its Stockholders

Eric C. Chaffee (Toledo) & Karie Davis-Nozemack (Georgia Tech), Corporate Tax Avoidance and Honoring the Fiduciary Duties Owed to Corporation and Its Stockholders, 58 B.C. L. Rev. 1425 (2017):

Corporate tax avoidance is a pressing issue of both national and international concern. In recent years, the tax strategies of Apple, Facebook, Pfizer, Starbucks, and numerous other corporations have reminded the public that firms regularly undertake highly aggressive tax strategies to minimize their corporate taxes. Corporations often claim that they are legally required to engage in these aggressive strategies. But this article proves that claim is utterly and completely incorrect when based upon the fiduciary duties owed to the corporation and its stockholders.

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March 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

What to Teach Law Students About Artificial Intelligence and Law?

Harry Surden (Colorado), What to Teach Law Students About Artificial Intelligence and Law?, 112 Nw. U. L. Rev. Online ___ (2018):

It is helpful to provide law students with a basic understanding of the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) and its likely near-term impact on law. With this knowledge, students can orient their careers to avoid those legal positions that are most vulnerable to automation and focus instead on activities for which their legal training and cognitive abilities provide the most value for clients.

March 16, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Galle: Kill Quill, Keep The Dormant Commerce Clause — History's Lessons On Congressional Control Of State Taxation

Brian D. Galle (Georgetown), Kill Quill, Keep the Dormant Commerce Clause: History's Lessons on Congressional Control of State Taxation, 70 Stan. L. Rev. Online 158 (2018):

The world of internet commerce was shaken to its foundations in January this year, when the Supreme Court agreed to reconsider its landmark holding in Quill Corp. v. N. Dakota. For more than twenty-five years, Quill has barred states from imposing tax-collection obligations on retailers lacking “physical presence” in the taxing state. As a practical matter, this has meant that internet retailers with no employees or facilities in a state can sell into the state without collecting the sales taxes that local retailers must. In this Essay, I’ll argue that original historical evidence I’ve collected suggests that the political economy premises on which Quill rests are fundamentally mistaken. But I believe that same evidence should lead the Court to keep in place the larger body of “Dormant Commerce Clause” jurisprudence from which Quill first sprung.

March 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Glogower Presents Taxing Inequality Today At UCLA

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio State) presents Taxing Inequality on Friday as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Kirk Stark:

Economic inequality in the United States is now approaching historic levels last seen in the years leading up to the Great Depression. Scholars have long argued that the federal income tax alone cannot curtail rising inequality and that we should look beyond the income tax to a wealth tax. Taxing wealth also faces two central and resilient objections in the literature: A wealth tax penalizes savings and overlaps with a tax on capital income.

This Article moves beyond this stalemate to redefine the role of wealth in a progressive tax system. The argument proceeds in three main parts. The Article first interrogates the justifications in the literature for a wealth tax and introduces a new justification grounded in the relative economic power theory which explains how inequality generates social and political harm. This theory formalizes the problem of inequality and has specific implications for the way that economic inequality should be measured and constrained. In particular, this theory implies that economic inequality should be measured by differences in economic spending power during the taxing period.

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March 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aprill: The GOP's New Tax Law Encourages Campaign Donor Secrecy

The Hill op-ed:  GOP's New Tax Law Encourages Campaign Donor Secrecy, by Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.):

The National Rifle Association is now deeply embroiled in two current political storms. This first, of course, in light of the Parkland shooting, involves its influence in blocking gun control legislation. The second involves the role it might have played in permitting Russian money to influence the presidential election, an issue that indictments released by Special Counsel Mueller also heightens .

According to reports in January, the FBI is investigating whether money from a Russian banker with Kremlin ties channeled funds through the NRA to President Trump’s campaign. At the beginning of this month, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the NRA and the Treasury Department for documents related to these possible ties. If this accusation proves to be the case, the donation would violate the prohibition in our campaign finance laws on the use of foreign money to support a candidate.

We know only that there is a reported investigation, not the validity of the claim. We do know, however, that recent changes to our tax laws may well increase the possibility of such illegal behavior regarding foreign influence in our elections.

The NRA is exempt from income tax as a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. These entities can lobby without limit and, of particular importance, can engage in campaign intervention – supporting or opposing candidates for public office – so long as such activity is not their primary activity. Permitted campaign intervention activity includes not only donations to campaigns and PACs, but also urging the organization’s members to support or oppose candidates.

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March 15, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools Dive Into Virtual Reality Experiences For Their Students

VRABA Journal, Law Schools Dive Into Virtual Reality Experiences For Their Students:

Law schools are ramping up efforts to provide more experiential learning opportunities through virtual reality experiences that will allow both students and practicing attorneys to practice their lawyering skills anytime, anywhere. 

“I was walking past the courtroom one day and saw students just waiting to use it … I also have spoken to attorneys in big firms who don’t have places to practice,” said Jennifer Wondracek, director of legal educational technology at University of North Texas Dallas College of Law. “My thought was, well, why not create a virtual courtroom?”

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March 15, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rossi: Carbon Taxation By Regulation

Jim Rossi (Vanderbilt), Carbon Taxation by Regulation, 102 Minn. L. Rev. 277 (2017):

This Article argues that, even though a carbon tax remains politically elusive, “carbon taxation by regulation” has begun to flourish as a way of financing carbon reduction. For more than a century, energy rate setting has been used to promote public good and redistributive goals, akin to general financial taxation. Various non-tax subsidies in customer energy rates have enormous untapped potential for promoting low-carbon sources of energy, while also balancing broader economic and social welfare goals.

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March 15, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cauble: Tax Law's Loss Obsession

Emily Cauble (DePaul), Tax Law's Loss Obsession, 2018 Utah L. Rev. ___ :

This Article will address tax law’s inconsistent treatment of gains and losses – focusing in particular on certain instances in which a taxpayer is prevented from shifting a built-in loss to another taxpayer but would be allowed to shift a built-in gain to another taxpayer. The article will explore whether any legitimate justification can explain the inconsistency.

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March 15, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: I’d Be An ‘A’ Student If I Could Just Read My Notes

No LaptopWall Street Journal, I’d Be an ‘A’ Student if I Could Just Read My Notes:

Professors are banning laptops in class, driving college students to revert to handwriting—and to complain about it; ‘a hand cramp in government’

Adam Shlomi says he is a good student at Georgetown University. But the sophomore is failing in one unexpected area: note-taking.

Back in his Florida high school, he brought a Chromebook to class, taking “beautiful, color-coded notes.” So he was shocked to learn many professors at the elite Jesuit university in Washington, D.C., don’t allow laptops in their lecture halls.

With nearly illegible handwriting—a scrawl of overlapping letters with interchangeable t’s and f’s, g’s and y’s—Mr. Shlomi, 20 years old, begs notes from friends, reads textbooks and reviews subjects on YouTube when it’s time to take a test.

As professors take a stand against computers in their classrooms, students who grew up more familiar with keyboards than cursive are struggling to adjust. They are recording classes on cellphones, turning to friends with better penmanship and petitioning schools for a softer line. ...

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March 15, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Christians: Tax And The Immigrant Investor

Allison Christians (McGill), Jumping the Line or Out of the Net? Tax and the Immigrant Investor, 88 Tax Notes Int'l 357 (Oct. 23, 2017):

Many countries seek to attract wealthy individuals — their capital, if not actually themselves — with programs that confer residence or citizenship in exchange for specified investments in local property or business ventures. Some programs simply facilitate jumping the immigration line, while other facilitate jumping out of the tax net in one country to land in another potentially more favorable.

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March 15, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kleinbard: Perversion Of The Tax Policymaking Process

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Crawford Presents Tax Talk And Reproductive Technology Today At Toronto

Crawford (2018)Bridget Crawford (Pace) presents Tax Talk and Reproductive Technology at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

What do the busiest fertility clinics in the United States communicate to their clients about the tax consequences of so-called human egg “donation”? As in Canada, the purchase of human ova is illegal in the United States. Nevertheless, it is an open and common practice for an egg providers, aided by a fertility clinic, to contract with intended parents for substantial remuneration. How do egg providers understand their remuneration vis-a-vis the tax system? How does that understanding square with existing tax laws in the U.S. and Canada? Through a content analysis of publicly-available websites and internet message boards, this paper examines the tax information that U.S. fertility clinics and doctors make available to patients, as well as the information that compensated egg providers share with each other. The paper demonstrates that correct and reliable tax information is in short supply, and there is a need for clear administrative or judicial guidance.

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March 14, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton to Conclude Presidency In 2019

BentonPepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton to Conclude Presidency in 2019:

Pepperdine University president and chief executive officer Andrew K. Benton has announced his intent to conclude his presidency at the end of the 2018–2019 academic year. In a prepared statement to the University community, Benton said he and his wife have decided it is a good time for a change and that he has asked the Board of Regents to begin the process for selecting a new president.

“This is a significant change that, while difficult, we believe comes at just the right time - for Pepperdine, for our students, and for us,” said Benton. “As president, I have always tried to make the hardest institutional decisions from a position of strength, and because of the talent and passion of our people throughout the last several decades, I can confidently say that Pepperdine has never been stronger academically, spiritually, and financially.”

As he anticipates his final year of service as president, Benton plans to stay focused on the strategic priorities he believes will add value to the student experience and Pepperdine’s reputation among elite universities. These initiatives include the completion of the new Seaside Residence Hall and School of Law renovation, plans for a revitalized Washington, DC program and facility, and securing funds for a new student recreation and events center.

“Our aspirations for Andy’s success have been realized beyond our dreams, and he has become one of our nation’s truly great university presidents,” said board chair Ed Biggers, speaking on behalf of the Board of Regents. “Serving with Andy has been among the greatest privileges of my life, and the entire board is deeply grateful for his strength, integrity, and grace. Throughout all of his roles and responsibilities, he has led with determination, intelligence, and tenacity, tempered with his compassion and a deep and abiding faith. His genuine love for students has been, perhaps, the hallmark of his career, and we congratulate him on his distinguished service.”

Benton has committed to serving as president until his successor is found and will continue to serve the University as President Emeritus following the conclusion of his presidency. At the end of his presidential tenure, Benton will be the longest serving president in Pepperdine’s 80-year history.

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March 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

March Madness Law School Bracket

Here is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation and student quality as tiebreakers). The Final Four are Pennsylvania (7), Michigan (8), Virginia (8), and UCLA (15), with Penn beating Virginia in the championship game.


March 14, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Global IFA Writing Competitions

IFA Logo (2015)Following up on my previous post, 2018 IFA International Tax Student Writing CompetitionGlobal IFA Writing Competitions (2018):

  • IFA President YIN Scientific Award
  • Mitchell B. Carroll Prize
  • Maurice Lauré Prize

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March 14, 2018 in Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Tennessee's New Enhanced Posttenure Performance Review Policy An Attack On Tenure?

Tennessee (2018)Inside Higher Ed, Posttenure Review or a Plan to Undercut Tenure?:

A joint committee of faculty members and administrators from across the University of Tennessee’s four campuses spent months revising the system’s posttenure review policy, which it acknowledged was outdated and needed strengthening. The committee included the university system's Board of Trustees in its process and its recommendations were adopted this year, with the goal of making posttenure review clearer and more meaningful.

So professors from across the system are baffled and alarmed by a new, hastily written add-on proposal from the trustees, with some saying it challenges the idea of tenure altogether.

“We’re concerned they're putting together a very ambiguous board policy that threatens academic freedom and represents a huge service load on the faculty,” said Beauvais Lyons, Chancellor’s Professor of Art at the Knoxville campus and president of its Faculty Senate.

Tennessee’s current — and still very new — Enhanced Posttenure Performance Review (EPPR) policy says that a campus chief academic officer must initiate an assessment after a professor gets an overall “unsatisfactory” annual performance review rating (the lowest category) or two annual review ratings of “needs improvement” (the next-to-lowest rating) in a four-year period.

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March 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wallace: Congressional Control Of Tax Rulemaking

Tax Law ReviewClint Wallace (South Carolina), Congressional Control of Tax Rulemaking, 71 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2018):

The notice and comment process is often touted as a mechanism for establishing political accountability, and providing a check on agency decision-making. Based on a survey of three years of recently proposed tax regulations, this Article shows that many notice-and-comment processes for tax regulations have been ineffective for these purposes. Fully one-third of the time, no one participated. The few participants there are have been heavily weighted towards private interests, which commented on approximately two-thirds of all proposed regulations from 2013 through 2015. In contrast, public interest groups commented on less than 24% of proposed regulations. If the notice and comment process almost always fails to meet the ideal of robust and diverse participation, who is accountable for tax regulations?

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March 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

After 'Disparaging' Comments About Black Students, Amy Wax Barred From Teaching 1L Course At Penn

Penn (2017)Folowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Daily Pennsylvanian, After 'Disparaging' Comments on Black Students, Amy Wax Barred From Teaching First-Year Course:

For the first time since Penn Law professor Amy Wax made headlines last year for controversial comments on race and free speech, the University that employs her has responded with action.

Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger announced on Mar. 13 that Amy Wax would no longer be allowed to teach a mandatory first-year course. This comes days after students and alumni responded with outrage to a video of Wax saying she's never seen a black Penn Law student graduate in the top quarter of their class. Earlier this week, an online petition was launched calling on Ruger to take action against Wax for her comments.

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March 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Mason: EU State Aid

Ruth Mason (Virgina), EU State Aid:

March 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Virginia Tax Review Publishes New Issue

Virginia Tax Review (2016)The Virginia Tax Review has published Vol. 37, No. 1 (Fall 2017):

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March 13, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Satterthwaite: Smallness And The Value-Added Tax

Columbia Journal of Tax Law LogoEmily Satterthwaite (Toronto), On the Threshold: Smallness and the Value-Added Tax, 9 Colum. J. Tax L. ___ (2018):

Three-quarters of the world’s population live in a country in which a value-added tax (VAT) is collected on sales of goods and services. The registration threshold determines which businesses — typically as measured by their annual revenues — remain exempt from the obligation to register for and collect VAT on their sales. Among VAT economists, there is broad consensus that setting thresholds higher rather than lower (such that more rather than fewer businesses are exempt) increases the economic efficiency of a VAT. Despite these high stakes and the longstanding expert consensus in favor of high thresholds, real-world thresholds vary widely and skew low, even within OECD and European countries. This article leverages the insights of the economic model to address an issue that lies outside of it but is central to lawyers and policymakers: distributional equity.

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March 13, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)