TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lawsky Presents A Logic For Statutes Today At Richmond

Lawsky (2017)Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern) presents A Logic for Statutes, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2018), at Richmond today as part of its Faculty Colloquy Series:

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.

Continue reading

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

Villanova Hosts Colloquium Today On Tax And The Sharing Economy

Villanova Logo (2015)Villanova hosts a colloquium today on Tax and the Sharing Economy:

As described by the World Economic Forum, a “sharing economy” focuses on the sharing of underutilized assets, monetized or not, in ways that improve efficiency, sustainability and community. Well-known examples include Airbnb, Uber and Lyft.

The gathering of renowned scholars is designed to foster free-flowing discussion and to encourage fresh perspectives on challenging issues. Colloquium participants, led by Villanova Law professors Les Book and Joy Sabino Mullane, include:

Continue reading

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

Ciraolo Presents The Impact of Global Tax Enforcement Today At San Francisco

CiraolaCaroline D. Ciraolo (Kostelanetz & Fink, Washington, D.C.; former Acting Assistant Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division) presents The Impact of Global Tax Enforcement at San Francisco today as part of the E. L. Wiegand Visiting Fellow Lecture Series:

Countries around the world are calculating their respective tax gaps and increasing their investment in civil tax enforcement as information regarding offshore tax evasion takes center stage with the surge of whistleblowers and data leaks. At the same time, law enforcement officials are reviewing information obtained from various sources to identify individuals and entities engaged in tax evasion and to pursue criminal investigations. With this looming threat of discovery, taxpayers are considering voluntary disclosure programs to avoid the increasingly severe consequences of non-compliance.

Continue reading

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Polsky Presents Choice-of-Entity Decisions By Silicon Valley Start-Ups Today At Villanova

Polsky (2018)Gregg Polsky (Georgia) presents Explaining Choice-of-Entity Decisions by Silicon Valley Start-Ups at Villanova today as part of its John F. Scarpa Center on Law and Entrepreneurship speaker series:

Perhaps the most fundamental role of a business tax advisor is to recommend the optimal entity choice for nascent business enterprises. Nevertheless, even in 2018, the choice-of-entity analysis remains highly muddled. Most tax practitioners across the United States consistently recommend flow-through entities, such as LLCs and S corporations, to their clients. In contrast, a discrete group of highly sophisticated tax professionals, those who advise start-ups in Silicon Valley and other hotbeds of start-up activity, prefer C corporations.

Prior commentary has described and tried to explain this paradox without finding an adequate explanation. These commentators have noted a host of superficially plausible explanations, all of which they ultimately conclude are not wholly persuasive. The puzzle therefore remains.

This article attempts to finally solve the puzzle by examining two factors that have been either vastly underappreciated or completely ignored in the existing literature.

Continue reading

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

Glogower Presents Taxing Inequality Today At Indiana

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio State) presents Taxing Inequality at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

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.

Continue reading

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

Sanchirico Presents Optimal Redistributional Instruments In Tax Policy And Law & Economics Today At Duke

SanchiricoChris William Sanchirico (Pennsylvania) presents Optimal Redistributional Instruments in Tax Policy and Law & Economics at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The literature on optimal redistributional instruments begins with the assumption that society has some preference for equality, leaving the precise degree unspecified. It then asks: How should society pursue that preference? More specifically, what kinds of policy instruments — whether categorized as “taxes,” “transfers,” “public goods,” “government programs,” “regulations,” or “legal rules” — should be informed by society’s distributional objectives? This paper reviews and assesses three strands of the literature on optimal redistributional instruments.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Williamson Presents Why Americans Are Proud To Pay Taxes Today at NYU

Read My LipsVanessa S. Williamson (Brookings Institution) presents Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes (Princeton University Press 2017) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Bringing together national survey data with in-depth interviews, Read My Lips presents a surprising picture of tax attitudes in the United States. Vanessa Williamson demonstrates that Americans view taxpaying as a civic responsibility and a moral obligation. But they worry that others are shirking their duties, in part because the experience of taxpaying misleads Americans about who pays taxes and how much. Perceived "loopholes" convince many income tax filers that a flat tax might actually raise taxes on the rich, and the relative invisibility of the sales and payroll taxes encourages many to underestimate the sizable tax contributions made by poor and working people.

Americans see being a taxpayer as a role worthy of pride and respect, a sign that one is a contributing member of the community and the nation. For this reason, the belief that many Americans are not paying their share is deeply corrosive to the social fabric. The widespread misperception that immigrants, the poor, and working-class families pay little or no taxes substantially reduces public support for progressive spending programs and undercuts the political standing of low-income people. At the same time, the belief that the wealthy pay less than their share diminishes confidence that the political process represents most people.

Continue reading

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thomas Presents Taxing The Gig Economy Today At BYU

Thomas (2017)Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents Taxing the Gig Economy,  166 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

Due to advances in technology like mobile applications and online platforms, millions of American workers now earn income through “gig” work, which allows them the flexibility to set their own hours and choose which jobs to take. To the surprise of many gig workers, the tax law considers them to be “business owners,” which subjects them to onerous recordkeeping and filing requirements, along with the obligation to pay quarterly estimated taxes. This Article proposes two reforms that would drastically reduce compliance burdens for this new generation of business owners, while simultaneously enhancing the government’s ability to collect tax revenue.

First, Congress should create a “non-employee withholding” regime that would allow online platform companies such as Uber to withhold taxes for their workers without being classified as employers. Second, the Article proposes a “standard business deduction” for gig workers, which would eliminate the need to track and report business expenses.

Continue reading

February 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bank Presents When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable? Today At UC-Irvine

Bank (2016)Steven Bank (UCLA) presents When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable?, 70 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2018), at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

No matter how many tax scandals are revealed in the media — and there have been many in the past year, involving a diverse set of taxpayers ranging from Donald Trump to Apple — what is most remarkable is that, by and large, the public has considered them relatively non-scandalous. This was not always the case. During the 1930s, even the most innocuous tax avoidance maneuvers, such as buying tax-exempt bonds, were attacked as morally suspect. When did that change and why? This Article offers a novel attempt to gauge the respectability of tax avoidance — using a unique, hand-collected dataset of newspaper advertisements for tax planning services in prominent national papers between 1930 and 1970 — and concludes that a shift occurred after World War II. The Article then explains the reason for this shift, suggesting that a combination of extremely high rates, a broadened base of taxpayers subject to that rate, and a deterioration of the wartime consensus for the rate structure laid the foundation for the respectability of tax avoidance in the 1950s and 1960s.

Continue reading

February 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Shaviro Presents The Disgraceful U.S. Passthrough Rules Today At Duke

Shaviro (2015)Daniel Shaviro (NYU) presents The Disgraceful U.S. Passthrough Rules at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Bad as the passthrough rules looks by themselves, in some ways they look even worse when paired with the lower corporate rate and absence of significant safeguards against using corporations as tax shelters. From now on, anyone who is thinking of running a business or being an independent contractor, and for whom the dollar stakes are large enough, is going to have to think seriously about both the C corporation and passthrough alternatives. Tax advisors will need to be consulted, and large bills run up (although the tax savings may more than pay for these). Had the Congressional Republicans in 2017 expressly set out to make the tax system a far more intrusive nuisance and headache (albeit, in the guise of tax planning opportunities) than it already was, they could hardly have done “better” than they did.

Continue reading

February 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Speck Presents Debt And Taxes Over The Life Cycle Today At UCLA

Speck (2017)Sloan Speck (Colorado) presents Debt and Taxes over the Life Cycle at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Kirk Stark:

The deductibility of non-business interest under the United States income tax has bedeviled policymakers and commentators since the early twentieth century. Debates have centered around definitional and normative questions about the tax base—whether non-business interest should be deductible under a normative income tax, or whether non-business interest should be taken into account as part of a consumption tax base. Essentially, this literature asks how interest deductibility fits, or should fit, within the broader tax system.

This paper argues for a different approach. In the United States, the tax aspects of non-business debt are situated within a broader matrix of regulations governing various categories of household debt. Certain types of household debt—this paper considers home mortgage loans and loans for higher education—are structured in ways that have implications, explicit and tacit, across borrowers’ life cycles. This context should inform normative determinations about the value of interest deductibility for household debt.

Continue reading

February 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Brooks Presents Legal Interpretation Of Canadian Tax Law Today At Toronto

Brooks (Kim)Kim Brooks (Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University) presents Legal Interpretation of Tax Law: Canada at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

This chapter is designed to lay the ground for comparative study into legal interpretation in tax law. To that end, its goal is primarily descriptive. It is designed to address the kinds of factors that might support a comparative analysis of Canada’s approach to legal interpretation. Presumably, similarities and differences among countries might be identified and explained based on a set of factors, including the structure of government, the design of adjudication mechanisms (both administrative and judicial), the dominant philosophies of language, the historic practices of interpretation, the importance of legislative purpose and the extent to which external aids are relied upon, and the overarching norms of grammar and their interaction with legislative drafting.

Continue reading

February 7, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Koester Presents Corporate Subsidies And Political Connections: State-level Evidence Today At Georgetown 

KoesterAllison Koester (Georgetown) presents Corporate Subsidies and Political Connections: State-level Evidence (with Daniel Aobdia (Northwestern) & Reining Petacchi (Georgetown)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

This paper examine s whether corporate political connections are associated with government awarded subsidies, and how this relation impacts subsidy effectiveness in spurring future economic growth beyond the firm. Subsidies relate to foregone government revenues through tax credits/abatements and to government resource transfers through grants and cost reimbursement programs. Using novel datasets to identify state-awarded corporate subsidies and corporate contributions to state political candidates, we find robust evidence that political contributions increase both the likelihood a company is awarded a state subsidy and the dollar value of subsidy awarded.

Continue reading

February 6, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Auten Presents Income Inequality In The United States Today At NYU

NYU Law (2016)Gerald Auten (U.S. Treasury Department) presents Income Inequality in the United States: Using Tax Data to Measure Long-Term Trends (with David Splinter (Joint Committee on Taxation)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Previous studies using U.S. tax return data, such as Piketty and Saez (2003), concluded that top one percent income shares increased substantially since 1960. But tax return based measures are biased by tax base changes and missing income sources. Accounting for these limitations reduces the increase in top one percent income shares by two-thirds. Further, accounting for government transfers reduces the increase over 80 percent. After-tax income results are similar.

This shows that unadjusted tax return based measures present a distorted view of inequality because incomes reported on tax returns are sensitive to tax law changes and omit significant income sources

February 6, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mason Presents Why State Aid Needs Discrimination Today At BYU

Mason (2016)Ruth Mason (Virginia) presents Why State Aid Needs Discrimination at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

In August 2016, the European Union’s (EU) Commission dropped a bombshell: it would require Ireland to collect more than $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple under anti-subsidy rules that most American tax lawyers had never even heard of—the state-aid rules. Suspicions that certain EU Member States colluded with large multinationals to help them evade other states taxes suggests the need for a supra-national authority that could curb harmful state tax practices.

Continue reading

February 5, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kleinbard Delivers Lecture On Fiscal Policy In An Age Of Inequality Today At Georgia

Kleinbard (2015)Edward D. Kleinbard (USC) delivers the 115th Sibley Lecture at Georgia today on What’s a Government Good For?: Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality:

The debate surrounding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act demonstrated the intellectual bankruptcy of U.S. fiscal policy debate. The TCJA has serious flaws as a matter of narrow tax policy, but it is more fundamentally flawed when viewed through the proper policy lens, which is overall fiscal policy – the net of government taxing and spending. The TCJA greatly exacerbates already untenable budget deficits. Its tax prescriptions are even more regressive when the spending cuts contemplated by the legislation itself are reflected. And the law’s regressivity is compounded further when plausible financing paths for these large deficits are included in the analysis. In particular, the “dynamic” growth analysis whose tax ramifications were part of the debate leading up to the law was predicated on enormous cuts to future transfer payments, and confused GDP growth with enhanced welfare.

Continue reading

February 5, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Polsky Presents The Realities of Modern Elite Tax Practice: Management Fee Waivers Today at Duke

Polsky (2015)Gregg Polsky (Georgia) presents The Realities of Modern Elite Tax Practice: A Case Study of the Management Fee Waiver Strategy at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

For over 15 years, many private equity fund managers have used a technique—known as the management fee waiver—to try to claim what are effectively their weekly paychecks as capital gains.  Recently, the Treasury and IRS explained that, at least in the government’s view, fee waivers (as historically drafted) actually do not work.  Reports of recent significant audit activity relating to fee waivers suggest that the fee waiver saga may finally be coming to an end, but not before billions of tax revenues that are beyond the statute of limitations have been lost forever.

Continue reading

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

Brooks Presents The Case For Incrementalism In Tax Reform Today At Indiana

Brooks (John)John R. Brooks (Georgetown) presents The Case for Incrementalism in Tax Reform at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

In this paper, I will argue that “fundamental tax reform” should not generally by the goal of tax policy. Instead, policymakers should take an incremental approach to policymaking. That is, instead of trying to pick the “best” option among several fully-formed theoretical tax systems, policymakers should work to make incremental improvements to the existing system—they should identify a clear, but narrow, objective, and then work toward that objective with incremental, serial changes, informed by evidence from the previous rounds of changes.

This incrementalist approach to policymaking was first described and formalized by Charles Lindblom in 1959, and it has since then been one of the dominant schools of thought in political science and policy studies, both as a description of actual behavior, but also as an optimal decision procedure. The incrementalist claim is that because policy outcomes are uncertain, our empirical knowledge is limited, and values conflict, we should instead “muddle through” with small targeted changes based on more reliable empirical data and conclusions.

Continue reading

February 1, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hayashi Presents Countercyclical Tax Bases Today At NYU

HayashiAndrew Hayashi (Virginia) presents Countercyclical Tax Bases at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Tax scholarship has tended to focus on the efficiency properties of different tax bases under assumptions about the macroeconomy that only sometimes hold, and has paid relatively little attention to how those bases operate in recessions. I show how different tax bases interact with household credit constraints and adjustment costs to either stabilize or aggravate economic shocks. I argue that the choice of the local tax base should consider the effect that the base has on the resilience of the economy by stabilizing government spending and household consumption expenditures.

Continue reading

January 30, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Marron Presents A Better Way To Budget For Government Loans, Guarantees & Equity Investments Today At Georgetown

MarronDonald Marron (Tax Policy Center) presents A Better Way to Budget for Government Loans, Guarantees, and Equity Investments at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

The federal government’s method for budgeting for loans and loan guarantees has two major flaws. First, it records the expected fiscal returns from a loan the moment it is made, rather than spreading them over its full life. Loans thus get immediate budget credit for returns that may not occur until years in the future, often beyond the standard budget window that applies to conventional tax and spending policies. This can make lending programs appear to be magic money machines and gives lending programs a budgetary advantage over other policies. Second, current practice does not distinguish the potential fiscal gains from lending from the fiscal costs of any subsidies to borrowers. This failure encourages legislators to structure policies as lending programs—which require beneficiaries to go into debt—rather than as grants. The Congressional Budget Office has proposed an alternative that levels the playing field between loans and grants. But its fair value method violates budget principles in another way, bringing non-budget factors—the cost of financial risk—into the budget.

This paper proposes two innovations to resolve these problems.

Continue reading

January 30, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Lederman Presents Information Matters In Tax Enforcement Today At UC-Irvine

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presents Information Matters in Tax Enforcement at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

Most legal and economics scholars recognize that the government needs information about taxpayers’ transactions in order to determine whether their reporting is honest, and that third-party reporting helps the government obtain that information. Yet, a recent paper by Professor Wei Cui [Taxation Without Information: The Institutional Foundations of Modern Tax Collection] asserts that “modern governments can practice ‘taxation without information.’” Cui’s argument rests on two premises: (1) “giving governments effective access to taxpayer information through third parties does not explain the success of modern tax administration” because, he argues, other important taxes, such as the value added tax (VAT), do not involve information reporting; and (2) modern tax administration succeeds because business firms are “sites of social cooperation under the rule of law,” fostering compliance. As this Essay argues, the literature demonstrates that Cui is wrong on both points.

Continue reading

January 29, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lipman Presents (Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed Today At BYU

Lipman (2017)Francine Lipman (UNLV) presents (Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. 256 (2017), at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

Few economic indicators have more salience and pervasive financial impact on everyday lives in the United States than poverty measures. Nevertheless, policymakers, researchers, advocates, and legislators generally do not understand the details of poverty measure mechanics. These detailed mechanics shape and reshape poverty measures and the too often uninformed responses and remedies. This Article will build a bridge from personal portraits of families living in poverty to the resource allocations that failed them by exposing the specific detailed mechanics underlying the Census Bureau’s official (OPM) and supplemental poverty measures (SPM). Too often, when we confront the problem of poverty, the focus is on the lives and behavior of those suffering the burdens of poverty and not on the inadequacy of resource allocations in antipoverty programs. The purpose of poverty measures should be to expose the effectiveness and failures of antipoverty programs so that they can be improved, not to scrutinize the lives and characteristics of those who are enduring these hardships.

Continue reading

January 29, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Faulhaber Presents The Trouble With Tax Competition Today At Duke

Faulhaber (2017)Lilian V. Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents The Trouble with Tax Competition: From Practice to Theory, 71 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2018), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Over the past few years, policymakers have argued that everything from Apple’s Irish tax deal to patent boxes to the LuxLeaks tax rulings represent “harmful tax competition.” Despite the ubiquity of this term, however, there is no internationally accepted definition of so-called harmful tax competition.

This Article uses the anti-tax-competition measures proposed and implemented over the last twenty years to reverse-engineer what policymakers believe to constitute harmful tax competition. Their different visions of harmful tax competition lead to three important lessons.

Continue reading

January 25, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Goldin Presents Complexity And Take-up Of The Earned Income Tax Credit Today At UCLA

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Complexity and Take-up of the Earned Income Tax Credit at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Kirk Stark:

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.

Continue reading

January 25, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Policy in the Trump Administration | Permalink | Comments (1)

Crawford Presents Tax Talk And Reproductive Technology Today At Louisville

Crawford (2018)Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) presents Tax Talk and Reproductive Technology at Louisville today as part of its  Junior Faculty Dean’s Mentoring Grant Program

What do fertility clinics communicate to their clients about the tax consequences of compensated surrogacy or gamete transfers? How do egg donors and surrogates understand their activities vis-a-vis the tax system? How does this square with existing tax laws? Through a content analysis of publicly-available websites and internet message boards, this article examines the tax information that fertility clinics and doctors make available to patients, as well as the information that surrogates and gamete donors share with each other.

Continue reading

January 25, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dietsch Presents Tax Competition And Global Justice Today At NYU

DietschPeter Dietsch (University of Montreal, Department of Philosophy) presents Tax Competition and Global Background Justice (with Thomas Rixen (University of Bamberg, Department of Political Science)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Competition for mobile tax bases undermines the fiscal self-determination of states and exacerbates inequalities of income and wealth both within countries and globally. The paper provides a normative evaluation of international tax competition, and puts forward two principles of international taxation designed to both protect and circumscribe the fiscal self-determination of states. First, a membership principle, which holds that deriving the benefits of membership in any given country grounds an obligation to pay one’s taxes there. Second, a constraint on fiscal policy, ruling out fiscal arrangements that can be shown both to be based on strategic intent and to have a collectively negative outcome.

Continue reading

January 23, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Listokin Presents The Law And Economics Of Recessions Today At Georgetown

Listokin (2015)Yair Listokin (Yale) presents Law and Macroeconomics: The Law and Economics of Recessions at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

In this Article, I offer a macroeconomic perspective on law that reshapes the microeconomic perspective that currently dominates law and economics. I argue that 1. The economy works one way in ordinary economic conditions, in which supply capacity determines output, and a different way in deep recessions, in which demand for spending determines output. 2. Because the economy functions differently in deep recessions than in ordinary times, a law causes one set of effects in deep recessions and a different set of effects at other times. 3. Because the same law has different effects at different times, law should be different in deep recessions than in other times. Specifically, law should do more to promote spending in deep recessions than in ordinary economic conditions.

Because the stakes of deep recessions are so high (tens of trillions of dollars in lost output, countless lives impaired, and political upheaval), I argue that the (significant) costs associated with introducing macroeconomics into law are worth bearing.

January 23, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Scharff Presents Green Fees: Pricing Externalities Under State Law Today At BYU

Scharff (2017)Erin Scharff (Arizona State) presents Green Fees: The Challenge of Pricing Externalities under State Law at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

Policymakers at the state and local level are increasingly interested in using market-based pricing mechanisms as regulatory tools. At the state level, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington have recently considered state-level carbon pricing, while California is moving forward with its own cap-and-trade program. At the local level, municipal governments are increasingly turning to stormwater remediation fees to pay for the treatment of municipal runoff required by the Clean Water Act. And Philadelphia, Berkeley, and Seattle all recently joined Chicago and impose a soda tax on high-caloric beverages.

Continue reading

January 22, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bankman Presents The Federal Tax Treatment Of Charitable Contributions Entitling The Donor To A State Tax Credit Today At Duke

Bankman (2017)Joseph Bankman (Stanford) presents Federal Income Tax Treatment of Charitable Contributions Entitling the Donor to a State Tax Credit (with David Gamage (Indiana), Jacob Goldin (Stanford), Daniel Hemel (Chicago), Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Kirk Stark (UCLA), Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis) & Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

This paper summarizes the current federal income tax treatment of charitable contributions where the gift entitles the donor to a state tax credit. Such credits are very common and are used by the states to encourage private donations to a wide range of activities, including natural resource preservation through conservation easements, private school tuition scholarship programs, financial aid for college-bound children from low-income households, shelters for victims of domestic violence, and numerous other state-supported programs. Under these programs, taxpayers receive tax credits for donations to governments, government-created funds, and nonprofits.

Continue reading

January 18, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Brennan Presents Debt And Equity Taxation: An Economic And Legal Perspective Today At Indiana

Brennan (2017)Thomas J. Brennan (Harvard) presents Debt and Equity Taxation: A Combined Economic and Legal Perspective (with Robert L. McDonald (Northwestern)) at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

We describe the law distinguishing debt from equity in the corporate setting, and we discuss the historical development of the rules. We show how economically similar positions may be treated differently because of binary categorizations that are not updated over time, and we use simple economic models to illustrate how dynamic bifurcation of instruments into debt and equity components could eliminate such inconsistencies and associated distortions.

We discuss how the debt-equity distinction affects the corporate income tax, and we show that if ownership financed entirely by risk-free obligations is treated as equity and risk-free obligations by themselves are treated as debt, then a corporate tax providing for interest deductibility burdens only rents, under the assumption that the zero-price risk-premium is not burdened by an income tax. This result could be achieved using the current definitions of debt and equity by making an allowance for corporate equity (ACE) equal to a hypothetical pre-tax risk-free return on equity, and restricting the interest deduction to the same hypothetical return on total debt capital. This would achieve a result similar to that proposed in the Mirrlees Review for a deduction for the normal return to corporate capital.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Prasad Presents Anti-Tax America: The Origins Of Our National Obsession With Tax Cuts Today At Georgetown

PrasadMonica Prasad (Northwestern) presents Anti-Tax America: The Origins of Our National Obsession with Tax Cuts, 24 J. Pol'y Hist. 351 (2012), at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

The debt when Reagan entered office was just over $900 billion, not historically high in constant dollars or as a percent of GDP, but by the time Reagan left office it had almost tripled in nominal terms, and in percent of GDP it had gone from 33.4 percent to 51.9 percent. At the end of his term, the debt stood at $2.6 trillion, with a substantial portion of it contributed by Reagan's own policies: a mountain over 160 miles high in loose or tight bricks.

The irony is that the policy that accelerated the growth of that debt was the very policy Reagan was promoting in that first address, the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (ERTA). This tax cut remains the largest tax cut in American history. Of course, spending increases were also necessary to the creation of the new mountain of debt, but spending has increased many times over the course of the century. What was historically new was the policy of not raising taxes to match those spending increases.

Continue reading

January 16, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Leiserson Presents Dynamic Scoring And Optimal Taxation Today At NYU

GregGreg Leiserson (Washington Center for Equitable Growth) presents Removing the Free Lunch from Dynamic Scores: Reconciling the Scoring Perspective with the Optimal Tax Perspective at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Conventional estimates of the revenue effects of proposed tax legislation assume that the legislation would not change macroeconomic aggregates such as output, the capital stock, and employment. Dynamic estimates relax this assumption and—in the emerging consensus approach—replace it with two alternative assumptions. First, the macroeconomic analysis supporting dynamic estimates assumes future policy changes sufficient to address the fiscal imbalances that exist in CBO’s current-law baseline. These changes are assumed to take effect after the period for which economic results are reported. Second, in many but not all cases, the analysis assumes additional future policy changes that offset any change in the government’s present value fiscal position that the proposed legislation would cause, again taking effect after the period for which results are reported.

Continue reading

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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Leviner Presents Public Opinion And Tax Justice Today At Hebrew University

Leviner (2018)Sagit Leviner (Ono Academic College) presents In the Eye of the Beholder: Public Opinion on Tax Justice at Hebrew University today as part of its Forum for Tax Law:

The tax system is one of the most influential of civic institutions of our time. Taxes often detract at least one third of our income and they present an immediate and consequential effect with respect to a broad array of actions we make daily, when we choose to get married, have kids, go to college, or buy a loaf of bread. And, even though tax cuts and reforms are accordingly appealing to many people, it is worth taking time to ponder over the consequences of such cuts and reforms.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Blank Presents The Timing Of Tax Transparency At Hebrew University

Blank (2017)Joshua Blank (NYU, moving to UC-Irvine) presented The Timing of Tax Transparency, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 449 (2017) (review here), at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel yesterday as part of its Tax Law Forum hosted by David Gliksberg (Hebrew U):

Fairness in the administration of the tax law is a subject of intense debate in the United States. As myriad headlines reveal, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has been accused of failing to enforce the tax law equitably in its review of tax-exempt status applications by political organizations, international tax structures of multinational corporations, and estate tax returns of millionaires, among other areas. Many have argued that greater “tax transparency” would better empower the public to hold the IRS accountable and the IRS to defend itself against accusations of malfeasance. Mandatory public disclosure of taxpayers’ tax return information is often proposed as a way to achieve greater tax transparency. Yet, in addition to concerns regarding exposure of personal and proprietary information, broad public disclosure measures pose potential threats to the taxing authority’s ability to enforce the tax law.

Continue reading

January 2, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thomas Presents Taxing The Gig Economy At Minnesota

Thomas (2017)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) presented Taxing the Gig Economy, 166 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at Minnesota as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Millions of Americans now earn income through “gig” work, which allows them to set their own hours and choose which jobs to take. To the surprise of many gig workers, the tax law considers them to be “business owners” and subjects them to onerous recordkeeping and filing requirements along with the obligation to pay quarterly estimated taxes. Professor Thomas will discuss two possible reforms aimed at reducing the tax compliance burdens of gig workers while enhancing the government’s ability to collect tax revenue from them: a “non-employee withholding” regime that would allow online platform companies to withhold taxes for their workers without being classifed as employers; and a “standard business deduction” for gig workers that would eliminate the need for those workers to track and report business expenses.

December 12, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gergen Presents A Securities Tax And The Problems Of Taxing Global Capital Today At Penn

Gergen (2017)Mark P. Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents A Securities Tax and the Problems of Taxing Global Capital at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series:

An earlier paper by the same author [How to Tax Capital, 70 Tax L. Rev. 1 (2016)] proposed a new approach to taxing capital that is owned by U.S. households and nonprofits. The cornerstone of the new approach would be a flat annual tax on the market value of U.S. publicly traded securities. A security issuer would remit the tax based on the market value of its securities and would receive a credit for U.S. publicly traded securities it holds. Income producing capital that is not subject to the securities tax, such as an interest in a closely held business or an interest in a private equity fund, would be covered by a complementary tax that would be at the same rate as the securities tax. The securities tax and the complementary tax are intended to replace the entire existing patchwork system for taxing capital income in the U.S., and would eliminate many of the distortionary features of the existing U.S. system, including the realization requirement, the distinction between debt and equity, and the double-taxation of corporate income.

Continue reading

December 6, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Boustan Presents Immigration In American Economic History Today At Columbia

BoustanLeah Boustan (Princeton) presents Immigration in American Economic History (with Ran Abramitzky (Stanford)) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

The United States has long been perceived as a land of opportunity for immigrants. Yet, both in the past and today, US natives have expressed concern that immigrants fail to integrate into US society and lower wages for existing workers. This paper reviews the literatures on historical and contemporary migrant flows, yielding new insights on migrant selection, assimilation of immigrants into US economy and society, and the effect of immigration on the labor market.

Figure 1

Continue reading

December 5, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ring Presents Leak-Driven Law Today At The London School Of Economics

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Leak-Driven Law, 65 UCLA L. Rev. __ (2018) (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)) today at the London School of Economics:

Over the past decade, a number of well-publicized data leaks have revealed the secret offshore holdings of high-net-worth individuals and multinational taxpayers, leading to a sea change in cross-border tax enforcement. Spurred by leaked data, tax authorities have prosecuted offshore tax cheats, attempted to recoup lost revenues, enacted new laws, and signed international agreements that promote “sunshine” and exchange of financial information between countries.

The conventional wisdom is that data leaks enable tax authorities to detect and punish offshore tax evasion more effectively, and that leaks are therefore socially beneficial from an economic welfare perspective. This Article argues, however, that the conventional wisdom is too simplistic.

Continue reading

November 30, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sanchirico Presents Expensing And Interest In The GOP Tax Blueprint Today At Penn

SanchiricoChris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania) presents Expensing and Interest in the GOP Blueprint: Good Deal? Good Idea?, 155 Tax Notes 339 (Apr. 17, 2017), at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series:

November’s election thrust to the fore the tax reform Blueprint released last June by House GOP leaders. One of the plan’s key features, which has received surprisingly little attention, is its treatment of business investment. Outlays for plant, equipment and other business assets would be immediately deductible, rather than depreciated over time, while interest costs would be deductible only to the extent of interest income. This plan to replace net interest deductions with expensing of capital outlays is likely to hurt most businesses — some significantly — and so is likely to face a growing chorus of objections in coming months as this becomes clear to business leaders.

Continue reading

November 29, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Batchelder Presents Improving Retirement Savings Choices Through Smart Defaults Today At Boston College

BatchelderLily Batchelder (NYU) presents Improving Retirement Savings Choices Through Smart Defaults at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu Yi Oei:

Many Americans are not financially prepared for retirement. One of the most powerful levers for influencing their retirement savings choices is defaults. Yet despite the overwhelming evidence of defaults’ power and new research on optimal retirement savings strategies, there have been relatively few reforms to leverage their influence over the past decade.

Making defaults “smarter”—including by taking the novel step of adjusting defaults based on socio-economic characteristics of savers—is a simple way that policymakers could dramatically improve retirement preparedness at little cost to taxpayers. This is true both in the employer plan context and as part of any reforms, such as new state-based auto-IRAs, that expand easy access to tax-preferred retirement savings vehicles outside of employer plans.

Continue reading

November 28, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Gottlieb Presents The Spillover Effects Of Top Income Inequality Today At Columbia

GottleibJoshua Gottlieb (British Columbia) presents The Spillover Effects of Top Income Inequality (with Jeffrey Clemens (UC-San Diego), David Hemousat (Zurich) & Morten Olsen (Copenhagen)) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Top income inequality in the United States has increased considerably within occupations as diverse as bankers, managers, doctors, lawyers and scientists. The breadth of this phenomenon has led to a search for a common explanation. We show instead that increases in income inequality originating within a few occupations can “spill over” into others, driving broader changes in income inequality.

Continue reading

November 28, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Williamson Presents Why Americans Are Proud To Pay Taxes Today at Columbia

Read My LipsVanessa S. Williamson (Brookings Institution) presents Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes (Princeton University Press 2017) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Bringing together national survey data with in-depth interviews, Read My Lips presents a surprising picture of tax attitudes in the United States. Vanessa Williamson demonstrates that Americans view taxpaying as a civic responsibility and a moral obligation. But they worry that others are shirking their duties, in part because the experience of taxpaying misleads Americans about who pays taxes and how much. Perceived "loopholes" convince many income tax filers that a flat tax might actually raise taxes on the rich, and the relative invisibility of the sales and payroll taxes encourages many to underestimate the sizable tax contributions made by poor and working people.

Americans see being a taxpayer as a role worthy of pride and respect, a sign that one is a contributing member of the community and the nation. For this reason, the belief that many Americans are not paying their share is deeply corrosive to the social fabric. The widespread misperception that immigrants, the poor, and working-class families pay little or no taxes substantially reduces public support for progressive spending programs and undercuts the political standing of low-income people. At the same time, the belief that the wealthy pay less than their share diminishes confidence that the political process represents most people.

Continue reading

November 21, 2017 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Eyal-Cohen Presents The Cost Of Inexperience Today At Loyola-L.A.

Eyal-Cohen (2017)Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) presents The Cost of Inexperience at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Katie Pratt and Ted Seto:

Free market entry is vital in preventing concentration of market power and eliminating large deadweight losses. Yet, in recent years, studies show that newcomers are less successful than existing firms that have diversifies their products in the market. What might explain this phenomenon?

This Article unveils a regulatory catch 22. It reveals that although a regulation may be efficient in correcting a certain market failure, its distributional effects may create another. It exposes the degree to which “economies of experience” in regulation create significant disadvantages to newcomers and provide substantial advantages to oldtimers. Being well-versed in their marketplace, old-timers possess knowledge, familiarity, and influence over the rulemaking process. New or “green” entities entering regulated market or dealing with a new rule face proportionally larger costs to obtain regulatory insight. Consequently, an anomaly exists when government choice may de facto hamper innovation and survival of newcomers, the same goals it seeks to promote.

Continue reading

November 20, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Goldin Presents Complexity and Take-up of the Earned Income Tax Credit At Northwestern

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presented Complexity and Take-up of the Earned Income Tax Credit at Northwestern yesterday as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

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.

Continue reading

November 16, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lockwood Presents Regressive Sin Taxes Today At Penn

LockwoodBenjamin B. Lockwood (Pennsylvania) presents Regressive Sin Taxes (with Dmitry Taubinsky (UC-Berkeley)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

A common objection to “sin taxes” — corrective taxes on goods like cigarettes, alcohol, and sugary drinks, which are believed to be over-consumed — is that they fall disproportionately on low-income consumers. This paper studies the interaction between corrective and redistributive motives in a general optimal taxation framework. On the one hand, redistributive concerns amplify the corrective benefits of a sin tax when sin good consumption is concentrated on the poor, even when bias and demand elasticities are constant across incomes. On the other hand, a sin tax can generate regressivity costs, raising more revenue from the poor than from the rich.

Continue reading

November 15, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Listokin Presents The Law And Economics Of Recessions Today At Columbia

Listokin (2015)Yair Listokin (Yale) presents Law and Macroeconomics: The Law and Economics of Recessions at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

In this Article, I offer a macroeconomic perspective on law that reshapes the microeconomic perspective that currently dominates law and economics. I argue that 1. The economy works one way in ordinary economic conditions, in which supply capacity determines output, and a different way in deep recessions, in which demand for spending determines output. 2. Because the economy functions differently in deep recessions than in ordinary times, a law causes one set of effects in deep recessions and a different set of effects at other times. 3. Because the same law has different effects at different times, law should be different in deep recessions than in other times. Specifically, law should do more to promote spending in deep recessions than in ordinary economic conditions. Because the stakes of deep recessions are so high (tens of trillions of dollars in lost output, countless lives impaired, and political upheaval), I argue that the (significant) costs associated with introducing macroeconomics into law are worth bearing.

November 14, 2017 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Herzig Presents Structural Inequities Of Exchange Traded Funds Today At Loyola-L.A.

Herzig (2018)David Herzig (Valparaiso) presents Structural Inequities of Exchange Traded Funds at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Katie Pratt and Ted Seto:

Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs) have almost as many assets under management as Mutual Funds. ETFs are often compared to Mutual Funds as a more efficient version of the same structure. The popular narrative espouses that these tax efficiencies account for the growth of the sector. This narrative is incomplete and misleading. These two structures have key differences other than tax efficiency. These structural differences have created an environment where aggressive bets against their performance, e.g. shorts, and high levels of internal leverage of the fund take place. Because of the vulnerabilities caused by the structural differences between ETFs and Mutual Funds, ETFs may not be the better structure but, rather, be the canary in the coal mine for the next market crash. This article proposes both tax and regulatory rules to rein in ETFs.

 

Continue reading

November 13, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Barry Presents Collusion In Markets With Syndication Today At Pepperdine

Barry (2017)Jordan Barry presents Collusion in Markets With Syndication (with John Hatfield (Texas), Scott Kominers (Harvard) & Richard Lowery (Texas)) at Pepperdine today as part of our Faculty Workshop Series hosted by Babette Boliek:

Many markets, including the markets for IPOs and debt issuances, are syndicated, in that a bidder who wins a contract will often invite competitors to join a syndicate that will fulfill the contract. We model syndicated markets as a repeated extensive form game, and show that standard intuitions from industrial organization can be reversed: Collusion may become easier as market concentration falls, and market entry may in fact facilitate collusion. In particular, price collusion can be sustained by a strategy in which firms refuse to join the syndicate of any firm that deviates from the collusive price, thereby raising total production costs. Our results can thus rationalize the apparently contradictory empirical facts that the market for IPO underwriting exhibits seemingly collusive pricing despite its low level of market concentration.

Continue reading

November 9, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Viard Presents Taxes, Transfers, Progressivity, And Redistribution Today At Penn

Viard (2016)Alan D. Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presents Taxes, Transfers, Progressivity, And Redistribution, Part 1, 140 Tax Notes 1437 (Sept. 5, 2016) and Part 2, 140 Tax Notes 1879 (Sept. 26, 2017) (with Sita N. Slavov (George Mason)), at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

In Part 1, Slavov and Viard explain how to measure the extent of redistribution induced by a tax transfer system, the impact of the size and progressivity of taxes and transfers, and the proper comparison of the effects of taxes and transfers. In Part 2, Slavov and Viard discuss the policy issues regarding the choice of a fiscal system’s size and progressivity.

Continue reading

November 8, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Tillotson Presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer And The Rise Of Canadian Democracy Today At McGill

Give and TakeShirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University) presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy (University of British Columbia Press Nov. 15, 2017) at McGill today as part of its Spiegel Sohmer Tax Policy Colloquium Series convened by Allison Christians:

Can a book about tax history be a page-turner? You wouldn’t think so. But Give and Take is full of surprises. A Canadian millionaire who embraced the new federal income tax in 1917. A socialist hero, J.S. Woodsworth, who deplored the burden of big government. Most surprising of all, Give and Take reveals that taxes deliver something more than armies and schools. They build democracy.

Tillotson launches her story with the 1917 war income tax, takes us through the tumultuous tax fights of the interwar years, proceeds to the remaking of income taxation in the 1940s and onwards, and finishes by offering a fresh angle on the fierce conflicts surrounding tax reform in the 1960s.

Taxes show us the power of the state, and Canadians often resisted that power, disproving the myth that we have all been good loyalists. But Give and Take is neither a simple tale of tax rebels nor a tirade against the taxman. Canadians also made real contributions to democracy when they taxed wisely and paid willingly.

Continue reading

November 6, 2017 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)