TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Kysar Presents Unravelling The Tax Treaty At Northwestern

Kysar (2018)Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) presented Unravelling the Tax Treaty at Northwestern on Thursday as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

Coordination among nations over the taxation of international transactions rests on a network of some 2,000 bilateral double tax treaties. The double tax treaty is, in many ways, the roots of the international system of taxation. That system, however, is in upheaval in the face of globalization, technological advances, taxpayer abuse, and shifting political tides. In the academic literature, however, scrutiny of tax treaties is largely confined to the albeit important question of whether tax treaties are beneficial for developing countries. Surprisingly little consideration has been paid to whether developed countries, like the United States, should continue to sign tax treaties with one another, and no formal revenue or economic analyses of the treaties has been undertaken by the United States government. In fact, little evidence or theory exists to support entrance into tax treaties by the United States, and examination of investment flows indicates the treaties likely lose significant U.S. revenues. Additionally, they enable taxpayer abuse, stagnate domestic policy, and thwart reforms of the antiquated international tax system. These consequences are particularly problematic for the United States. Other nations, after all, have been able to supplement their revenues and pursue destination-based taxation through treaty-friendly VATs.

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October 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Gale Presents Fiscal Therapy Today At Pennsylvania

GaleWilliam G. Gale (Brookings Institution) presents Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future (Oxford University Press 2019) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

Keeping the economy strong will require addressing two distinct but related problems. Steadily rising federal debt makes it harder to grow our economy, boost our living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain our role as a global leader. At the same time, we have let critical investments lag and left many people behind even as overall prosperity has grown.

In Fiscal Therapy, William Gale, a leading authority on how federal tax and budget policy affects the economy, provides a trenchant discussion of the challenges posed by the imbalances between spending and revenue. America is facing a gradual decline as debt accumulates and delay raises the costs of action. But there is hope: fiscal responsibility aligns with both conservative and liberal goals and citizens of all stripes can support the notion of making life better for our children and grandchildren.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Elkins Presents The Merits Of Tax Competition Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Merits of Tax Competition in a Globalized Economy today at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

Since the turn of the current century, leading transnational organizations and academic scholarship have identified tax competition among countries as one of the scourges of the international tax regime. Both the EU and the OECD have warned that tax competition erodes the tax bases of Member States and impedes their ability to provide essential services. Commentators have argued that unrestrained competition is driving tax rates on mobile sources of income to (or close to) zero, a process that jeopardizes the very existence of the welfare state, exacerbates problems of global poverty, and deprives developing countries of funds that they desperately need in order to improve their physical infrastructure and human capital. Tax competition is also said to misallocate economic resources by driving investment to where the tax rate is lowest rather than to where the return on investment is highest.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Brockmeyer Presents Taxation, Information, And Withholding Today At UC-Berkeley

BrockmeyerAnne Brockmeyer (World Bank) presents Taxation, Information, and Withholding: Evidence from Costa Rica (with Marco Hernandez (World Bank)) at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

This paper studies the compliance effect of tax withholding on firms, which is commonly used in developing countries. While a growing literature argues that third-party reporting of tax liabilities is a key mechanism for ensuring tax compliance, and a reason why tax capacity grows along the development path, the literature has ignored the fact that third-party reporting is often associated with tax withholding. Withholding is irrelevant if the tax withheld is fully credited against a taxpayer’s liability, but can increase compliance in the presence of costly reclaim, low salience of enforcement or extensive margin compliance gaps.

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

Pomerleau Presents Indexing Capital Gains To Inflation Today At UC-Irvine

PomerleauKyle Pomerleau (Tax Foundation) presents Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation: Is It Worth It? at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration have reintroduced the idea of adjusting the basis of capital gains to inflation. Proponents of capital gains indexing argue that taxing individuals for an increase in the price level is unfair. They also argue that indexing capital gains would unlock capital, which would result in significant economic growth. It is true that indexing capital gains to inflation would increase the incentive to invest and results in a slight boost to the size of the economy. However, the effect would be much smaller than proponents argue. At the same time, it would reduce revenue and make the tax code slightly less progressive.

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

Glogower Presents A Constitutional Wealth Tax Today At Loyola-L.A.

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio States) A Constitutional Wealth Tax at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

A wealth tax could address rising inequality and more accurately tailor the tax system to taxpayers’ economic differences. These reasons to tax wealth may not matter, however, if a wealth tax is unconstitutional. This Article considers the possibilities for the design of a constitutional wealth tax. In particular, this Article argues that, if the Supreme Court were to find a traditional tax on wealth is foreclosed under the Constitution, Congress could instead tax wealth indirectly, by adjusting a taxpayer’s income tax liability on account of her wealth. This Article describes three methods for making this adjustment (collectively, “Wealth Integration” methods): A taxpayer’s wealth could affect her base of taxable income (the “Base Method”), the applicable rate schedule (the “Rate Method”) or the availability of credits against tax (the “Credit Method”).

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

Manhire Presents An Alternative Approach To Tax Gap Analysis Today In London

Manhire (2018)Jack Manhire (Texas A&M) presents Constraints on IRS Control: An Alternative Approach to Tax Gap Analysis, 12 Int’l J. L. & Pol. Sci. ___ (2018) at the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology’s 20th International Conference on Tax Law and Regulations today in London, England.

A tax authority wants to take actions it knows will foster the greatest degree of voluntary taxpayer compliance to reduce the "tax gap." This paper suggests that even if a tax authority could attain a state of complete knowledge, there are constraints on whether and to what extent such actions would result in reducing the macro-level tax gap. These limits are not merely a consequence of finite agency resources. They are inherent in the system itself. To show that this is one possible interpretation of the tax gap data, the paper formulates known results in a different way by analyzing tax compliance as a population with a single covariate. This leads to a standard use of the logistic map to analyze the dynamics of non-compliance growth or decay over a sequence of periods.

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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dexter Presents The Burgeoning Role Of Rigorous Formative Assessments Today In Tokyo

Dexter (2018)Bobby Dexter (Chapman) presents Beyond the Laptop Ban: The Burgeoning Role of Rigorous Formative Assessments at the Asian Conference on Education today in Tokyo:

We live in constantly-evolving learning environments that are perpetually fraught with actual and potential distractors in the form of messages, notifications, and the varied temptations of the information superhighway. Achieving meaningful and sustained student focus is an uphill battle. Attempts to compel concentration by restricting the use of electronic devices may achieve enhanced classroom focus, but there are no promises. Students routinely defy edicts (remaining “connected” in some way), and technology may be a critical or highly desirable tool with respect to the larger pedagogical effort. Moreover, without pre-emptive interruption management by the student, considerable distraction potential looms in every non-classroom learning venue (e.g., libraries, residences, transit vehicles, airports, etc.).

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October 13, 2018 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fleming Presents Real Worldwide V. Territorial Taxation After The TCJA In Vienna

FlemingJ. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (BYU) presents An Early Look at Real Worldwide v. Territorial Taxation After the TCJA today at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of the Vienna University of Economics and Business:

In the run up to enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) one of the principal U.S. tax policy issues was how foreign source active business income of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) should be taxed by the United States if the system of deferring U.S. tax on active income of a foreign subsidiary was ended. Should active foreign income be taxed under a territorial or exemption system—i.e. bear no residual U.S. tax—or should it be subjected to real worldwide taxation—i.e. current taxation at regular U.S. rates coupled with a credit for foreign income tax paid limited to the U.S. tax on the foreign-source income as measured for U.S. tax purposes.

The opposing sides were not without common ground. Both agreed that the existing U.S. system for taxing the foreign-source active-business income of U.S. MNEs was bad because it generally did not impose U.S. tax until the active income of foreign subsidiaries was repatriated, either through dividends or by sale of subsidiary stock at a price reflecting accumulated foreign-source income.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rosenberg Presents The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act And Investment Incentives Today At Penn

RosenbergJoseph Rosenberg (Tax Policy Center) presents The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Investment Incentives at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

This paper estimates the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on incentives to invest in the US as measured by the marginal effective tax rate (METR)—a summary measure of the total federal tax burden on a hypothetical break-even investment. In the near term (2018 law), the TCJA reduces the overall marginal effective tax rate (METR) on new investments from 17 percent to 13 percent, a 4.1 percent increase in the aftertax return. In the longer-term (2027 law), the METR decreases from 19 percent to 17 percent, a 1.5 percent increase in the after-tax return.

October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Give and TakeShirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University) presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy (University of British Columbia Press at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

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.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zolt Presents Tax Treaties And Developing Countries Post-BEPS Today At Michigan

Zolt (2014)Eric M. Zolt (UCLA) presents Tax Treaties and Developing Countries: A Better Deal Post-BEPS? at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

Developing countries face tough choices about whether to enter into bilateral tax treaties with developed countries. Several benefits flow from entering into tax treaties. These include increased foreign direct and portfolio investments that may result if tax treaties reduce double taxation, create greater tax certainty for investors, and provide for a dispute resolution mechanism for tax controversies. But there are real costs for developing countries in entering into tax treaties with developed countries. Treaty provisions invariably result in developing countries yielding taxing rights with respect to economic activity taking place in their country.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Davis Presents Elective Egg Freezing And The Limits Of The Medical Expense Deduction At Kentucky

DavisTessa R. Davis (South Carolina) presented Freezing the Future: Elective Egg Freezing and the Limits of the Medical Expense Deduction, 106 Ky. L. Rev. ___ (2019), last Friday at Kentucky as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) allows a deduction for unreimbursed expenses for medical care. To qualify as medical care, an individual’s outlay must meet the statutory definition of “medical care” set forth in § 213. Specifically, an outlay must be for care that is either for “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” Many costs raise few interpretive challenges. When an individual receives chemotherapy, for example, the costs tied to that care clearly satisfy the disease prong of §213. But as medicine advances, emerging technologies test the breadth of the Code’s concept of medical care. 

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

Elkins Presents The Myth Of Corporate Tax Residence Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Myth of Corporate Tax Residence today at the at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

The issue of corporate residence has recently attracted a great deal of attention in both the popular press and in academic discourse, primarily because of the phenomenon of corporate inversions. The consensus among commentators is that the root of the problem is a flawed definition of corporate residence, and they have therefore proposed replacing the current definition, which relies upon place of incorporation, with another that relies upon control and management, home office, customer base, source of income, or the residence of shareholders.

The thesis of this article is that the concept of tax residence is inapplicable to corporations. Residence in tax law delineates the boundaries of distributive justice, and whereas corporations cannot be parties to a scheme of distributive justice, corporate residence is a misnomer. The incongruity of corporate residence along with the fact that residence is a fundamental concept in international taxation is one reason that the current international tax regime has proven unviable.

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Gergen Presents A Securities Tax And The Taxation Of Global Capital Today At Northwestern

Gergen (2017)Mark Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents A Securities Tax and the Problems of Taxing Global Capital at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In an earlier paper I proposed a new approach to taxing capital owned by U.S. households and nonprofits. The heart of the new approach is a flat annual tax on the market value of publicly traded securities with a rate of around .8 percent (80 basis points) that is remitted by the issuer. A security issuer gets a credit for publicly traded securities it holds so that wealth that is represented by a string of publicly traded securities is taxed once. For example, a mutual fund remits the tax based on the market or redemption value of interests in the fund and gets a credit based on the market value of 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 in a private equity fund, is covered by a complementary tax with the same rate as the securities tax.

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October 4, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Clausing Presents Profit Shifting Before And After The TCJA Today At Pennsylvania

Clausing (2017)Kimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Profit Shifting Before and After the TCJA at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

In recent years, estimates of profit shifting by multinational companies have indicated substantial revenue costs to the U.S. government, likely in excess of $100 billion per year. The TCJA has changed the climate for profit shifting in several important ways: the lower U.S. corporate rate should lower the incentive to shift profits away from the United States, the adoption of a territorial tax system should raise the incentive to shift profits abroad, and several novel base protection measures, in particular the GILTI and BEAT provisions, are aimed directly at profit shifting. This paper evaluates these changes, discussing their likely effect on the magnitude of profit shifting.

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October 3, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ring Presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift Today At Loyola-L.A.

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

In December 2017, Congress passed major tax reform, including new § 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. This new provision grants independent contractors and other passthrough taxpayers—but not employees or corporations—a potential deduction equal to 20% of their qualified business income. This deduction will affect tens of millions of taxpayers and may be a significant boon to those eligible. Critics argue that the deduction may cause a large-scale workplace shift in favor of independent contractor jobs, as workers seek to take the new deduction. Such a shift could cause workers who leave traditional employment to lose important employee protections and benefits, leaving them more vulnerable.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Barry Presents The Transition (Under-) Tax Today At Toronto

Barry (2017)Jordan Barry (San Diego) presents The Transition (Under-) Tax at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

One of the most significant effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) was shifting the United States from a worldwide tax system to a territorial one: Before the TCJA, U.S. corporations were subject to tax on all of the income they earned, regardless of where they earned it; after the TCJA, U.S. corporations generally will not have to pay U.S. federal income tax on profits earned outside of the United States. The TCJA coupled this permanent shift with a one-time transition tax (the “Transition Tax”). The Transition Tax taxes the trillions of dollars of income that U.S. corporations earned outside of the United States, but which had not yet been subjected to U.S. tax, at a rate of either 8% or 15.5%, depending on how the income was invested. There is much to criticize about the Transition Tax.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Michigan

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prisinzano Presents The Penn Wharton Budget Model: Informing The Tax Policy Debate Today At Pennsylvania

PrisinzanoRichard Prisinzano (Pennsylvania) presents The Penn Wharton Budget Model: Informing the Tax Policy Debate at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

The speaker will discuss how the Penn Wharton Budget Model works and how it has been applied to recent tax policy issues. He has provided a series of short readings for the presentation:

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stark Presents The Power Not To Tax: State Responses To TCJA 2017 Today At San Diego

Stark (2018)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents The Power Not to Tax: State Responses to TCJA 2017 at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer: 

One of the most controversial provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is the new limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes Under that provision, for tax years 2018 to 2025, individual taxpayers may deduct only $10,000 in state and local taxes paid. This change in the law represents a significant increase in the after-tax cost of funding state and local public goods, particularly in those states where voters have demanded service levels requiring higher tax burdens. Perhaps not surprisingly, lawmakers representing these states have not responded favorably to these new limits. Following the enactment of TCJA, New York and several other states began considering legislation aimed at restoring the ability of their residents to fund state and local public services on a tax-favored basis.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Drumbl Presents Improving Tax Credits for the Working Poor Today At Boston College

Drumbl (2018)Michelle Drumbl (Washington & Lee) presents Improving Tax Credits for the Working Poor (Cambridge University Press 2019) at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

The United States introduced the earned income tax credit (EITC) in 1975. The EITC is the most significant earnings-based refundable credit available in the Internal Revenue Code (Code).  The United States is the oldest example of a country using its domestic revenue system to deliver and administer social welfare benefits to lower-income individuals or families.  This approach is no longer unique to the United States: other countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Canada, Australia, and Sweden have experimented with or incorporated analogous credits into their tax systems.  These other countries imported the concept from the United States. Might the U.S. be able to improve upon the administration of its EITC by importing the experiences and lessons learned in other countries?

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Clausing Presents Profit Shifting Before And After The TCJA Today At UC-Irvine

Clausing (2017)Kimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Profit Shifting Before and After the TCJA at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

In recent years, estimates of profit shifting by multinational companies have indicated substantial revenue costs to the U.S. government, likely in excess of $100 billion per year. The TCJA has changed the climate for profit shifting in several important ways: the lower U.S. corporate rate should lower the incentive to shift profits away from the United States, the adoption of a territorial tax system should raise the incentive to shift profits abroad, and several novel base protection measures, in particular the GILTI and BEAT provisions, are aimed directly at profit shifting. This paper evaluates these changes, discussing their likely effect on the magnitude of profit shifting.

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September 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fennel Presents Money Matters Today At Loyola-L.A.

Fennell (2015)Lee Anne Fennel (Chicago) presents Money Matters at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

This chapter from my forthcoming book, Slices and Lumps: Configuring Choice in Law, Markets, and Life (University of Chicago Press 2019), examines questions of lumpiness and granularity that arise in household budgeting and public finance contexts. People often have difficulty assembling the lumps of cash required to pay for indivisible goods like cars or down payments on homes. These difficulties can explain preferences that might otherwise seem puzzling, such as for lump sums rather than fragmented payment streams of higher present value. Seeming anomalies like the prevalence of income tax refunds and lottery play can be explained by the desire for lumpy consumption that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to finance. At the same time, better segmentation can help households achieve their goals, as studies showing the power of partitioning savings suggest.

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September 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Viswanathan Presents A Worker-Centric Model For Sharing Economy Providers Today At Northwestern

Viswanathan (2017)Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) presents A Worker-Centric Model for Sharing Economy Providers at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In light of ambiguities in the December 2017 tax legislation, this Article integrates tax, corporate, employment, and labor law to propose how sharing economy workers—and rideshare drivers in particular—might optimally structure their working lives. These workers already face challenging questions about employment conditions, collective bargaining, and their classification as employees or independent contractors. The new tax legislation has only created more questions about how this growing class of income earners should most efficiently structure their working arrangements for tax purposes.

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Loyola-L.A.

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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September 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guillot Presents Who Paid The 75% Tax On Millionaires? Today At UC-Berkeley

GuillotMalka Guillot (Ph.D. 2018, Paris School of Economics) presents Who Paid the 75% Tax on Millionaires? Optimization of Salary Incomes and Incidence in France at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

Using several administrative datasets, I study the impact of temporary tax on top wage income earners, implemented for 2013 and 2014 only and known as the "75% tax above 1m euro''. The tax is nominally paid by the firms. The tax base is gross annual salary income above one million euros and the top marginal tax rate on wage earners increased from 64% to 74% because of the tax. About 400 employers paid the tax each year and about 1000 employees were concerned. I document that the tax was largely borne by employers, who paid 80% of the tax.

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September 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Northwestern

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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

Mehrotra Presents A Comparative History Of U.S. Resistance To The VAT Today At Boston College

Mehrotra (2017)Ajay K. Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation & Northwestern) presents The VAT Laggard: A Comparative History of U.S. Resistance to the Value-added Tax at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

This project explores how and why the United States has historically rejected national consumption taxes. Nearly all developed countries, and many in the developing world, have some type of a national consumption tax, frequently in the form of a value-added tax (VAT). The United States is an exception. This project focuses on the fundamental question: why no VAT in the United States? To address this overall research question, this project explores three key historical periods.

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Complexity and Take-up of the Earned Income Tax Credit (reviewed by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) here) at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah

Millions of low-income Americans fail to claim tax benefits for which they are eligible, possibly because the rules governing the benefits are extraordinarily complex. I consider efforts to increase tax benefit take-up in light of this complexity. A key fact is that the vast majority of tax filers today prepare their taxes with assisted preparation methods (APMs) like software or professional assistance. APMs eliminate some – but not all – of the barriers to claiming tax benefits for which one is eligible. With respect to claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), I argue that most of the relevant complexity is the type that is eliminated by APMs. Consequently, efforts to increase EITC take-up should focus on inducing EITC-eligible individuals to file a tax return using an APM. In contrast, efforts aimed at increasing awareness of the credit (of the type widely employed by governments and nonprofits today) are less likely to be successful, except to the extent they themselves induce an increase in tax filing. Reforms that appear unrelated to a tax benefit may dramatically affect the benefit’s take-up by altering incentives to file a return.

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September 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Stark Presents State Charitable Tax Expenditures Before And After The TCJA Today At Minnesota

Stark (2014)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents State Charitable Tax Expenditures Before and After the TCJA at Minnesota as part of its  Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Many states have long provided 100% tax credits for gifts to certain state-designated transferees, while other states recently have enacted similar but less generous credits for gifts to state-established funds. Both types of credits raise the question whether a donor may claim a full charitable contribution deduction for such gifts or instead must reduce the deduction amount by the value of the state tax savings arising from the gift. If a full deduction can be claimed despite the state tax savings, as the IRS has long allowed, then donors can effectively convert nondeductible taxes to deductible gifts.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Brunson Presents God And The IRS At UC-Irvine

BrunsonSam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) presented God and the IRS: Accommodating Religious Practice in the Tax Law (Cambridge University Press 2018) yesterday at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Seventy-five percent of Americans claim religious affiliation, which can impact their taxpaying responsibilities. In this illuminating book, Samuel D. Brunson describes the many problems and breakdowns that can occur when tax meets religion in the United States, and shows how the US government has too often responded to these issues in an unprincipled, ad hoc manner. God and the IRSoffers a better framework to understand tax and religion. It should be read by scholars of religion and the law, policymakers, and individuals interested in understanding the implications of taxation on their religious practices.

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September 11, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lederman Presents Information Matters In Tax Enforcement At Miami

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presented Information Matters in Tax Enforcement (with Joseph Dugan) at Miami on Thursday as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

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.

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

Monday, September 3, 2018

Hatfield Presents Cybersecurity And Tax Reform Today In England

HatfieldMichael (2017)Michael Hatfield (U. Washington) presents Cybersecurity and Tax Reform, 93 Ind. L.J. ___ (2018) (reviewed by Diane Ring (Boston College) here), at the 27th Tax Research Network Conference today at the University of Birmingham, England:

The IRS collects information on more Americans and handles more money than any other agency. The cybersecurity risks are high. This Article takes seriously both the challenges and the agency's limitations in solving those problems through technological advances. This Article describes the cybersecurity problem as a legal problem for Congress to address rather than merely a digital problem for IRS technicians. By legislation, Congress defines what information is tax relevant, and then the IRS digitally collects, stores, and process the information. Over the years, without any regard for information security, Congress has designed a tax system that requires the IRS to collect more information than it can now protect. But there is ample flexibility for Congress to reform tax law to decrease the information held by the IRS and increase the likelihood the IRS can defend it. This Article explores specific ways in which the tax laws and its administration could be changed to simplify the information needs of the IRS, making its information system both a less appealing and a more defensible cyberattack target. In short, if the tax law were simpler in specific ways, the information technology needs at the IRS would be simpler, and adequate cybersecurity for it would be easier.

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September 3, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Morse Presents International Cooperation And The 2017 Tax Act Today At San Diego

Morse (2018)Susan C. Morse (Texas) presents International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act, 128 Yale L.J.F. ___ (2018), at San Diego today as part of its Tax Speaker Series hosted by Jordan Barry:

In 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Representative Kevin Brady and Senator Mitch McConnell accomplished something that many others, including Barack Obama, had aimed for. They lowered the federal corporate tax rate so that the U.S. rate now falls within the range used in most of the rest of the world. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) has attracted just criticism for its deficit financing, for its abysmal craftsmanship, and for the misguided policy objectives of some provisions.1 But the TCJA deserves credit for international corporate tax provisions that move the United States closer to the framework used by other nations. The TCJA may help establish a minimum tax rate globally, thus arguably saving the corporate income tax.

The characters in this Essay’s story are multinational corporations (“MNCs”) and the states that seek to tax them. We may think of a certain multinational corporation as a “U.S.” firm—for instance, because its publicly traded parent company is incorporated in the State of Delaware. Yet, by definition, a multinational firm does business in two or more national jurisdictions. When setting corporate tax policy, states may pursue “cooperation,” to help each other maintain a positive corporate tax rate. They also may pursue “competitiveness,” which in the context of tax policy means to lower tax burdens in hopes of attracting investment. The TCJA features both.

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August 27, 2018 in Colloquia, Scott Fruehwald, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

8th & 9th Ninth Annual Employee Benefits & Social Insurance Conferences

The dates and locations of the next two annual Employee Benefits & Social Insurance Conferences are:
Academic Year 2018–2019
Friday, March 29, 2019
University of Illinois College of Law
Organized by Sean Anderson (smander@illinois.edu; 217-244-8256)

Academic Year 2019–2020

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May 23, 2018 in Colloquia, Conferences, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Shaviro Presents Gilded Age Literature And Inequality Today At Stanford

ShaviroDaniel N. Shaviro (NYU) presents Gilded Age Literature and Inequality today at Stanford:

We are an intensely social species, and often a rivalrous one, prone to measuring ourselves in terms of others, and often directly against others.  Accordingly, relative position matters to our sense of wellbeing, although excluded from standard economic models that look only at the utility derived from own consumption of commodities plus leisure.  For example, people can have deep-seated psychological responses to inequality and social hierarchy, creating the potential for extreme wealth differences to invoked feelings of superiority and inferiority, or dominance and subordination, that may powerfully affect how we relate to each other.

The tools that one needs to understand how and why this matters include the sociological and the qualitative.  In my book-in-progress, Dangerous Grandiosity: Literary Perspectives on High-End Inequality Through the First Gilded Age, I use the particular tool of in-depth studies of particular classic works of literature (from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice  through Theodore Dreiser’s The Financier and The Titan) that offer suggestive insights regarding the felt experiences around high-end inequality at different times and from different perspectives. A successor volume will carry this account through the twentieth century and up to the present.

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May 17, 2018 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, May 7, 2018

Ring Presents Leak-Driven Law Today In Vienna

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Leak-Driven Law, 65 UCLA L. Rev. __ (2018) (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)), at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law at Vienna University today as part of its PwC-WU-Seminar Series:

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.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Schön Presents Taxation And Democracy Today At NYU

SchoenWolfgang Schön (Max Planck Institute) presents Taxation and Democracy at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Political economy assumes that taxation and democracy interact beneficially when there exists “congruence” or “equivalence” among those who vote on the tax, those who pay the tax, and those who benefit from the tax. Yet this only holds true when we look at the community of taxpayers as an aggregate, not at the position of the individual taxpayer. Individuals might regard democratic decision-making as a tool for the majority to exploit the minority. They might also perceive powerful special interest groups to extract preferential tax treatment to the detriment of other constituencies.

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April 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Slemrod Presents U.S. Enforcement Against Evasive Foreign Accounts Today At Georgetown

Slemrod (2017)Joel Slemrod (Michigan) presents Taxing Hidden Wealth: The Consequences of U.S. Enforcement Initiatives of Evasive Foreign Accounts at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

In 2008, the IRS initiated efforts to curb the use of offshore accounts to evade taxes. This paper uses administrative microdata to examine the impact of the enforcement efforts on taxpayers’ reporting of offshore accounts and income. Enforcement caused approximately 60,000 individuals to disclose offshore accounts with a combined value of around $120 billion. Most disclosures happened outside offshore voluntary disclosure programs by individuals who never admitted prior noncompliance. The disclosed accounts were concentrated in countries whose institutions facilitate tax evasion. The enforcement-driven disclosures increased annual reported capital income by $2.5-$4 billion corresponding to $0.7-$1.0 billion in additional tax revenue.

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April 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Elkins Presents The Myth Of Corporate Tax Residence Today In China

Elkins (2015)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Myth of Corporate Tax Residence today at the Academy of International Strategy and Law of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China:

The issue of corporate residence has recently attracted a great deal of attention in both the popular press and in academic discourse, primarily because of the phenomenon of corporate inversions. The consensus among commentators is that the root of the problem is a flawed definition of corporate residence, and they have therefore proposed replacing the current definition, which relies upon place of incorporation, with another that relies upon control and management, home office, customer base, source of income, or the residence of shareholders.

The thesis of this article is that the concept of tax residence is inapplicable to corporations. Residence in tax law delineates the boundaries of distributive justice, and whereas corporations cannot be parties to a scheme of distributive justice, corporate residence is a misnomer. The incongruity of corporate residence along with the fact that residence is a fundamental concept in international taxation is one reason that the current international tax regime has proven unviable.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Satterthwaite Presents Electing Into A Value-Added Tax Today At NYU

SatterthwaiteEmily Satterthwaite (Toronto) presents Electing into a Value-Added Tax: Evidence from Ontario Micro-Entrepreneurs at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Across countries, value-added tax (VAT) statutes typically recognize the disproportionate burden of VAT compliance for smaller firms by exempting “small suppliers” (defined as businesses with annual revenues less than a specified registration threshold) from the obligation to register for, collect, and remit VAT on their sales.  But most input-credit-style VATs also offer small suppliers a curious choice: they can elect into the VAT by voluntarily registering.  Because VAT paid on inputs is refundable for registered firms, small suppliers have stronger incentives to voluntarily register as they (1) purchase more of their inputs from registered firms (the “input channel”) or (2) sell more of their output to registered firms (the “customer channel”).  In theory, these “formality chain effects” can improve the efficiency of a VAT.  In practice, however, many VATs feature registration thresholds that are far lower in dollar terms than recommended by economists.  Where a registration threshold is very low, might microenterprises’ high VAT compliance costs weaken their incentives to voluntarily register, thereby undermining the policy rationale for offering the election?  This paper uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore the relevance of the formality chain effect theory in the context of a low registration threshold.

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April 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mehrotra Presents T.S. Adams And The Beginning Of The Value-Added Tax Today At Georgetown

Mehrotra (2017)Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation & Northwestern) presents Economic Expertise, Democratic Constraints, and the Historical Irony of U.S. Tax Policy: Thomas S. Adams and the Beginnings of the Value-Added Tax at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

I have recently embarked upon a new long-term research project (The VAT Laggard: A Comparative History of U.S. Resistance to the Value-added Tax), which explores why the United States remains the only advanced, industrialized nation that continues to resist the global spread of the value-added tax (VAT). The first part of this comparative-history project examines the 1920s intellectual beginnings of the VAT in the United States.

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April 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Brown Presents The Hegemony Of International Tax Reform Today At Georgetown

Brown (Karen)Karen B. Brown (George Washington) presents The Hegemony of International Tax Reform at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

The vast needs of the developing world, especially after the great recession of 2008, underscore the urgency of allowing these countries a meaningful voice in international tax reform. Twentyfirst century international tax reform has diminished power to conquer the challenges of the global marketplace when it ignores, minimizes, or undervalues the perspective and input of developing countries. The continued export of terrorism and the rising tide of political and economic refugees from these neglected areas of the world will shed a harsh light on efforts to ignore the importance of these nations to the economic and political stability of the remainder of the world.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fleischer Presents The Architecture Of A Basic Income Today At Duke

Fleischer (Miranda)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents The Architecture of a Basic Income (with Daniel Hemel (Chicago)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The notion of a universal basic income (“UBI”) has captivated academics, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and ordinary citizens in recent months. Pilot studies of a UBI are underway across the globe, including in Canada, Finland, Italy, Kenya, and Uganda. Here in the United States, the city of Stockton, California, has partnered with a nonprofit organization to give checks of $500 a month—no strings attached—to several dozen families. And prominent voices from across the ideological spectrum have taken up the UBI idea as well: libertarian Charles Murray, Facebook co-founder and Obama campaign strategist Chris Hughes, and former labor leader Andy Stern all have offered proposals for nationwide programs that resemble a UBI.

To be sure, even the most optimistic advocates for a UBI will acknowledge that nationwide implementation lies years—if not decades—ahead. And accordingly, one might argue that hashing out the nitty-gritty programmatic specifications of a UBI puts the cart before the horse. But as we seek to show below, these design details in many cases are the horse. What might seem like technical aspects of a UBI (e.g., whether it is paid monthly or annually; whether an individual’s future stream of UBI payments can be posted as collateral for a loan; and whether a spouse’s income is factored into the calculation of a phaseout) turn out to be essential elements that affect whether a future UBI will live up to the high expectations that supporters have set.

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

Bird-Pollan Presents Sovereignty, Tax, And Bilateral Investment Treaties Today At Indiana

Bird-Pollan (2017)Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky) presents The Sovereign Right to Tax: How Bilateral Investment Treaties Threaten Sovereignty at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Bilateral Investment Treaties, or “BITs,” are both a response to and likely at least partly responsible for the significant increase in international investments in the last fifty years. BITs provide potential private investors government assurances regarding a variety of factors relevant to their investments. Among these assurances, BITs regularly address the tax authority that the host government has with regard to the foreign investor, often protecting that foreign private investor against changes to the host country’s tax system. If an investor believes the host country has violated the terms of the BIT, that investor can bring a claim against the country in front of an independent arbitration panel, whose decision will be final and binding. Because the power to tax is at the heart of what makes a sovereign authority a sovereign, restrictions on a sovereign’s ability to tax foreign investors, which can be enforced by an external body, threaten that sovereign’s very essence. As a result, tax provisions in BITs and the adjudication of those provisions by arbitration bodies must be carefully examined and potentially reconsidered, to protect the sovereign rights of governments to assess tax, to evolve their tax policies, and administer the laws of their countries in the best interests of their people. This Article explains the background and use of BITs, explores theories of sovereignty, and then demonstrates that the current use of BITs to restrict governments’ ability to assess and collect tax within their borders threatens sovereign rights. The Article concludes by suggesting ways that the regulation of the taxation of international investments could be modified to protect sovereign rights.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Varner Presents Millionaire Migration And Taxation Of The Elite Today At Georgetown

VarnerCharles Varner (Stanford) presents Millionaire Migration and Taxation of the Elite: Evidence from Administrative Data (with Ithai Lurie (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department), Richard Prisinzano (Pennsylvania) & Cristobal Young (Stanford)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

A growing number of U.S. states have adopted “millionaire taxes” on top income-earners. This increases the progressivity of state tax systems, but it raises concerns about tax flight: elites migrating from high-tax to low-tax states, draining state revenues, and undermining redistributive social policies. Are top income-earners “transitory millionaires” searching for lower-tax places to live? Or are they “embedded elites” who are reluctant to migrate away from places where they have been highly successful? This question is central to understanding the social consequences of progressive taxation. We draw on administrative tax returns for all million-dollar income-earners in the United States over 13 years, tracking the states from which millionaires file their taxes. Our dataset contains 45 million tax records and provides census-scale panel data on top income-earners. We advance two core analyses: (1) state-tostate migration of millionaires over the long-term, and (2) a sharply-focused discontinuity analysis of millionaire population along state borders. We find that millionaire tax flight is occurring, but only at the margins of statistical and socioeconomic significance.

Figure 1

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April 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Furman Presents Should Policymakers Care Whether Inequality Is Helpful Or Harmful For Growth? Today At NYU

FurmanJason Furman (Harvard) presents Should Policymakers Care Whether Inequality Is Helpful or Harmful For Growth? at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

The view that inequality is harmful for growth is increasingly fashionable among policymakers around the world. In the strongest form of this argument, high levels of inequality can make sustained growth impossible or even cause recessions. In a weaker form, lower levels of inequality are good for growth. Among policymakers this view has almost entirely supplanted the traditional economic view that there was a tradeoff between inequality and growth, and that greater inequality might be the cost of higher levels of growth.

This paper is not a fresh attempt to assess the empirical evidence on inequality and growth or a survey of the existing literature. Instead this paper addresses the question of whether policymakers should even be interested in this question in its traditional form, answering with a resounding no for three reasons. ...

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April 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leviner Presents Public Opinion And Tax Justice Today At Sapir School of Law

Leviner (2018)Sagit Leviner (Ono Academic College, Israel) presents In the Eye of the Beholder: Public Opinion on Tax Justice at Sapir School of Law today as part of its Faculty Seminar Series:

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. This essay addresses the issue of fairness in taxation and how the tax system is perceived desirable not from a purely academic or theoretical perspective, but rather from a public opinion prism.

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April 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Scharff Presents Green Fees: Pricing Externalities Under State Law Today At UC-Irvine

Scharff (2017)Erin Scharff (Arizona State) presents Green Fees: The Challenge of Pricing Externalities under State Law at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

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.

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April 9, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)