TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marron Presents Should Governments Tax Unhealthy Foods And Drinks? Today At NYU

MarronDonald Marron (Urban Institute) presents Should Governments Tax Unhealthy Foods and Drinks? (with Maeve Gearing (Tax Policy Center) & John Iselin (Tax Policy Center)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

What we eat and drink can cause obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions. In response, many governments have enacted or are considering taxes on unhealthy food and drinks. This report evaluates the rationale behind such taxes; reviews evidence on their effects; analyzes different ways of structuring them; draws lessons from taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and carbon emissions; and offers a framework for assessing their benefits and costs. Taxing can influence what people eat and drink, but it is not a silver bullet. Governments must balance potential health gains against taxes’ limits and costs.

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February 9, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Lederman Presents IRS Reform: Politics As Usual? Today At Indiana-Indianapolis

Ledderman (2016)Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomington) presents IRS Reform: Politics As Usual? at Indiana-Indianapolis today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

The IRS is still reeling from accusations that it “targeted” Tea Party and other tax-exempt organizations. Although multiple government investigations found no politically motivated behavior—only mismanagement—Congressional hearings were quite inflammatory. Congress recently followed up those hearings with a set of IRS reforms. Congress’s approach is reminiscent of the late 1990s, when highly publicized Congressional hearings regarding alleged abuses by the IRS resulted in a major IRS reform and restructuring, although the allegations subsequently were largely debunked. This Article argues that the recent allegations against the IRS also were overblown. It looks to the aftermath of the 1998 IRS reform, which included a major downturn in enforcement, for lessons for the present day. The Article concludes that Congress as a whole can do a better job of keeping politics from undermining tax administration.

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February 9, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hines Presents High Tax Heresy Today At Georgetown

Hines (2016)James Hines, Jr. (Michigan) presents High Tax Heresy at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg::

An efficient and equitable income tax offers exclusions, deductions and credits that narrow the tax base and thereby require higher tax rates than would be necessary with a broad based income tax. Base narrowing features can make the tax system more efficient by focusing collection on revenue sources that are little affected by taxation, and they can promote equity by tailoring tax obligations to individual circumstances and supporting tax rate progressivity. Economic theory does not say that an efficient and equitable income tax system has a broad base and a low rate, and in fact the theory has never said that. Experience with efforts to reduce tax rates and broaden tax bases is that reforms can easily become focused on low statutory tax rates, to the detriment of efficiency and equity.

February 9, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chodorow Presents Bitcoin, Foreign Currency, And The Case For Basis Pooling Today At Pepperdine

Chodorow (2014)Adam Chodorow (Arizona State) presents Bitcoin, Foreign Currency, and the Case for Basis Pooling at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series.  The Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

The IRS recently dealt a blow to bitcoin enthusiasts by ruling that Bitcoin and other similar currencies should be treated as property – and not foreign currency – for income tax purposes. As a result, those who use bitcoin to purchase goods or services must report gain or loss on each transaction if the bitcoin has changed value between the time it was acquired and spent. The IRS’s decision seems correct as a matter of positive law, but laws can always be changed.

In this Article I consider whether bitcoin should be treated as a foreign currency for income tax purposes, which would permit bitcoin users to take advantage of the personal use exemption that applies to such currency. I conclude that it should not because the rationale for extending the personal use exemption to bitcoin is weak, at least from the government’s perspective. Moreover, expanding the definition of foreign currency could create significant line-drawing problems.

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February 8, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hines Presents High Tax Heresy Today At Colorado

Hines (2016)James Hines, Jr. (Michigan) presents High Tax Heresy at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

An efficient and equitable income tax offers exclusions, deductions and credits that narrow the tax base and thereby require higher tax rates than would be necessary with a broad based income tax. Base narrowing features can make the tax system more efficient by focusing collection on revenue sources that are little affected by taxation, and they can promote equity by tailoring tax obligations to individual circumstances and supporting tax rate progressivity. Economic theory does not say that an efficient and equitable income tax system has a broad base and a low rate, and in fact the theory has never said that. Experience with efforts to reduce tax rates and broaden tax bases is that reforms can easily become focused on low statutory tax rates, to the detriment of efficiency and equity.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Gould Presents Tax Reform, Congress, And Politics Today At UCLA

GouldJames C. Gould (Ogilvy Government Relations, Washington, D.C.) presents Tax Reform, Congress, and Politics, 146 Tax Notes 983 (Feb. 23, 2015), at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

If anything is clear from both 1986 and the last quarter-century, it is that tax reform is little different from entitlement reform, military base closing, or any other legislation that would take federal benefits away from average voters or Main Street businesses. The country’s political system is not designed to curtail popular benefits, whether spending or tax benefits. The successful tax reform effort will be one designed to overcome the demosclerosis identified by Rauch two decades ago.

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February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mayer Presents Taxing Politics Today At Indiana

MayerLloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame) presents Taxing Politics at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

This draft Article addresses two key questions relating to the interaction between federal tax law and political activity. First, is it advisable as a policy matter for Congress to use the tax law to regulate the flows of money in politics in furtherance of non-tax goals such as combatting corruption, promoting equality, and encouraging democratic participation? I answer this first question generally no, in significant part because the tax law and the IRS are poorly suited for this role and suffer significant collateral damage when their poor fit becomes evident, as the ongoing controversy over the IRS’ handling of exemption applications filed by Tea Party and other conservative groups reveals. Second, does tax law in its current form treat political activity properly based on longstanding tax policies relating to what constitutes income, what expenses should be deductible, what constitutes a taxable gift, and what characteristics organizations should have in order to qualify for tax exemption?

I answer this second question generally yes, but identify several areas where the tax law needs to be changed to achieve greater consistency with such policies, including with respect to reducing the amount of political activity that is deemed permissible for most types of tax-exempt organizations.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Viard Presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison Of Three Options Today At Duke

Viard (2016)Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison of Three Options at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Three prominent tax reform options can significantly reduce the tax penalty on saving and investment while maintaining a progressive federal tax system: partially replacing the income tax system with a value added tax, fully replacing the income tax system with a Bradford X tax, or fully replacing it with a personal expenditure tax. This paper compares the options’ implications for economic growth, progressivity, transitional wealth effects, business taxation, public and private transfer payments, international transactions, and the non-business sector and the options’ political viability. The paper also outlines a hybrid option.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rees-Jones Presents Attention Variation And Welfare: A Tax Salience Experiment Today At Penn

Rees-JonesAlex Rees-Jones (Wharton) presents Attention Variation and Welfare: Theory and Evidence from a Tax Salience Experiment at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

A rapidly growing literature shows that consumers can be inattentive to complex or notfully-salient financial incentives. This literature typically estimates “the average mistake,” and uses representative agent models to analyze the economic implications. This paper shows, theoretically and empirically, that accounting for heterogeneity in mistakes is crucial in positive and normative analysis. Focusing on consumer underreaction to not-fully-salient sales taxes, we show theoretically that 1) individual differences in underreaction generate inefficiency in the resulting allocation of the taxed good, 2) the variation of underreaction across the income distribution affects the regressivity of the tax burden, and 3) the variation of underreaction across different tax rates affects the distortions to demand resulting from tax changes. To empirically assess the importance of these issues, we implement an online shopping experiment in which 3000 consumers—matching the U.S. adult population on key demographics—purchase common household products, facing tax rates that vary in size and salience.

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February 3, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Phillips Presents A Performative Theory Of Tax Policy Today At Toronto

Phillips 2Lisa Phillips (Osgoode Hall) presents Registered Savings Plans and the Making of Middle Class Canada: A Performative Theory of Tax Policy at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Campaigning politicians and elected governments of all parties strive to position themselves as defenders of the middle class. This is to be expected given the large proportion of the Canadian population that self-­‐identifies as middle class.2 Since the term itself lacks precision, it is a claim that can accommodate a wide range of policy proposals. Tax policy serves as a prime vehicle for making this appeal to middle class voters. Undoubtedly, any tax reform proposal can be critically examined to evaluate its likely distributional impacts and how well these map onto specific definitions of the middle class. However this paper attempts a different project. Drawing on the ideas of Judith Butler I analyze instead how tax policy produces middle class identity, through the very process of claiming to advance middle class interests. My case study for this purpose is the rise of tax-­‐assisted savings plans as a prominent feature of Canadian personal tax policy over the two decades from 1995 to 2015. I suggest that the presentation, design and language of registered savings plans have shaped the content of middle class identity, including the behaviours, expectations and aspirations that condition membership in this identity group.

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February 3, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Martin Presents The Structure Of American Income Tax Policy Preferences Today At NYU

MartinLucy Martin (North Carolina) presents The Structure of American Income Tax Policy Preferences (with Cameron Ballard-Rosa (North Carolina) & Kenneth F. Scheve (Stanford)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

In recent decades inequality in the United States has increased dramatically but policy responses in terms of redistribution have been limited. This is not easily explained by standard political economy theory, which predicts a positive relationship between inequality and redistribution. One set of explanations for this puzzle focuses on whether and why redistributive preferences are muted in the presence of high inequality. While much recent research has focused on citizens’ preferences over government spending, we argue that preferences over taxation are a central piece of this puzzle.

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February 2, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Viard Presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison Of Three Options Today At Georgetown

Viard (2016)Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison of Three Options at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

Three prominent tax reform options can significantly reduce the tax penalty on saving and investment while maintaining a progressive federal tax system: partially replacing the income tax system with a value added tax, fully replacing the income tax system with a Bradford X tax, or fully replacing it with a personal expenditure tax. This paper compares the options’ implications for economic growth, progressivity, transitional wealth effects, business taxation, public and private transfer payments, international transactions, and the non-business sector and the options’ political viability. The paper also outlines a hybrid option.

February 2, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kleinbard Presents The New Political Economy Of Capital Income Taxation Today At UC-Irvine

Kleinbard (2015)Edward Kleinbard (USC) presents The New Political Economy of Capital Income Taxation at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

The standard view in the U.S. tax law academy remains that capital income taxation is both a poor idea in theory and completely infeasible in practice. But this ignores the first-order importance of political economy issues in the design of tax instruments. Taxing capital income is responsive to important political economy exigencies confronting the United States, including substantial tax revenue shortfalls relative to realistic government spending targets, increasing income and wealth inequality at the top end of distributions, and the surprising persistence of dynastic wealth.

More surprisingly, a flat-rate (proportional) income tax on capital has attractive theoretical and political economy properties that can be harnessed in actual tax instrument design.

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February 1, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gergen Presents Taxing Capital Today At Colorado

GergenMark Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents Taxing Capital at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

It is well known that the existing system in the U.S. for taxing capital income is a mess. It collects a small amount of revenue relative to capital income with high administrative and compliance costs while distorting the behavior of owners and users of capital on numerous margins. This paper proposes a system for taxing capital that can collect the same amount of revenue with much lower public administrative and private compliance costs, and with significantly less distortionary impact. The pillar of the system is a flat annual tax assessed on the market value of publicly traded securities. I estimate the securities tax will cover around 60 percent of the wealth of U.S. households and around 75 to 80 percent of income producing capital that is presently subject to the individual and corporate income taxes. Income producing capital that is not subject to the securities tax, such as equity in closely held businesses and real estate held for investment, will be covered by a complementary tax that is designed to have a similar incidence in order to minimize distortions from having two systems for taxing capital. Equity in owner-occupied housing and consumer durables will not be subject to the tax, though equity in housing could easily be included in the complementary tax. ...

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January 28, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Presents User-Friendly Taxpaying Today At Duke

Thomas (2015)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents User-Friendly Taxpaying at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Technology is revolutionizing many aspects of our lives. With the touch of a button or a simple voice command, we can instantly order groceries, get directions, or find the nearest sushi restaurant. Sensibly, the private sector has capitalized on these recent innovations to drive up profits. To sell more laundry detergent, Amazon now enables consumers to order refills by simply pressing the “dash button” mounted above their laundry machines. Starbucks lures more customers by allowing them to pre-order online and have their drink waiting when they arrive at the store. The theory behind this approach is simple: if you want someone to use your product or service, you should make it as quick and easy as possible for them to do so.

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January 28, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Eyal-Cohen Presents The Hidden Price Of Regulation Today At St. Louis

Eyal-Cohen-MiritMirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) presents The Hidden Price of Regulation at St. Louis today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

Rules and regulations inflict costs on regulated parties differently. This Article is the first to explore this discriminatory effect. It reveals that entities that lack economies of scale, scope, and age are disadvantaged. To address this discriminatory effect, governments enact various size-based exclusionary rules. The article reveals, however, that these regulatory exclusions do not solve the problem. Rather, they create more harm. These exemptions often exacerbate the impact of the very regulation whose cost they seek to reduce. The Article makes the following additional three contributions to the current literature. First, it demonstrates that the relationship between size and regulatory effects is non-exclusive and also extends to scope and age. Second, it illustrates some overlooked effects of regulations on certain entities and the latent externalities imposed on their unregulated affiliates. Lastly, it provides policymakers with mechanisms to alleviate regulatory burdens.

January 27, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simkovic Presents The Knowledge Tax Today At NYU

Simkovic 2Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall) presents The Knowledge Tax, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. ___ (2015), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Labor economists struggle to explain why the rates of return to higher education have remained much higher than the rates of return to other investments. This article proposes a novel explanation: distortionary taxation.

Economic theory suggests that when investments that are substitutes for one another are taxed inconsistently, investors are less likely to choose the investment option that is taxed more heavily. Unfavorable tax treatment of higher education relative to other forms of investment could create an undersupply of educated labor. This distortion would reduce economic growth and social welfare.

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January 26, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Marian Presents The State Administration Of International Tax Avoidance Today At Pepperdine

Marian (2016)Omri Marian (UC-Irvine) presents The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series:

This Article documents a process in which a national tax administration in one jurisdiction, is consciously and systematically assisting taxpayers to avoid taxes in other jurisdictions. The aiding tax administration collects a small amount tax from the aided taxpayers. Such tax is functionally structured as a fee paid for government-provided tax avoidance services. Such behavior can be easily copied (and probably is copied) by other tax administrations. The implications are profound. On the normative front, the findings should fundamentally change our understanding of the concept of international tax competition. Tax competition is generally understood to be the adoption of low tax rates in order to attract investments into the jurisdiction. Instead, this Article identifies an intentional “bagger thy neighbor” behavior, aimed at attracting revenue generated by successful investments in other jurisdictions, without attracting actual investments. The result is a distorted competitive environment, in which revenue is denied from jurisdictions the infrastructure and workforce of which support economically productive activity. On the practical front, the findings suggest that internationally coordinated efforts to combat tax avoidance are misaimed. Current efforts are largely aimed at curtailing aggressive taxpayer behavior. Instead, the Article proposes that the focus of such efforts should be curtailing certain rogue practices adopted by national tax administrations.

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January 25, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gamage Presents Tax Cannibalization And Fiscal Federalism Today At Duke

Gamage (2016)David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) presents Tax Cannibalization and Fiscal Federalism in the United States (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The design of federal tax law strongly influences the tax policy choices of the individual U.S. states. This article argues that under the current structure of U.S. federal tax law these influences are often perverse. Specifically, the current structure of U.S. federal tax law incentivizes state governments to adopt tax policies that inflict costs on the federal government, at the expense of national welfare. We label this the “tax cannibalization” problem.

This article introduces the tax cannibalization problem to the legal literature for the first time.

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Indiana

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine four research questions: (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes factor into driving and profitability decisions, (3) forum participants’ understandings of and attitudes towards worker classification issues (i.e., independent contractor vs. employee), and (4) user sophistication, attitudes towards compliance, and other cultural features of the forums.

We find that while forum participants displayed generally accurate understandings regarding tax filing and income inclusion obligations, their approaches to expenses and deductions were less accurate and more varied in terms of sophistication and willingness to comply with tax law. Forum participants also engaged in frequent discussions about whether driving was ultimately profitable and exhibited a range of awareness of how taxes affected such profitability. They also displayed heterogeneous understandings and preferences regarding worker classification questions (i.e., independent contractors versus employees). Finally, while the forums contained a surprising degree of sophisticated and accurate tax advice, they also contained a good amount of inaccurate, confusing, or misleading information. It is thus uncertain whether forum readers are able to successfully distinguish between accurate and inaccurate advice dispensed in the forums. 

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wilson Presents Corporate Inversions Update Today At Colorado

Wilson_John_John R. Wilson (Denver) presents  Corporate Inversions Update at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

The presentation examines the evolution of inversions from the single-company transactions of the 1990’s to the real business combinations of today. It considers the various legislative and regulatory moves that have been designed to make such transactions less appealing, and why such measures haven’t succeeded. The presentation concludes with an examination of the current state of play and possible further legislative, treaty and regulatory responses that could be undertaken short of fundamental international tax reform.

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series (Spring 2016)

Here is the schedule for my Spring 2016 Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series:

  • Jan. 25    Omri Marian (UC-Irvine), The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance
  • Feb. 8     Adam Chodorow (Arizona State), Bitcoin, Foreign Currency, and the Case for Basis Pooling
  • Feb. 22   John Brooks (Georgetown), Quasi-Public Spending
  • Mar. 7    Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.),  The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation
  • Mar. 28  Shuyi Oei (Tulane), The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums
  • Apr. 11   Jason Oh (UCLA), How the Rich Drive Progressive Tax Rates
  • Apr. 25   Lily Kahng (Seattle), Who Owns Human Capital?

I will of course blog each professor's paper on the day of their presentation.  Southern California professors and practitioners are welcome to attend any of the sessions (11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) -- just let me know.

Pepperdine Law School (2016)

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January 20, 2016 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Talley Presents Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition Today At NYU

Talley (2016)Eric L. Talley (Columbia) presents Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory Competition, 101 Va. L. Rev. 1649 (2015), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

A sizable number of US public companies have recently executed “tax inversions” – acquisitions that move a corporation’s residency abroad while maintaining its listing in domestic securities markets. When appropriately structured, inversions replace American with foreign tax treatment of extraterritorial earnings, often at far lower effective rates. Regulators and politicians have reacted with alarm to the “inversionitis” pandemic, with many championing radical tax reforms. This paper questions the prudence of such extreme reactions, both on practical and on conceptual grounds. Practically, I argue that inversions are simply not a viable strategy for many firms, and thus the ongoing wave may abate naturally (or with only modest tax reforms). Conceptually, I assess the inversion trend through the lens of regulatory competition theory, in which jurisdictions compete not only in tax policy, but also along other dimensions, such as the quality of their corporate law and governance rules.

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January 19, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hickman Presents Treasury's Retroactivity Today At Duke

Hickman 2014 2Kristin Hickman (Minnesota) presents Treasury's Retroactivity at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

In Bowen v. Georgetown University Hospital, the Supreme Court described retroactivity as "not favored in the law" and generally rejected allowing federal administrative agencies to adopt regulations "altering the past legal consequences of past actions."  Unlike most regulatory agencies, Treasury and the IRS are expressly authorized by Congress to adopt regulations with precisely such primary retroactive effect.  Specifically, IRC § 7805(b) grants Treasury and the IRS the power to backdate tax regulations under a variety of circumstances.  Preliminary analysis shows that Treasury and the IRS utilize this authority regularly with little judicial oversight for abuse of discretion.  Using empirical data, this article will explore more fully Treasury and IRS utilization of the authority to adopt retroactively effective regulations interpreting the Internal Revenue Code

January 14, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Eyal-Cohen Presents The Hidden Price Of Regulation Today At Toronto

Eyal-Cohen-MiritMirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) presents The Hidden Price of Regulation at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Rules and regulations inflict costs on regulated parties differently. This Article is the first to explore this discriminatory effect. It reveals that entities that lack economies of scale, scope, and age are disadvantaged. To address this discriminatory effect, governments enact various size-based exclusionary rules. The article reveals, however, that these regulatory exclusions do not solve the problem. Rather, they create more harm. These exemptions often exacerbate the impact of the very regulation whose cost they seek to reduce. The Article makes the following additional three contributions to the current literature. First, it demonstrates that the relationship between size and regulatory effects is non-exclusive and also extends to scope and age. Second, it illustrates some overlooked effects of regulations on certain entities and the latent externalities imposed on their unregulated affiliates. Lastly, it provides policymakers with mechanisms to alleviate regulatory burdens.

January 6, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Scheve Presents Taxing The Rich: A History Of Fiscal Fairness In The U.S. And Europe At Columbia

TaxingKenneth Scheve (Stanford) presented Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe (Princeton University Press, 2016) (with David Stasavage (NYU)) at Columbia on Tuesday as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

In today's social climate of acknowledged and growing inequality, why are there not greater efforts to tax the rich? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage ask when and why countries tax their wealthiest citizens—and their answers may surprise you.

Taxing the Rich draws on unparalleled evidence from twenty countries over the last two centuries to provide the broadest and most in-depth history of progressive taxation available. Scheve and Stasavage explore the intellectual and political debates surrounding the taxation of the wealthy while also providing the most detailed examination to date of when taxes have been levied against the rich and when they haven't. Fairness in debates about taxing the rich has depended on different views of what it means to treat people as equals and whether taxing the rich advances or undermines this norm. Scheve and Stasavage argue that governments don't tax the rich just because inequality is high or rising—they do it when people believe that such taxes compensate for the state unfairly privileging the wealthy. Progressive taxation saw its heyday in the twentieth century, when compensatory arguments for taxing the rich focused on unequal sacrifice in mass warfare. Today, as technology gives rise to wars of more limited mobilization, such arguments are no longer persuasive.

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December 10, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mintz Presents An Agenda For Corporate Tax Reform In Canada Today At Toronto

MintzJack Mintz (Calgary) presents An Agenda for Corporate Tax Reform in Canada at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Canada’s corporate tax system has become far more competitive with other countries over the past 15 years. But we are now at risk of falling behind again.

Some provinces have eroded earlier gains by raising a variety of existing business taxes or introducing new ones. What’s more, we have not gone as far as many other advanced economies in improving the neutrality of our tax system, in other words, the extent to which the same rules apply across business sectors, and between large and small companies. Our tax policies tend to favour manufacturing over services, resulting in a bias against investment in some sectors with exceptionally strong growth prospects

This paper questions the long-held assumption that favourable tax treatment for small businesses encourages investment, job creation and overall economic growth. In fact, tax advantages enjoyed by small business end up discouraging entrepreneurs from pursuing growth. They also distort the allocation of capital by favouring small company investment, which typically earns a lower return than investment by larger firms. To make matters worse, the favourable tax treatment of small businesses enables many wealthy Canadians to pay little or no personal income tax.

The main conclusion I draw is that Canada should retain the present system of corporate income taxes while initiating a fresh round of reforms, as follows:

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December 2, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thomas Presents User-Friendly Taxpaying Today At Columbia

Thomas (2015)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents User-Friendly Taxpaying at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

This Article argues that policymakers could encourage better tax compliance by simplifying the process of paying taxes. Not only are the tax laws themselves confusing, but our interactions with the tax system can also be incredibly tedious and burdensome. Thus, even when taxpayers understand the relevant legal rules, complying with one’s tax obligations may still entail hours of entering information on returns, sifting through pages of instructions, or keeping records of numerous expenses. In addition to imposing enormous efficiency costs, these procedural burdens deter voluntary participation in the tax system. In light of the time and mental effort required, many taxpayers may decide that fully complying with their tax obligations is simply too much work. This tendency to avoid mental effort is supported by numerous behavioral studies. For example, research has shown that when individuals are mentally fatigued by burdensome tasks, they tend to cheat more, behave more passively, and have a harder time exercising self-control.

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December 1, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Baker Presents Base Erosion And Profit Shifting Today At McGill

BakerAlbert Baker (Global Leader in Tax Policy, Deloitte (Toronto)) presents Base Erosion and Profit Shifting at McGill today as part of its Spiegel Sohmer Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

His recent research focuses on base erosion & profit shifting, a project to address concerns that current international tax frameworks result in double non-taxation, or stateless income, or reducing the tax base in high tax countries.

The attached Deloitte alerts summarise the key points and set out an overall perspective from both an International Tax and a US Tax perspective. Deloitte alerts on the individual papers can be accessed through the links below.

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November 30, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fennell Presents The Distributive Deficit In Law And Economics Today At Columbia

Fennell (2015)Lee Anne Fennell (Chicago) presents The Distributive Deficit in Law and Economics, 100 Minn. L. Rev. ___ (2016) (with Richard H. McAdams (Chicago)), at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Welfarist law and economics ignores the distributive consequences of legal rules to focus solely on efficiency, even though distribution unambiguously affects welfare, the normative maximand. The now-conventional justification for disregarding distribution is the claim of tax superiority: that the best means of influencing or correcting distribution is via tax-and-transfer. Critics have observed that optimal redistribution through tax may be politically infeasible, but have generally overlooked the rejoinder that the same political impediments to redistribution through tax will block redistribution through legal rules. This “invariance hypothesis,” as we label it, holds that there is only one distributive equilibrium and that Congress will offset through tax any deviations from it.

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November 24, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Brooks Presents The Troubling Role Of Tax Treaties Today At McGill

BrooksKim Brooks (Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law) presents The Troubling Role of Tax Treaties (with Richard Krever (Monash University, Department of Business Law & Taxation)) at McGill today as part of its Spiegel Sohmer Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

The notional purpose of tax treaties is to prevent double taxation and tax evasion. The actual purpose is to reallocate taxing rights between an investor’s home jurisdiction (the residence state) and the host jurisdiction (the source state). The effect is to reduce or remove the taxing rights of a source state (a capital importing state) to leave more room for tax in the residence state (a capital exporting state). The revenue costs of agreeing to reduce taxing rights in a treaty are thought to be offset by other benefits. The benefits may be exaggerated. To the extent they may actually be realized, all can likely be achieved more efficiently through unilateral action by the source state.

November 23, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hassett Presents The Response Of Deferred Executive Compensation To Changes In Tax Rates Today At Columbia

HassettKevin A. Hassett (American Enterprise Institute) presents The Response of Deferred Executive Compensation to Changes in Tax Rates (with Aspen Gorry (Utah State), Glenn Hubbard (Dean, Columbia Business School) & Aparna Mathur (American Enterprise Institute)) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Given the increasing use of stock options in executive compensation, we examine how taxes influence the choice of compensation and document that income deferral is an important margin of adjustment in response to tax rate changes. To account for this option in the empirical analysis, we explore deferral by estimating how executives’ choice of compensation between current and deferred income depends on changes in tax policy.

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November 17, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Faulhaber Presents Designing R&D Credits And Patent Boxes In The Age Of BEPS Today At Loyola-L.A

FaulhaberLily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents Tax Incentives for Innovation: Designing R&D Credits and Patent Boxes in the Age of BEPS at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

For decades, governments have turned to their tax codes to support research and development and innovation. In recent years, countries have added yet another tool to their repertoire of tax incentives for R&D: innovation boxes, sometimes referred to as patent boxes or IP boxes, which provide benefits to income from intellectual property. In response to the increasing number of innovation boxes, the forty-four OECD and G-20 member countries involved in the recent BEPS Project developed a requirement known as the nexus approach that places limits on the design of these tax incentives.

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November 16, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Brooks Presents Quasi-Public Spending Today At Columbia

Brooks (John)John R. Brooks (Georgetown) presents Quasi-Public Spending, 104 Geo. L.J. ___ (2016), at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

This Article proceeds as follows. In Part II, I review the Affordable Care Act and income-driven student loan repayment, describing how each program operates as a substitute for direct public spending. In Part III, I briefly sketch out some of the reasons for high and growing government budgets, since the political ceiling on the size of government is a key motivator for policymakers to take advantage of quasi-public spending. Part IV discusses the structure of quasi-public spending in more detail and contrasts it with some similar forms of government intervention. Part V examines in detail the unique features of quasipublic spending as compared to direct public spending. Here I focus in particular on the fact that much of the spending is off-budget, and also on the fact that a quasi-public spending program is likely to be complex. While both of these features have given some commentators pause, I provide a qualified defense of each. In Part VI, I use the analysis in the earlier Parts to derive a framework for helping policymakers to determine whether quasi-public spending is feasible and reasonable. Because of its particular features, quasipublic spending will not be suitable to all settings, even where policymakers might have worthwhile goals. Part VII applies that framework preliminarily to several other policy areas. Part VIII concludes.

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November 10, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shaviro Presents Getting A 'Fix' On Recent International Tax Policy Developments Today At McGill

Shaviro (2015)Daniel Shaviro (NYU) presents The Crossroads versus the Seesaw: Getting a 'Fix' on Recent International Tax Policy Developments at McGill today as part of its Spiegel Sohmer Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

U.S. international tax policy is at a crossroads, say those who urge the United States to adopt what common parlance would call a territorial system. They argue that one of the two ways forward they identify – trying to fortify the current U.S. system – would lead to ever-costlier outlier status for our tax system, and ever-declining competitiveness for U.S. multinationals. They therefore urge U.S. policymakers to embrace what they identify as the other way forward: conforming to global norms by adopting a territorial system.

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November 10, 2015 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Polsky Presents The Up-C Tax Revolution Today At Northwestern

Polsky (2015)Gregg Polsky (North Carolina) presents The Up-C Revolution (with Adam Rosenzweig (Washington University)) today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation  Workshop Series hosted by Herbert Beller, Charlotte CraneDavid Cameron, Philip Postlewaite, Jeffrey Sheffield, and Robert Wootton:

Over the past few years, a revolutionary new tax structure, known as the Up-C, has been increasingly utilized, particularly in instances where an LLC is being taken public. In such an Up-C IPO, a newly formed C corporation is placed on top of the existing LLC, which continues to operate the business. Shares of the C corporation are sold to new investors, and the proceeds are used by the C corporation to buy an interest in the LLC. Meanwhile, the original owners of the LLC (typically, founders and private investment funds) retain their interests in the LLC, while receiving exchange rights that allow them to swap their LLC interests for equivalent-value shares of the C corporation. In addition, the original owners often receive the benefit of tax receivables agreements (TRAs), which provide that the owners will receive a specified percentage (usually 85 percent) of the tax benefits to the C corporation resulting from future exchanges. In combination, these features seem to provide a near-nirvana of tax efficiency. It is therefore unsurprising that the use of Up-Cs is growing at an exponential rate.

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November 9, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

McCormack Presents The Child Care Squeeze: (Over-) Taxing The Working Family Today At Loyola-L.A.

McCormackShannon McCormack (University of Washington) presents Uncle Sam and the Child Care Squeeze: (Over-) Taxing the Working Family, 114 Mich. L. Rev. ___ (2015), at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Today, many working parents are caught in a “childcare squeeze”: while they require two incomes just to make ends meet, they end up spending a striking-ly large percentage of their income on childcare so that they can work outside the home. Worse still, some parents find themselves “squeezed out” of the market entirely, unable to earn the additional income their families require because they cannot find jobs that pay enough to offset soaring childcare ex-penses. This Article argues that the tax laws have played an important role in aggravating these hardships. Currently, the Internal Revenue Code treats the childcare costs incurred by working parents as personal expenses, subject to various dollar limitations, percentage limits, and phaseouts. Once these limitations are applied, working parents will receive tax relief for only a small fraction of the childcare costs they actually incur.

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November 9, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Eyal-Cohen Presents Through The Lens Of Innovation Today At Texas A&M

Eyal-Cohen-MiritMirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) presents Through the Lens of Innovation, 43 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. ___ (2016), at Texas A&M today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

The legal system constantly follows the footsteps of innovation and attempts to discourage its migration overseas. Yet, present legal rules that inform and explain entrepreneurial circumstances lack a core understanding of the concept of entrepreneurship. By its nature, law imposes order. It provides rules, remedies, and classifications that direct behavior in a consistent manner. Entrepreneurship turns on the contrary. It entails making creative judgments about the unknown. It involves adapting to disarray. It thrives on deviations as opposed to traditional causation. This Article argues that these differences matter.

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November 4, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Durst Presents Tax Justice: A Christian Response To A New Gilded Age Today At Loyola-L.A.

DurstMichael Durst (Pilgrim Church, United Church of Christ) presents Tax Justice: A Christian Response to a New Gilded Age at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

I plan to offer reflections on my experience as advisor to the Presbyterian Church (USA’s) recent work to generate recommendations on U.S. tax policy.  I will focus on how different religious worldviews influence public policy debate in the United States, and I will in particular address the sometimes conflicting impulses toward egalitarianism on one hand, and individual autonomy the other, among competing political groups.

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November 2, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Murphy Presents The Fair Tax Mark Today At McGill

Fair TaxRichard Murphy (Founder, Tax Justice Network) presents The Fair Tax Mark at McGill today as part of its Spiegel Sohmer Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

The Fair Tax Mark is for businesses that are proud to pay their fair share. 

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November 2, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kirchler Presents Cooperation Between Citizens And Tax Authorities Today At Toronto

Photo 3Erich Kirchler (University of Vienna) presents Cooperation Between Citizens and Tax Authorities at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

How to combat tax avoidance and evasion? The traditional command-and-control approach bases on the assumption that taxpayers take rational egoistic decisions. They consider the probability of audits and the severity of fines in cases of detected evasion and pay taxes only if audit probability is high, if the risk of detection of evasion is high, and if fines are high. Audits and fines are relevant, however, the effect is rather weak. To understand the motives for tax compliance it is necessary to understand taxpayers’ attitudes towards taxes and tax authorities, their knowledge and understanding of tax laws, their personal and social norms, and fairness concerns related to distributive and procedural justice. Besides the application of deterrence measures to combat tax evasion, it is necessary to establish a sense in society that tax evasion and tax avoidance are wrong.

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October 28, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Masur Presents Toward A Pigovian State Today At Columbia

MasurJonathan Masur (Chicago) presents Toward a Pigovian State, 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2015) (with Eric Posner (Chicago)), at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Most economists believe that the government should impose Pigovian taxes on firms that produce negative externalities like pollution, yet regulatory agencies hardly ever use their authority to create Pigovian taxes. Instead, they issue command-and-control regulations. Our major point is that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, regulators typically have legal authority to create Pigovian taxes — they just do not use it. While regulators may hesitate to impose Pigovian taxes for a range of political and symbolic reasons, we argue that these reasons do not justify this massive failure of regulatory efficiency. It is time for the regulatory state to take a Pigovian turn.

October 27, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lederman Presents Saving The IRS At Seattle

LedermanLeandra Lederman (Indiana) presented Saving the IRS yesterday at Seattle as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

Our nation’s tax collector—still reeling from a highly publicized investigation into allegedly politically partisan targeting of Tea Party and other right-wing non-profit organizations—is in what one government organization has termed an “existential funding crisis.” During the 2015 tax season, over 60 percent of the taxpayers who called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could not get through. That figure is far below where it was even in 1997, when Congress held hearings showcasing taxpayer horror stories and required the IRS to restructure and significantly increase its focus on “customer service.”

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October 27, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Goupille Presents The Optimal Inheritance Tax Rate Is 55%–70% Today At UC-Berkeley

Goupille-jonathanJonathan Goupille (Paris School of Economics) presents Behavioral Responses to Inheritance Tax (with Jose Infante (AXA France)) at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar:

This paper investigates behavioral responses to inheritance taxation in an inter-temporal framework. Our empirical strategy exploits original quasi-experimental variations created by the French preferential tax scheme for inheritance. The analysis is based on first-time access to a unique longitudinal data set of preferential tax savings from Axa over the period 2003-2013.

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October 26, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Doran Presents The Puzzle Of Non-Qualified Retirement Pay Today At Columbia

Doran (2015)Michael Doran (Virginia) presents The Puzzle of Non-Qualified Retirement Pay at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov and Wojciech Kopczuk:

Pay arrangements for managers of public corporations typically include substantial amounts of compensation deferred through non-qualified retirement plans. As a departure from the familiar baseline of current payment for current services, this presents something of a puzzle. The academic literature offers two explanations for the practice. The optimal-contracting account argues that non-qualified retirement pay represents "inside debt" that aligns the interests of managers with the interests of the corporation's unsecured general creditors. The managerial-power account argues that non-qualified retirement pay represents "stealth compensation" that facilitates managers' extraction of rents from corporate assets. In this paper, I set out a different explanation based on tax rules and tax considerations.

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October 20, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Morse Presents Safe Harbors, Sure Shipwrecks Today At Northwestern

Morse (2015)Susan Morse (Texas) presents Safe Harbors, Sure Shipwrecks at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation  Workshop Series hosted by Herbert Beller, Charlotte CraneDavid Cameron, Philip Postlewaite, Jeffrey Sheffield, and Robert Wootton:

Safe harbors and sure shipwrecks are rule-standard hybrids that appear throughout statutory, regulatory and case law. Safe harbors guarantee compliance, and also leave open the question of compliance for fact situations not described by the safe harbor. Sure shipwrecks provide a conclusive noncompliance result and also leave open the question of compliance outside the sure shipwreck. Safe harbors and sure shipwrecks produce asymmetric behavioral incentives for persons subject to them.

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October 19, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gamage Presents Tax Cannibalization And Fiscal Federalism Today At Boston College

Gamage (2014)David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) presents The Tax Cannibalization Problem and Fiscal Federalism in the United States at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by James Repetti and Diane Ring:

The design of federal tax law strongly influences the tax policy choices of the individual U.S. states. This article argues that under the current structure of U.S. federal tax law these influences are often perverse. Specifically, the current structure of U.S. federal tax law incentivizes state governments to adopt tax policies that inflict costs on the federal government, at the expense of national welfare. We label this the “tax cannibalization” problem.

This article introduces the tax cannibalization problem to the legal literature for the first time.

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October 19, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Smith Presents Deferential Review Of The U.S. Tax Court After Mayo Today At Loyola-L.A.

Smith (2015)Andre Smith (Widener-Delaware) presents Deferential Review of the United States Tax Court After Mayo Foundation v. United States at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

The debate over whether the Tax Court deserves appellate deference has been brewing for several decades. Tax scholars and federal jurists have debated the merits using jurisprudential and other norms, except the Chevron Doctrine asks instead, "to whom did Congress delegate interpretive authority?"

This paper contends that the federal circuit court of appeals should apply Chevron deference to United States Tax Court decisions of law, that Congress delegated interpretive authority to the Tax Court when they divested adjudicatory authority over tax controversies from the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department, established the Tax Court, and restricted the courts of appeal from setting aside Tax Court decisions of law unless they are "not in accordance with law." Consider also that Congress established the Tax Court's "court conference" procedure, in which all nineteen judges may vote en banc on the propriety of a new rule before it is applied retroactively to taxpayers.

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October 19, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Carloni Presents VAT Reform In France Today At UC-Berkeley

CarloniDorian Carloni (UC-Berkeley) presents Incidence of Consumption Taxes on Workers, Firm Owners and Consumers: Evidence From a VAT Reform in France (with Youssef Benzarti (UC-Berkeley)) at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar:

This paper estimates the share of the consumption tax burden falling on workers, firm owners and consumers by analyzing the value-added tax (VAT) cut from 19.6 percent to 5.5 percent applied to French sit-down restaurants in July 2009. We use firm-level data and a difference-in-differences framework to show that the reform increased both restaurant profits and the cost of employees, and aggregate price data to estimate the decrease in prices produced by the reform.

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October 19, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Brooklyn

OeiShu-Yi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Brooklyn today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

In this paper, we investigate the tax issues and challenges faced by ridesharing drivers by examining their interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and the Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange Forum. We subjected the data to quantitative analysis using descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis, in order to generate a comprehensive description of what tax issues and concerns forum participants face, how taxes factor into their driving decisions, and how tax compliance and advising culture operates in the forums.

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October 15, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)