TaxProf Blog

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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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. ...

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

Satterthwaite Presents Entrepreneurs' Legal Status Choices and the C Corporation Penalty Today At Florida

SatterthwaiteEmily Satterthwaite (Toronto) presents Entrepreneurs' Legal Status Choices and the C Corporation Penalty at Florida today as part of its Graduate Tax Speaker Series:

Foundational to the American Dream is the ability to easily and rapidly start a new business. Over the past quarter century, the introduction of the limited liability company (LLC) has dramatically shifted the choice-of-legal-status calculus, and in its wake a consensus against the use of traditional C corporations by non-venture-backed start-ups has emerged.  The C corporation, scholars argue, has fatal drawbacks: tax disadvantages as well as governance inflexibility.  Due to historically limited sources of data, there has been little empirical research on choice-of-entity generally and none that explores the anti-C corporation thesis in particular.  Do C corporations under-perform as compared to similarly-situated businesses with alternative legal statuses?  This paper exploits a large panel dataset that contains legal status, owner, business, financing, and other firm-specific information collected from an eight-year panel survey of nearly five thousand enterprises that were formed in 2004.  The paper presents four main results. 

Continue reading

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

Thursday, April 5, 2018

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

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

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.

Continue reading

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

Burman Presents The Rising Tide Wage Credit Today At Indiana

Burman (2016)Len Burman (Syracuse & Tax Policy Center) presents The Rising Tide Wage Credit at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

The main factor depressing wages for low- and middle-skilled workers is technology. While technology once made workers more productive and boosted wages and employment, technology increasingly substitutes for workers. It is one reason manufacturing employment in the U.S. has plummeted even as production of manufactured goods has soared.

The failure of the market to broadly share the gains from economic growth calls for an intervention. This paper proposes something new ... : a wage tax credit of 100 percent of the first $10,000 of earnings financed by a broad-based dedicated value-added tax (VAT) of about 8 percent. The wage credit would grow over time with VAT revenues, so low- and middle-income workers would share in the gains from economic growth. I call the new wage supplement the Rising Tide Wage Credit (RTWC), evoking John F. Kennedy’s assertion that “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The RTWC would restore the connection between economic growth and the rewards to work. It would be a new kind of social insurance program—designed to ensure that workers at all income levels benefit from economic growth rather than just the highest earners, thus reversing the decades-long trend of wage stagnation. 

Continue reading

April 5, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Taite Presents Making Tax Policy Great Again: America You’ve Been Trumped Today At Boston College

TaitePhyllis Taite (Florida A&M) presents Making Tax Policy Great Again: America You’ve Been Trumped at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Shu-Yi Oei, and Diane Ring:

In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) claiming it as the largest tax cuts in history. While the proponents of the TCJA claim this legislation provides tax breaks that benefit everyone, there are economic consequences that disproportionately benefit the wealthy to the detriment of the masses. Tax policy should benefit the majority of Americans, not just the elite. If we truly want to make tax policy great again, then we should go back to the very beginning when the tax base was primarily the responsibility of the wealthiest Americans.

Continue reading

April 4, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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

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 NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

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.

Continue reading

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

Monday, April 2, 2018

Fleischer Presents The Architecture Of A Basic Income Today At BYU

Fleischer (Miranda)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents The Architecture of a Basic Income (with Daniel Hemel (Chicago)) at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

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.

Continue reading

April 2, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Brown Presents Homeownership In Black and White: The Role Of Tax Policy In Increasing Housing Inequity Today At Memphis

Brown (Dorothy) (2015)Dorothy Brown (Emory) presents Homeownership in Black and White: The Role of Tax Policy in Increasing Housing Inequity today at Memphis at its MLK50 Symposium: Where Do We Go From Here? (schedule):

Persistent poverty discussions very rarely consider how tax reform might provide additional revenues as solutions are considered. This Essay argues that tax subsidies for homeownership that support most white homeowner experiences to the exclusion of most black homeowner experiences are ripe for reform.

Eric H. Holder, Jr. (82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-2015); Partner, Covington & Burling) is delivering the keynote address.  Other speakers at the symposium are:

  • Debo Adegbile (WilmerHale)
  • Roy L. Austin (Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis)
  • Cornell Brooks (Former President, NAACP)
  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin (Harvard)
  • Richard Hasen (UC-Irvine)
  • Sherrilyn Ifill (President, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
  • Pamala Karlan (Stanford)

Continue reading

April 2, 2018 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Lederman Presents Information Matters In Tax Enforcement At Duke

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presented Information Matters in Tax Enforcement at Duke yesterday as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

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

Continue reading

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hemel Presents Sexual Harassment And Corporate Law Today At Brooklyn

HemelDaniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Sexual Harassment and Corporate Law, 118 Colum. L. Rev. ___ (2018) (with Dorothy Lund (Chicago)) at Brooklyn today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

The year 2017 marked an inflection point in the evolution of social norms regarding sexual harassment. While victims of workplace harassment had long suffered in silence, the surfacing of serious sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein encouraged many more victims to tell their personal stories of abuse. These scandals have spread beyond Hollywood to the rest of corporate America, leading to the departures of several high-profile executives as well as sharp stock price declines at a number of firms. In the past year, shareholders at four publicly traded companies have filed lawsuits alleging that corporate directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties and/or violated federal securities laws in connection with sexual harassment scandals at those firms. More such suits are likely to follow in the months ahead.

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Oei Presents Whose Tax Law Is It? Constituencies And Control In Statutory Drafting Today At Toronto

Oei (2018)Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) presents Whose Tax Law Is It? Constituencies and Control in Statutory Drafting (with Leigh Osofsky (Miami)), 104 Iowa L. Rev. ___ (2018)), at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

The 2017 tax reform produced legislation that many have derided as convoluted and unreadable, leading commentators to ask how such legislation came to pass. But there is little existing research about drafting practices that helps us contextualize such critiques.

In this Article, we conduct the first in-depth empirical examination of how drafters make tax law drafting decisions. We report findings from interviews with government counsels who participated in the tax legislative process over the past four decades. Our key finding was that the tax law is written for a small group of experts by a small group of experts: Most counsels did not consider statutory formulation or readability important, as long as substantive meaning was accurate. Many held this view because their intended audience was experts and software companies, not ordinary taxpayers or even Congress Members. When revising law, drafters preserve existing formulations so as to not upset settled expectations, even at the cost of increasing convolution. And the entire drafting process is controlled by a few tax law specialists, with little input on formulation decisions from Congress Members or other counsels.

Continue reading

March 28, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mann Presents How Do Corporate Tax Rates Affect Corporate Social Responsibility? Today In Australia

Mann (2018)Roberta Mann (Oregon) presents How Do Corporate Tax Rates Affect Corporate Social Responsibility?today at University of New South Wales:

A growing literature has developed on the topic of enforcement crowding out altruism. This literature may apply to the idea of corporate social responsibility. If the government requires social responsibility, by imposing a carbon price or by otherwise increasing tax liabilities to pay for social goods, does that reduce the corporate social response? Similarly, would reducing regulations and corporate tax liability increase the social response? The U.S. and Australia have significant differences in corporate taxation under 2017 law. Post-2017, the U.S. is moving closer to Australia in its corporate tax rate and also in its international tax system. In both the U.S. and Australia, corporations use tax strategies to reduce their effective tax rates (ETRs). Using a case study approach, we examine whether low corporate tax rates appear to encourage firms' investment in sustainability.

Continue reading

March 28, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pichhadze Presents Guide To Transfer Pricing: Lessons From Australia And New Zealand At Boston University

AdamAmir Pichhadze (Deakin Law School) presented Guide to Drafting and Interpreting Transfer Pricing Legislation: Lessons From Australia and New Zealand at Boston University yesterday as part of its Graduate Tax Program Speaker Series:

Countries around the world are undertaking legislative reforms in response to the OECD’s BEPS action plans. In his current research, part of which will be presented at the Boston University Law School’s Graduate Tax Program Lecture Series, Dr. Amir Pichhadze distills lessons from the legislative reform agenda which is currently undertaken by the New Zealand government and based on recent Australian case law.

As Pichhadze recently explained at the 30th Annual Australasian Tax Teachers Association, OECD member countries, as well as many non-member countries, have chosen to follow the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines — an internationally coordinated relational (soft law) agreement on how to apply domestic transfer pricing laws.

Continue reading

March 28, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Graetz Delivers Lecture On The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy Today At Temple

Graetz (2018)Michael J. Graetz (Columbia) delivers the 2018 Frank & Rose Fogel Lecture at Temple today at noon EST on The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy (livestream here):

In this lecture, Michael Graetz contends that the new tax law is unstable. This is hardly surprising because it was rushed through Congress in record time with only Republican votes and no ability for public comments on its changes. The new rules create significant new differences in tax burdens based on what kind of business is conducted, where goods and services are bought and sold, whether individual workers are employees or independent contractors, and where people live. Finally, although it was estimated to be a $1.5 trillion tax cut over ten years, it's actual cost is likely to be double that amount, producing unsustainable annual deficits and an unacceptable level of public debt.

March 28, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Jones Presents How Do Distributions From Retirement Accounts Respond To Early Withdrawal Penalties? Today At NYU

HarrisDamon Jones (Chicago) presents How Do Distributions from Retirement Accounts Respond to Early Withdrawal Penalties? Evidence from Administrative Tax Returns (with Gopi Shah Goda (Stanford) & Shanthi Ramnath (U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Analysis)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

The design of retirement savings accounts must balance the long-term goal of retirement wealth accrual with the potential need for liquidity. Penalties (and exceptions) on pre-retirement withdrawals provide a possible lever for striking this balance. In the United States, penalties amount to 10 percent of withdrawn funds and several exceptions are available, including partial or full exemptions for the unemployed, disabled, or those incurring unreimbursed medical expenses. In this paper, we investigate how individuals respond to the removal of the 10 percent penalty imposed on Individual Retirement Account (IRA) withdrawals prior to the account holder turning 59 1/2. Our analysis employs rich tax records from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and develops new empirical techniques which allow us to use annual data to better understand patterns at higher levels of frequency. We find a large increase in withdrawals upon reaching age 59 1/2, implying an 80 percent increase in annual withdrawals on average among our population.

Continue reading

March 27, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Presents Taxing The Gig Economy Today At Georgetown

Thomas (2017)Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents Taxing the Gig Economy, 166 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

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

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

Continue reading

March 27, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 26, 2018

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

Kleinbard (2015)Edward D. Kleinbard (USC) delivers the annual Bruce C. Hafen Lecture today on What’s a Government Good For?: Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality at BYU today:

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

Continue reading

March 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ring Presents Leak-Driven Law Today At UC-Irvine

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Leak-Driven Law, 65 UCLA L. Rev. __ (2018) (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)), at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

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

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

Continue reading

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

Repetti Presents Tax Rates, Efficiency and Inequality Today At BYU

Repetti (2018)James R. Repetti (Boston College) presents Tax Rates, Efficiency and Inequality at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

Traditionally, the great democracies of the western world assigned equal weight to distributive justice and economic efficiency in designing a tax system. In the past few decades, however, economic efficiency has dominated the debate about the best design of a tax system in politics and in analysis by legal academics. Discussions of progressive tax rates often focus on the adverse efficiency effects of high rates while ignoring benefits arising from a progressive rate structure’s reduced burden on lower income individuals. For example, many advocate low tax rates on investment income to reduce the efficiency effects of taxing savings.

In an attempt to increase efficiency, individual tax rates have decreased over the past 60 years. In 1956, the maximum statutory tax rate was 91%. Currently, the maximum tax rate is 37%. At the same time that tax rates were reduced, inequality increased, fueled in part by the declining tax rates.

There are several explanations for the intense focus on efficiency.

Continue reading

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

Boston College-Tulane Tax Roundtable

BC TulaneBoston College hosted the annual Boston College-Tulane Tax Roundtable on Friday:

James Alm (Tulane), Is the Haig-Simons Standard Dead? The Uneasy Case for a Comprehensive Income Tax
Discussant: Rebecca Kysar (Brooklyn)

Thomas Brennan (Harvard), Debt and Equity Taxation: A Combined Economic and Legal Perspective
Discussant: James Repetti (Boston College)

Heather Field (UC Hastings), Tax Lawyers as Tax Insurance
Discussant: Natalya Shnitser (Boston College)

Continue reading

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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

SatterthwaiteEmily Satterthwaite (Toronto) presents Electing into a Value-Added Tax: Evidence from Ontario Micro-Entrepreneurs at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

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.

Continue reading

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

Brunson Named Georgia Reithal Professor Of Law At Loyola-Chicago

BrunsonSam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) has been named Georgia Reithal Professor of Law. His recent publications include:

  • A Diachronic Approach to Bob Jones University: Religious Tax Exemptions after Obergefell, __ Ind. L.J. __ (forthcoming)(with David J. Herzig)
  • Taxing Utopia, 47 Seton Hall L. Rev. __ (forthcoming) [draft]
  • Dear IRS, It Is Time to Enforce the Campaigning Prohibition. Even Against Churches, 87 U. Colo. L. Rev. 143 (2016) [article]
  • Tax Exemption, Public Policy, and Discriminatory Fraternities, 35 Va. Tax Rev. 116 (2015) (with David J. Herzig) [draft]
  • The Taxation of RICs: Replicating Portfolio Investment or Eliminating Double Taxation? 20 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 222 (2015) [draft]

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Mann Presents I Robot: U Tax? Today In Australia

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

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

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

The informal title of the most recent tax bill gives a clue: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Continue reading

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Friday, March 16, 2018

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

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

A Logic for Statutes:

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

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

Continue reading

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Glogower Presents Taxing Inequality Today At UCLA

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Crawford Presents Tax Talk And Reproductive Technology Today At Toronto

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

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

Continue reading

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thomas Presents Taxing The Gig Economy Today At UC-Irvine

Thomas (2017)Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents Taxing the Gig Economy,  166 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

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

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

Continue reading

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

Christians Presents Taxing Income Where Value Is Created Today At BYU

Christians (2018)Allison Christians (McGill) presents Taxing Income Where Value Is Created, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2018) (with Laurens van Apeldoorn (Leiden)) at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

Subscribing to the core idea that income should be taxed where value is created, the international community has devised a set of tax base protecting rules to counter a world in which highly profitable multinational companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon pay very little in taxation. But these rules rely on assumptions about value that tend to allocate most revenues from international trade and commerce to rich countries while, whether intentionally or not, depriving poorer countries of their proper share. This article argues that a rigorous examination of what we mean by value would prompt changes in this allocation.

To demonstrate with a concrete example, the article examines wages paid to workers in low income countries and reveals a clear and well-documented gap between market price and fair market value resulting from labor exploitation.

Continue reading

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

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Kahrl Presents Lien On Me: Race, Power, And The Property Tax At UCLA

KahlrAndrew Kahrl (Virginia) presented Lien On Me: Race, Power, and the Property Tax at UCLA on Friday as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Kirk Stark:

This paper forms part of a larger book project I am currently completing on the taxation of black Americans from Reconstruction to the present. The project focuses specifically on the property tax and examines its role in shaping—and frustrating—African Americans’ struggles for political and economic empowerment, and claims to property rights, during the long Black freedom movement. Because of the opaque nature of the assessment process, the legal barriers to uncovering and challenging assessment irregularities, and the harsh penalties for tax delinquency in many states, the property tax, I argue, became a powerful instrument of white homeowner advantage, on the one hand, and racial discrimination and black property dispossession, on the other.

Continue reading

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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Schmalbeck Presents Ending The Sweetheart Deal Between Big-Time College Sports And The Tax System Today At Duke

Schmalbeck (2018)Richard Schmalbeck (Duke) presents Ending the Sweetheart Deal between Big-Time College Sports and the Tax System at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

This paper was prepared for a conference of the National Center for Philanthropy and Law, of the NYU Law School in October, 2014. The overall topic was “Tax Issues Affecting Colleges and Universities,” and I was asked to address specifically those issues relating to athletics. This paper considers two specific issues that have in common that they involve college ”revenue” sports, and are plagued by egregiously bad tax rules. In particular, they are: the failure of the IRS to regard any part of the revenue from college sports as unrelated business income, and the choice by Congress to allow taxpayers to deduct 80% of contributions that they make to colleges or their “booster clubs,” even when those contributions entitle the donors to special privileges in purchasing tickets to college athletic events. Together, these defects amount to an implicit tax subsidy of college sports that is neither healthy nor in any way justified.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Philipps Presents Gendering The Analysis Of Tax Expenditures Today At NYU

PhilipsLisa Philipps (Osgoode Hall) presents Gendering the Analysis of Tax Expenditures: Bridging Two Solitudes in Canadian Fiscal Policy at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

This paper seeks to connect two fiscal policy files that have attracted significant scholarly and public interest in Canada since the 2015 election of a new federal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Within a few months the government acted on an election promise by launching a Federal Review of Tax Expenditures. This was followed by a second, less anticipated announcement that it would undertake a gender-based analysis of budget measures. The federal budget of March 2017 included an inaugural Gender Statement, with a commitment to further develop this tool in future. Each of these projects carries important potential for fiscal reform but they have so far unfolded in parallel, conceptually isolated from one another. Our research considers what additional insights could be gained by bringing the two together. How might a gender analysis further illuminate the distributive impacts, behavioural effects and cost efficiency of tax expenditures? And what are the limitations of a gender budgeting exercise that focuses on direct spending measures, without equal attention to the revenue side of the budget and specifically tax expenditures? ...

Continue reading

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

Solomon Presents Drivers And Effects Of The 2017 Tax Act Today At Georgetown

SolomonEric Solomon (Ernst & Young) presents Drivers and Effects of the 2017 Tax Act at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by Lilian Faulhaber and Itai Grinberg:

Introduction
On December 22, 2017, the President signed “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018” (P.L. 115-97), hereinafter called the 2017 Tax Act (or the Act). The 2017 Tax Act made substantial changes to the Internal Revenue Code, particularly lowering the corporate tax rate and revising the international tax provisions. In the words of Mark Prater, Deputy Staff Director and Chief Tax Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, three important factors in the development of this Act were policy, process and politics.

Continue reading

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

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oei & Ring Present Tax And Labor Law: New § 199A Today At BYU

Oei Ring (2018)Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) & Diane Ring (Boston College) present The Other Labor Law? New IRC § 199A and the Impact of Tax on Workplace Arrangements at BYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Cliff Fleming and Gladriel Shobe:

As part of the 2017 tax reform, Congress enacted new IRC § 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. This new “qualified business income” (QBI) provision grants passthrough taxpayers, including qualifying workers who are independent contractors, a deduction equal to 20% of a specifically calculated base income amount. An important question is new Section 199A’s effects on work and labor markets, and specifically whether the new provision will give rise to a large-scale shift in the workplace, causing many workers to be reclassified as independent contractors.

Continue reading

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

Friday, March 2, 2018

Olson Presents The State Of The IRS Today At Minnesota

Olson (2018)Nina Olson (National Taxpayer Advocate) presents The State of the IRS at Minnesota today as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Drawing from her 2017 Annual Report to Congress, Ms. Olson will talk about problems facing the IRS and the implications for tax compliance and enforcement, including:

  • IRS funding and personnel cuts
  • Declining audit rates
  • Flawed implementation of congressional mandates requiring the use of private debt collectors and the denial of passports to certain U.S. citizens with substantial tax debts

Continue reading

March 2, 2018 in Colloquia, IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Gamage Presents Tax Reform To Help The Working And Middle Class Today At Illinois

Gamage (2019)David Gamage (Indiana) presents Tax Reform to Help the Working and Middle Class at Illinois today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

This project argues that future tax reform ought to be designed so as to provide much greater tax benefits for those in the working and middle class, both as compared to the law prior to the recent 2017 tax legislation and (especially) as compared to the new law after that recent legislation. This project will develop this argument both at the level of “why” and at the level of “how”. In doing so, this article will evaluate both policy and political feasibility. However, political feasibility will not be evaluated based on the current President or Congress. Instead, the political feasibility dimension will be evaluated primarily in terms of what might feasibly be campaigned on by candidates in upcoming election cycles and then later enacted if a new President and Congress—with different priorities—takes office in 2020 or in a subsequent election cycle.

Continue reading

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

Ring Presents Silos And First Movers In The Sharing Economy Tax Debates Today At Indiana

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Silos And First Movers In The Sharing Economy Debates at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Over the past few years, a significant global debate has developed over the classification of workers in the sharing economy either as independent contractors or as employees. While Uber and Lyft have dominated the spotlight lately, the worker classification debates extend beyond ridesharing companies and affect workers across a variety of sectors. Classification of a worker as an employee, rather than an independent contractor, can carry a range of implications for worker treatment and protections under labor law, anti-discrimination law, tort law, and tax law, depending on the legal jurisdiction. The debates, at least in the United States, have been incomplete due to the failure of policy makers and advocates to consider the scope and interconnectedness of the worker classification issues across the full sweep of legal arenas. There is time, however, to remedy the incompleteness of these policy conversations before worker classification decisions ossify and path dependence takes hold.

Continue reading

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

Dyreng Presents Tax Avoidance And Tax Incidence Today At Duke

DyrengScott Dyreng (Duke) Tax Avoidance and Tax Incidence (with Martin Jacob (WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Managemen), Xu Jiang (Duke) & Maximilian A. Müller (WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Managemen)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

We examine corporate tax avoidance in a setting where shareholders might not bear the entire economic burden of the corporate tax because the firm’s market power allows it to pass the burden to workers or consumers. Depending on the model conditions, tax avoidance increases or decreases in market power. Using empirical analyses, we find that high market power firms avoid less tax than low market power firms. We also find empirical support for the model conditions underlying this result.

Continue reading

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

Knoll Presents What Is Tax Discrimination And How Can It Be Prevented? Today At UCLA

KnollMichael Knoll (Pennsylvania) presents What Is Tax Discrimination and How Can It Be Prevented? A Simple Solution to a Complex Problem (with Ruth Mason (Virginia)) at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Kirk Stark:

Numerous tax discrimination cases are working their way through the judicial systems of the European Union and the United States. Prior cases, which have forced many states to change long-standing tax policies, have attracted intense criticism from commentators and even jurists for being unprincipled and illogical. In a series of articles we have written over the last several years, we have developed a straight-forward approach to tax discrimination that courts can use to resolve tax discrimination claims and that states can use to design and implement tax systems that raise revenue without discriminating.

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prichard Presents China, International Taxation And The Global System Today at Toronto

MunkWilson Prichard (Toronto) presents China, International Taxation and the Global System (with Martin Hearson (London School of Economics)) at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

There has been mounting interest in China’s role in shaping global economic governance, but conclusions have been guided by a small set of empirical cases. We offer an analysis of Chinese engagement with the reform of international tax rules, in order to shed light on the broader factors shaping Chinese global governance strategies. We argue that China has pursued a dual track strategy: it has adopted a cooperative and moderately reformist position at the OECD, but has pushed a potentially more radical agenda at the UN, and through domestic policy positions that quietly – but substantially — challenge OECD conventions. In doing so if has rhetorically signalled a desire to represent broader developing country interests, yet in practice appears guided primarily by narrower national interests, which often — but not always — overlap with those of developing countries more broadly.

Continue reading

February 28, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)