TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rosenbloom Presents The Implications Of BEPS For A Rational United States Today At Case Western

RosenbloomH. David Rosenbloom (James S. Eustice Visiting Professor of Practice and Taxation and Director, International Tax Program, NYU; Partner, Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, D.C.) delivers the Norman A. Sugarman Memorial Lecture on The BEPS Project of the OECD: Implications for a Rational United States at Case Western today:

The project of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development on "Base Erosion and Profit Shifting" has launched a revolution in the field of international taxation. This lecture begins with the genesis of that project, proceeds to its core themes and recommendations, and identifies its foreseeable impacts. It concludes with an examination of both how the United States is likely to be affected and how, as a (perhaps counter-factually) rational country, it might appropriately respond.

Continue reading

March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Southwestern

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Southwestern today as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

Continue reading

March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Pepperdine, UC-Irvine

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) today at Pepperdine (as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine) and UC-Irvine (as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian):

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

Continue reading

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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Polsky Presents The Up-C Tax Revolution Today At Duke

Polsky (2015)Gregg Polsky (North Carolina) presents The Up-C Revolution (with Adam Rosenzweig (Washington University)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

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.

Continue reading

March 24, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cauble Presents Reforming The Non-Disavowal Doctrine Today At Indiana

Cauble (2016)Emily Cauble (DePaul) presents Reforming the Non-Disavowal Doctrine, 36 Va. Tax Rev. ___  (2016), at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

One well established feature of tax law is that, oftentimes, substance prevails over form. In other words, the substance of a transaction will determine the transaction’s tax consequences. For instance, tax consequences will not depend solely on the label that a taxpayer assigns to a given transaction. Instead, the IRS can examine the transaction’s economic features to more accurately characterize it for tax purposes.

Also deeply entrenched in tax law is the notion that, frequently, the IRS experiences more success than taxpayers when invoking the notion that substance prevails over form. In other words, when substance matters, the IRS can freely assert that a transaction should be taxed based on its true substance rather than the form selected by the taxpayer. A taxpayer, by contrast, is less likely to succeed when making the same assertion. The resistance to taxpayers’ attempts to invoke the substance-over-form doctrine is known as the "Non-Disavowal Doctrine."

Continue reading

March 24, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shuldiner Presents The Deferral Effects Of Passing Through Foreign Subsidiaries’ Passive Income Today At Penn

ShuldinerReed Shuldiner (Pennsylvania) presents The Deferral Effects of Passing Through Foreign Subsidiaries’ Passive Income (with Chris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series:

The immediate U.S. taxation of foreign subsidiaries’ passive, but not active income is a scenario of increasing practical importance. This paper builds on Alvin Warren’s recent analysis of this partially deferral-tempering case [Income of Foreign Subsidiaries: A Review of the Basic Analytics, 145 Tax Notes 321 (2014)]. It clarifies some of the legal and economic mechanics behind Warren’s formula. It also makes several points de novo. It highlights the conceptual relationship between passive-income pass-through and delayed realization of accrued gains. It points out that delayed realization inside the subsidiary effectively deactivates passive-income pass-through. And it describes when it does and does not matter that the parent takes interim distributions from the subsidiary, as when it uses such distributions to pay its interim pass-through tax liability.

March 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Luke Presents The Captive Insurance Conundrum Today At Boston College

Luke (2016)Charlene Luke (Florida) presents The Captive Insurance Conundrum at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by James Repetti and Diane Ring:

Premiums paid for insurance covering business or investment assets are deductible, and insurance companies are taxed favorably when compared to other corporations. At the same time, in an income tax system, managing risk by moving money into savings or investment vehicles is not deductible, and any income generated on such savings or investments is taxed to the vehicles’ owner. These alternative tax outcomes have given rise to a strategy for mimicking the benefits of savings or investments while still reducing taxes: Paying insurance premiums to a captive insurance company. In both its prior and current efforts to distinguish abusive captive arrangements from acceptable insurance structures, the central approach of the Internal Revenue Service (Service) has been to attempt to control the definition of “insurance” for tax purposes. This approach has been failing. The courts instead view themselves as the final arbiters of what constitutes “insurance.”

Continue reading

March 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kwak Presents Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital Today At NYU

KwakJames Kwak (Connecticut) presents Reducing Inequality With a Retrospective Tax on Capital, 24 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 191 (2015), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Inequality in the developed world is high and growing: in the United States, 1% of the population now owns more than 40% of all wealth. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the economist Thomas Piketty argues that inequality is only likely to increase: invested capital tends to grow faster than the economy as a whole, causing wealth to concentrate in a small number of hands and eventually producing a society dominated by inherited fortunes. The solution he proposes, an annual wealth tax, has been reflexively dismissed even by supporters of his overall thesis, and presents a number of practical difficulties. However, a retrospective capital tax — which imposes a tax on the sale of an asset based on its (imputed) historical values — can reduce the rate of return on investments and thereby slow down the growth of wealth inequality.

Continue reading

March 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Georgetown

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

Continue reading

March 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kleinbard Presents The New Political Economy Of Capital Income Taxation Today At USC

Kleinbard (2015)Edward Kleinbard (USC) presents The New Political Economy of Capital Income Taxation at USC today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

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.

Continue reading

March 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bankman Presents Using The 'Smart Return' To Reduce Tax Evasion Today At British Columbia

Bankman (2016)Joseph Bankman (Stanford) presents Using the 'Smart Return' to Reduce Tax Evasion (with Clifford Nass (Stanford) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan)) at the University of British Columbia today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Tax evasion costs federal, state and local governments over 400 billion dollars a year. Compliance efforts have centered on the monetary payoff of evasion. Evasion has been reduced through third-party reporting, which increases the odds of detection (in some cases, to a near certainty) and audits. Increased penalties have also been used to reduce evasion. At the margin, however, these methods have proven too expensive or politically unpopular to reduce substantially this core residue of evasion.

Continue reading

March 17, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mehrotra Presents A History Of U.S. Income Tax Withholding Today At UCLA

MehrotraAjay Mehrotra (Executive Director & Research Professor, American Bar Foundation) presents A Brief History of U.S. Income Tax Withholding: From Contested Concept to Cornerstone of Administrative Practice at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

Among the many modern administrative innovations adopted to facilitate effective tax compliance, arguably none has been more significant than the use of third-party reporting and tax withholding. Since at least the early nineteenth century, when Great Britain first adopted a crude form of withholding as part of its national income tax, modern governments have increasingly relied on harnessing the knowledge and power of third parties to increase income tax compliance. As a result, employers, financial institutions, and business corporations have become instrumental remittance vehicles and reporting agents for nearly all modern taxing agencies.

Continue reading

March 17, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mason Presents The Supreme Court's Decision In Wynne In Austria, Germany

Mason (2015)Ruth Mason (Virginia) has presented The Supreme Court's Decision in Wynne: An American Kerckhaert & Morres (with Michael Knoll (Pennsylvania)) at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (March 14), Johannes Kepler University (March 16), and Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance (March 17):

Last Term, a sharply divided Supreme Court decided a landmark state tax discrimination case, Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. This Essay explains the significance of Wynne by exploring why the majority ruled as it did, why the dissenters’ objections to the majority’s reasoning miss their mark, and what Wynne means for state taxation. In deciding Wynne, the Court relied on economic analysis we provided in an amicus brief, and Wynne  represents the Court’s first clear acknowledgement of the economic underpinnings of one of its main doctrinal tools for resolving tax discrimination cases, the internal consistency test.  In her talk, Ruth Mason also will compare Wynne with the double tax doctrine of the Court of Justice.

March 17, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Speck Presents The Social Boundaries Of Corporate Taxation Today At Colorado

SpeckSloan Speck (Colorado) presents The Social Boundaries of Corporate Taxation at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Classical corporate taxation relies on rules that distinguish taxable corporations from nontaxable conduit entities. Since the advent of the “check-the-box” regime for entity classification, commentators and Treasury have looked to efficiency, broadly construed, as the principal metric by which to gauge the success or failure of these legal rules. This turn to efficiency, however, downplays the fact that corporate taxation intersects with nontax legal regimes, as well as social understandings about corporations’ personhood, rights, and obligations. Indeed, changes in corporate law and business practices, as well as the recent renaissance in judicial, academic, and popular engagement with the nature of corporate personality, have intensified and complicated the stakes of entity classification for tax purposes.

Continue reading

March 17, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sikes Presents Aggregate Corporate Tax Avoidance And Cost Of Capital Today At Penn

SikesStephanie Sikes (Pennsylvania) presents Aggregate Corporate Tax Avoidance and Cost of Capital (with Robert Verrecchia (Pennsylvania)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

We identify a pecuniary externality that arises when firms engage in tax avoidance. As more firms avoid tax, the cost of capital increases for all firms, even those that do not engage in such strategies. The intuition behind this prediction is that firms share risk with the government via taxation. The lower the tax rate applied to a firm’s earnings, the more risk that is borne by its shareholders relative to the government. As a meaningful percentage of firms avoid taxes, the variance of the market’s after-tax cash flow increases. Consequently, the covariance risk of all firms increases, which in turn translates into a higher cost of capital for all firms. Consistent with our prediction, we find that firms’ implied cost of capital is negatively related to the annual median long-run cash effective tax rate (Cash ETR) in the economy. The result holds both for firms with high and low long-run Cash ETRs, suggesting that the effect exists even for non-tax-avoiding firms.

Continue reading

March 16, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cui Presents Information Reporting And State Capacity Today At Toronto

CuiWei Cui (University of British Columbia, Allard School of Law) presents Information Reporting and State Capacity at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

A prominent strand of recent economic research hypothesizes that information reporting is essential to the capacity of modern states to collect tax revenue. In this paper I critically examine both the theoretical models and the empirical evidence that have emerged surrounding this hypothesis, and argue for two contrary conclusions: first, the use of information reporting has strong limitations even in developed countries, both in the income tax and VAT contexts; second, the use of information reporting and withholding does not mark major differences in the tax capacity of developed and developing countries.

Continue reading

March 16, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kamin Presents The Under-Appreciated Potential And Misunderstood Failings Of Tax Incentives Today At Georgetown

Kamin (2015)David Kamin (NYU) presents Getting Americans to Save: The Under-Appreciated Potential and Misunderstood Failings of Tax Incentives at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

Americans under-save, and one of the primary systems for getting them to save more—a system of tax-preferred retirement accounts—is fundamentally broken, according to much of the recent literature. This system of 401(k)s, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and other tax-preferenced accounts cost the government about $80 billion per year relative to a pure income tax system,  and influential new research derides tax incentives like these as a rather expensive mistake, at least as a way of increasing saving.  However, that literature is wrong—or at least it is wrong in the way it has confidently condemned these accounts as necessarily failing to achieve the desired end of increasing saving. Tax incentives have other serious shortcomings, as this article explains, but they can in fact increase saving.

Continue reading

March 15, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Osofsky Presents Simplexity Today At UC-Irvine

Osofsky (2016)Leigh Osofsky (Miami) presents Simplexity (with Joshua Blank (NYU)) at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

In recent years, federal government agencies have increasingly attempted to use plain language in written communications with the public. The Plain Writing Act of 2010, for instance, requires agencies to incorporate “clear and simple” explanations of rules and regulations into their official publications. In the tax context, as part of its “customer service” mission, the Internal Revenue Service bears a “duty to explain” the tax law to hundreds of millions of taxpayers who file tax returns each year. Proponents of the plain language movement have heralded this form of communication as leading to simplicity in tax compliance, more equitable access to federal programs and increased open government.

Continue reading

March 14, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gutman Delivers Lecture On Why A VAT Is The Path To Real Business Tax Reform Today At Temple

GutmanHarry L. Gutman delivers the 2016 Fogel Lecture on Why a VAT Is the Path to Real Business Tax Reform at Temple today:

Legislators face significant challenges in enacting meaningful business tax reform. For at least the last five years the multi-national business community has urged reform; prominent scholars have produced serious policy analyses; and politicians have talked endlessly about the need to reform business taxation. Yet nothing has occurred and the likelihood is that nothing significant will occur this year-- except for more rhetoric. Mr. Gutman will offer his thoughts on what has happened and why, and make the case for a national consumption tax, in the form of a value added tax (VAT), as the best way to fund needed changes to a system of business income taxation that is utterly broken.

March 14, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mason Presents Citizenship Taxation Today At Duke

Mason (2015)Ruth Mason (Virginia) presents Citizenship Taxation, 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. ___ (2015), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad. This Article critically evaluates the traditional equity, efficiency, and administrability arguments for taxing nonresident citizens. It also raises new arguments against citizenship taxation, including that it puts the United States at a disadvantage when competing with other countries for highly skilled migrants. 

Continue reading

March 10, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Davis Presents The Role Of Tax Law In Constructing Citizenship Today At Northwestern

DavisTessa R. Davis (South Carolina) presents Of Tax Crimes and "Bad Citizens": The Role of Tax Law in Constructing Citizenship 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:

Scholarship on the role citizenship should play in taxation frequently focuses on the appropriate regimes of international and domestic tax governing citizens and noncitizens, addressing whether residence or citizenship-based taxation is more equitable and administrable. These questions, while important, only partially address the connections between citizenship and taxation. The recent Supreme Court decision in Kawashima v. Holder makes evident the breadth of this gap in the literature.

Continue reading

March 10, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bank Presents Executive Pay: What Worked? Today At Colorado

Bank (2016)Steven Bank (UCLA) presents Executive Pay: What Worked? (with Brian R. Cheffins (Cambridge) & Harwell Wells (Temple)) at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

CEO pay is a controversial issue in America but there was a time, often overlooked today, when chief executives were not paid nearly as much as they are now. From 1940 to the mid-1970s executive pay was modest by today’s standards even though U.S. business was generally thriving. What worked to keep executive pay in check? Economist Thomas Piketty and others credit high marginal income tax rates, leading to calls for a return to a similar tax regime. This paper casts doubt on the impact tax had and also shows that neither the configuration of boards nor shareholder activism played a significant role in constraining executive pay.

Continue reading

March 10, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Manhire Presents The Impact Of Unconscious Bias On Campus Climate Today At Texas A&M

ManhireJack Manhire (Texas A&M) presents The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Campus Climate at Texas A&M today as part of its Campus Climate Conference:

Unconscious bias is not necessarily a “bad thing.” Rather, it is a human cognitive reality that is indispensable for navigating our everyday lives. But unconscious bias can be very dangerous when it comes to people decisions in any organization, including institutions of higher education. This presentation clarifies what unconscious bias is cognitively, explains how it can manifest itself in a campus environment, and gives proven strategies to mitigate the negative effects of bias both structurally and in our personal interactions.

March 10, 2016 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seto Presents Preference-Shifting And The Nonfalsifiability Of Optimal Tax Theory Today At NYU

Seto (2014)Theodore Seto (Loyola-L.A.) presents Preference-Shifting and the Nonfalsifiability of Optimal Tax Theory at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Optimal tax theory is based on a core factual assumption – that preferences reflect welfare. In practice, this assumption is neither tested nor questioned. Science requires falsifiability – of both theories and their factual predicates. That the core factual assumption upon which optimal tax theory is based is neither tested nor questioned is therefore problematic.

Advertising offers a useful context in which to think about the extent to which preferences do or do not reflect welfare. Some advertising conveys information. In the language of market theory, it remedies informational failures. To the extent it does so, market theory would not characterize it as changing preferences; market theory would rather characterize it as allowing pre-existing preferences to be satisfied more efficiently. Not all advertising, however, achieves its goals by conveying information.

Continue reading

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

Monday, March 7, 2016

Aprill Presents The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation Today At Pepperdine

AprillEllen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.) presents The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation, 13 Pitt. Tax Rev. 43 (2015), at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

As is well known, on May 10, 2013, at a session of the American Bar Association Tax Section meeting in Washington, D.C., Lois Lerner, at the time the director of the Exempt Organization Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS or Service), apologized for IRS mishandling of applications by Tea Party groups for exemption as social welfare groups under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. A few days later, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) Inspector General released a report (TIGTA Report) concluding that the “IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

Continue reading

March 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fleischer Presents Using An Accessions Tax To Combat Dynastic Wealth Transfers Today At UCLA

Perry Fleischer (2016)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents Divide and Conquer: Using an Accessions Tax to Combat Dynastic Wealth Transfers, 57 B.C. L. Rev. ___ (2016), at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

The current estate tax raises little revenue, yet is ill designed to further the social goals used to justify it. This Article takes one frequently mentioned goal — minimizing dynastic wealth transfers — and explores what insights focusing on that objective yields for the design of the transfer tax system. It starts from the premise that what renders dynastic wealth transfers problematic is that such transfers can bestow upon the recipient unearned political and economic power, which contravenes the democratic ideal that power should be earned, not inherit-ed. Under this view, the tax system should be concerned with neither the build-up of wealth per se nor transfers of wealth that are not large enough to bestow power upon the recipient. Instead, the tax system should be concerned only with transfers of wealth large enough to confer economic and political power on the recipient. The structure that best reflects this concern is a progressive cumulative accessions tax that focuses on the recipient, instead of an estate tax that focuses on the transferor. Each recipient should have an extremely high exemption amount, given that receiving a few hundred thousand or couple million dollars does not give one power. Lastly, there should be no generation-skipping penalty, because what matters is how many individuals have the ability to use the power accompanying the wealth.

Not So Fast: The Hidden Difficulties of Taxing Wealth:

Continue reading

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

Avi-Yonah Presents Evaluating BEPS Today At Duke

Avi-YonahReuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) presents Evaluating BEPS (with Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2016, Michigan)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Following the financial crisis and ensuing austerity, politicians discovered the problem of tax avoidance. In response, the OECD and G20 launched the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project in 2013, and this has in October, 2015 culminated with the release of a series of action steps that the OECD and G20 countries have undertaken to adopt. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria has stated that "Base erosion and profit shifting affects all countries, not only economically, but also as a matter of trust. BEPS is depriving countries of precious resources to jump-start growth, tackle the effects of the global economic crisis and create more and better opportunities for all. But beyond this, BEPS has been also eroding the trust of citizens in the fairness of tax systems worldwide. The measures we are presenting today represent the most fundamental changes to international tax rules in almost a century: they will put an end to double non-taxation, facilitate a better alignment of taxation with economic activity and value creation, and when fully implemented, these measures will render BEPS-inspired tax planning structures ineffective".

Continue reading

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

Lodico Presents State Approaches to Incentivizing Conservation Easements Today At Colorado

Lodico2Isaac Lodico (Denver) presents State Approaches to Incentivizing Conservation Easements at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

In order support the preservation of open space and historic properties, many states have adopted a range of laws that encourage contributions of charitable easements. These laws may be as simple as providing recognition of the conservation easement at law thereby preventing common-law doctrines from overriding the charitable interest. In these states, the tax benefit of the easement is generally limited to reduction the value of the property by the easement for purposes of the assessment of real property taxes. However, in Minnesota local assessors are generally prohibited from reducing the property value to reflect the restriction. Other systems offer state credits against tax, where the taxpayer is awarded a credit against tax equal to a percentage of the value of the contributed easement. Depending on the state, tax credits for charitable contributions of conservation easements may be transferable or refundable.

Given the range of state laws incentivizing conservation easements, the following questions arise:

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Simkovic Presents The Knowledge Tax Today At Penn

Simkovic 2Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall) presents The Knowledge Tax, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1981 (2015), at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner: :

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.

Continue reading

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

Oei, Ring Present The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Southern, British Columbia

Oei RingShuyi Oei (Tulane) and Diane Ring (Boston College) present The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums at different law schools today:  Shuyi at Southern University (as part of its Law & Society Faculty Forum) and Diane at University of British Columbia (as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series): 

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

Continue reading

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

Taylor Presents The U.S. Rules For Taxing Business Entities Today At Toronto

TaylorWillard Taylor (Sullivan & Cromwell, New York) presents Can We Clean This Up? A Brief Journey Through the U.S. Rules for Taxing Business Entities at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

There is no question that the US Federal income tax rules for classifying business entities need repair. As set out above, repairs might address the impact of the growth of passthroughs on the corporate income tax, the disparate treatment for corporate income tax purposes of some REITs and publicly-traded passthroughs, whether it made sense to have one set of rules for non-publicly traded partnerships and S corporations, and the different treatment of foreign investors in stocks, securities and real estate. These are only a few of many issues.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Markle Presents The Effect Of Financial Constraints On The Income Shifting Of U.S. Multinationals Today At NYU

MarkleKevin Markle (Iowa) presents The Effect of Financial Constraints on the Income Shifting of U.S. Multinationals (with Scott D. Dyreng (Duke)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

When a U.S. multinational corporation shifts income from the U.S. to foreign jurisdictions, it incurs costs and reaps benefits. The benefits may be reduced if the shifted income must be returned to the U.S. as a dividend in the short term and face the same U.S. tax it would have if the income had not been shifted. Firms, then, have incentive to defer repatriation of earnings and to fund domestic cash needs with external financing. The cost of external financing, however, is increasing in financial constraints, leading to the prediction that constrained firms will be unable to defer repatriation and, therefore, will reap no benefits from shifting. Using a new methodology for measuring income shifting, we find, consistent with predictions, that financially constrained firms shift less income from the U.S. to foreign countries than their unconstrained peers.

Continue reading

March 1, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Marian (2016)Omri Marian (UC-Irvine) presents The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg::

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.

Continue reading

March 1, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fleischer Presents The Hidden Difficulties Of Taxing Wealth Today At Boston College

Perry Fleischer (2016)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents Not So Fast: The Hidden Difficulties of Taxing Wealth at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by James Repetti and Diane Ring:

As an antidote to increasing inequality, policymakers and academics frequently call for heavier taxes on the wealthy. To those outside the tax academy, proposals such as increasing marginal rates, implementing a wealth tax, or strengthening the estate tax likely sound like variations on the same theme. Many discussions of using the tax system to fight inequality therefore ignore differences among tax instruments. As this Essay shows, using the tax system to fight inequality requires careful consideration of both normative and practical concerns. Certain goals (for example, the concern that wealth concentrations harm the political and economic systems) suggest taxing wealth itself via an annual wealth tax as an ideal solution. Not only would such a tax be hobbled by administrative and valuation concerns, however, it is likely unconstitutional.

Continue reading

February 26, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Walker Presents Understanding And Evaluating Performance-Based Executive Pay Today At Florida

Walker (2016)David Walker (Boston University) presents The Way We Pay Now: Understanding and Evaluating Performance-Based Executive Pay at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series hosted by Yariv Brauner:

Over the last ten years, performance-based equity pay, and particularly performance shares, have displaced stock options as the primary instruments for compensating executives of large, public companies in the U.S. This article examines that transformation, analyzing the structure and incentive properties of these newly important instruments and evaluating the benefits and risks from an investor’s perspective. Notable observations include the following:

Continue reading

February 26, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Blair-Stanek Presents Just Compensation As Transfer Prices Today At Duke

Blair-Stanek (2013)Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland) presents Just Compensation as Transfer Prices at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Patents encourage innovation by allowing patentholders to charge higher prices, but these higher prices cause huge deadweight losses to society. Economists have long recognized that society could be made better off if the government used eminent domain to take widely used patents and dedicate them to the public domain, making them free for all to use. The formidable obstacle is determining an appropriate price, the “just compensation” required by the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.

This Article identifies a novel but powerful solution: base the “just compensation” on the price the patentholder chose for transferring the patent to a tax-haven subsidiary. Most valuable patents are transferred to minimize taxes, and the tax-law standards for valuing such transfers closely match Takings Clause case law.

Continue reading

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

Stark Presents Regional Taxation And Regional Tax Base Sharing In State Tax Reform Today At UCLA

Stark (2014)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents Regional Taxation and Regional Tax Base Sharing in State Tax Reform at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

This article describes and evaluates a specific subset of state tax reforms—i.e., those involving regional approaches to funding subnational public goods. Reforms examined include those where policymakers devise new multi-jurisdictional fiscal arrangements to address regional objectives that conventional local governments, by virtue of their more limited geographic scope, are unlikely to tackle. As used in this article, the term “region” refers to a geographic area (1) constituting less than the entire jurisdiction of a state, and (2) encompassing more than one local government jurisdiction. A “regional tax” is therefore any tax (fee, assessment, etc.…) limited in its application to a geographic area so defined. A closely related policy is “regional tax base sharing”—i.e., the imposition of a tax on a base that is shared among several local jurisdictions, with the proceeds distributed among those localities.

Continue reading

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

Hickman Presents Treasury's Retroactivity Today At Colorado

Hickman 2014 2Kristin Hickman (Minnesota) presents Treasury's Retroactivity at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

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. 

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Markle Presents The Effect Of Financial Constraints On The Income Shifting Of U.S. Multinationals Today At Penn

MarkleKevin Markle (Iowa) presents The Effect of Financial Constraints on the Income Shifting of U.S. Multinationals (with Scott D. Dyreng (Duke)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

When a U.S. multinational corporation shifts income from the U.S. to foreign jurisdictions, it incurs costs and reaps benefits. The benefits may be reduced if the shifted income must be returned to the U.S. as a dividend in the short term and face the same U.S. tax it would have if the income had not been shifted. Firms, then, have incentive to defer repatriation of earnings and to fund domestic cash needs with external financing. The cost of external financing, however, is increasing in financial constraints, leading to the prediction that constrained firms will be unable to defer repatriation and, therefore, will reap no benefits from shifting. Using a new methodology for measuring income shifting, we find, consistent with predictions, that financially constrained firms shift less income from the U.S. to foreign countries than their unconstrained peers.

Continue reading

February 24, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Gamage Presents Tax Cannibalization And Fiscal Federalism Today At Georgetown

GamageDavid Gamage (UC-Berkeley) presents Tax Cannibalization and Fiscal Federalism in the United States (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

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.

Continue reading

February 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Avi-Yonah Presents Evaluating BEPS Today At NYU

Avi-YonahReuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) presents Evaluating BEPS (with Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2016, Michigan)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Following the financial crisis and ensuing austerity, politicians discovered the problem of tax avoidance. In response, the OECD and G20 launched the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project in 2013, and this has in October, 2015 culminated with the release of a series of action steps that the OECD and G20 countries have undertaken to adopt. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria has stated that "Base erosion and profit shifting affects all countries, not only economically, but also as a matter of trust. BEPS is depriving countries of precious resources to jump-start growth, tackle the effects of the global economic crisis and create more and better opportunities for all. But beyond this, BEPS has been also eroding the trust of citizens in the fairness of tax systems worldwide. The measures we are presenting today represent the most fundamental changes to international tax rules in almost a century: they will put an end to double non-taxation, facilitate a better alignment of taxation with economic activity and value creation, and when fully implemented, these measures will render BEPS-inspired tax planning structures ineffective".

Continue reading

February 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Brooks Presents Quasi-Public Spending Today At Pepperdine, UC-Irvine

Brooks (John)John R. Brooks (Georgetown) presents Quasi-Public Spending, 104 Geo. L.J. ___ (2016), today at Pepperdine (as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine) and UC-Irvine (as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian):

The United States has increasingly designed certain public spending programs not as traditional tax-financed programs, but rather as mixtures of private expenditures, subsidies, and limited taxes. Thus part of what could have gone to the government as a tax is instead used to purchase the good or service directly, with only incremental taxes and subsidies to manage distributional goals. This Article terms this “quasi-public spending,” and argues that it is descriptive of our evolving approaches to both health care and higher education.

Continue reading

February 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shay Presents Inversions And Protecting A Legacy Corporate Tax Today At Minnesota

Shay (2014)Stephen E. Shay (Harvard) presents Inversions And Protecting a Legacy Corporate Tax today at Minnesota as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Tax-motivated corporate expatriations—so-called inversion transactions—are a hot topic in the world of corporate taxation. Congress has declined to respond to calls for legislative action. Treasury has stepped into the void with a pair of notices foreshadowing proposed regulations to be applied retroactively to the notice date. Mr. Shay’s presentation will cover:

  • the principal tax benefits companies seek when pursuing inversion transactions,
  • the Treasury Department's ability to respond using currently-effective regulations, and
  • available regulatory alternatives that could powerfully affect the incentive to expatriate

February 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Aprill Presents The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation Today At Northwestern

AprillEllen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.) presents The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation, 13 Pitt. Tax Rev. 43 (2015), 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:

As is well known, on May 10, 2013, at a session of the American Bar Association Tax Section meeting in Washington, D.C., Lois Lerner, at the time the director of the Exempt Organization Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS or Service), apologized for IRS mishandling of applications by Tea Party groups for exemption as social welfare groups under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. A few days later, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) Inspector General released a report (TIGTA Report) concluding that the “IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

Continue reading

February 18, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lindert Presents Fiscal Redistribution In Latin America Since The 19th Century Today At UCLA

LindertPeter Lindert (UC-Davis) presents Economics Fiscal Redistribution in Latin America Since the Nineteenth Century (with Leticia Arroyo Abad (Middlebury College)) at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

This paper presents the first multi-country history of how Latin American government spending and taxes have reshaped the distribution of income in the long run. We combine our new historical time series for six countries with impressive recent studies of their fiscal redistribution patterns in the 21st century. The rising share of social spending has not been directed strongly toward the poor. The swings in fiscal redistribution in Chilean and Argentine history have been particularly dramatic. Latin America as a whole stands out as a region with a low rate of investment in education and infrastructure, redistributing away from future generations toward pensioners. Pension commitments have locked the region’s governments into prolonged pension deficits, a strong case of historical path dependence.

February 18, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leff Presents Taxing Governmental Marijuana Sales Today At Indiana

LeffBenjamin Leff (American) presents Taxing Governmental Marijuana Sales at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

This Article is the first to address whether independent governmental affiliates that sell marijuana are exempt from federal income tax under section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code. In the first section, I discuss the three legal requirements for tax exemption under section 115, and how these three requirements are likely to apply to a public development authority like the Cannabis Corner. In the second section, I discuss whether a government affiliate that sold marijuana might be denied tax-exempt status even if it met all the requirements of section 115 under the so-called “public policy” or “illegality” doctrine. In both these sections, I argue that it should be relatively easy for a public development authority or other governmental affiliate to sell marijuana exempt from federal taxes.

Continue reading

February 18, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Duke

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

We find that while forum participants displayed generally accurate understandings of tax filing and income inclusion obligations, their approaches to expenses and deductions were less accurate and more varied in sophistication and willingness to comply with tax law. Forum participants also frequently discussed whether driving was profitable and exhibited a range of awareness concerning how taxes affected profitability. Finally, while the forums contained a surprising degree of sophisticated and accurate tax and legal advice, they also contained many examples of inaccurate or confusing information. It is thus uncertain whether readers can successfully distinguish between accurate and inaccurate advice dispensed in the forums.

Continue reading

February 18, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawsky Presents Definitional Scope In The Internal Revenue Code Today At Colorado

LawskySarah Lawsky (UC-Irvine) presents Definitional Scope in the Internal Revenue Code at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

The Internal Revenue Code is notoriously complex, both substantively and structurally. This article examines one source of structural complexity in the Internal Revenue Code: dependency among sections that stems from defined terms. In particular, the article examines what it describes as the problem of “definitional scope”: when the structure of the Code leaves unclear to what a term refers. The article provides examples of problematic definitional scope and then suggests a general solution: that those who draft tax legislation should “formalize” the proposed statutory language—translate it into logical terms—prior to its enactment. To illustrate this proposal, the article provides formalizations of two provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

February 18, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Manhire Presents Why Lawyers (And Law Professors) Eat Last: A Workshop On Selfless Service Today At Texas A&M

A&MFollowing up on my previous post, Law School Leadership In A Time Of CrisisJack Manhire (Texas A&M) presents Why Lawyers Eat Last: A Workshop on Selfless Service and Lawyers as Leaders at Texas A&M today as part of its Professionalism & Leadership Program:

As a lawyer you’ll always be a leader. In this workshop we’ll examine some of the servant leadership principals outlined by Simon Sinek in his book, Why Leaders Eat Last, followed by a vibrant discussion on what lessons we can glean from this perspective of leading by putting others first…both as attorneys and human beings.

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (2014):

Continue reading

February 18, 2016 in Book Club, Colloquia, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Raskolnikov Presents From Deterrence to Compliance: Legal Uncertainty Reexamined Today At Penn

Raskolnikov (2015)Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia) presents From Deterrence to Compliance: Legal Uncertainty Reexamined at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

Law is imperfect. It is full of standards that are neither clear nor socially optimal. How do rational actors respond to these standards? How should we evaluate these responses? What happens when legal advisors tackle legal uncertainty? These questions have few answers in law and economics. This article investigates a model of rational decisionmaking under uncertain law from the perspective of legal compliance rather than optimal deterrence. It does so by combining economic analysis with a practical understanding of the market for legal advice. Some of the results are unsurprising from both theoretical and practical perspectives; others are unexpected.

Continue reading

February 17, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)