TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Mortimer Available on eBay:  Mortimer Caplin IRS Commissioner Signed Autograph:

This is an authentic hand signed item and is NOT a preprint.  Buy It Now price:  $9.99.

From Wikipedia:

First in his class at University of Virginia School of Law, and Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Law Review, Caplin served as a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Armistead M. Dobie. He then practiced law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service in the United States Navy. ...  In 1950, Caplin returned to UVA as professor of law, specializing in tax and corporate law and publishing extensively in these fields. ...  Following President John F. Kennedy's election, Caplin ... in January 1961 was appointed Commissioner of Internal Revenue. ...  Caplin remained at the IRS until July 1964 when he resigned to form the law firm of Caplin & Drysdale.

December 21, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1969 magazine ad:  Face the IRS with a Coke in Your Hand ($9.99):

 Coke Ad

December 20, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Tax bumper stickers:
  1. eBay
  2. amazon
  3. zazzle
  4. cafe press
  5. cafe press
  6. cafe press

IRS Seal 

IRS 2 

 

IRS 3 

 

IRS 4 

 

IRS 5 

 

IRS 6 

December 17, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1913 Tax Form For Counsel (Products and Gifts for Lawyers) sells an exact reproduction of the original 1913 Form 1040:

Four pages long, including one page of instructions. Impressively framed in classic mahogany with beaded edge and segmented mat of ivory. Brass plate mounted on the mat states: "1913 Inaugural Form 1040." Framed dimensions are 30" by 24". Comes with Plexiglas and all accessories for hanging.

Unframed copies of the 1913 Form 1040 can be downloaded for free at the IRS and the Tax History Project.

December 16, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1040_lrg  Form 1040 Toilet Paper ($3.49 per roll):

Does it pain you to fill out a tax form each year? Does knowing that the IRS takes a large chunk of your salary give you the runs? This product isn't deductible, but it'll sure make you feel better. A collage of the 1040 IRS Form is printed throughout the whole roll!

December 15, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

IRS Chocolate Bars ($1.45 each; $72.50 for case of 50):

Candy Bar

December 14, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Continuing a TaxProf Blog holiday tradition, I will offer some gift ideas for that special tax person in your life.  Today's suggestion: a Death and Taxes poster (24"x36"):

Death-and-Taxes-2011 

December 13, 2010 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love (Canine Edition)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

GOOOAAALLL!!!

NCAA Soccer Fatherly brag: my sophomore son yesterday scored his first collegiate goal with 90 seconds left to win his team's final regular season game, 1-0 (and finish the season with a 7-2 league record). Now it's on to the post-season conference tournament, where the team last year earned the school's first-ever NCAA tournament bid.

October 31, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

100 Most Influential People in Tax and Accounting

2010 100 Most Influential I am honored to be included on the list of Accounting Today's 100 Most Influential People for the fifth year in a row. The magazine contains one-sentence explanations of why each of the folks made the list; here is mine:

Probably the most prolific blogger in the tax field, Caron has made his blog into a must-read, chock-full of the latest developments in the worlds of tax, law and academia.

I am flattered to be on the list with such high-powered people in the tax and accounting worlds, including:

  • Max Baucus (Chair, Senate Finance Committee)
  • Barney Frank (Chair, House Financial Services Committee)
  • Timothy Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury)
  • Chuck Grassley (Ranking Member, Senate Finance Committee)
  • Sander Levin (Chair, House Ways & Means Committee)
  • President Barack Obama
  • Nina Olson (National Taxpayer Advocate, IRS)
  • Mary Schapiro (Chair, SEC)
  • Douglas Shulman (Commissioner, IRS)

September 22, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Empty Nest

Empty NestWith my daughter's departure today for college, my wife and I become official empty nesters (with our son already away in his sophomore year at college).

Jayne, my heart aches that I will no longer know the daily joy of living in the same house with you. But I am comforted by Ecclesiastes 3:1:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

It is time for you to move on to the next season of your life. You are ready to take on the challenges of college.  I am sorry that I need to teach today and cannot join you and your mother on the long trek. But I am counting down the days until I see you at orientation next week.

Father Daughter Dance I am in awe of your breathtaking beauty, buoyant intelligence, exuberant personality, radiant spirit, strong character, and herculean work ethic.  I am of course proud of your many academic accomplishments. But I am prouder still of simply who you are and the woman you are becoming.

I am grateful for the close relationship we now enjoy after surviving some rocky times in your early teens. Although your mother and I recently gave you a hard time when you celebrated your 18th birthday by getting a tattoo, we were secretly honored that you chose to have our and your brother’s initials –- PCR –- permanently stained into your skin. 

Remember always that your mother and I love you beyond all measure. And that God loves you infinitely more. Being your father has been the great honor and privilege of my life.

P.S. BUT please remind me again why I bought you this present last Christmas:

Josie

September 8, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sending Your Child Into a Hurricane

My son (who just completed his freshman year of college) got back last night from a one-month internship with Back2Back Ministries in Monterrey, Mexico. One of the joys of parenthood is watching your kids grow in abilities to do things that you could never do yourself. My son spent the past month serving in several orphanages, and his last two days battling Hurricane Alex to protect the ministry's small campus from flood waters. I, on the other hand, am spending the summer teaching in the paradise of San Diego.

 

July 4, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Graduation Day, Part II

Jayne Last year, I blogged my son Reed's graduation from high school. Last Friday, my daughter Jayne graduated from high school, which means my wife and I will be official "empty nesters" in two short months.

Jayne, congratulations! I want you to know that it was one of the great joys of my life to watch you accept the awards for top female scholar-athlete and co-valedictorian of your class.  Although I plead guilty to fatherly bragging, lest folks think I am exaggerating, here are your teacher's words in giving you the award as the top English student:

Ebullient, brilliant, and blond…Jayne has been a force of nature in every English class she has taken at Country Day.

In addition to straight A’s for four years, Jayne earned an 800 in the SAT Critical Reading, an 800 on the SAT Writing tests, and a 5 on the English Literature AP.

A voracious and insightful reader, Jayne, by the start of tenth grade, had already read nearly all of the books assigned in honors English—on her own.

After she finished her AP exams last spring, Jayne needed something to keep her busy. So she sat in on other English classes, taking quizzes, contributing to discussion, just having fun -- typical high school stuff.

An unabashedly passionate student and a real thinker, Jayne will argue her point in the classroom and then into the halls, even if arrayed against her is the rest of the student body.

Jayne is that very rare thing— a thoughtful reader, an independent thinker and an utterly self-confident person. all that, and only 18 years old.

Jayne, I am grateful for the close relationship we now enjoy after surviving some rocky times in your early teens. Although your mother and I recently gave you a hard time when you celebrated your 18th birthday by getting a tattoo, we were secretly honored that you chose to have our and your brother’s initials –- PCR –- permanently stained into your skin. Your beauty, spunk, creativity, razor-sharp mind, quick wit, and herculean work ethic (only one of which qualities you inherited from me) promise an incredibly bright future. Your mother and I love you beyond measure. Our home and our lives will be emptier without our beloved "force of nature" in our daily midst. But we are excited about your future and will be cheering you on every step of the way.

In honor of our time together before you head out into the world on your own, here is a journey down memory lane of our experiences that I have chronicled on this blog:

June 10, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back in San Diego

Usd_photoI am back in San Diego for my seventh summer teaching Tax I at the University of San Diego School of Law, my second as the Herzog Summer Visiting Professor in Taxation.  San Diego is truly America's Finest City, with spectacular weather, natural beauty, and a dizzying array of things to do. But what is even more enjoyable is renewing acquaintances with the many friends we have made over the years here (not to mention satisfying my hankering for this).

June 7, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The End of an Era

Today marked my daughter's last day of high school -- congratulations, Jayne!  My wife has written Jayne a daily note of encouragement throughout high school; here is a portion of today's message:

Jayne Last Day What a milestone day!  Reflecting back on your past 4 years, I want you to know what an AMAZING!!! person you have become (and have always been). You should feel very proud of all your accomplishments, but most importantly about who you are, because as you've risen to the tip-top of a highly competitive class, you have remained humble without developing an overly aggrandized view of yourself, recognizing and appreciating the special worth of each classmate. What has shined through the years (through thick and thin) has been your radiant spirit; your generous, free-spirited, fun-loving and adventurous nature; your sense of humor; your strength of character; your resilience; and your courage to confront and work on areas of weakness while remaining openly and unabashedly yourself, an independent thinker, in an environment where it often seems easier to conform. You have grown each year by leaps and bounds. And there is absolutely NOTHING to regret, because each experience (whether joyous or painful) has brought you to a new level of maturity -- teaching you something about who you are, who you want to become, and who your true friends are.

Your dad and I are so glad to see you fully immersed in enjoying these few remaining weeks in [high school] before your graduation on June 4th!  We love you beyond measure, and are so very, very, very proud of our brave and bold daughter, who is truly beautiful both on the inside and out.

People sometimes ask how I can be so sure about the existence of a loving God -- my answer is always the same: there is simply no other way to explain how a guy like me could end up with such an incredible wife and kids.

Jayne and a friend spent last night making tee shirts (above) and painting messages on their cars (below) to mark their last day of high school.

Jayne Gleek 

[For those without high school girls in the house, "I'm a Gleek" means she is a geeky fan of Glee, the FOX TV show.]

May 14, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tax Prof Dancing Through the Years

Jayne I returned home yesterday from a week-long trip with my daughter visiting colleges for their "admitted student" days.  We went to a father-daughter/mother-son dance at her high school last night.  It was a great time, kicking up my heels for the first time in decades. (Luckily, dancing is apparently like riding a bicycle -- once the muscle memory kicked in, I was able to (with apologies to Prince) party like its 1979.  If anyone from ABC's Dancing with the Stars is reading this blog:  I'm available.)

As the night wore on (and I was gasping for breath), I kept thinking about Steven Curtis Chapman's wonderful Cinderella song:

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone.


My daughter indeed will be gone in four short months, and I couldn't stop thinking that the next time I dance with her will be at her (hopefully far-off) wedding.  (We tried to get the DJ last night to play the song that I have tortued her with since she was a little girl -- Bob Carlisle's sweet but hokey Butterfly Kisses --but he looked at us like we were from another planet.)


April 25, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Six-Year Anniversary of TaxProf Blog

Happy_anniversary_1Yesterday (April 15) marked the 6-year anniversary of TaxProf Blog (and the 15-year anniversary of the TaxProf Email Discussion Group). I hope the blog has at least partially succeeded in its mission (announced in my very first post here) to provide both (1) permanent resources & links, and (2) daily news & information, of interest to law school tax professors and students, tax lawyers in private practice and government, accountants, and others in the tax community. The following chart shows the blog's dramatic across-the-board growth over these six years:

TaxProf Blog (4/15/04 – 4/15/10)

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Total

Visitors

Total

Per Day

v. Prior Year

 

528,000

1,400

-

 

933,000

2,500

+76.7%

 

1,246,000

3,400

+33.5%

 

1,537,000

4,200

+23.4%

 

2,591,000

7,100

+68.6%

 

2,787,000

7,630

+7.6%

 

6,835,000

Page Views

Total

Per Day

v. Prior Year

 

688,000

1,900

-

 

1,202,000

3,300

+74.7%

 

1,593,000

4,360

+32.5%

 

2,282,000

6,250

+43.3%

 

3,490,000

9,560

+52.9%

 

3,607,000

9,880

+3.4%

 

9,255,000

During my six-year run, I have:

I am especially delighted that our Law Professor Blogs Network has expanded to over 50 blogs:

Our current sponsor -- Aspen -- is supporting our efforts to expand the network into other areas of law.  Please email me and Joe Hodnicki if you would be interested in learning more about starting a blog as part of our network. We provide you with a turn-key operation: we will create your blog for you and walk you through the very simple mechanics of posting.  Aspen's sponsorship enables us to provide modest stipends to our editors. 

Thank you for joining us during these six years. I hope you will stick around for what I hope will be many years to come. Please use the comments to share your thoughts on the blog as well as how we can serve you better in the future.

April 16, 2010 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Farewell, Malibu

PepperdineI am back in Cincinnati after spending spring break in Malibu, California, teaching a one-week course at Pepperdine University School of Law.  It was a spectacular week in all respects.

The course, Selected Advanced Topics in Federal Income Taxation, went very well.  Although we designed our Tax Stories book to be used either as supplemental reading for the basic tax course or as the text for a tax seminar, I never before had the opportunity to teach a tax seminar.  We made good use of the extra time in the seminar format to explore the chapters in depth and to listen to several of the Supreme Court oral arguments from the Tax Stories website.  The compressed nature of the course forced us to read several chapters together, and the pairings -- particularly Glenshaw Glass and Murphy; Kirby Lumber and Crane; Davis and Earl; Welch and INDOPCO; and Schlude and Knetsch -- allowed us to draw some connections that frankly I had not noticed before. Re-reading the book from cover to cover made me appreciate anew the great job that the chapters authors did in making the cases come alive and in explaining to students the importance of the cases in the development of the tax law. I am convinced more than ever that the book delivers on the claim I made in the Introduction, Tax Archaeology:

In tax law, as in other subject areas, there are certain landmark cases that set the law on a path that continues to shape much of the current developments in the field. In these seminal cases, the tax law was faced with a fundamental choice, the resolution of which would influence the tax law for generations to come. In Tax Stories, we look at eleven pivotal cases in the development of the federal income tax. These stories provide fresh insights into both particular doctrinal areas of tax law as well as issues of wider application across the tax law.

From my law school rankings work (What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Texas L. Rev. 1483 (2004); Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83 (2006)), I knew that Pepperdine during the remarkable deanship of Ken Starr has made the biggest jump in the U.S. News rankings of any law school, moving from Tier 3 (2004) to the cusp of the Top 50 (55 in 2010 -- 7th among the 20 California law schools, after Stanford (3), UC-Berkeley (6), UCLA (15), USC (18), UC-Davis (35), and UC-Hastings (39)). Seeing the school up close for a week convinces me that Top Law Schools is right in predicting that, "[w]ith its strong academic programs, knowledgeable faculty, and beautiful campus, Pepperdine Law School seems a likely candidate for a continued rankings boost."

The Pepperdine faculty is particularly strong, with world class scholars and committed teachers.  There is a vibrant intellectual life at the school, which I witnessed first hand at the Fifth Annual Louis D. Brandeis Lecture at the Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics by Sanford Levinson (Texas). But I was most struck by the palpable sense of community that permeates the school, a hallmark of its distinctive mission to integrate the Christian faith in all aspects of life at the school.  I saw this play out in countless ways among faculty, students, and staff throughout the week.  One vignette: my last class was a 4 1/2 hour marathon beginning at 8:30 on Saturday morning.  Because I felt sorry for the students having to get up so early on a Saturday to listen to me for so long, and to thank them for their hard work all week, I planned to bring some breakfast food and coffee to kick things off. But as often happens with me, my best intentions came a cropper as, despite getting up at 4:00 a.m. to prepare for class, I ran late and did not have time to pick up the breakfast on the way to school.  But one of the students came armed with a delicious array of organic pastries and muffins from a Malibu bakery. I felt ashamed, and at the break asked the student to let me pay her for what must have been over $100 worth of stuff.  She refused even after I repeated my offer several times, saying "This is Pepperdine -- we take care of each other."

The beauty of the Pepperdine campus and Malibu is simply breathtaking.  For example, here is the view from the law school:

Malibu - Law School 

And here is the view from my bedroom:

Malibu - Bedroom 

But in the end, my sweetest memory of this special week is simply the gift of time with my son (a college freshman) and daughter (a high school senior).  I cherished our leisurely dinners of fine food, laughter, and conversation, during which I reveled in the marvel of the wonderful young adults my kids are growing into.  As the hokey Bob Carlisle song puts in, "With all that I've done wrong I must have done something right." I want to thank Dean Starr and the Pepperdine faculty for this wonderful opportunity.

March 30, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tax Stories in Paradise

PepperdineI am thrilled to be spending Cincinnati's spring break in Mailbu, California, teaching a one-week course based on our Tax Stories book, Selected Advanced Topics in Federal Income Taxation, at Pepperdine University School of Law.  I have long been a fan of Pepperdine, its faculty, and its distinctive mission in American legal education, particularly the integration of the Christian faith in all aspects of life at the school.  I have fallen in love with Southern California during my six summers teaching at the University of San Diego School of Law, and I am looking forward to the warm sunshine after an unusually harsh midwestern winter.  I feel especially blessed to have my son (a college freshman) and daughter (a high school senior) join me for the week (while my wife recuperates back home).  I want to thank Dean Ken Starr and the faculty (and the 12 students who signed up for an intensive one-week immersion in tax law) for this wonderful opportunity, and for the use of a spectacular house on Broad Beach:

Pepperdine Beach House

March 22, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome Home!

Back Door My wife returned home from the hospital today, twelve days after breaking her leg in a fall on the ice outside our back door -- note the spiffy new railing that awaited her arrival today.

We are grateful to the doctors, nurses, and therapists at Christ Hospital for their wonderful care.  And thanks to the many friends who sent their prayers and well wishes (and food!) our way.  We're hopeful for a full recovery in 8-12 weeks.

   

   

March 3, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life Changes in an Instant

Courtney It was a typical Friday morning.  My daughter had already left for high school.  Despite waking up at 5:00 a.m., I was scrambling to get out of the house to a meeting.  My wife was frantically getting ready for her weekly women's bible study.  She stepped out the back door, slipped on some ice on the step, and broke her right leg (in three places, as it turned out).

It was especially scary for us, as she already is partially disabled in that leg, as a result of a staph infection that ate away her hip joint as an infant, followed by a cup arthroplasty and several additional surgeries as a young girl.  Until Friday, she could walk with the aid of a cane and swim laps as exercise.  (Although her orthopedic surgeon advised her not to have kids, we rolled the dice and ended up with two fantastic kids and no further complications with her hip/leg.) 

The ambulance whisked her to the emergency room, as I followed in my car.  She had surgery on Saturday to insert a metal rod in her tibia, and we're hopeful that she again will be back to her old self in 6-8 weeks.

We have been blown away by the care she has received at Christ Hospital (and her husband is especially grateful for the free wi-fi). For those so inclined, we would be grateful for prayers for a speedy and successful recovery. 

February 21, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Two Valentines

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Airline Rankings

The Wall Street Journal has a great article on airline performance in 2009, including a ranking of the nine major airlines in five categories:

  • On-time arrivals (percentage of flights arriving on-time)
  • Canceled flights (percentage of flights canceled)
  • Mishandled luggage (mishandled bag reports per 1,000 passengers)
  • Consumer complaints (reports per million passengers)
  • Bumped passengers (bumped passengers per 10,000)

Here is an overall ranking of the airlines, based on their average ranking in the five categories:

  1. Southwest (3.2)
  2. Air Tran (3.4)
  3. Jet Blue (4.0)
  4. Continental (4.4)
  5. Alaska Air (5.0)
  6. U.S. Air (5.8)
  7. Delta (6.0)
  8. United (6.2)
  9. American (7.0)

January 7, 2010 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Legal Version

Check out the original and legal versions of the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas [click on chart to enlarge]:

Twas_the_night_before_christmas_pag

Continue reading

December 24, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Mortimer Available on eBay:  Mortimer Caplin IRS Commissioner Signed Autograph:

This is an authentic hand signed item and is NOT a preprint.  Buy It Now price:  $9.99.

From Wikipedia:

First in his class at University of Virginia School of Law, and Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Law Review, Caplin served as a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Armistead M. Dobie. He then practiced law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service in the United States Navy. ...  In 1950, Caplin returned to UVA as professor of law, specializing in tax and corporate law and publishing extensively in these fields. ...  Following President John F. Kennedy's election, Caplin ... in January 1961 was appointed Commissioner of Internal Revenue. ...  Caplin remained at the IRS until July 1964 when he resigned to form the law firm of Caplin & Drysdale.

December 23, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

IRS Logo Plaque IRS Logo Plaque:

This solid mahogany wall plaque shows the Internal Revenue Service seal. Great government gift, government retirement gift, or government recognition award. This hand carved and hand painted wooden plaque is perfect as a wall plaque or podium plaque.

Each IRS wall plaque is hand carved from solid mahogany then hand painted and finished. Fantastic additions to any government collection. A recessed hook enables the plaque to hang flush against any wall.

Prices:  $85.95 (10" x 10") to $2,815.95 (72" x 72")

December 22, 2009 in IRS News, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1040_lrg  Form 1040 Toilet Paper ($3.49 per roll):

Does it pain you to fill out a tax form each year? Does knowing that the IRS takes a large chunk of your salary give you the runs? This product isn't deductible, but it'll sure make you feel better. A collage of the 1040 IRS Form is printed throughout the whole roll!

December 18, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Any of the three books I published in 2009 would make a great Christmas gift for that special tax person:

Tax Stories CoverTax Stories (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2009): 

This book explores the historical contexts of seminal federal income tax cases and the role they continue to play in our current tax law. Each of the chapters sets forth the social, factual, and legal background of the case.

Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation Cover Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 6th ed. 2009):

The Sixth Edition continues the comprehensive, yet flexible, presentation of prior editions. It explores both the technical and policy issues associated with wealth transfer taxation. It is adaptable for use in a single course covering basic wealth transfer taxation or a sequence of courses dealing with wealth transfer taxation at either the J.D. level or LL.M. level, while presenting selected in-depth coverage of advanced issues. Within each section, the book moves from the straightforward to the more complex rules associated with the topic so that each professor can decide the level of complexity he or she wishes to reach in the course. The Sixth Edition thoroughly integrates all relevant amendments to the Code enacted through January 1, 2009. This casebook is unrivaled in scope and depth of analysis and in its flexibility for use in different courses using any teaching technique.


Study problem cover page-1 Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation: Study Problems (Foundation Press, 6th ed. 2010):

This problem set is designed to accompany our casebook, Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation (6th ed. 2009), although the problems can be used with any other casebook in the field. The problems are organized to correspond with the chapter and section headings of our casebook, and we have included with the problems corresponding page numbers of the casebook to simplify cross-referencing. There are over 275 problems that cover each chapter of the casebook (other than certain introductory chapters of Part One).

We have found the problems enormously helpful in teaching the Estate and Gift Tax course. Our casebook, like other casebooks in the field, contains an enormous amount of technical detail. We have designed the problems to help the students master the important material in each chapter. In our experience, the problems help focus classroom discussion and provide a helpful roadmap of the course to students.

LexsNexis For that hard to please tax person, check out the six books in the LexisNexis Graduate Tax Series, for which I serve as Series Editor:

  • Civil Tax Procedure (2d ed. 2007), by David Richardson (Florida), Jerome Borison (Denver), and Steve Johnson (UNLV)
  • Employee Benefits Law: Qualification Rules and ERISA Requirements (2006), by Kathryn Kennedy (John Marshall) & Paul Shultz (Director, Employee Plans Rulings & Agreement, IRS)
  • Federal Tax Accounting (2006), by Michael Lang (Chapman), Elliot Manning (Miami) & Steven Willis (Florida)
  • Partnership Taxation (2d ed. 2008), by Richard Lipton (Baker & McKenzie, Chicago), Paul Carman (Chapman & Cutler, Chicago), Charles Fassler (Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald, Louisville) & Walter Schwidetzky (Baltimore)
  • Tax Crimes, by Steve Johnson (UNLV), Scott Schumacher (Washington), Larry Campagna (Adjunct Professor, Houston) & John Townsend (Adjunct Professor, Houston).
  • United States International Taxation (2008), by Allison Christians (Wisconsin), Samuel Donaldson (Washington) &  Philip Postlewaite (Northwestern)

Law Stories For others on your Christmas gift list, check out the thirty books in the Foundation Press Law Stories Series, for which I serve as Series Editor:

December 17, 2009 in Book Club, Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

IRS Chocolate Bars ($1.45 each; $72.50 for case of 50):

Candy Bar

December 16, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

IRS 2 For sale on eBay:  items related to IRS action figure Irwin R. Schyster (modeled after WWF wrestler Mike Rotunda):

His signature lines:

  • "I'm gonna write you off!"
  • "You can pay me now, or you will pay me later!"
  • "It's time to cut the crying, and start paying!"
  • "Even the dead have to pay taxes!"

December 15, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1913_tax_form_1Continuing a TaxProf Blog holiday tradition, I will offer some gift ideas for that special tax person in your life.  Today's suggestion:  For Counsel (Products and Gifts for Lawyers) sells an exact reproduction of the original 1913 Form 1040:

Four pages long, including one page of instructions. Impressively framed in classic mahogany with beaded edge and segmented mat of ivory. Brass plate mounted on the mat states: "1913 Inaugural Form 1040." Framed dimensions are 30" by 24". Comes with Plexiglas and all accessories for hanging.

An unframed version is available on eBay for $6.00.

Please email me other tax gift suggestions.

Update:  Copies of the 1913 Form 1040 can be downloaded for free at:

December 14, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Off to the Big Dance®

NCAA Soccer For those of you who asked (or might be interested) following my Saturday post on my freshman son's college soccer team:  for the first time in school history, the team qualified for the NCAA Division III National Tournament following a second thrilling conference tournament victory in a penalty kick shootout after the game remained tied through two overtimes. So it's off to The Big Dance®!

November 9, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Good and the Bad in Sports

I am at my college-freshman son's conference soccer tournament this weekend, with an NCAA Division III Tournament bid on the line for the winning team.  It was been a long journey, from select and high school soccer through his first college game and this remarkable season.  Their pulsating win in the semi-final yesterday, 7-6 on penalty kicks after the game finished 0-0 through two overtimes, was hard-fought but thankfully nothing like the BYU-New Mexico conference tournament semi-final game:


November 7, 2009 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 12, 2009

1040 Tax Form Paperweight

Tax Paperweight Another item for your tax bric-a-brac collection, from the Museum of Modern Art: a 1040 Tax Form Paperweight:

Three-dimensional wit for the desktop and a delightful way to hold down papers. Tibor Kalman's typically clever style is evident in this rigid silk-screened vinyl paperweight, hand-crumpled and wrapped around a steel weight. The 1040 tax form makes a perfect candidate for a crumpled piece of paper on your desktop.

(Hat Tip: Rebecca Kysar.)

October 12, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Father and Daughter at the Ballpark

Check out this priceless video at last night's Phillies-Nationals baseball game.

September 16, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Keeping in Touch With Your Child at College

As I' have previously noted (here and here), I am grappling with the mixed emotions of my older child's departure to college three weeks ago.  Thankfully, technology has made it quite easy to keep in touch with him:


Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids

September 4, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Georgetown Baseball Program Placed on NCAA Probation

Hoya Baseball Picture Yesterday, in blogging about attending my son's first college soccer game, I mentioned my underwhelming college baseball career at Georgetown. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I found this picture from the student newspaper recording one of my few highlights -- scoring in a rare win against Navy.  (If you think I am being falsely modest, check out these stats, showing that I was no threat to make this list.)

In a strange coincidence, the NCAA yesterday released this report concluding that the Georgetown baseball program had misused federal work-study funds by allowing 26 baseball players to receive $62,000 over seven years for work they did not perform.  The NCAA placed Georgetown on three years probation.  For more details, see Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

Note to any current or future White House staffers vetting me for a Tax Court judgeship:  I can categorically state that I worked every hour I was paid for in my work-study job at Georgetown as a teaching assistant to Government Professor Walter Giles (a position previously held by Bill Clinton).

September 3, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Downside of an iPhone

Jayne Volleyball Fruit (090309) One of the things I love about my iPhone is the ability to multitask my way through the day.  I pound out email whenever and wherever I can -- waiting in line at the grocery store, before and during breaks in my kids' games, while watching Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert before I go to bed, etc.  I especially like digging through email on my way to and from the parking garage at work.  Today, I discovered the downside of that strategy.  My daughter has her first volleyball game of the season, and we volunteered to provide the pregame meal.  So this morning I put in the trunk of my car a cooler of drinks and a huge fruit salad that my wife made last night, and planned to bring them to the high school later this afternoon after stopping off at Potbelly to get 20 sandwiches for the girls.  It was a brilliant strategy -- to save time in not having to go home before the game, I would put the fruit salad in the faculty refrigerator at the law school.  Of course, I had to check email when walking from my car to the law school while carrying my laptop and the fruit salad ...  So does a good father/husband (1) tell the team, "Sorry, I dropped the fruit salad"; (2) tell the team, "Sorry, Mrs. Caron forgot to make the fruit salad"; or (3) leave an hour early and buy outrageously overpriced pre-cut fruit at Kroger's?

September 3, 2009 in Law School, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Bittersweet Day

Reed (sr day -soccer - with Paul) My excitement today in teaching our Introduction to Law course to a section of our eager and talented 1Ls is tempered at having to bid farewell to my son Reed, who has left home for his freshman year of college.

Reed, it was a gut-wrenching and poignant weekend, as we hustled to get everything in order for your trip.  I will never forget our sweet and tender conversations, as we relived the past 19 years and looked forward to your future in college and beyond.  My heart aches that I will no longer know the daily joy of living in the same house with you, but I am comforted by Ecclesiastes 3:1:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

It is time for you to move on to the next season of your life. You are ready -- emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually -- to take on the challenges of college.   I am delighted that you are only nine hours away, and I am counting down the days until parents weekend and your first college soccer game.

Although I am bursting with pride at your many academic and athletic accomplishments, I am prouder still of simply who you are and the man you are becoming.  Remember always that your mother and I love you beyond all measure. And that God loves you infinitely more.  Being your father has been the great honor and privilege of my life.

August 17, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Five iPhone Apps for Lawyers

IPhone Five Apps for the Lawyer, by Lauren Hirsch:

It's official. The iPhone has come into its own in the legal world. It took a little time, and lawyers are notorious Luddites (you can pry the WordPerfect out of their cold, dead hands) but they do like Bright Shiny Objects, and nothing fills the lapel pocket like an iPhone.

The iPhone finally cracked the law-firm standards stranglehold by virtue of its compatibility with Microsoft Exchange, which freed lawyers from the non-choice of "would you like a Blackberry, or a Blackberry?" Granted, the Blackberry still seems to have a better handle on business needs, but for some, the iPhone is worth getting to know.

It should go without saying -- I will say it, though -- many of the productivity apps that are useful to everybody are useful to lawyers, so two of these apps are not strictly law-related. (See if you can spot them! It's a brain teaser and a post!) Also, certain obvious apps don't exist yet, such as a standalone LexisNexis or WestLaw legal research app. That said, the web will suffice for now. In fact, though I've artificially constrained myself to only standalone applications, the iPhone really shines for accessing web research sites given that Mobile Safari is (mostly) a full-featured browser. So, without further ado, here are five apps that give a glimpse into what the iPhone can do for attorneys.

(Hat Tip: Voir Dire.)  See also The Tax Code For Your iPhone.  For much more, see iPhone J.D.:  Lawyers Using iPhones, A Trip Down Memory Lane:

Since I started iPhone J.D. last Fall, I have reviewed over 100 iPhone apps and written about a number of other topics that are still relevant today. Well, maybe "100" sounds too high—sometimes I discuss several different apps at the same time instead of devoting a full post to a single app—but suffice it to say that I have written about many different apps that attorneys and others might enjoy having on their iPhones. You can always search for old posts by using the search box at the top right of every page, but I thought it would be useful to have a single index of all of the major posts on iPhone J.D. so that you can easily browse through prior posts. Moreover, in my law firm alone, I know of a large number of people who bought an iPhone very recently, and for new iPhone users who are relatively new to this site, browsing the index is a good way to catch up on what you have missed so far. There are a lot of great apps out there.

So here is a list of the more significant posts on iPhone J.D. since I started the website on November 17, 2008, including reviews of iPhone apps, reviews of other items and other significant posts. I have also added a link at the top right of this website called "iPhone J.D. Index" and I will keep that index updated in the future. As of today, however, here is the full index for your browsing pleasure.

August 10, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tax Prof Vegan

As the father of a new vegan, I enjoyed the posts by Tax Prof Neil Buchanan (George Washington) on the one-year anniversary of joining the 1% of Americans who are vegans, especially his concluding thoughts:

I have always loved animals. I now express that love by refusing to contribute to their pain and death. That is an anniversary worth celebrating.

August 8, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Breakthrough Cincinnati

Breakthrough I spent a wonderful afternoon at graduation ceremonies at Breakthrough Cincinnati -- the local chapter of the nationwide Breakthrough Collaborative.  The program provides six weeks of academic classes (math, science, English, history, and foreign languages) for inner city students from a faculty of high school and college students.  Both of my kids taught in the program -- they got as much (or more) out of it as the students.  I had tears in my eyes at the rousing affirmation at the end of the program:

We are Breakthrough Cincinnati.
We believe in the power of young people.
Through hard work, determination and discipline,
we can achieve our goals
We believe in ourselves.
We are Breakthrough Cincinnati

It (almost) made me excited about starting classes in two weeks!

August 1, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back Home in Cincinnati

Love CincinnatiAlthough I loved my seven weeks in San Diego, it's wonderful to be back home with my family in Cincinnati.  I feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach at two great law schools -- the University of Cincinnati and the University of San Diego are very different (small, public, secular v. large, private, Catholic), but they are remarkably similar in having terrific deanssuperb faculties, talented students, fantastic staffs, and excellent libraries.  In addition, San Diego has a well-deserved reputation as "America's Finest City," and Cincinnati is a fantastic place to live and raise a family.  We knew we were called to be here when my wife found out she was pregnant with our first child the morning of my interview with Cincinnati at the meat market.  It was cool to return this week to a recent New York Times profile of Cincinnati, along with our church's great message (God Loves Cincinnati), video (What We Love), and song (I Love My City).

July 25, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Farewell, San Diego!

Usd_photoThis is a bittersweet day for me, as I leave San Diego after seven weeks to return home to Cincinnati.  This was my sixth summer teaching at the University of San Diego School of Law, my first as the Herzog Summer Visiting Professor in Taxation.  My thanks to the kind folks at USD for having me back again, and to my 65 Tax I students who worked so hard (and explained to me who Lady Gaga is).   San Diego is truly "America's Finest City".  But even more enjoyable has been renewing acquaintances with the many friends we have made over the years here.

July 24, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Form 1040: The Puzzle

I previously blogged my purchase of a Form 1040 Puzzle, which I have added to my extensive collection of tax bric-a-brac.  Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomington) reports that she and her colleague Aviva Orenstein have completed side one of the puzzle -- note the (loop)hole in the income section!

Tax Form Puzzle

Aviva says that it took about as much time to complete the puzzle as it takes to do her taxes, but it was a lot less stressful!

July 15, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Taxes and the Declaration of Independence

Declaration_1 From the TaxProf Blog vault:  a July 4th post by Neil Buchanan (George Washington) during a guest blogging stint here:

I thought I would take another look at our oft-mentioned and seldom-read Declaration of Independence to see what it has to say about taxes and other issues of import. Herewith, a quick (and admittedly incomplete) summary of the contents:

Obviously, the most important issue addressed in the Declaration was the ongoing violence in the colonies. Among its more memorable descriptions of conditions at the time, the Declaration reminded the world that King George III "has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." The founding fathers were understandably focused primarily on matters of life and death.

Beyond those immediate concerns, though, the bulk of the Declaration expresses, in essence, a thirst for politics. That is, the major non-war-related complaint is that there is no locally-elected legislature passing laws for the colonies. Our founders were willing to lay their lives on the line, in other words, to create legislatures.

For those of us who are law professors and lawyers, it is interesting that the Declaration also seems to express (or at least imply) a desire for lawsuits and defense lawyers. The king "has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing Judiciary powers" and "depriv[ed] us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury." (Current readers are likely to split into two camps in their reactions to those statements, with some saying "If they only knew what they were getting us into," and others saying, "Yes, lawyers are an essential ingredient of a stable nation.")

The Declaration also notes that the king had prevented colonists from trading with foreign nations, which was an especially sore point for our resource-rich and young nation. (There is also, I should say, a rarely-quoted--and inflammatory--comment about the American Indians, reminding us that even the Founding Fathers made controversial statements.)

Finally, though, what about taxes? Exactly one statement appears on the subject: The king had assented to Parliament's laws that "impos[e] Taxes on us without our Consent." That's it. For some reason, I always thought that taxes played a bigger part in the Declaration. All it says, though, is that taxes are unacceptable if we do not impose them on ourselves.

The Declaration of Independence, in addition to calling for peace in our country, called for four basic things: the right to pass our own laws, to operate our own courts of law, to trade with other nations, and to create our own tax system. Simple, elegant, complete. No wonder we still read it.

Chris Bergin, President and Publisher of Tax Analysts, provides his perspective on July 4th:

Long ago I got tired of the crap that this country was born out of a tax revolt.

For me, this country was born out of the belief that human beings should be free. We haven't always gotten it right. But for more than 200 years, we keep getting better at it. And whether I agree with him on every issue or not, each time I look at our President, I take great pride in him and great pride in this country.

In the United States of America, taxes are what citizens pay for a civilized society. This means that each and every one of us has a say in how much tax we pay and where the revenue from what we pay should go. In these tough times, knowledge is the greatest currency, especially when it comes to our money.

July 4, 2009 in Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Smartphone Buyer's Guide

For those in the market for a new smartphone, Gizmodo has a wonderful Smartphone Buyers Guide: The Best of the Best:

As the dust settles from the last two weeks of mobile madness, one question remains unanswered: Which of the new generation of smartphones should you actually buy? We've collected everything you need to know.

We've selected the five phones that most feel like modern handsets to us—the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G S, the Palm Pre, the HTC Magic (or, as we soon expect, the T-Mobile G2) and the BlackBerry Storm—and broken them down by hardware, software and cost. This is a guide in the strictest sense, meaning we aren't declaring winners or losers, just giving you the information you need to make your own choice.

As I blogged yesterday, you can now raid your kid's college fund to buy one!  (Hat Tip:  Above the Law.)

June 17, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Off to San Diego

Usd_photoI am off to San Diego for my sixth summer teaching Tax I at the University of San Diego School of Law, my first as the Herzog Summer Visiting Professor in Taxation.  San Diego is truly America's Finest City --  the climate and environment are simply spectacular.  My family is joining me for the first week, and I am especially looking forward to touring several Southern California colleges with my daughter, who will be a high school senior in the fall.

June 6, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Graduation Day

Reed (sr day -soccer - with Paul) Reed, congratulations on your high school graduation today.  Although I am bursting with pride at your many academic and athletic accomplishments, I am prouder still of simply who you are and the man you are becoming. 

After spending many years as your coach and later sideline cheerleader, I was awed to watch you receive your school's best athlete award.   But even more touching than your considerable talent is the way that you play, in sports and in life.

At your last tennis match of the season, a grueling contest against the team that eventually finished third in the state, their coach sought me out to say that in all of his years in tennis, he had never seen anyone with your combination of hustle, drive to win, and sportsmanship.  He said that although his players were more technically proficient with better strokes, he would love to have seven players like you on his team.  After watching you applaud literally every time an opponent hit a passing shot throughout the season, I was delighted but not surprised when you won the city-wide sportsman of the year award.

You are an amazing combination of talent and humility -- both your basketball and soccer coaches say they never before had a player they had to constantly implore to shoot.  In basketball, you finished in the Top 10 in the state in field goal percentage, but you always thought pass first, shoot second.  As a soccer center midfielder, you preferred to set up your teammates for goals rather than score yourself.  Your special gift is that you make those around you better, on the athletic field and off.

My heart aches that you will soon leave for college, and I will no longer feel the daily joy of living in the same house with you (although I will save a small fortune in honey nut cheerios, microwave popcorn, and Gatorade).  But the void will be filled with a different kind of joy, as I watch you develop into a remarkable young man. I am delighted that you will be "only" 9 hours away -- you can expect to see me planted on the soccer sidelines next fall as often as I can.  Remember always that your mother and I love you beyond all measure.  And that God loves you infinitely more.

June 5, 2009 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)