TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Malcolm Gladwell-Bowdoin College Food Fight Over Student Amenities v. Financial Aid To Low-Income Students

GBInside Higher Ed, Food Fight:

Why do some seemingly similar colleges admit more low-income students than others?

Malcolm Gladwell, the popular writer (The Tipping Point, among other books), has an answer for that question. Elite colleges that spend to have quality food and other amenities for students are making choices he finds immoral. Letting students make do with mediocre food would enable these colleges to admit more low-income students and provide them with the aid and support they need to succeed, he maintains.

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July 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1168

IRS Logo 2The Hill, Hillary Clinton's IRS Abuse Chutzpah:

After skating through the FBI investigation and successfully stonewalling the Benghazi committee, Hillary Clinton is now worried that Donald Trump will use the IRS against his political enemies. ...

One might give Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, a small amount of credence if she had joined Republicans in their efforts to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for his part in the cover-up of Lois Lerner's campaign against conservative groups from her IRS perch, but she didn't.

Is it possible that Clinton is so unaware of what is going on that she didn't know that the Obama IRS has been weaponized against Tea Party groups? ...

[T]he explanation for Clinton and her staff's blind ignorance to President Obama's abuse of not only the IRS, but also the Departments of Labor, Homeland Security and Justice in targeting conservative group leaders like Catherine Engelbrecht of Texas might be because Clinton only gets her news from Obama cheerleader outlets like MSNBC — which scoffed at the IRS abuse story, actively participating in the cover-up through its editorial decisions.

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July 20, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thimmesch:  The Tax Aspects Of Pokémon Go

Pokemon GoThe Surly Subgroup:  The Tax Aspects of Pokémon Go, by Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska):

The new Pokémon Go app has already generated many discussions regarding the multiple ways that the game intersects with the law. I’ve previously opined on some of the broader issues, but, as a tax professor, my thoughts have naturally focused on that topic. Fortunately, the Surly Subgroup was nice enough to let me present those thoughts here in a guest post.

The tax issues that I’ve been thinking about stem largely from the fact that Pokémon Go is built on a freemium business model. That is, the app is free, but users can pay for certain “premium” features like additional Pokéballs, incense, and lure modules. (If these phrases mean nothing to you, here is a nice primer on the game.) Those purchases are all done through the purchase and use of an in-app currency called Pokécoins. The whole thing might sound silly, but the app is already generating over $1.5 million in daily revenue for its developer, Niantic, Inc. The company will also soon be selling “sponsored partnerships” that allow companies to be listed more prominently in the game. The potential revenue streams look plentiful at this point. So what are the tax issues?

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July 19, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnston:  Donald Trump And Kids Named In $250m Tax Scam

Trump (2016)The Daily Beast:  Donald Trump and Kids Named in $250M Tax Scam, by David Cay Johnston:

Four Donald Trump-licensed real-estate developments are at the center of a huge income tax evasion scheme, according to allegations in a lawsuit unsealed Thursday afternoon by a judge in Manhattan.

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July 19, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6)

Art Exhibit Visualizes Boggling Property Tax Disparities In NYC

City Lab, An Art Installation Visualizes the Boggling Tax Disparities Along Central Park:

New York City calculates property taxes for condos and co-ops using abyzantine formula mandated by the state. Which is all well and good, except that the formula underestimates the value of New York’s most valuable properties—some of the most valuable residences on Earth—meaning that the billionaires who own them pay a fraction of the property taxes that other New Yorkers pay.

Billionaires don’t pay property taxes in New York. While the property levy is New York City’s biggest source of revenue, it’s also inherently inefficient, assigning higher real property taxes to apartment-renters than to the universally maligned absentee foreign owners living in sky-gems alongBillionaires’ Row. The state’s formula deprives New York of millions in revenue each year; it calls into question why former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was so eager to see billionaires move to New York in the first place if they weren’t ever going to be charged a dime in property (or income) taxes.

This fundamental flaw in New York state tax code is in part the subject of a new show at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. “Sharing Models: Manhattanisms,” which opens Friday, assembles 30 architectural models and drawings by 30 different international firms, each one tasked with analyzing a slice of Manhattan. For its part, SITU Studio, one of the firms participating in the Storefront show, took on a charge near and dear to this writer’s heart: inequitable property-tax distribution in New York.


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July 19, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gershon:  The Socio-Economics Of The Federal Estate Tax

I. Richard Gershon (Mississippi), The Socio-Economics of the Federal Estate Tax: Why Do so Many People Hate (or Love) this Centenarian?, 49 Akron L. Rev. 329 (2016):

The federal estate tax has faced many detractors during its almost 100 years of existence. While the tax affects only a very small percentage of estates, many have called for its repeal. This Essay discusses the socio-economic reasons why the estate tax should be maintained. The tax is an important source of revenue, and it helps to rectify the growing issue of wealth and income inequality in the United States.

See also Symposium, The Centennial of the Estate Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 801-1078 (2016).

July 19, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Vassar Faculty Propose Reducing Teaching Load To 2-2, Freeing Up Time For Research, Student Mentoring

Vassar 3Inside Higher Ed, The Price of Cutting Course Loads:

Faculty members at Vassar College generally agree that teaching five classes per year makes it hard to keep up with research and the one-on-one interaction that students expect. Many professors also worry that students are taking on too many courses at one time. So a new proposal to address the issue -- shrinking the teaching load to four classes per year while adding a new student supervisory component, and cutting the number of units students need to graduate -- has attracted significant faculty support.

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July 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

South Carolina Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

South Carolina Logo (2016)The University of South Carolina School of Law invites applications for tenured, tenure-track, or visiting faculty positions to begin fall semester 2017:

The School of Law is interested in candidates who are qualified to teach in the areas of taxation and clinical legal education, but will also be considering candidates in a variety of other areas of need. The School of Law is also interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our law school community.

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July 19, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death Of Tax Court Judge Howard Dawson

Tax Court Logo 2Tax Court Press Release, The Honorable Howard A. Dawson, Jr., 1922-2016:

The Tax Court wishes to acknowledge the passing of Judge Howard A. Dawson, Jr., on July 15, 2016. Judge Dawson was the longest-serving judge in the history of the Tax Court, having been appointed in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and remaining in service as a Senior Judge at the time of his death. ...

Judge Dawson was appointed by President Kennedy as Judge, Tax Court of the United States, on August 21, 1962, for a term ending June 1, 1970. He was reappointed on June 2, 1970, for a term ending June 1, 1985. He retired from active service on June 2, 1985, and served on recall as a Senior Judge from 1990 until his death.

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July 19, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grewal:  Why Lenity Has No Place In The Income Tax

Andy Grewal (Iowa), Why Lenity Has No Place in the Income Tax Laws, 80 Mo. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

A controversy has emerged over how to interpret statutes under which the government can undertake either civil or criminal action against a person. Should courts interpret these statutes like any other civil statutes, and defer to agencies to resolve ambiguities? Or should courts treat these statutes like pure criminal provisions, and use the rule of lenity to resolve ambiguities in a defendant-friendly fashion?

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

Public College President Salaries, 2014-15

The IRS Scandal, Day 1167

IRS Logo 2The Hill, GOP Platform Calls for Impeachment of IRS Chief:

The Republican Party platform adopted Monday calls for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen to be impeached and removed from office.

The commissioner "has lied to Congress, hidden evidence, and stonewalled investigations,” the platform states without explicitly using Koskinen's name. “He should be impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate.”

The GOP platform calls the IRS “toxic” and says the agency “has become an ideological attack dog for the worst elements of today’s Democratic Party.”

Republicans are calling for the repeal of the “Johnson Amendment,” which bars nonprofits from endorsing political candidates.

“Places of worship for the first time in our history have reason to fear the loss of tax-exempt status merely for espousing and practicing traditional religious beliefs that have been held across the world for thousands of years, and for almost four centuries in America,” the platform states. “We value the right of America’s religious leaders to preach, and Americans to speak freely, according to their faith.”

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July 19, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is It Time For Authors To Leave SSRN?

ESSRNFollowing up on my previous post, Elsevier Acquires SSRN:  Authors Alliance, Is It Time for Authors to Leave SSRN?:

As feared, it now appears that SSRN is taking up restrictive and hostile positions against authors’ ability to decide when and how to share their work. Reports are surfacing that, without notice, SSRN is removing author-posted documents following SSRN’s own, opaque determination that the author must have transferred copyright, the publisher had not consented to the posting, or where the author has opted to use a non-commercial Creative Commons license. One author, Andrew Selbst, reported that SSRN refused his post even though the article’s credits reflected his retained copyright.

This policy fails to honor the rights individual authors have negotiated in order to put their work on services like SSRN. It misreads the Creative Commons licenses authors adopt in order to share their work. And it is a marked departure from the standard notice and takedown procedures typically used to remove user-uploaded copyright-infringing works from the web, eliminating both any apparent notice from the putative copyright owner and any clear recourse for the affected authors.

SSRN authors: you have not committed to SSRN. You can remove your papers from their service, and you can opt instead to make your work available in venues that show real commitment to the sharing, vetting, and refinement of academic work.

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

Harrison:  University Of Florida Cancels Sick-Leave Payouts, Sparking Faculty Retirements

Florida Logo (GIF)Jeff Harrison (Florida), Charity for the Haves and Administrative Stipends:

My university, in a jaw-drooping exercise of hubris, just up and unilaterally terminated payment of part of compensation already due employees. This compensation was in the form of a pay out for unused sick leave.  (As an aside (note the parentheses) there should not be sick leave payouts. It is the ultimate class-based benefit. Why? Guess which folks in the University are least likely to use sick leave? You've got it—elitist professors and high level administrators who are then able to cash in for upwards of 100K while staff people account for every hour.)

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tax Prof Schadenfreude

What could be better for a law student than being on the same flight as your tax professor the day after your exam? Being on the same return flight:


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July 18, 2016 in Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Lawyers Say Proposed Debt/Equity Regulations Exceed Treasury Department's Statutory Authority

Debt v EquityBloomberg, Treasury Corporate-Debt Rules Exceed Authority, Tax Lawyers Say, by Lynnley Browning & Saleha Mohsin:

The U.S. Treasury Department exceeded its authority by proposing wide-ranging regulations intended to curb corporations’ ability to shift their American earnings overseas, tax lawyers told agency officials during a hearing.

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July 18, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder

Markel 3Following up on this morning's post, Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects: Tallahassee Democrat, Markel Murder Marks Two Years; Details Flood Second Anniversary of Markel Slaying:

On a sunny summer morning two years ago today, prominent Florida State legal scholar Dan Markel was killed in broad daylight in his garage with two gunshots to the head. ...

The motive for Markel’s murder, court documents say, “stemmed from the desperate desire” of the family of his ex-wife Wendi Adelson to allow the couple’s two young sons to move to South Florida. Documents implicate Adelson’s mother Donna Adelson and brother Charlie Adelson as co-defendants in the plot. Police say more arrests are expected. ...

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Johnson:  House Votes To Dump Chevron And Auer

JohnsonTaxProf Blog op-ed:  House Votes to Dump Chevron and Auer, by Steve R. Johnson (Dunbar Family Professor of Law, Florida State):

On July 12, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4768, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA).  The vote was 240 to 171, mostly along party lines.  If enacted, SOPRA would amend 5 U.S.C. sec. 706, a judicial review section of the Administrative Procedure Act (the APA).  The goal, according to the Judiciary Committee’s report, would be “to overturn the so-called Chevron and Auer doctrines of judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutory and regulatory provisions.”  H. Rep. 114-622, at 2  (June 14, 2016); see Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984) (deference to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes); Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997)(deference to reasonable agency interpretations of the agency’s own ambiguous regulations).

1.  Significance

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July 18, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects

Markel & AdelsonThe Orlando Sun-Sentinel has a long (2,200 word) article on Dan Markel's murder, FSU Law Professor Fought Ex-wife in the Courts Until Murderous End. The article includes a lot of detail on Dan's divorce from Wendi Adelson, the animosity between Dan and the Adelson family, and the police's belief that the Adelsons hired the hit men who killed Dan. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the article is the Adelson family lawyer's comments about possible other suspects in the murder:

"The Adelsons had absolutely nothing to do with Dan Markel's murder," Michael D. Weinstein, lawyer and family friend to the Adelsons, said Saturday from Norway, where he is vacationing. "There might be other people who had motive as well." ...

Garcia's probable cause affidavit, investigators laid out their theory, which focused mainly on Donna Adelson and Wendi's brother Charlie. Charlie Adelson also did not like Markel; he is the apparent link between the family and Garcia, police said. Investigators said Charlie Adelson had a "personal relationship" and frequent phone contact with Katherine Magbanua, a South Florida woman who has two children with Garcia.

Perhaps FSU students, or people reacting to Markel's blog, PrawfsBlawg, had it in for the law professor, Weinstein said Saturday. "He had a lot of people angry with him," Weinstein said. ...

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (19)

Associate Deans Symposium:  Student-Edited Law Reviews—Future Publication Platforms

Associate Dean Symposium, Student-Edited Law Reviews: Future Publication Platforms, 32 Touro L. Rev. 235-74 (2016):

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1166

IRS Logo 2The Daily Signal, House Conservatives Explain Latest IRS Chief Impeachment Push: ‘Leadership Has Been Too Timid to Go After Corruption’:

The House Freedom Caucus has launched a pressure play against Republican leadership in an effort to force a vote on impeaching John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Before Congress skipped town Thursday for a seven-week recess, Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and John Fleming, R-La., filed a parliamentary measure known as a privileged resolution on behalf of the Freedom Caucus.

The effort hinges on maximizing public pressure on lawmakers during their summer recess, Huelskamp told The Daily Signal. Conservatives hope that populist opposition to the IRS in congressional districts will translate into support for impeachment on Capitol Hill.

But when Congress returns Sept. 6., lawmakers have two legislative days to vote on either impeaching Koskinen or tabling the measure.

And by going straight to the floor, the Freedom Caucus has bypassed the regular committee process, bucked GOP leadership, and widened an expanding chasm within Republican ranks.

Establishment aides describe the effort as a publicity stunt while their conservative contemporaries say it is part of a greater effort to overcome leadership’s opposition to impeachment. ...

Koskinen’s lawyer, in a statement to Bloomberg News, described the Freedom Caucus case as an “unfortunately repeated conspiracy theory that was long ago discredited.”

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July 18, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 17, 2016

IRS Rejects 501(c)(3) Status For DNC Convention As Too Partisan, Causing Donors To Pull Out Due To Lost Deductions; DNC Devises Workaround To Funnel Contributions Through Philadelphia Convention Bureau

DNCFollowing up on my previous posts (here and here):  Philadelphia Inquirer:  Turned Down by the IRS, Philly's DNC Host Committee Goes for Plan B:

The IRS has turned down the long-running effort by the Democratic convention's Philadelphia host committee to win a tax exemption.

Word of the decision, a setback for efforts to raise the last of the $60 million needed to help pay for the July 25 to 28 convention, came Friday from its adviser, David L. Cohen.

When the decision came - and why - is less clear. Cohen would say only that the IRS "recently" turned down the application for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the tax code, which the committee had sought for more than a year.

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July 17, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6)

NY Times Op-Ed:  The Carried Interest Non-Loophole

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book: The Carried Interest Loophole? What Loophole?, by Steven B. Klinsky (Founder & CEO, New Mountain Capital):

Many politicians want to close the carried interest tax loophole for private equity managers. The only problem is, no such loophole exists. ...

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July 17, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

Revised Bar Passage Law School Accreditation Standard Threatens Compliance With Diversity Standard

ABA Logo (2016)Law Practice Today: Proposed ABA Law School Accreditation Standard 316: A Threat to Diversity in Law Schools and the Legal Profession?, by Robert Furnier:

On the one hand, the amendment to Standard 206 (Diversity and Inclusion) would strengthen the obligation that law schools “demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to diversity and inclusion.” On the other hand, the revised Standard 316 (Bar Passage) would hamstring the ability of law schools to comply with Standard 206 by toughening the bar passage requirement for accreditation.

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July 17, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1165

IRS Logo 2Washington Examiner, How Conservatives Hope to Win the IRS Impeachment Vote:

Conservative lawmakers behind the resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen have a not-so-secret weapon that they hope will lead to a successful impeachment vote in September: public outrage.

Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and John Fleming, R-La., made a motion on Thursday to call up their impeachment resolution on a privileged basis, essentially forcing the House to vote on it. That motion won't be considered until the House returns in September from conventions and the summer recess.

Some already see the intervening seven weeks as a cooling off period that gets Republican leaders off the hook, since they don't want to hold the vote.

But Huelskamp and Fleming say the time back home might subject lawmakers to several weeks of pressure from constituents who are demanding an impeachment vote to finally hold somebody in Washington — anybody — accountable. ...

GOP leaders don't agree, and would rather focus on a more moderate agenda that gives voters a reason to keep Republicans in charge of the House and Senate. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday tried to calm things down by saying the GOP would have a "family" discussion about impeachment once members return. ...

But while leaders hope things calm down, supporters of impeachment are hoping voters let lawmakers know they're mad as hell. That would put more pressure on the House to not only hold the vote, but to vote in favor of impeachment.

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July 17, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times:  Law Firms Offer Cash to Help New Lawyers Pay Student Loans—Like 'Sushi In The Workplace Cafeteria'?

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book: Firms Offer Cash to Help New Lawyers Pay Student Debt, by Elizabeth Olson:

Young lawyers, struggling with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, are finding relief from a new source: their employers.

Some law firms are starting to contribute cash to help their newly hired lawyers meet monthly payments on education loans that can be as large as a mortgage payment on a house. That is a step beyond what some law firms now do in helping their junior lawyers refinance with lower-interest loan

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a large firm founded in San Francisco that specializes in technology, energy and infrastructure law, plans to announce on Friday that it will contribute a monthly amount to its new associates to offset accumulated education debt. Other firms are also beginning to embrace the idea, seeing substantial debt as a big worry for their entry-level lawyers. ...

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July 16, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

WSJ:  Europe’s Tax Punishers

BrexitWall Street Journal editorial, Europe’s Tax Punishers:

What most frightens European leaders about Brexit? Perhaps it is that Britain might make a success of its departure from the European Union. Witness the furious backlash against proposals to improve Britain’s attractiveness to foreign investors.

Departing Chancellor George Osborne last week suggested slashing Britain’s corporate-tax rate, to below 15% from the current 20%. The U.K. already was the bane of high-taxing continentals, especially after Mr. Osborne introduced phased cuts to bring the corporate rate down to 17% by 2020. But his latest idea, which would bring Britain’s rate into the same league as Hong Kong and Singapore, and nearly down to Ireland’s 12.5%, has set off a new wave of neuralgia across the Channel. ...

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July 16, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of Memphis Gives Adjuncts 40% Raise; Adjunct Teaching Full Load Would Earn Less Than Minimum Wage (But No Adjuncts Teach Full Load Because Of ObamaCare)

MemphisInside Higher Ed, When a 40% Raise Is Just Getting Started:

The University of Memphis has proposed a 40 percent increase in minimum adjunct pay, from $1,500 to $2,100 per three-credit-hour course. This marks the first pay raise for adjuncts at the university in three decades. Yet as adjuncts at other universities are winning contracts with minimums more than three times higher, progress may not mean that adjuncts at the University of Memphis will be taking home a decent wage. ...

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July 16, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1164

IRS Logo 2American College of Tax Counsel, Letter to Paul Ryan, Kevin Brady, Nancy Pelosi & Sander Levin (July 13, 2016):

On behalf of the Officers and the Board of Regents of the American College of Tax Counsel, I write to express our significant concerns with the resolutions being considered with respect to the possible impeachment and censure of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen. It is our view that such actions are not commensurate with the alleged conduct and will damage the agency at a time when it needs strong leadership. We do not see any benefit to the agency or our system of laws that could arise from moving forward with these actions.

The Officers and Regents of the College are senior, experienced tax lawyers with decades of experience in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. Many of our colleagues have devoted years of their professional careers to working at the agency, in service of our country. We have watched the agency struggle with significant decreases in funding that have caused staffing and morale issues. In our practices we have seen the negative impact this has had on our clients, the taxpayers. We often disagree with actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service, and at times we think that things should be done differently. Overall, however, we think that the agency serves the American people in a manner consistent with its vital mission, especially in view of the complexity of the tax law, the additional responsibilities that it has been given over the past few years, and the severe financial constraints under which it operates.

We see the benefits of the steady hand that Commissioner Koskinen, an experienced, dedicated and respected public servant, provides. Ifhe were to be replaced now, the agency would have its fifth Commissioner in four years. This is an enonnous organization - it employs over 78,000 people and processes nearly 150 million individual income tax returns filed each year. To be an effective leader, the Commissioner needs to take time to build up the knowledge base, as Commissioner Koskinen has done, and it takes time to build up trust in the employees. We think that the agency and the country will be well served if he is willing and allowed to continue on the path that he has set.

We would respectfully request that Congress reject impeachment and censure, and instead apply its time and attentions to improving both the tax law and the administration of our tax system.

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July 16, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 15, 2016

More On The Law Prof/Law Review Editor Publication Spat

Update on Wednesday's post, Law Review Editor And Prof Spar After He Declines To Publish Article Rather Than Accept Offer From Low-Ranked Journal:  Above the Law, Fight Between Law Professor And Law Review Editor Gets Published:

Well, we just had to know what was the real story behind the article. Was it an actual conversation that happened between an editor and a law professor? Inspired by actual events? Was it just a work of satire, or meant to be a “teachable moment”? I reached out to the author, Dan Subotnik, a professor at Touro Law Center, to get the scoop, and he was coy in his response. Though he was able to confirm the article was NOT purely fictional/satirical:

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Albany Is 16th Law School To Offer 2-Year J.D., But First To Charge Only 2 Years Of Tuition

Albany logoAlbany Law School Announces 2-Year J.D. Program:

Accelerated Track Offers One-Year Tuition Savings and a Faster Return to the Workforce

Albany Law School today announced the launch of an accelerated program for highly motivated students to earn a law degree in two years, eliminating tuition costs for the third year. The program begins January 2017.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Weekly Tax Roundup

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

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July 15, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy Center Seeks To Hire A New Director

Tax Polcy Center Logo (2017)The Urban Institute seeks a Center Director/Robert C. Pozen Director for the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center:

The preferred candidate will be an entrepreneurial leader in the field of taxation and public finance who offers a compelling vision for the Tax Policy Center’s future. 

Background on TPC
Founded in 2002 as a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center is the preeminent nongovernmental tax policy organization in the United States. We have built a record of clear, evidence-based, and objective analysis of tax policy.

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July 15, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mike Pence:  ‘No One I Know Likes Law School’

TP1Wall Street Journal, Mike Pence: ‘No One I Know Likes Law School’:

Unlike Mr. Trump, [Mike Pence] has a law degree. And his bumpy experience earning it may be relatable to some.

From a 1994 profile of Mr. Pence published in the Indianapolis Business Journal:

[Pence] tried to enter the Indiana University School of Law, but scored far too low on the admission test. So he spent the next two years traveling to what seemed like every town in the state as an admissions representative for Hanover–gaining a great education about Indiana, he said.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Grads Are 'Terrified' Of Failing The Bar Exam

WhisperAbove the Law, Law School Graduates ‘Terrified’ About Failing The Bar Exam:

With graduation in the rearview mirror, law school graduates now find themselves about a week away from one of the most important tests of their lives: the bar exam. This one test will determine whether or not they’ll be able to find success in the job market and whether or not they’ll become practicing lawyers.

It’s an intense time for recent law school graduates, and following wave after wave of record-setting failure rates on bar exams nationwide, many of them are incredibly nervous about how they’ll perform on the July 2016 exam. How confident are they?

Recent law school graduates have started using Whisper, an anonymous messaging service, to tell the world about how they’re feeling about the bar exam.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

15 Years Later, Legally Blonde is Still Inspiring People To Go To Law School

LBPeople Magazine, Legally Blonde Is Still Inspiring People to Go to Law School – Plus, How Reese Witherspoon is Celebrating the Film's 15th Anniversary:

Fifteen years ago, Legally Blonde hit screens – and the legal profession has never been the same.

Suddenly, law school was no longer just for "ugly, boring and serious" people (Elle Woods' words, not ours). Bright pink dresses were deemed acceptable courtroom attire. Identifying shoe designers and hair care procedures became integral in cracking a case. Okay, so not all of Legally Blonde applies to actual life as a lawyer, but regardless, it's had a big impact.

Elle Woods has inspired a lot of people – men and women – to go to law school, including Shalyn Smith, 24, of Columbus, Ohio. A sorority president in California, Smith says she always felt a connection with Elle – especially because people would underestimate her and her ambitions for a career in law, despite the fact that she had a 4.0.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1163

IRS Logo 2Washington Post, House Conservatives Try to Force Vote to Impeach IRS Chief:

A group of House conservatives is making a last-ditch effort to force a floor vote to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen because of their continuing frustrations over how the agency has treated small-government groups.

House Freedom Caucus members John Fleming (R-La.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) on Thursday employed a rarely used procedural maneuver that allows any member to have an issue considered by the full House.

The move means that any action would probably happen shortly after lawmakers return in September following a seven-week recess.

“Congress has held countless congressional hearings on the impeachable offenses of Koskinen — but there have been zero consequences for his behavior,” Huelskamp said in a news release. “It is time for him to be impeached and removed.”

The lawmaker said a vote is “necessary to bring national attention to this disgrace and to impeach and remove at least one Obama Administration official.” ...

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has resisted holding a vote to impeach Koskinen, but the move by Fleming and Huelskamp will force him to deal with the issue in September. ...

The IRS said Thursday that history is on Koskinen’s side. “Commissioner Koskinen believes that a traditional, fair impeachment process that follows historical precedent would demonstrate that neither impeachment nor censure is warranted,” the agency said in a statement. “If this proceeds, he deserves an opportunity to refute the allegations and fully respond to these charges before a House vote on the allegations. The Commissioner has made it clear that he testified truthfully and that the facts clearly do not support the claims.”

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July 15, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Journal of Tax Administration Hosts Workshop Today On U.S. And U.K. Trends In Tax Exceptionalism And Tax Litigation

JOTAThe Journal of Tax Administration hosts a workshop today on Trends in Tax Exceptionalism and Tax Litigation (program):

In the United States, the Supreme Court's 2011 decision in the Mayo Foundation case has fundamentally changed tax litigation and tax administration. Previously, tax administration functioned with a mindset of "tax exceptionalism" from the administrative statutory requirements, legal doctrines, and norms that applied to other federal government agencies. The legal veracity of tax exceptionalism had not been tested; it was an unchallenged assumption, but one that persisted for some decades. In Mayo Foundation, the Supreme Court expressly rejected tax exceptionalism from general administrative law requirements, doctrines, and norms absent "good reason" — which is generally thought to mean unless the Internal Revenue Code provides an express exception.

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

Law Schools Should Teach Students How To Write Email

GmailKatrina Lee (Ohio State), Process Over Product: A Pedagogical Focus on Email as a Means of Refining Legal Analysis, 44 Cap. U. L. Rev. 655 (2016):

The prevalence of emails in law practice alone provides a compelling reason for assigning emails in the 1L legal writing course. Law students should learn how to write the types of documents they will be expected to write in law practice. Not surprisingly, over the past several years, email communications have increasingly become part of legal writing curricula.

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July 14, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Cravath Names First Woman Managing Partner

CravathNew York Times, Faiza Saeed to Become First Woman to Lead Cravath, Swaine & Moore:

One of the biggest deal makers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a pre-eminent law firm on Wall Street, is poised to take over its top spot — and become the first woman to do so.

Cravath plans to announce on Thursday that Faiza J. Saeed, one of the two leaders of its mergers practice, will become the 16th presiding partner in the nearly two-century history of the law firm. Ms. Saeed’s 25 years at the firm have been punctuated by some of the most prominent corporate deals in recent history. ...

Among the nation’s 200 largest law firms in 2015, only three had women as managing partners, according to a study by the National Association of Women Lawyers.

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July 14, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Advocacy Group Launches

AuditTax Revolution Institute, National Tax Watchdog Launches First Independent Audit of the Internal Revenue Service:

The Tax Revolution Institute (TRI) — a Washington-based nonprofit group that promotes “justice and integrity in the tax system” — is taking a whole new approach to shedding light on the Internal Revenue Service: Today, it is announcing the launch of the first-ever independent audit of the IRS.

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July 14, 2016 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Cockfield:  Big Data And Tax Haven Secrecy

Florida Tax Review  (2015)Arthur J. Cockfield (Queen's University), Big Data and Tax Haven Secrecy, 18 Fla. Tax Rev. 483 (2016):

While there is now a significant literature in law, politics, economics, and other disciplines that examines tax havens, there is little information on what tax haven intermediaries — so-called offshore service providers — actually do to facilitate offshore evasion, international money laundering and the financing of global terrorism. To provide insight into this secret world of tax havens, this Article relies on the author’s study of big data derived from the financial data leak obtained by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

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

UC-Berkeley, Oxford & Tax Policy Center Host Program Today On Corporate Tax For The 21st Century

UCBThe Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at UC-Berkeley and Tax Policy Center are hosting a program today on Corporate Tax for the 21st Century:

Welcome and Introduction: Michael Devereux (Oxford)

Panel:  The Need for Reform and Current Policy Proposals

  • Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley) (moderator)
  • Michael Devereux (Oxford)
  • Michael Graetz (Columbia)
  • Justus S. Hotchkiss (Yale)
  • Mark Mazur (Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury Department)
  • John Vella (Oxford)

Session:  Residual Profit Allocation Proposal

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July 14, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Case Western To Close During Republican Convention After Faculty, Students Object To Housing Police In Campus Dorms

RNCHeat Street, Students Scared of Cops on Campus Force University to Take Drastic Measures During RNC Convention:

Students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland were so traumatized by the prospect of sharing their campus with armed police officers during the Republican National Convention next week that the university has opted instead to essentially shut down for the week.

The students were incensed that school officials had agreed to allow police officers imported to maintain order during the convention to stay in campus housing. More than 300 of them signed an online petition demanding that, among other things, the “riot police” store their weapons off-campus between shifts, restrict themselves exclusively to the residence halls and abide by university rules regarding anti-discrimination and sexual harassment. 

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July 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (9)