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Editor: Paul L. Caron
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #5. The #1 paper is now #101 in all-time downloads among 10,560 tax papers:

  1. [1281 Downloads]  A Compendium of Private Equity Tax Games, by Gregg D. Polsky (North Carolina)
  2. [395 Downloads]  Obama Care Fails the Origination Clause: Why Sissel and Hotze Should Be Reversed, by Steven J. WIllis (Florida) & Hans G. Tanzler (Florida)
  3. [386 Downloads]  Trying Times 2014: Important Lessons to Be Learned from Recent Federal Tax Cases, by Nancy A. McLaughlin (Utah) & Steven J. Small (Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Newton, MA)
  4. [262 Downloads]  A World Turned Upside Down: Reflections on the 'New Wave' Inversions and Notice 2014-52, by Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan)
  5. [219 Downloads]  Piketty in America: A Tale of Two Literatures, by Joseph Bankman (Stanford) & Daniel Shaviro (NYU)

December 7, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 577

IRS Logo 2Town Hall:  IRS Scandals Update:, by Daniel J. Mitchell (Cato Institute):

I generally don’t feel a special degree of animosity for the internal revenue service. After all, it’s the politicians who have created the 74,000-plus page monstrosity of a tax code. Blaming the IRS for enforcing that system is like blaming the police for the drug war.

This isn’t to say the IRS is blameless. Just as cops sometimes take misguided laws and enforce them is bad ways, the IRS periodically will go beyond its legal mandate because of an enforcement-über-alles mentality.

But what gets me most upset is when the IRS allows itself – either with glee or reluctance – to become politicized. ...

For instance, the Washington Times reveals that the IRS may have violated taxpayer privacy by giving confidential taxpayer data to the political operatives in the White House. ...

One possible example deals with the Obama Administration’s attack on the Koch brothers. As the Washington Examiner reported, Obama’s top economist at the time was the subject of an investigation. ...

It’s worth noting, by the way, that this isn’t the first White House to get in trouble for using the IRS as a political weapon.

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Commission’s criminal code, which Congress enacted following revelations of President Nixon’s abuse of private tax information during the Watergate scandal. The second article of impeachment against Nixon in the House Judiciary Committee was based on those abuses.

So the ghost of Richard Nixon may approve of Obama, as suggested by this cartoon.

But this isn’t the only IRS scandal we need to monitor. Remember Lois Lerner, who became infamous for targeting the President’s opponents and then apparently losing her emails? Well, we have an update. The Wall Street Journal opines on the latest development in the IRS targeting scandal. ... One can’t help but wonder whether the delay in finding the emails and now the delay in turning them over to investigators is simply to allow time for smoking guns to be hidden. ...

Let’s close with a good cartoon about the IRS. By the way, if you enjoy anti-IRS cartoons, click here, here, and here for more examples. ...

P.P.S. I don’t want to end on a sour note, so here’s more examples of IRS humor from my archives, including a new Obama 1040 form, a death tax cartoon, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.

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December 7, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Most Conservative (Virginia) And Most Liberal (Berkeley) Elite Law Schools

FiveThirtyEight:  The Most Conservative And Most Liberal Elite Law Schools, by Oliver Roeder:

ClerksUsing two data sets — a long list of current and former clerks and a measure of justice ideology — we can paint a picture of the widely varying political ideologies of top law schools. ... This table of the top 11 clerk-producing schools shows that clerkships are highly concentrated in a few elite law schools. There are 204 ABA-approved law schools in the United States. The top six schools account for more than two-thirds of all Supreme Court clerkships. (The table also includes the number of justices who attended the given law school.) ...

Harvard and Yale are the runaway leaders — they account for more than 42 percent of all clerkships. The University of Chicago is an interesting outlier. Its law school has produced well over 100 clerks but never a justice.

The second source of data comes from political scientists Andrew Martin at the University of Michigan and Kevin Quinn at the University of California, Berkeley. Their Martin-Quinn scores quantify justices’ ideologies on a left-right political spectrum, based on their judicial opinions. ... The scores as estimated range from about -6 (William O. Douglas) to +4 (William Rehnquist). They can also account for justices’ ideologies varying over time, which they certainly do.

I matched up these two data sets by justice and by year. So now we know the ideology of every clerk’s justice in every year back to 1937 — the first year for which the Martin-Quinn scores are calculated. We can now calculate that Columbia grads tend to clerk for justices of this ideological type, and Stanford grads for that type, and so on. And while we’re not measuring clerk ideology directly, there is strong evidence that, for better or worse, justices prefer clerks with ideologies similar to their own. Clarence Thomas has said: “I won’t hire clerks who have profound disagreements with me. It’s like trying to train a pig. It wastes your time, and it aggravates the pig.”

These are the estimated distributions of justice ideology for clerks from elite law schools, by school. Dotted lines mark the distributions’ medians.

roeder-feature-lawschools

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December 6, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Over/Under on the Number of Law Schools Closing by 2018: One

Slate:  Why I Just Bet a Professor Money That at Least One Law School Will Close, by Jordan Weissmann:

Over UnderIn a more fair universe, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego would be dead and buried by now. One of the more wretched citizens of legal academy, the small, private institution is known for its miserable employment results and embarrassing bar-passage rates, as well as for having the most highly indebted students of any law school in the country (the average graduate with debt finishes $180,665 in the hole, according to U.S. News & World Report). When the job market for young lawyers collapsed during the recession, it was the first law school to face a class action suit claiming it had used misleading job stats to trick students into attending.

This year, it briefly looked as if Thomas Jefferson might get its just deserts. Enrollment had tumbled, as law school applications evaporated in general. Meanwhile, the school was heavily in debt, due to the $127 million it borrowed to construct a nice new building, and interest payments were devouring its falling revenue. In June, it defaulted on its bonds. The end appeared nigh.

And yet, it wasn’t. As Steven Davidoff Solomon, a University of California–Berkeley law professor, wrote in the New York Times last month, Thomas Jefferson worked out a “sweetheart deal” with its creditors, which cut the school's debt, took its building, and leased it back to the institution for a reasonable price so it could stay in operation. Why would they do such a thing? They “had no choice,” Solomon writes. Picking Thomas Jefferson apart in bankruptcy court would have been useless, because it only had one significant asset: That building, which creditors would have had to either convert into offices with an expensive renovation or lease to another law school (which, of course, would be hard to do). Better to simply keep Thomas Jefferson as a tenant.

Solomon’s lesson from this? “A troubled law school is like Dracula: hard to kill. Creditors will not do so because even keeping a struggling school alive means there is some possibility of repayment.”

This is why Solomon says I’m wrong that a few law schools are bound to close in the coming years, due to the enormous enrollment drops of the past few years. Other than their real estate, stand-alone law schools like Thomas Jefferson (which aren’t affiliated with any larger university) are worthless to creditors, so they won’t force them through bankruptcy. Bigger universities have no incentive to close their law schools, even if they’re losing a bit of money, because that would just leave empty facilities sitting around gathering dust on campus.

So he and I now have a $2 wager. Solomon says no ABA-accredited law schools will close or merge by the end of 2018. I say at least one will. I know, high stakes. But at least we're both on record. ...

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December 6, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

The $100,000 Tax Flow Challenge

The Tax Flow Challenge:

The Tax Flow Challenge is awarding $100,000 to the best tool that will allow taxpayers to see a very detailed and accurate breakdown of how their taxes are used.

December 6, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 576

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  Recovered IRS Emails Can't Be Revealed Because Of Privacy...That Was Already Breached, by Robert W. Wood:

For over 18 months, we’ve been wondering about those ‘lost’ IRS emails. Would they surface and if so, what they would show? Targeting? Profanity? Nothing? It was a whole year into the Congressional investigation before the IRS first said they were ‘lost,’ a bizarrely belated “oh by the way….”

Think you could file your tax return a year late next year? Would the IRS show some compassion? Unlikely. Yet it turns out those lost, destroyed, found, and now warehoused emails still can’t be reviewed by the media or anyone else. Why? Because they contain confidential taxpayer information, that’s why.

So says the IRS watchdog known as TIGTA, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Inspector General has done great works this year and often pokes at the IRS behemoth to improve it. But the Inspector General is in a tough spot over this privacy issue.

We thought the news that the lost or destroyed Lois Lerner emails were actually not lost or destroyed meant we would get to the bottom of this once and for all. How else could we see if the President’s supporters are right? They say this is a ‘witch hunt’ that reveals not even a smidgen of corruption, a phrase Mr. Obama himself repeated to Fox News in February. But once again, we’re in the dark. Talk about a Catch-22. ...

A judge finally ruled that the IRS must turn over any relevant documents to Cause of Action. But that puts in Inspector General back in the hot seat. TIGTA admits it has thousands of pages of responsive documents. However, TIGTA says it can’t release them because they contain confidential taxpayer information. That sure sounds telling already, even if we can’t see them!

After all, why would communications between the IRS and the White House contain taxpayer information? A key question is whether any officials at the White House ever asked anyone at the IRS to transmit private taxpayer information to the White House in violation of law. Moreover, regardless of whether the White House asked for any taxpayer information, did the IRS ever transmit any?

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December 6, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Law Professors Can Bail Out Sinking Law Schools

Bail OutAbove the Law:  How Law Professors Can Help Failing Schools, by Elie Mystal:

[T]the New York Times kicked off this week in law schools with one of their awesome trend pieces about some issue everybody who has been paying attention already knows about. Law schools are in trouble, don’t ya know? ... This inspired Slate’s Jordan Weissmann to predict that some law schools will actually close. ...

I think if law schools continue to stubbornly operate the same way they always have, sure, some of them will close. In other news, if your boat keeps filling up with water, eventually it’s going to sink.

But there are going to be some opportunities for law schools to change course, and this week an idea came out that I think creative law deans with shrinking budgets will certainly take a look at: make professors take out the trash. ... I love this plan. Why shouldn’t law schools do this? ...

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December 5, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Weekly Tax Roundup

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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December 5, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

December 5, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Newsweek Names Kleinbard's We Are Better Than This One of the Top Books of 2014

We Are Better Than This (2014)Newsweek,  Our Favorite Books of 2014: Newsweek Staff Picks:

We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money by Edward D. Kleinbard (Oxford University Press)

Americans feel the pain of an income tax system that raises twice as much as it actually does because of hidden spending through tax favors. This masterpiece on how we tax ourselves, and how Congress spends our money, explains why the mostly lightly taxed modern country feels so heavily burdened while offering workable solutions.

Drawing on insights from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, lawyer Edward D. Kleinbard shows how applying ancient financial and moral principles would make America happier, healthier and wealthier. Kleinbard spent two decades designing sophisticated tax avoidance strategies for rich clients before becoming a law school professor on a mission to expose the tax system’s flaws.

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December 5, 2014 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools Still Have A Ways To Fall

The American Interest, Law Schools Still Have A Ways To Fall:

With some law schools experiencing enrollment drops this year of as much as 34 percent down from last year’s numbers, it was inevitable that the legal education industry would have to adapt. The NYT looks at how students and law schools are responding to the new reality of lower demand for law school spots. For the students’ part, aspiring lawyers are increasingly using the low demand to bargain for better financial aid or tuition breaks. Schools themselves, especially the “middle-tier” ones, seem to be responding by reducing tuition, freezing tuition, increasing financial aid, or in some cases accepting students with lower GPAs or LSAT scores.

With the declining interest, law schools have been working hard behind the scenes to trim their operations and to expand their offerings of joint degrees in, say, law and medicine. Still they are trying to avoid wholesale cuts in faculty or degrees, steps that would publicly eviscerate their business model and reputation.

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December 5, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Barton: The Decline and Rebirth of the Legal Profession

GlassBenjamin H. Barton (Tennessee), Glass Half Full The Decline and Rebirth of the Legal Profession (Oxford University Press, 2014):

The hits keep coming for the American legal profession. Law schools are churning out too many graduates, depressing wages, and constricting the hiring market. Big Law firms are crumbling, as the relentless pursuit of profits corrodes their core business model. Modern technology can now handle routine legal tasks like drafting incorporation papers and wills, reducing the need to hire lawyers; tort reform and other regulations on litigation have had the same effect. As in all areas of today's economy, there are some big winners; the rest struggle to find work, or decide to leave the field altogether, which leaves fewer options for consumers who cannot afford to pay for Big Law.

It would be easy to look at these enormous challenges and see only a bleak future, but Ben Barton instead sees cause for optimism. Taking the long view, from the legal Wild West of the mid-nineteenth century to the post-lawyer bubble society of the future, he offers a close analysis of the legal market to predict how lawyerly creativity and entrepreneurialism can save the profession.

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December 5, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Duquesne Says Law Prof Was Denied Tenure Due to Poor Teaching, Not Discrimination

Hascall 2Following up on my previous post, Duquesne Prof Sues Dean, Law School For Discrimination After Tenure Denial:  The Legal Intelligencer,  Duquesne Responds to Law Professor's Bias Suit:

Duquesne University School of Law and its dean alleged in a response to a discrimination suit by one of its law professors that it wasn't her age, gender or teaching a course in Islamic law that caused her to be denied tenure but her "consistently poor teaching record."

Professor Susan Hascall sued the university and Dean Kenneth Gormley on Oct. 31 for age, gender and religious-scholarship discrimination.

But in the defendants' answer, filed Monday, they noted tenured faculty members voted 9-7 to deny Hascall tenure, marking the first time in three decades tenured faculty voted to deny tenure to one of its colleagues. The defendants said the denial of tenure was based on Hascall's poor teaching record and lower evaluations in core, bar-exam-tested courses—sales and civil procedure.

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December 5, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The IRS Scandal, Day 575

The Hill, Watchdog: IRS Withholding Documents on Taxpayer Data Requests:

A watchdog group says the IRS is withholding documents between the agency and the White House that show inappropriate requests for taxpayer data, according to multiple reports.

The Treasury inspector general for tax administration has told the group that there are more than 2,000 documents potentially related to the request.

A court has said the agency must hand over the documents. But IRS officials have said that they will not release the documents, citing a part of the tax code that protects the confidentiality of individual tax returns.

It is not clear what is contained in the documents, but Cause of Action said they might be evidence of White House misdeeds.

“That indicates scandal,” said Daniel Epstein, a spokesman for the group. "Now, potentially, there's confidential tax information going from the IRS to the White House. Potentially — we don't know, we'd like to see," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has been a critic of the IRS under the Obama administration, said late Wednesday on Fox News.

The White House denied any wrongdoing to Fox News. “I can tell you that, as a rule, that the Obama administration has been very rigorous in following all of the rules and regulations that govern proper communication between Treasury officials and White House officials and the Internal Revenue Service,” press secretary Josh Earnest told the outlet.

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December 5, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Last Estate & Gift Tax Class of the Year

Today was my last Estate & Gift Tax class of the semester, which we celebrated over lunch at our on-campus home.  Kudos to the chef, whose 10-bean soup was again a big hit.

E&G Tax

December 4, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Henderson: NY Times Article Quoting AALS President Rodriguez May Spur Needed Change in Legal Education

The Legal Whiteboard:  The Market for Law School Applicants -- A Milestone to Remember, by Bill Henderson (Indiana)

Yesterday's Dealbook column in the New York Times featured Northwestern Law Dean Dan Rodriguez (who also serves as President of the AALS) speaking candidly about the meltdown dynamics that have taken hold. ... "It's insane," said Rodriguez, "We’re in hand-to-hand combat with other schools." The trendlines are indeed terrible.  Year-over-year, LSAT test-taker volume is down another 8.7%.  See Organ, LWB, Nov 11, 2014.  So we can expect the situation to get worse, at least in the near term.

I applaud Dan Rodriguez for this leadership instincts.  He is being transparent and honest.  Several years ago the leadership of the AALS went to great lengths to avoid engagement with the media. Dan has gone the opposite direction, inviting the press into our living room and kitchen.  

Want to know what leadership and judgment look like?  It looks like Dan's interview with Elizabeth Olson.  Dan's words did not solve anyone's problem, but his honesty and candor made it more likely that we help ourselves.  Because it's Northwestern, and Dan is president of the AALS (something the story did not mention but most of us know), and this was reported by Elizabeth Olson in the New York Times, the substance and tenor of discussions within law school faculties is bound to shift, at least slightly and in the direction favoring change. ...

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December 4, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

U.K. Proposes 25% Google Tax

CRS: Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana

CRS LogoCongressional Research Service:  Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis, by Jane G. Gravelle & Sean Lowry (R43785) (Nov. 13, 2014):

The combination of state policy and general public opinion favoring the legalizing of marijuana has led some in Congress to advocate for legalization and taxation of marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Tax Equity Act of 2013 (H.R. 501) would impose a federal excise tax of 50% on the producer and importer price of marijuana. The National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act of 2013 (H.R. 1635) proposes establishing a National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy that would review the potential revenue generated by taxing marijuana, among other things.

This report focuses solely on issues surrounding a potential federal marijuana tax. First, it provides a brief overview of marijuana production. Second, it presents possible justifications for taxes and, in some cases, estimates the level of tax suggested by that rationale. Third, it analyzes possible marijuana tax designs. The report also discusses various tax administration and enforcement issues, such as labeling and tracking.

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December 4, 2014 in Congressional News, Gov't Reports, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Wheels Are Falling Off the Wagon at the IRS

WheelsMichael Gregory, The Wheels Are Falling Off the Wagon at the IRS: An Open Letter to Patriotic Americans Concerned with the Federal Tax System (2014) (free download):

The IRS is falling apart. If the IRS falls apart the funding arm of the U.S. Government falls apart. If the U.S. Government falls apart what is next for the U.S.?

As a former IRS insider Mike Gregory shares insights from more than 30 years working with IRS employees as well as with taxpayers and practitioners.

This book describes how honest law-abiding taxpayers are now being seriously harmed while cyber-thieves steal from taxpayers and criminals promote illegal schemes that are not being prosecuted.

Mike argues that unless this situation is reversed immediately, the trust of the American people could be permanently broken. Once trust is broken our country could go the way of Greece with harsh economic consequences. This book is a candid tell-all and a call to action for the Congress to fully fund the IRS.

(Hat Tip: Mike Talbert.)

December 4, 2014 in Book Club, IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anderson: Law School Rankings by Graduates Who Are Directors/Officers of Public Companies

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Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), JDs in the Boardroom (2014 Edition):

This is the second annual report on JDs in senior business positions in U.S. publicly traded companies. In the inaugural version published last year, I compiled a ranking of the top-25 law schools by the number of JDs serving in director and executive officer positions in publicly traded companies.

The Top 14 law schools in Rob's measure are the same as the U.S. News Top 14, led by Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Columbia.  The biggest outliers are the inclusion of West Virginia (19 in JDs in the Boardroom, 101 in U.S. News), Penn State (20, 76), Utah (23, 47), and UC-Hastings (21, 44).

December 4, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

IRS Issues Call for Tax Statistics Research Proposals

IRS Logo 2The IRS Statistics of Income Division has issued a call for proposals for research projects with potential to make significant contributions to tax administration.

The call for proposals describes the details of the program and the application process. Although all submissions will be considered, topics identified as especially relevant to researchers include:

  • Tax administration in a global economy
  • Taxpayer needs and behavior, particularly the roles of information, complexity, salience, engagement, and compliance costs
  • Filing, payment, and reporting compliance measures, behaviors, and drivers
  • Benefit participation measures, behaviors, and drivers, particularly related to the Affordable Care Act
  • Taxpayer response to policy changes, particularly taxpayer responses to changes in incentives
  • The role of complex business structures in tax planning

The due date for research proposal application is December 15, 2014.

December 4, 2014 in IRS News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law School Rankings Churn

Christopher Zorn (Lawyer Metrics), Law School Rankings Churn:

USNWRI assembled data on the top 50 law schools and their rankings from U.S. News, beginning in 1994 (the first year in which U.S. News ranked 50 schools) and continuing through 2014, and began with a question: Over those 21 years, how many schools have been represented among the “Top N,” where N ∈ {1,2,3,…50}. So for example, there has been one “Top 1″ school (Yale) during that entire 21-year period; there have been three “Top 2″ schools (schools that have been ranked either #1 or #2 at any point): Yale, Harvard, and Stanford; there have been four “Top 3″ schools (the three listed above, plus the University of Chicago), and so forth. ...

[There is]  a pattern longtime observers of the U.S. News rankings are probably familiar with: Little year-to-year variation at the very top of the rankings; somewhat more variability within the Top 14 / Top 17, but little or no movement into or out of those groups; and substantial annual variability in the 20-50 range, especially among schools ranked 20-35. ...

If we plot each “Top 50″ school’s annual ranking over time, we get the “spaghetti plot” [right]. With a few exceptions (like Yale at the top) it is impossible to track any particular school’s changes over time. What the plot does show, however, is the degree of variability in the rankings, both at different levels and across time. For example, one can clearly see the variation in the schools ranked 8-14, and the high variability in the 20-40 range. There was also significantly more of the latter early in the rankings (especially 1994-1996) than we observe more recently.

December 4, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wells: Revisiting Section 367(d)

Florida Tax ReviewBret Wells (Houston), Revisiting Section 367(d): How Treasury Took the Bite Out of Section 367(d) and What Should Be Done About It, 16 Fla. Tax Rev. 519 (2014):

Section 367(d) seeks to prevent residual profits related to U.S. developed intangible assets from migrating out of the U.S. tax jurisdiction via the outbound contribution or transfer of intangibles to a foreign corporation. There has been a great hue and cry over the outbound migration of intangibles in recent years, which by implication has created significant agitation about whether section 367(d) is effective. For at least a decade, the Treasury Department and IRS have identified section 367(d) as an area in need of regulatory reform, and recent comments by government officials indicate that guidance may be forthcoming in the future. Concurrently, the Obama administration has proposed amendments to section 367(d) and the U.S. subpart F rules to address outbound migration of intangible value.

The debate over the efficacy of section 367(d) to prevent IP migration is being waged along two fronts. As to the first front of this debate, the central question is whether a fatal loophole (a “goodwill loophole”) exists within the architecture of section 367(d) that allows the outbound migration of intangible value under the protective cloak of “goodwill” with the consequence that a substantial portion of the ongoing residual profits related to the transferred goodwill items escape the application of section 367(d)’s super royalty obligation. In Subparts II.A. through II.B., this Article addresses why this “goodwill loophole” that has received so much attention is nonexistent. All that is needed is for the courts to correctly apply section 367(d) as it should be applied, and once this is done the “goodwill loophole” should be defrocked of all of its purported cloaking capabilities.

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December 4, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 574

IRS Logo 2Washington Free Beacon:  Treasury IG Blocking Release of Records on Leaks of Taxpayer Info to White House:

An IRS watchdog is refusing to release thousands of documents related to unauthorized leaks of confidential taxpayer information to the White House, citing privacy concerns.

In a letter to watchdog group Cause of Action on Tuesday, an attorney with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said the office had located “2,509 pages of documents potentially responsive to your request.” However, TIGTA said it barred by law from releasing them.

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December 4, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gamage Presents Analyzing the Optimal Choice of Tax Instruments Today at Harvard

Gamage (2014)David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) presents Analyzing the Optimal Choice of Tax Instruments: The Case for Levying (all of) Labor-Income Taxes, Value-Added Taxes, Capital-Income Taxes, and Wealth Taxes, 68 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2014), at Harvard today as part of its Tax Law, Policy and Practice Workshop Series hosted by Daniel Halperin and Stephen Shay:

Economic analyses of taxation have largely focused on the problems of labor-to-leisure and saving-to-spending distortions. Based on these analyses, the prior literature has generally treated labor-income and consumption taxes as being essentially equivalent, and has also treated capital-income and wealth taxes as being essentially equivalent. Further, based on these analyses, the dominant view in the prior literature has been that neither capital income nor wealth should be taxed.

This Article expands on these prior analyses by incorporating a variety of tax-gaming responses and also administrative and compliance costs. By doing so, this Article argues that it is probably optimal for governments to levy some version of (all of) labor-income taxes, value-added taxes, capital-income taxes, and wealth taxes.

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December 3, 2014 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Law School Grads Bear Staggering Debt Loads

California LawyerCalifornia Lawyer, A Mortgaged Career:

Typical California law graduates' debt has jumped 35 percent since 2008, so even today's top earners are strapped. A public-service repayment plan offers hope for some.

Among 2013 law graduates in California, 87 percent borrowed money to help fund their education - an average of $135,000, all backed by the federal government. The thousands of students applying this winter to attend California's 21 ABA-accredited law schools are likely to borrow even more. And most will be expected to pay as much as $350,000 apiece over the two decades after they graduate.

[The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which caps payments at 10 percent of "discretionary" income and forgives the loan balance after ten years] is the best-case scenario, and it is available to only about one-fourth of new lawyers. Just 27.6 percent of the 2013 law school grads nationwide who were employed by last February worked in positions that might qualify them for eventual loan forgiveness - as judicial clerks or military lawyers or in other public-service or nonprofit roles, according to the National Association for Law Placement, or NALP. The rest are not eligible -- and many lawyers prefer corporate or community practice.  ...

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December 3, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Experts Forum: Repatriated Profits

IGM Forum, Repatriated Profits:

Question A: Lowering the effective marginal tax rate on US corporations’ repatriated profits for a year would boost US capital investment significantly.

Q1

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December 3, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Aging of the American Law Professoriate

David Barnhizer (Cleveland State), The Aging of the American Law Professoriate:

RetireA recent (rather tasteless) article argued: “Professors approaching 70 … have an ethical obligation to step back and think seriously about quitting. If they do remain on the job, they should at least openly acknowledge they’re doing it mostly for themselves.” In The Forever Professors: Academics Who Don’t Retire Are Greedy, Selfish, and Bad For Students, the insensitive author added: “the number of professors 65 and older more than doubled between 2000 and 2011.” The author’s most intellectually savage comments were that: “faculty who delay retirement harm students, who in most cases would benefit from being taught by someone younger than 70, even younger than 65.” All I can say is “OMG!” how can these doddering demented cretins be so irresponsible as to do that to these innocent and needy young people?

Deans and law faculties are facing a situation where they can’t “reload”. The “aging” of the law school and general university tenure track professoriates has created a situation in which some have voiced concerns about what they see as a systemic blockage. The claim is that the refusal of senior faculty to retire is preventing academic institutions from hiring new and younger faculty, thus presumably inhibiting the fully oxygenated “intellectual blood flow” essential for the highest levels of performance by the collective “brain” of the academic institution. As I suggest in this brief analysis the claim that a main problem is the number of senior professors on university and law school faculties and that those older faculty members are somehow harming students is a disingenuous posturing masking other agendas.

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December 3, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Avi-Yonah: The Rise and Fall of the Consumption Tax

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan), The Rise and Fall of the Consumption Tax: A Historical Perspective:

This article will survey the great consumption vs. income tax debate from a historical perspective. The focus here is not on which tax base is better, but rather on how this debate evolved over time inside and outside legal academia. As we shall see, there was one point in which the consumption tax came close to being adopted - in 2005, when it was one of two alternatives recommended by the Bush tax reform panel. But the moment passed, and it seems unlikely to return.

December 3, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Tax Papers: Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum

JuniorYale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum:

Yale, Stanford, and Harvard Law Schools announce the 16th session of the Yale/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum to be held at Harvard Law School on June 16-17, 2015 and seek submissions for its meeting.

The Forum’s objective is to encourage the work of scholars recently appointed to a tenure-track position by providing experience in the pursuit of scholarship and the nature of the scholarly exchange. Meetings are held each spring, rotating at Yale, Stanford, and Harvard. Twelve to twenty scholars (with one to seven years in teaching) will be chosen on a blind basis from among those submitting papers to present. One or more senior scholars, not necessarily from Yale, Stanford, or Harvard, will comment on each paper. The audience will include the participating junior faculty, faculty from the host institutions, and invited guests. The goal is discourse on both the merits of particular papers and on appropriate methodologies for doing work in that genre. We hope that comment and discussion will communicate what counts as good work among successful senior scholars and will also challenge and improve the standards that now obtain. The Forum also hopes to increase the sense of community among American legal scholars generally, particularly among new and veteran professors.

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December 3, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cauble & Polsky: The Problem of Abusive Related-Partner Allocations

Florida Tax ReviewEmily Cauble (DePaul) & Gregg D. Polsky (North Carolina), The Problem of Abusive Related-Partner Allocations, 16 Fla. Tax Rev. 479 (2014):

This Article highlights a flaw in the existing rules regarding partnership tax allocations that has not yet received sufficient attention by existing literature. Namely, the partnership tax allocation rules are implicitly premised on the assumption that partners are unrelated and, thus, transact with each other at arm’s length. As a result, related partners can and do devise tax allocation schemes that exploit the gap in the current partnership tax allocation rules to achieve unwarranted tax savings.

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December 3, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Holland & Hart Partner Named Director of Denver Graduate Tax Program

WilsonPress Release:

University of Denver Sturm College of Law Dean Martin Katz announced today that John Wilson has been appointed as the new director of the University’s Graduate Tax Program (GTP), effective December 8.

With more than 150 students, the GTP is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, and ranked among the top 20 best tax programs in the country according to U.S. News and World Report (2014). It is one of only a handful of graduate tax programs which brings together accountants and lawyers to study side-by-side, allowing students from each discipline to learn the skills and expertise of the other. ...

Wilson is a partner in the Denver office of Holland & Hart LLP, where he advises clients on complex corporate and individual tax matters, mergers and acquisitions, international business transactions, and IRS audits and appeals. He will remain a partner with the firm. Wilson received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.

December 3, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quitting a Dean's Job in the Age of Mike Brown

DunbarJezebel:  Who Really Burns: Quitting a Dean's Job in the Age of Mike Brown, by Eve Dunbar (Former Associate Dean of Faculty, Vassar):

Just a few days before Michael Brown was murdered for jaywalking in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, I stepped down from being one of the youngest Associate Deans of Faculty at an "elite" liberal arts college in the U.S. I left my position because the kind of institutional leader I have to be is one critical of white supremacy and her own complicity within it. As a black woman and a scholar of black literature, history and culture, I grow less convinced, however, that this position is compatible with many American institutions—small and large, corporate, non-profit, or governmental.

My stint in college administration began shortly after my tenure, when I was approached to take on the role of Associate Dean of the Faculty at my institution. I took the position in part because I was interested in the sort of professional mobility administrative experience might offer. I was also interested in finding a way out of the sort of indignities that I had been suffering at the hands of many of my colleagues for years. ...

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December 3, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

The IRS Scandal, Day 573

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weisbach Presents The Use of Neutralities in International Tax Policy Today at Columbia

WeisbachDavid Weisbach (Chicago) presents The Use of Neutralities in International Tax Policy at Columbia today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex RaskolnikovDavid Schizer, and Wojciech Kopczuk:

This paper analyzes the use of neutrality conditions, such as capital export neutrality, capital import neutrality, capital ownership neutrality, and market neutrality, in international tax policy. Neutralities are not appropriate tools for designing tax policy. They each identify a possible margin where taxation may distort business activities. Because these neutralities cannot be all satisfied simultaneously, however, they do not allow analysts to determine the appropriate trade-offs of these distortions, unlike deadweight loss measures used in other areas of tax policy. International tax policy should instead be tied directly to the reasons for taxing capital income, reasons which are derived from optimal tax or similar models.

December 2, 2014 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Slate: A Bunch of Law Schools Are About to Go Bust. Hooray.

Slate:  A Bunch of Law Schools Are About to Go Bust. Hooray., by Jordan Weissman:

In the world of law schools, every day is sort of like Black Friday.

OK, slight exaggeration. But with applications in free fall, schools are locked in a brutal competition to attract students who might theoretically one day be qualified to sit for a bar exam. And that, the New York Times reports today, has meant slashing tuition and dolling out discounts. At Northwestern University School of Law, one of the top ranked institutions in the country, “74 percent of first-year students this academic year received financial aid, compared with only 30 percent in 2009,” the paper notes. The University of Iowa, University of Arizona, and Penn State University have cut their prices. J.D.s are on sale! ...

It seems fairly obvious that some law schools are going to have to close in the not too distant future. Between the fall of 2010 and fall of 2013, enrollments dropped 24 percent. This year’s crop of new students should be even smaller. And while schools are doing everything in their power to pare back expenses and prop up their head counts, it seems like someone is going to fall victim to a collapsing demand. “I don’t get how the math adds up for the number of schools and the number of students,” Northwestern Dean Daniel Rodriguez, told the Times. That’s because it probably won’t. ...

If about 10 percent of law schools closed, that would mean about 20 casualties. Could that possibly come to pass? I don't know, but I wouldn't entirely rule it out.

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December 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Iowa Law School Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Block 8th Circuit Order of New Trial in Unsuccessful Republican Faculty Candidate's Discrimination Suit

Wagner 2Following up on my previous posts (links below) about Teresa Wagner's federal lawsuit claiming she was denied a faculty position because of her conservative views:  the Des Moines Register reports that the University of Iowa College of Law has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Eighth Circuit's July 15, 2014 order of a new trial.  Wagner v. Jones, No. 13- 1650 (8th Cir. July 15, 2014):

Lawyers for the school's current and former deans petitioned justices last week to overturn an appeals court ruling that granted Wagner a new trial. The court should reinstate a 2012 verdict that found the school's former dean didn't discriminate against Wagner based on her beliefs, the Iowa Attorney General's Office argued in the petition. The state agency is defending school officials in the case. ...

Wagner, a part-time employee of the law school's writing center, claims that liberal professors blocked her 2007 candidacy for jobs teaching legal writing because she is a Republican who previously worked for anti-abortion groups. She's seeking to be placed into a job with back pay and damages.

Professors testified that they were aware of Wagner's politics but passed her over because she performed poorly during an interview.

The lawsuit went to trial two years ago, but has since been tangled up over a judge's mistake.

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December 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Inversions Shaved U.S. Tax Bills by $2 Billion in 2014

Bloomberg:  ‘Unpatriotic Loophole’ Targeted by Obama Costs $2 Billion, by Zachary R. Mider:

U.S. companies that have already carried out inversions are likely to cost the government a record $2.2 billion or more in lost tax revenue next year, double the amount in 2014, according to calculations based on companies’ financial results.

That doesn’t include the impact of companies that shift their legal addresses abroad in the future, which one Congressional study pegged at about $2 billion a year over the next decade. Since the first inversion in 1982, the deals have cost more than $9.8 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars, the calculations based on data compiled by Bloomberg show.

In an era when tax rates paid by U.S. companies overall have declined, those that inverted reduced their taxes far more than competitors did. They were able to lower their effective tax rates between 6.6 and 17.4 percentage points more than peers that didn’t take a foreign address, the calculations show.

The data highlight how the U.S. government is paying the price for inversions it allowed to happen years or decades earlier. Even if Congress or President Barack Obama, who has called inversions an “unpatriotic tax loophole,” were to stop them today, the erosion of the tax base by past deals will continue to accelerate.

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December 2, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will Faculty Soon Be Cleaning Law School Bathrooms?

New York Times:  When the Forces of Media Disruption Hit Home, by David Carr:

Janitor 2I read on Friday that the price of taxi medallions in New York City had fallen about 17 percent, a drop created by competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. The impact is remarkable because neither company possesses big capital assets, or a huge number of employees. Instead, they put a new user interface over cars and drivers already on the road. In the same way, Airbnb has remade the rental markets, not by buying properties, but simply by surfacing available units on the web to people in need.

In both cases, inefficiency was reduced by using software and smarts to create a new market of underused assets — and consumers have benefited. ...

I work in an industry that has also been profoundly disrupted. The shift of news and information to the Internet meant that the heavy investment in trucks and presses that once served as a barrier to entry disappeared. Insurgents flooded in with new approaches that eliminated much of the inefficiency and created whole new streams of content. Again, great for consumers, not so great for the traditional news industry, because those inefficiencies were also profits by another name.

Right now, The New York Times is in the middle of a round of buyouts in an effort to cut 100 positions, to stretch existing revenue over a smaller cost base. ... Buying out those folks — layoffs will follow if the goal of 100 jobs is not met — also allows the organization to invest in new technologies and the people who build them. ...

[I]t’s always good to remember that things could be worse, far worse, in a business as challenged as journalism. ... At The Orange County Register, which has struggled through layoffs and misguided expansions, the delivery of the newspaper was interrupted after the company failed to pay The Los Angeles Times for the service. ... Reporters are also among those now being asked to, um, deliver the newspaper.

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December 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Driessen: Corporate Tax Fate May Hinge on Modeling Omission

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Patrick Driessen (former revenue estimator, Joint Committee on Taxation and Treasury Department), Corporate Tax Fate May Hinge on Modeling Omission, 145 Tax Notes 1043 (Dec. 1, 2014):

By omitting corporate income, traditional distribution models overstate the U.S. corporate tax rate and overall tax progressivity. The prevailing capital gains realization approach could be replaced by an inclusive corporate income method that would correctly show corporate equity owners as more lightly taxed than capital gains realization models indicate. That replacement would accord with how the individual tax is modeled for distribution as well as with results from corporate tax studies conducted outside the distribution context. Augmenting corporate income in distribution models would also enable proper reflection of proposals, such as corporate integration, and provide a better perspective on how much corporate tax is borne by labor.

(Hat Tip: David Cay Johnston.)

December 2, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

2014 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Results

TannenwaldHere are the results in the 2014 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition, sponsored by The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and the American College of Tax Counsel:

  • First Prize (tie) ($4,500):  Alex Levy (NYU), Believing in Life After Loving: IRS Regulation of Tax Preparers (Faculty Sponsor:  David Kamin)
  • First Prize (tie) ($4,500):  Mark C. Westenberger (Washington University), Tax-Exempt Hospitals and the Community Benefit Standard: A Flawed Standard and a Way Forward (Faculty Sponsor:  Cheryl Block)
  • Honorable Mention:  Nika Antonikova (San Diego), Real Taxes in Virtual Economies: What Does the IRS Say (Faculty Sponsor:  Brian Galle)
  • Honorable Mention:  Michael Daly (Georgetown University), Bound and Gagged: Making the Case for Congress Delegating Tax Policy to the Experts (Faculty Sponsor:  Tom Field)

December 2, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnston: Real World (California, Kansas) Contradicts Right-Wing Tax Theories

Al Jazeera:  Real World Contradicts Right-Wing Tax Theories:  California Raised Taxes, Kansas Cut Them. California Did Better, by David Cay Johnston (Syracuse):

Ever since economist Arthur Laffer drew his namesake curve on a napkin for two officials in President Richard Nixon’s administration four decades ago, we have been told that cutting tax rates spurs jobs and higher pay, while hiking taxes does the opposite.

Now, thanks to recent tax cuts in Kansas and tax hikes in California, we have real-world tests of this idea. So far, the results do not support Laffer’s insistence that lower tax rates always result in more and better-paying jobs. In fact, Kansas’ tax cuts produced much slower job and wage growth than in California.

The empirical evidence that the Laffer curve is not what its promoter insists joins other real-world experience undermining the widely held belief that minimum wage increases reduce employment and income. 

Laffer

For more, see Joseph Bankman (Stanford) & Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine), California Dreamin': Tax Scholarship in a Time of Fiscal Crisis, 48 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 405 (2014)

December 2, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Casting Call: Love, Sex and the IRS

Love 2Backstage, Casting Notice:  Love, Sex and the IRS:

Company
The Norris Theatre

Production Description
Palos Verdes Performing Arts is casting Love, Sex and The IRS.

Rehearsal and Production Dates & Locations
Rehearsal for Love, Sex and The IRS begins Jan. 5, 2015; runs Jan. 23-Feb. 8, 2015 at the Norris Theatre in Rolling Hills Estate, CA.

Compensation & Union Contract Details
Pays $510/wk. min. Equity Guest Artist Tier 3 Contract.

Seeking Talent
Select a role below for more information and submission instructions.

December 2, 2014 in Book Club, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 572

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  Are Criminals Outsmarting The IRS?, by Robert W. Wood:

With the IRS scandals of the last 18 months, it might seem that we have lost control of our tax system. The IRS is an essential part of our government, which can’t run without taxes. So having it fairly and efficiently run is pretty important. More than 18 months ago, an angry President Obama sacked the IRS Chief, Steven Miller. That was inevitable after the story broke that Tea Party and other conservative groups were targeted for extra scrutiny. The cover-up was worse than the crime, especially for an agency that must rely on taxpayers self-assessing their taxes.

More than 18 months ago, Mr. Obama said (in this transcript) that the IRS needed new leadership while it faced a broad probe of its conduct. The President promised full cooperation with congressional investigations. For new leadership “that can help restore confidence,” President Obama picked John Koskinen as next Commissioner. He came to office having no tax knowledge and no tax experience, but was an avowed turnaround specialist.

Whatever Mr. Koskinen’s skills, the agency hasn’t yet come back to smooth sailing. With alleged targeting, bonus controversies, systemic lien and collection errors and more, the agency looks incompetent to many outsiders. Whatever one’s political views, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. The different stories surrounding the lost or destroyed Lois Lerner emails alone do not leave everyone as certain as the President that there is not a smidgen of corruption.Perhaps the President will be proven right–I hope so.

But it still is no way to run a railroad. Taxpayers deserve better, and so do the thousands of IRS honest and hard working IRS employees. The 18 months of dissembling started when a comparatively unknown Lois Lerner was speaking at a bar association meeting May 10, 2013. She planted a question in the audience so she could get out ahead of the TIGTA report documenting IRS targeting. It may have been well-intentioned but came off as duplicitous. 18 months later, we’re still waiting for the final word, though now we are told that 2,500 previously undisclosed documents may link to the White House.

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December 2, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Yagan Presents Capital Tax Reform and the Real Economy Today at UC-Berkeley

YaganDanny Yagan (UC-Berkeley) presents Capital Tax Reform and the Real Economy: The Effects of the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut at UC-Berkeley today as part of the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar:

Policymakers frequently propose to use capital tax reform to stimulate investment and increase labor earnings. This paper tests for such real impacts of the 2003 dividend tax cut -- one of the largest reforms ever to a U.S. capital tax rate -- using a quasi-experimental design and a large sample of U.S. corporate tax returns from years 1996-2008. I estimate that the tax cut caused zero change in corporate investment, with an upper bound elasticity with respect to one minus the top statutory tax rate of .08 and an upper bound effect size of .03 standard deviations. This null result is robust across specifications, samples, and investment measures. I similarly find no impact on employee compensation. The lack of detectable real effects contrasts with an immediate impact on financial payouts to shareholders. Economically, the findings challenge leading estimates of the cost-of-capital elasticity of investment, or undermine models in which dividend tax reforms affect the cost of capital. Either way, it may be di¢ cult for policymakers to implement an alternative dividend tax cut that has substantially larger near-term effects.

December 1, 2014 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times: Law Schools Engage in 'Hand-to-Hand Combat' Over Declining Applicant Pool

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times DealBook:  Law School Becomes Buyers’ Market as Competition for Best Students Increases, by Elizabeth Olson:

Summer was waning and students were already packing for the fall semester, but Prof. Daniel B. Rodriguez, dean of the Northwestern University School of Law, was still fielding phone calls from incoming students seeking to bargain down the tuition at the elite school.

“It’s insane,” Professor Rodriguez said. “We’re in hand-to-hand combat with other schools.”

In the new topsy-turvy law school world, students are increasingly in control as nearly all of the 204 accredited law schools battle for the students with the best academic credentials. Gone are the days when legal educators bestowed admittance and college graduates gratefully accepted, certain that they were on the path to a highly paid, respectable career.

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December 1, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Vanderbilt Symposium: The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer

VandySymposium, The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer, 67 Vand. L. Rev. 1531-2006 (2014):

December 1, 2014 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zucman: Taxing Across Borders -- Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits

Gabriel Zucman (London School of Economics), Taxing Across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits, 28 J. Econ. Perspectives 121 (Fall 2014):

This article attempts to estimate the magnitude of corporate tax avoidance and personal tax evasion through offshore tax havens. US corporations book 20 percent of their profits in tax havens, a tenfold increase since the 1980; their effective tax rate has declined from 30 to 20 percent over the last 15 years, and about two-thirds of this decline can be attributed to increased international tax avoidance. Globally, 8 percent of the world's personal financial wealth is held offshore, costing more than $200 billion to governments every year. Despite ambitious policy initiatives, profit shifting to tax havens and offshore wealth are rising. I discuss the recent proposals made to address these issues, and I argue that the main objective should be to create a world financial registry.

Figure 1

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December 1, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)