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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

U.S. Sues Deutsche Bank Over $190 Million in Taxes

Posner on Legal Education: Tenure, Socratic Method, Con Law in the First Year, Balance Between Scholarship and Teaching

PosnerFollowing up on my previous post, Crowd-Sourced Interview of Judge Richard Posner: Ronald K.L. Collins (University of Washington), On Legal Education & Legal Scholarship — More Questions for Judge Posner:

Question: What do you think is the single greatest shortcoming of legal education in America today?

Posner: There are several shortcomings; I don’t know how to rank them.

  1. Legal education is too expensive, in part because law school faculties are too large.
  2. Not enough law professors, especially at the elite law schools, have substantial practical experience as lawyers, and
  3. Law school teaching focuses excessively on legal doctrine, to the exclusion of adequate attention to facts, business practices, science and technology, psychology, judicial mentality and behavior, legal practice, and application of legal principles. ...

Question: In Tagatz v. Marquette University (1988) you noted that tenure “tends to take some of the edge off academic ambition.” What are your views on the current tenure system as it operates in law schools and how, if at all, might you change it?

Posner: Tenure is a form of nonmonetary compensation, hence attractive to universities. The downside is it undermines the work ethic. I don’t know whether the benefits exceed the costs. ...

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December 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Call for Nominations: $12,500 IBFD Prize for International Tax Research

IBFD logoThe IBFD Frans Vanistendael Award for International Tax Law:

Call for applications: IBFD wishes to promote outstanding scientific research output on international tax law. For this purpose it has decided to introduce the IBFD Frans Vanistendael Award, named after its previous, esteemed Academic Chairman, Prof. Dr.Frans Vanistendael. With his academic production at the highest scientific standards, Professor Vanistendael has long distinguished himself as one of the most far-sighted scholars in the field of international tax law. 

I. Funding, focus and requirements
The proposed donation is EUR 10,000 plus a flat financial reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses incurred to attend the award ceremony. Eligible publications are all articles and book chapters on international tax law (including EU tax law), in paper or digital format (with an ISBN or ISSN number), published in English between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014, which have provided an outstanding contribution to the development of international tax law. Applications may be submitted by anyone (therefore not just by the author) with a supporting statement of up to 100 words and an abstract of up to 100 words (prepared by the one submitting the application) until 31 January 2015 via email to The subject line should include “IBFD Frans Vanistendael Award”. There is no age limit for applicants.

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December 9, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Approves Duncan Law School, Defers Action on InfiLaw’s Acquisition of Charleston Law School

LMU LogoABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Memorandum (Dec. 8, 2014):

The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, at its meeting on December 5-6, 2014, granted provisional ABA approval to Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law.

ICNational Law Journal, InfiLaw’s Acquisition of Charleston Law Hits Snag at ABA:

The proposed sale of the Charleston School of Law to the venture capital-backed InfiLaw chain of law schools remains in limbo.

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Dec. 6 deferred action on InfiLaw’s request for its acquiescence in the sale. During its two-day meeting in Puerto Rico, the council decided that InfiLaw must first win the blessing of state regulators. “There was no decision reached on the merits,” said Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director for legal education.

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December 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

California Offers Budgetary Lessons For U.S. Government

Stanford Report, California Offers Budgetary Lessons For U.S. Government, Stanford Professor Says:

Once the fodder of late-night comedians, California's budgetary strategy is actually one that national lawmakers might emulate, a Stanford tax scholar says.

Just two years ago, California's budget situation was among the worst in the nation, wrote Joseph Bankman, a law professor at Stanford University, in a new journal article [California Dreamin': Tax Scholarship in a Time of Fiscal Crisis, 48 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 405 (2014):]. The Golden State's annual budget deficits soared past $20 billion, its net asset deficit was more than $127 billion, and the state legislature seemed dysfunctional.

Then, pushed to the brink with very real fears of cutbacks in state services, schools and escalating college tuition, California voters approved Proposition 30 in November 2012.

"California voters defied the conventional political wisdom in resoundingly embracing Prop. 30 by an over-10 percent point margin, 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent," wrote Bankman and his co-author Paul Caron, a law professor at Pepperdine University. ...

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December 9, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Columbia Law School Lets Students Postpone Exams Due to Grand Jury Decisions; Harvard, Georgetown Students Demand Similar Treatment

Wall Street Journal, Columbia Law School Lets Students Postpone Exams Due to Grand Jury Decisions:

Columbia LogoColumbia University Law School is allowing its students to reschedule their exams if they feel traumatized by the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.

The school’s interim dean, Robert E. Scott, notified students of the option in an email circulated to the student body on Saturday on the eve of the December exam period.

“The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally,” Mr. Scott’s letter said. “For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.”

As a result, “students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition [head of registration services] Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled,” he wrote. ...

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December 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

MBAs for 'Newly Admitted Attorneys Who Are Facing Employment Challenges'

MBAWilliam Howard Taft University, Information for Law School Administrators About The Master of Business Administration – with a Concentration in Professional Practice Management Program:

The Master of Business Administration program with a concentration in Professional Practice Management is believed to be the first program of its kind – designed specifically for newly admitted attorneys who are facing employment challenges.

Starting in February of 2015, this distance education Program will address the business concepts they didn’t teach in law school - addressing issues and business challenges that are faced by solo or small practice attorneys. It combines a traditional M.B.A. curriculum with webinars and assignments directly related to the operation of a law practice. Enrollment is limited to the first thirty qualified attorney applicants.

Benefits of the Program include:

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

The IRS Scandal, Day 579

Horrible BossesForbes:  Horrible Bosses, IRS Edition, by Robert W. Wood:

People joked about horrible bosses long before Horrible BossesHorrible Bosses 2, and The Office. I’m guessing that at least some employees over at the IRS may not be too impressed with their own leadership. I mean big issues, not relatively harmless but kitschy things like Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island or line dancing videos. Perhaps there may have been some mistakes from regular employees, but the bosses surely have the most explaining to do.

The news that the lost or destroyed Lois Lerner emails were actually not lost or destroyed, for one. Remember, when the IRS brass said they looked really hard, and spent $10 million (of taxpayer money!) trying to find those emails? After a year of investigation, they belatedly said they were lost, hard drives were recycled, etc. Anyhow, now they will be sorted, cataloged and released, which is good.

Some people are upset that money is being spent on a ‘witch hunt’ that reveals not even a smidgen of corruption. Others aren’t so sure. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has confirmed that, on top of the backed-up email horde, there are also nearly 2,500 documents relating to investigations of the improper disclosure of confidential taxpayer information by the IRS to the White House. ...

Lois Lerner–the former IRS official at the heart of Tea Party targeting–supposedly didn’t even direct them, though she remains silent. She was held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify, but hasn’t been prosecuted. Yet after her long silence, in an exclusive interview with Politico she said did nothing wrong and considers herself the victim.She bristled at any suggestion she had anything to do with destroying emails, switching to texts, or letting her own political views influence her treatment of Tea Party “a__holes.”

In the midst of all this, many Americans could use a little reassurance on key points:

  • We Want To Be Dealt With Fairly ...
  • We Don’t Want Others To Get Away with Anything ...
  • We Want Our Private Information Kept Private ...
  • We Want IRS Employees To Be Policed ...
  • We Don’t Want More Complex Tax Laws ...

Since the IRS is made up of humans, sometimes the IRS is unreasonable or wrong. Richard Nixon supposedly asked the IRS to audit his political enemies. There has been no proof yet that President Obama tried to influence the IRS in the Tea Party targeting scandal. But it’s not unreasonable to want to get to the bottom of it once and for all. ...

The IRS has a very hard job to do, and in general, does it well and fairly. But that is precisely why this is so important. We need fairness and faith in the tax system restored. We shouldn’t need a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to get it.

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December 9, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Raskolnikov: Law and Economics of Variable Sanctions

Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia), Six Degrees of Graduation: Law and Economics of Variable Sanctions:

From parking tickets to tax fines and punitive damages, legal sanctions matter in people’s lives. Yet neither the legal nor the economics literature offers a comprehensive treatment of sanctions. Their practical complexity is not well-understood and their theoretical analysis is fragmented. This essay prepared for an edited volume addresses both limitations. On the practical side, I highlight the complexity of sanctions using tax law as a primary example. The complexity exists because sanctions may (and do) vary along six different dimensions: aggressiveness, magnitude, culpability, effort to comply, likelihood of detection, and offense history. These six degrees of sanctions graduation are distinct, potentially independent, but often intertwined in obscure and perplexing ways. On the theoretical side, I review the economics literature in search of the reasons underlying each degree (or axis) of graduation. I conclude that three graduation axes of great practical significance — aggressiveness, culpability, and offense history — are the least developed theoretically. Two other dimensions — the likelihood of detection and the effort to comply with the law — are more conceptually advanced, although the theory is still fairly removed from the enforcement realities. In contrast, economic analysis reveals a good grasp of the magnitude axis and a clear path to modeling the real-life features that have remained overlooked thus far. By highlighting the complexity of sanctioning regimes and emphasizing the related theoretical successes and shortcomings, this essay identifies fruitful areas of future research, some of which I pursue in related work.

December 8, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Big Data Track Student Performance; Are Faculty Next?

New York Times op-ed:  Blowing Off Class? We Know, by Goldie Blumenstyk:

Big DataThe stuff some colleges know right now about their students, thanks to data-mining of their digital footprints, boggles the mind. It may even seem a bit creepy.

Has their attendance slipped? Have they stopped logging in to read course packets or file assignments? Did they just drop the very class they needed for their major?

Tools developed in-house and by a slew of companies now give administrators digital dashboards that can code students red or green to highlight who may be in academic trouble. Handsome “heat maps” — some powered by apps that update four times a day — can alert professors to students who may be cramming rather than keeping up. As part of a broader effort to measure the “campus engagement” of its students, Ball State University in Indiana goes so far as to monitor whether students are swiping in with their ID cards to campus-sponsored parties at the student center on Saturday nights.

The university has taken to heart studies that say that students who are more engaged with college life are also more likely to graduate. When a student’s card-swipe patterns suggest she’s stopped showing up for clubs or socials, a retention specialist will follow up with a call or an email to see how she’s doing. ...

Big Brother-esque? Perhaps. But these “big data” developments have the potential to cut the cost of higher education for students and their families, as well as for taxpayers. Deployed properly, the tools could help millions of low-income students navigate the academic and financial hurdles that often derail first-generation college students. A new University Innovation Alliance of 11 large public universities is seeking to do just that. The alliance, announced in September and backed by a half-dozen major foundations, will use data analytics in its first set of projects, which are aimed at improving graduation rates for needy students. ...

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December 8, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Manhire: Reconsidering the Tax Compliance Puzzle

Florida Tax ReviewJ. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department), There Is No Spoon: Reconsidering the Tax Compliance Puzzle, 17 Fla. Tax Rev. 1 (2014):

For over 40 years theorists have sought the effects of tax audits on voluntary compliance rates by studying individual taxpayer motivations. Yet no single theory has produced a taxpayer incentive model that both comports with experience and explains the effects of audits on compliance. This quandary is often termed the “tax compliance puzzle.” Consequently, some theorists have called for more capacious models that make room for the panoply of individual compliance motivations. This Article proposes that a more complex model is unnecessary. To the contrary, complex compliance and enforcement data can result from extremely simple behavioral rules of individual taxpayers and government examiners interacting over time.

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December 8, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times op-ed: Why I Am Renouncing My U.S. Citizenship

New York Times op-ed:  Why I’m Giving Up My Passport, by Jonathan Tepper:

RenounceMy “in-person final loss of citizenship appointment” is scheduled for Jan. 14 at the United States Consulate here. My British passport, acquired in 2012, will be my only one.

Some 3,000 Americans gave up their citizenship last year, a tiny number that’s nevertheless been soaring. Yes, a few expatriates may be trying to avoid future taxes. ... But most, like me, are not tycoons. We’re responding to the burden and cost of onerous financial reporting and tax filing requirements that are neither fair nor just. ...

Some 7.6 million Americans live abroad — expats would be the 13th most populous state, if we were a state. Many are overseas temporarily, for work or study. But many others marry foreigners, start companies or have long-term overseas assignments. We are just like ordinary Americans — except that we lack representation.

The United States is an outlier: Its extraterritorial tax laws apply to American citizens and companies no matter where they are. We are the only country (except, arguably, Eritrea) that taxes all of its citizens on worldwide income rather than where the income is earned. Expatriate Americans have to pay taxes once, wherever they live, and then file again in the United States.

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December 8, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

L.A. Times: Fewer Law School Grads Pass California Bar Exam

Los Angeles Times, Fewer Law School Graduates Pass Bar Exam in California:

Pass RateFor the first time in nearly a decade, most law school graduates who took the summer California bar exam failed, adding to the pressure on law schools already dealing with plummeting enrollments, complaints about student debt and declining job prospects.

The 48.6% pass rate in California is a drop of nearly 7 percentage points from the previous year; nearly 8,500 people took the test in July. The last time the passage rate dipped below half was in 2005.

Many other states showed similar declines this year. It's unclear why the recent passage rates are so low, but they fell by at least 5 percentage points in 20 states.

The decrease in the number of law school graduates who pass the bar could make it more difficult for schools to attract applicants. As a result, administrators might have to offer further incentives to prospective attorneys, experts say.

Some schools have reduced tuition and increased scholarships, and some have cut staff. Still others are offering dual degrees in an effort to help graduates find jobs.

"Law school deans are in a particularly difficult situation these days," said Derek Muller, a professor at Pepperdine University who writes on the business of law. ...

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December 8, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Ted-Style Videos on Law Teaching

LegalEdLegalEd has posted over thirty 10-minute Ted-style videos on law teaching:

  • Jamie Abrams (Louisville), The Socratic Method, Revisited
  • Renee Allen (Florida A&M), Metacognition and the Value of Reflection in Learning
  • Christine Bartholomew (SUNY-Buffalo), Finding Time
  • Sydney Beckman (Lincoln), Using Technology for Engagement and Assessment
  • John Bickers (N. Kentucky), How Non-Bar Tested Electives Can Teach Lawyering
  • Shawn Marie Boyne (Indiana), Teaching Through Simulations
  • Andrea Curcio (Georgia State), Assessing Ourselves as Law Professors
  • Aaron Dewald (Utah), Improving Presentations With Learning Sciences (Parts 1 & 2)

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December 8, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: The Ins and Outs of Perpetual Trusts

New York Times, The Ins and Outs of Trusts That Last Forever:

Most people struggle to plan their financial futures beyond the next decade, while those with money and foresight are likely to think well in advance about what they want to leave their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. But what about planning for eternity? It seems too long to contemplate.

Yet in the last several decades, states have begun competing with one another for the business of perpetual trusts, which are designed to last forever, or at least 1,000 years in the case of Wyoming.

And people have been putting their millions and billions into them, eschewing traditional trusts, which typically end after 100 years.

The reasons are both dynastic and technical. They allow trust creators to maintain some control beyond their lifetimes. And they help protect the fortunes from taxes and creditors. (States benefit from the fees and taxes they can charge the owners of the trusts.)

But now a Harvard Law School professor, Robert H. Sitkoff, has written an academic paper [Unconstitutional Perpetual Trusts, 67 Vand. L. Rev. 1769 (2014)] making the case that perpetual trusts are unconstitutional in some of the very states that have tried hardest to persuade people to establish them.

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December 8, 2014 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Law School Is Still Worth The Investment

Forbes:  "Let's NOT Kill All The Lawyers": Why Law School Is Still Worth The Investment, by Daniel R. Porterfield (President, Franklin & Marshall College):

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” shouts Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part II.

Since the 2008 recession, that’s what some think the American economy has conspired to do.

Last year, the United States had 1.3 million licensed lawyers—nearly 20 percent more than a decade ago. Sadly, many of these new lawyers aren’t working, as the unemployment rate for law school graduates in 2013 was 11 percent—higher than the overall unemployment rate at the time. Given these statistics, some commentators are cheering the fact that law school applications have plummeted 36 percent since 2010.

But let’s hope that what many have deemed a “crisis” for legal education doesn’t drive smart, principled students away from law. That would be a tremendous loss for our country. Our society doesn’t work without well-educated legal leaders dedicated to preserving America’s commitments to the Constitution and fair legal frameworks for dispute resolution. ...

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

The IRS Scandal, Day 578

IRS Logo 2Roll Call:  Fresh Round of Controversies for IRS:

The IRS faces growing pressure from critics on both sides of the aisle to come to grips with the role that tax-exempt “dark money” groups play in elections.

The challenge for the beleaguered IRS, which is bracing for a fresh round of controversies early in 2015, is that Republicans and Democrats regard both the problem and the solution in starkly opposing terms.

To Republicans, the problem is that the IRS has policed tax-exempt groups, particularly those run by conservative activists, too aggressively. Republicans on Capitol Hill are poised to redouble their investigation into the agency’s self-admitted targeting of tea party groups and others seeking tax-exempt status.

The GOP probe has been newly energized by a Treasury inspector general’s recent unearthing of thousands of emails previously declared “lost” from former senior IRS official Lois Lerner’s account. Also fueling the investigation is the GOP’s Senate takeover, and a conservative group’s recent lawsuit alleging the agency improperly shared taxpayer information with the White House.

To Democrats, the problem is that undisclosed political spending, popularly dubbed “dark money,” continues to soar. According to the latest estimate from the Center for Responsive Politics, political spending by outside groups that fail to publicly disclose some or all of their donors jumped to at least $219 million in this election cycle, up from $160.8 million in the 2010 midterms.

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December 8, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fall 2015 Law School Applicants Are Down 8.5%

LSAC, Three-Year ABA Volume Comparison:

As of 11/28/14, there are 70,009 fall 2015 applications submitted by 11,415 applicants. Applicants are down 8.5% and applications are down 9.5% from 2014. Last year at this time, we had 23% of the preliminary final applicant count.

Matt Leichter, Fewer Than 50,000 Applicants Predicted for 2015:


December 7, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Last Pepperdine Bible Study of the Year

With my friend and colleague Jim Gash away this semester teaching in Pepperdine's London Program, my wife and I have had the honor of hosting the law school's Wednesday night Bible Study.  We hosted the 14th and final session last Wednesday, and I had the privilege of wrapping up our study of Micah 6:8: "[W]hat does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."


I closed with some advice from noted theologian Louis C.K.:

The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough.
You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.

December 7, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

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.


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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


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.


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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)