TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Gale Presents Fiscal Therapy Today At Pennsylvania

GaleWilliam G. Gale (Brookings Institution) presents Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future (Oxford University Press 2019) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

Keeping the economy strong will require addressing two distinct but related problems. Steadily rising federal debt makes it harder to grow our economy, boost our living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain our role as a global leader. At the same time, we have let critical investments lag and left many people behind even as overall prosperity has grown.

In Fiscal Therapy, William Gale, a leading authority on how federal tax and budget policy affects the economy, provides a trenchant discussion of the challenges posed by the imbalances between spending and revenue. America is facing a gradual decline as debt accumulates and delay raises the costs of action. But there is hope: fiscal responsibility aligns with both conservative and liberal goals and citizens of all stripes can support the notion of making life better for our children and grandchildren.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Elkins Presents The Merits Of Tax Competition Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Merits of Tax Competition in a Globalized Economy today at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

Since the turn of the current century, leading transnational organizations and academic scholarship have identified tax competition among countries as one of the scourges of the international tax regime. Both the EU and the OECD have warned that tax competition erodes the tax bases of Member States and impedes their ability to provide essential services. Commentators have argued that unrestrained competition is driving tax rates on mobile sources of income to (or close to) zero, a process that jeopardizes the very existence of the welfare state, exacerbates problems of global poverty, and deprives developing countries of funds that they desperately need in order to improve their physical infrastructure and human capital. Tax competition is also said to misallocate economic resources by driving investment to where the tax rate is lowest rather than to where the return on investment is highest.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Osofsky Reviews Wallace's Centralized Review Of Tax Regulations

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Fleshing Out Centralized Review of Tax Regulations (JOTWELL) (reviewing Clinton Wallace (South Carolina), Centralized Review of Tax Regulations, 71 Ala. L. Rev. __ (2018)) (also reviewed by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) (here):

In a new article, Centralized Review of Tax Regulations, Clinton Wallace addresses the timely question of whether and how tax regulations should be subject to centralized review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). While OMB review has become standard for “significant” or “economically significant” agency regulations, tax regulations have long avoided review even when they meet this standard, raising, yet again, the question of whether tax should be different than other areas of administrative law. In addition to helping us understand the historical lack of centralized review of tax regulations, Wallace’s paper does the important job of showing the inadequacy of the new framework for centralized review, and pushing us to recognize the complex questions that have to be answered to develop objective criteria for review. ...

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October 17, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grewal: The Proposed SALT Regulations May Be Doomed

Andy Grewal (Iowa), The Proposed SALT Regulations May Be Doomed, 103 Iowa L. Rev. Online ___  (2018):

The IRS recently followed through on its promise to address state strategies designed to avoid the new state & local tax deduction limits. Although programs adopted by blue states sparked the IRS’s interest, the proposed regulations address both blue and red state programs. This has, predictably, led to IRS criticism from all sides. But the IRS was right to step in here. Revenue and policy concerns easily justify administrative guidance on the state strategies.

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October 17, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

An Empirical Analysis Of 'Public Interest Drift' In Law School

John Bliss (Harvard), From Idealists to Hired Guns? An Empirical Analysis of "Public Interest Drift" in Law School, 51 UC Davis L. Rev. 1973 (2018):

Recent commentaries on American legal education have questioned whether law students are prepared to seek out satisfying, publicregarding, and financially viable careers in a changing profession. To these debates, this Article offers an empirical perspective on how students approach job-path decisions during law school. I address this issue through a five-year multi-method study of a subset of the law student population — elite-school students who state preferences for jobs in the public-interest sector at the beginning of law school but by their second year decide to pursue positions in large private law firms. A widely circulated hypothesis in popular and academic discourses suggests that implicit lessons of the first-year curriculum steer these students away from public-interest career goals, inducing a widespread “public interest drift.” However, skeptical commentators have speculated that the survey findings showing this drift phenomenon may be inaccurate and exaggerated. This Article responds to the skeptical position by empirically exploring the descriptive limits of the drift effect through a qualitative study of students’ experiences.

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October 17, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lederman Presents Information Matters In Tax Enforcement At San Diego

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presented Information Matters in Tax Enforcement (with Joseph Dugan) at San Diego yesterday as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer:

Most legal and economics scholars recognize that the government needs information about taxpayers’ transactions in order to determine whether their reporting is honest, and that third-party reporting helps the government obtain that information. Yet, a recent paper by Professor Wei Cui [Taxation Without Information: The Institutional Foundations of Modern Tax Collection] asserts that “modern governments can practice ‘taxation without information.’” Cui’s argument rests on two premises: (1) “giving governments effective access to taxpayer information through third parties does not explain the success of modern tax administration” because, he argues, other important taxes, such as the value added tax (VAT), do not involve information reporting; and (2) modern tax administration succeeds because business firms are “sites of social cooperation under the rule of law,” fostering compliance. As this Essay argues, the literature demonstrates that Cui is wrong on both points.

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October 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rozema: The Unrecognized Relationship Between Tax Law And Public Assistance

Kyle Rozema (Chicago), The Unrecognized Relationship Between Tax Law and Public Assistance:

Lawmakers enact tax laws to raise revenue, redistribute resources, and change behavior. The ability of a tax law to serve its goals depends on how individuals respond to the tax law, and how individuals respond to the tax law can depend on how it interacts with other laws. This article unearths unrecognized connections between the operations of tax law on the one hand and the voluntary nature of public assistance programs on the other.

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October 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Brockmeyer Presents Taxation, Information, And Withholding Today At UC-Berkeley

BrockmeyerAnne Brockmeyer (World Bank) presents Taxation, Information, and Withholding: Evidence from Costa Rica (with Marco Hernandez (World Bank)) at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

This paper studies the compliance effect of tax withholding on firms, which is commonly used in developing countries. While a growing literature argues that third-party reporting of tax liabilities is a key mechanism for ensuring tax compliance, and a reason why tax capacity grows along the development path, the literature has ignored the fact that third-party reporting is often associated with tax withholding. Withholding is irrelevant if the tax withheld is fully credited against a taxpayer’s liability, but can increase compliance in the presence of costly reclaim, low salience of enforcement or extensive margin compliance gaps.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pomerleau Presents Indexing Capital Gains To Inflation Today At UC-Irvine

PomerleauKyle Pomerleau (Tax Foundation) presents Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation: Is It Worth It? at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration have reintroduced the idea of adjusting the basis of capital gains to inflation. Proponents of capital gains indexing argue that taxing individuals for an increase in the price level is unfair. They also argue that indexing capital gains would unlock capital, which would result in significant economic growth. It is true that indexing capital gains to inflation would increase the incentive to invest and results in a slight boost to the size of the economy. However, the effect would be much smaller than proponents argue. At the same time, it would reduce revenue and make the tax code slightly less progressive.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Glogower Presents A Constitutional Wealth Tax Today At Loyola-L.A.

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio States) A Constitutional Wealth Tax at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

A wealth tax could address rising inequality and more accurately tailor the tax system to taxpayers’ economic differences. These reasons to tax wealth may not matter, however, if a wealth tax is unconstitutional. This Article considers the possibilities for the design of a constitutional wealth tax. In particular, this Article argues that, if the Supreme Court were to find a traditional tax on wealth is foreclosed under the Constitution, Congress could instead tax wealth indirectly, by adjusting a taxpayer’s income tax liability on account of her wealth. This Article describes three methods for making this adjustment (collectively, “Wealth Integration” methods): A taxpayer’s wealth could affect her base of taxable income (the “Base Method”), the applicable rate schedule (the “Rate Method”) or the availability of credits against tax (the “Credit Method”).

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Manhire Presents An Alternative Approach To Tax Gap Analysis Today In London

Manhire (2018)Jack Manhire (Texas A&M) presents Constraints on IRS Control: An Alternative Approach to Tax Gap Analysis, 12 Int’l J. L. & Pol. Sci. ___ (2018) at the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology’s 20th International Conference on Tax Law and Regulations today in London, England.

A tax authority wants to take actions it knows will foster the greatest degree of voluntary taxpayer compliance to reduce the "tax gap." This paper suggests that even if a tax authority could attain a state of complete knowledge, there are constraints on whether and to what extent such actions would result in reducing the macro-level tax gap. These limits are not merely a consequence of finite agency resources. They are inherent in the system itself. To show that this is one possible interpretation of the tax gap data, the paper formulates known results in a different way by analyzing tax compliance as a population with a single covariate. This leads to a standard use of the logistic map to analyze the dynamics of non-compliance growth or decay over a sequence of periods.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [491 Downloads]  Compelled Subsidies and the First Amendment, by William Baude (Chicago) & Eugene Volokh (UCLA)
  2. [243 Downloads]  The Charitable Contribution Strategy: An Ineffective SALT Substitute, by Andy Grewal (Iowa)
  3. [208 Downloads]   The Death of the Income Tax (or, the Rise of America's Universal Wage Tax), by Edward McCaffery (USC)
  4. [194 Downloads]  Taxing the Robots, by Orly Mazur (SMU)
  5. [185 Downloads]  The International Provisions of the TCJA: Six Results after Six Months, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)

October 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Elkins Reviews Brunson's Paying for Gun Violence

This week, David Elkins (Netanya) reviews a new paper by Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Paying for Gun Violence.

Elkins (2018)In Paying for Gun Violence, Professor Samuel Brunson notes that that although gun violence costs the United States many billions dollars annually, political and Constitutional restraints continue to prevent effective gun regulation. Against this background, he proposes a Pigouvian tax on guns, with the goal of forcing gun owners to internalize those costs. Under his proposal, the purchase of a firearm would be subject to an excise tax and the possession of a firearm would be subject to a property tax. He argues that while such a tax would not be barred by the second amendment, a federal property tax on guns would run afoul of the requirement that direct taxes be apportioned among the states in proportion to their populations. Therefore, he suggests that the tax be imposed not on the federal level but on the state level. He writes that while the tax is unlikely to result in any significant reduction of gun ownership, it will at least make society whole by compensating it for the damage cause by gun violence.

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October 12, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (5)

Fleming Presents Real Worldwide V. Territorial Taxation After The TCJA In Vienna

FlemingJ. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (BYU) presents An Early Look at Real Worldwide v. Territorial Taxation After the TCJA today at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of the Vienna University of Economics and Business:

In the run up to enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) one of the principal U.S. tax policy issues was how foreign source active business income of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) should be taxed by the United States if the system of deferring U.S. tax on active income of a foreign subsidiary was ended. Should active foreign income be taxed under a territorial or exemption system—i.e. bear no residual U.S. tax—or should it be subjected to real worldwide taxation—i.e. current taxation at regular U.S. rates coupled with a credit for foreign income tax paid limited to the U.S. tax on the foreign-source income as measured for U.S. tax purposes.

The opposing sides were not without common ground. Both agreed that the existing U.S. system for taxing the foreign-source active-business income of U.S. MNEs was bad because it generally did not impose U.S. tax until the active income of foreign subsidiaries was repatriated, either through dividends or by sale of subsidiary stock at a price reflecting accumulated foreign-source income.

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October 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Exclusionary Taxation

Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis) & Josh Rosenthal, Exclusionary Taxation, 53 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. ___ (2019):

Property tax assessments appear to be technocratic calculations. But they may be calculated to discriminate, even unintentionally. California’s constitutional limitations on property taxes, as first enacted by Proposition 13 in 1978, remain the poster child for the so-called “property tax revolt” of the late twentieth century. Such laws privilege preexisting homeowners by capping assessments at historic levels far below contemporary value. As property prices rise, beneficiary homeowners may even bequeath this taxpayer windfall to their descendants and immortalize these underassessments. Newer, increasingly diverse residents end up paying higher taxes because the law treats them with less regard than their more pedigreed neighbors. These tax policies are rationalized as providing “stability” to the existing residents. The aggrieved have found cold comfort in the Constitution, with the Supreme Court upholding the core of California’s system in the canonical Nordlinger v. Hahn.

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October 11, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Scharff: The Challenge Of Pricing Externalities Under State Law

Erin A. Scharff (Arizona State), Green Fees: The Challenge of Pricing Externalities Under State Law, 97 Neb. L. Rev. 168 (2018):

Policymakers at the state and local level are increasingly interested in using market-based pricing mechanisms as regulatory tools. For example, at the state level, several states have recently considered state-level carbon pricing, while at the local level, municipal governments are increasingly turning to stormwater remediation fees to pay for the treatment of municipal runoff required by the Clean Water Act.

These regulatory programs are inspired by the insight of English economist Arthur Pigou, who suggested governments could price social costs into market transactions by imposing a tax. Such policies, however, are frequently subject to state court litigation challenging them as unlawful taxes. State law restricts both state and local governments’ ability to enact taxes, but similar restrictions are often not in place to limit the enactment of regulatory actions or user fees. Unfortunately, state courts have struggled to appropriately classify these fees under existing state law doctrines.

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October 11, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Mandatory Repatriation Tax Is Unconstitutional

Sean P. McElroy, The Mandatory Repatriation Tax Is Unconstitutional, 36 Yale J. Reg. 69 (2018):

In late 2017, Congress passed the first major tax reform in over three decades. This Essay considers the constitutional concerns raised by Section 965 (the “Mandatory Repatriation Tax”), a central provision of the new tax law that imposes a one-time tax on U.S.-based multinationals’ accumulated foreign earnings.

First, this Essay argues that Congress lacks the power to directly tax wealth without apportionment among the states. Congress’s power to tax is expressly granted, and constrained, by the Constitution. While the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment mooted many constitutional questions by expressly allowing Congress to tax income from whatever source derived, this Essay argues the Mandatory Repatriation Tax is a wealth tax, rather than an income tax, and is therefore unconstitutional.

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October 11, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rosenberg Presents The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act And Investment Incentives Today At Penn

RosenbergJoseph Rosenberg (Tax Policy Center) presents The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Investment Incentives at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

This paper estimates the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on incentives to invest in the US as measured by the marginal effective tax rate (METR)—a summary measure of the total federal tax burden on a hypothetical break-even investment. In the near term (2018 law), the TCJA reduces the overall marginal effective tax rate (METR) on new investments from 17 percent to 13 percent, a 4.1 percent increase in the aftertax return. In the longer-term (2027 law), the METR decreases from 19 percent to 17 percent, a 1.5 percent increase in the after-tax return.

October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tillotson Presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer And The Rise Of Canadian Democracy Today At Toronto

Give and TakeShirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University) presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy (University of British Columbia Press at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Can a book about tax history be a page-turner? You wouldn’t think so. But Give and Take is full of surprises. A Canadian millionaire who embraced the new federal income tax in 1917. A socialist hero, J.S. Woodsworth, who deplored the burden of big government. Most surprising of all, Give and Take reveals that taxes deliver something more than armies and schools. They build democracy.

Tillotson launches her story with the 1917 war income tax, takes us through the tumultuous tax fights of the interwar years, proceeds to the remaking of income taxation in the 1940s and onwards, and finishes by offering a fresh angle on the fierce conflicts surrounding tax reform in the 1960s.

Taxes show us the power of the state, and Canadians often resisted that power, disproving the myth that we have all been good loyalists. But Give and Take is neither a simple tale of tax rebels nor a tirade against the taxman. Canadians also made real contributions to democracy when they taxed wisely and paid willingly.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zolt Presents Tax Treaties And Developing Countries Post-BEPS Today At Michigan

Zolt (2014)Eric M. Zolt (UCLA) presents Tax Treaties and Developing Countries: A Better Deal Post-BEPS? at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

Developing countries face tough choices about whether to enter into bilateral tax treaties with developed countries. Several benefits flow from entering into tax treaties. These include increased foreign direct and portfolio investments that may result if tax treaties reduce double taxation, create greater tax certainty for investors, and provide for a dispute resolution mechanism for tax controversies. But there are real costs for developing countries in entering into tax treaties with developed countries. Treaty provisions invariably result in developing countries yielding taxing rights with respect to economic activity taking place in their country.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cui: Residence-Based Formulary Apportionment

Wei Cui (British Columbia), Residence-Based Formulary Apportionment: (In-)Feasibility and Implications, 71 Tax L. Rev. 551 (2018):

I examine one way of taxing international corporate income that has not previously been studied, “residence-based formulary apportionment” or RBFA. I first offer a new taxonomy of different ways of taxing corporate income by reference to individual shareholders, and distinguish what I call the “shareholder attribution” approach from integration, pass-through, and other approaches. I then argue that although traditional international legal norms had led international tax design to avoid taxing foreign corporations “unconnected” with the taxing jurisdiction (e.g. foreign corporations earning only foreign income), these legal norms have gone through substantial transformations in recent years. The exercise of jurisdiction over foreign corporations has vastly expanded in the sphere of international taxation, as has the extent of mutual assistance in tax collection. Consequently, the choice between taxing foreign corporations and taxing shareholders should be made mainly on administrative (including enforceability) grounds other than international legal norms.

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October 10, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Infanti: Our Selfish Tax Laws

SelfishAnthony C. Infanti (Pittsburgh), Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform That Mirrors Our Better Selves (MIT Press 2018):

Most of us think of tax as a pocketbook issue: how much we owe, how much we'll get back, how much we can deduct. In Our Selfish Tax Laws, Anthony Infanti takes a broader view, considering not just how taxes affect us individually but how the tax system reflects our culture and society. He finds that American tax laws validate and benefit those who already possess power and privilege while starkly reflecting the lines of difference and discrimination in American society based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, immigration status, and disability. Infanti argues that instead of focusing our tax reform discussions on which loopholes to close or which deductions to allow, we should consider how to make our tax system reflect American ideals of inclusivity rather than institutionalizing exclusion.

After describing the theoretical and intellectual underpinnings of his argument, Infanti offers two comparative case studies, examining the treatment of housing tax expenditures and the unit of taxation in the United States, Canada, France, and Spain to show how tax law reflects its social and cultural context. Then, drawing on his own work and that of other critical tax scholars, Infanti explains how the discourse surrounding tax reform masks the many ways that the American tax system rewards and reifies privilege. To counter this, Infanti urges us to work together to create a society with a tax system that respects and values all Americans.

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October 9, 2018 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly rankings of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  This ranking includes downloads from two 30- and 35-page papers by 12 tax professors on the new tax legislation that garnered a lot of media attention (including the New York Times and Washington Post) and generated a massive amount of downloads (the papers are the most downloaded papers over the past 12 months across all of SSRN and the most downloaded tax papers of all-time by over 200%).  See Brian Leiter (Chicago), 11 Tax Profs Blow Up The SSRN Download Rankings. (For some reason, Mitchell Kane (NYU) — the twelfth academic co-author of the two papers — is not included in the SSRN download rankings (although the downloads are included on his individual author page)).  Here is the new list (through October 1, 2018) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

 

 

All-Time

 

Recent

1

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

176,646

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

104,534

2

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

113,132

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

101,579

3

David Gamage (Indiana)

109,012

David Gamage (Indiana)

96,359

4

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

106,906

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 

95,948

5

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

106,213

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

95,447

6

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)

103,059

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

95,249

7

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

98,817

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

93,267

8

David Kamin (NYU)

95,623

David Kamin (NYU)

93,157

9

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

95,655

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

93,050

10

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham)

94,914

Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 

92,782

11

Ari Glogower (Ohio State)

93,163

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 

92,627

12

Michael Simkovic (USC)

41,087

Gladriel Shobe (BYU)

23,052

13

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

35,261

Jacob Goldin (Stanford)  

3,787

14

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

34,742

Michael Simkovic (USC)

3,701

15

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

30,264

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

3,580

16

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

25,717

Kirk Stark (UCLA) 

3,449

17

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

25,157

Joe Bankman (Stanford) 

3,384

18

Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine)

24,875

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3,295

19

Jim Hines (Michigan)

23,983

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis) 

3,010

20

Gladriel Shobe (BYU)

23,762

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)  

2,496

21

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

23,102

Ruth Mason (Virginia) 

2,463

22

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

22,944

Sam Donaldson (Georgia St.) 

2,437

23

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

21,467

Hugh Ault (Boston College) 

2,241

24

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

20,999

Kyle Rozema (Chicago) 

2,226

25

David Weisbach (Chicago)

20,461

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

2,123

Note that this ranking includes full-time tax professors with at least one tax paper on SSRN, and all papers (including non-tax papers) by these tax professors are included in the SSRN data.

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October 9, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Adding One Credit To Contracts To Prepare All Law Students For Transactional Practice

Tina L. Stark, Transactional Skills Education: Mandated by the ABA Standards, 20 Transactions ___ (2019):

I explain why current ABA Standards require law schools to provide every student a foundation to practice transactional law. In addition, I urge individual schools to add at least one credit to the 1L Contracts course. Why? Because any graduate might join the estimated 50% of lawyers who spend all or part of their time doing transactional work. With respect to adding at least one credit to the 1L Contracts course, I was not, and am not, advocating that professors use the additional time to teach negotiation or drafting.

Instead, I propose that we allocate that time to teaching foundational knowledge that builds the infrastructure for additional transactional education. We need to give students a transactional perspective.

October 9, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Davis Presents Elective Egg Freezing And The Limits Of The Medical Expense Deduction At Kentucky

DavisTessa R. Davis (South Carolina) presented Freezing the Future: Elective Egg Freezing and the Limits of the Medical Expense Deduction, 106 Ky. L. Rev. ___ (2019), last Friday at Kentucky as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) allows a deduction for unreimbursed expenses for medical care. To qualify as medical care, an individual’s outlay must meet the statutory definition of “medical care” set forth in § 213. Specifically, an outlay must be for care that is either for “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” Many costs raise few interpretive challenges. When an individual receives chemotherapy, for example, the costs tied to that care clearly satisfy the disease prong of §213. But as medicine advances, emerging technologies test the breadth of the Code’s concept of medical care. 

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October 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elkins Presents The Myth Of Corporate Tax Residence Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Myth of Corporate Tax Residence today at the at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

The issue of corporate residence has recently attracted a great deal of attention in both the popular press and in academic discourse, primarily because of the phenomenon of corporate inversions. The consensus among commentators is that the root of the problem is a flawed definition of corporate residence, and they have therefore proposed replacing the current definition, which relies upon place of incorporation, with another that relies upon control and management, home office, customer base, source of income, or the residence of shareholders.

The thesis of this article is that the concept of tax residence is inapplicable to corporations. Residence in tax law delineates the boundaries of distributive justice, and whereas corporations cannot be parties to a scheme of distributive justice, corporate residence is a misnomer. The incongruity of corporate residence along with the fact that residence is a fundamental concept in international taxation is one reason that the current international tax regime has proven unviable.

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October 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lesson From The Tax Court: What Is A 'Liability' For §108 Purposes?

Tax Court (2017)To qualify for the insolvency exclusion in §108(a) one has to be insolvent.  Section 108(d)(3) defines insolvency as "the excess of liabilities over the fair market value of assets."  But nothing in the Code or Regulations defines the term "liabilities."  The recent case of Richard Bryan Jackson and Nora Irene Jackson v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 2018-43 (Sept. 17, 2018), teaches a lesson about the meaning of that word. 

In February, I wrote about Discharge of Indebtedness (DOI) Income.  I called it “The Phantom of The Tax Code.”  Readers will recall that when a taxpayer obtains a loan, the loan proceeds are not reportable as gross income, but it is not entirely clear why.  The most common reason given is that the borrowed funds do not represent a increase in wealth because they are offset by the obligation to repay.  I call this the balance sheet theory.  The logic of this theory means that when the obligation to repay is discharged or relieved by the creditor, that discharge increases the taxpayer’s wealth to the extent that it frees the taxpayer from the obligation.  I go into more detail in my February post.

Section 108(a) reflects this balance sheet theory by allowing taxpayers to exclude DOI from gross income when they are insolvent but limiting the exclusion to the amount of the insolvency at the time of the discharge. For example, if a taxpayer is discharged from $10,000 of debt at a time when the taxpayer is insolvent by $6,000, then the taxpayer can exclude $6,000 of the DOI from income but must report the remaining $4,000 as gross income. 

Today’s lesson is about what types of obligations count as liabilities for purposes of determining insolvency. It turns out that not every obligation to pay someone is a liability.  To see why, read on!

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October 8, 2018 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)There 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:

  1. [483 Downloads]  Compelled Subsidies and the First Amendment, by William Baude (Chicago) & Eugene Volokh (UCLA)
  2. [241 Downloads]  The Charitable Contribution Strategy: An Ineffective SALT Substitute, by Andy Grewal (Iowa)
  3. [203 Downloads]   The Death of the Income Tax (or, the Rise of America's Universal Wage Tax), by Edward McCaffery (USC)
  4. [187 Downloads]  Taxing the Robots, by Orly Mazur (SMU)
  5. [158 Downloads]  The International Provisions of the TCJA: Six Results after Six Months, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)

October 7, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Tax Implications Of Student-Athlete Insurance Policy Payouts

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Clemson) & Adam Epstein (Central Michigan), The Claim Game: Analyzing the Tax Implications of Student-Athlete Insurance Policy Payouts, 25 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports L.J. ___ (2018):

Prior to the 2016-2017 season, quarterback Deshaun Watson accepted two $5 million insurance policies paid for by Clemson University to protect him against a career-ending injury while playing college football, as well as the potential loss-of-value he might suffer should an injury prompt a drastic drop in the NFL draft. An interesting question regarding insurance premiums paid for by universities on behalf of student-athletes is whether such payouts are taxable. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) dictates the tax consequences of disability payouts based on who pays for a disability policy - an individual or their employer. As student-athletes are not employees of their universities, there is no clear guidance as to the tax consequences of proceeds received from an insurance policy when the party paying for part or all of the premium is not their employer. This article analyzes the tax consequences of payouts received by student-athletes under various parameters associated with premium payments.

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October 6, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Speck Reviews Cauble's Taxing Selling Partners

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado) reviews a new work by Emily Cauble (DePaul), Taxing Selling Partners, 94 Wash. L. Rev. ___ (2019).

Speck (2017)In Taxing Selling Partners, Emily Cauble ably details various shortcomings and inconsistencies in the taxation of sales of partnership interests, then proposes a concrete and clear remedy to these myriad problems. Specifically, Cauble examines four scenarios in which the sale of a partnership interest yields a tax result different from the sale of that partnership’s assets. Two of these scenarios draw on longstanding issues involving partner-partnership divergences in holding period and use, while the other two scenarios engage changes in law from December 2017. The first of these changes closes a loophole involving sales of partnership interests by non-U.S. persons—a fix that Cauble argues is incomplete. The other change limits the availability of excess business losses, though, as Cauble notes, not necessarily on transfers of partnership interests. To solve these problems, Cauble advocates aligning the tax consequences of sales of interests and assets by, more or less, looking through to assets when an interest is sold.

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October 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Sloan Speck, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tyranny Of The Top Journals In Tenure Decisions

James J. Heckman (Chicago) & Sidharth Moktan (Chicago), Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five (NBER Working Paper No. 25093 Sept. 2018):

This paper examines the relationship between placement of publications in Top Five (T5) journals and receipt of tenure in academic economics departments. Analyzing the job histories of tenure-track economists hired by the top 35 U.S. economics departments, we find that T5 publications have a powerful influence on tenure decisions and rates of transition to tenure. A survey of the perceptions of young economists supports the formal statistical analysis. Pursuit of T5 publications has become the obsession of the next generation of economists. However, the T5 screen is far from reliable. A substantial share of influential publications appear in non-T5 outlets. Reliance on the T5 to screen talent incentivizes careerism over creativity. 

Chronicle of Higher Education, How Much Does Publishing in Top Journals Boost Tenure Prospects? In Economics, a Lot:

For academics on the tenure track, the pressure to publish at all costs and in the top journals in their field is immense. That’s because meeting that professional standard matters — a lot. ...

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October 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Corporate Income Tax, Organization Form, And Employment

Daphne Chen (Econ One Research), Shi Shao Qi (Florida State) & Don Schlagenhauf (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), Corporate Income Tax, Legal Form of Organization, and Employment, 10 Amer. Econ. J. 270 (Oct. 2018):

A dynamic stochastic occupational choice model with heterogeneous agents is developed to evaluate the impact of a corporate income tax reduction on employment. In this framework, the key margin is the endogenous entrepreneurial choice of legal form of organization. A reduction in the corporate income tax burden encourages adoption of the C corporation legal form, which reduces capital constraints on firms. Improved capital reallocation increases overall productive efficiency in the economy and therefore expands the labor market.

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October 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

A New Growth Vision For Legal Education, Part II: The Groundwork: Building A Customer Satisfying Innovation Ecosystem

Following up on Hilary G. Escajeda (Denver), Legal Education: A New Growth Vision Part I – The Issue: Sustainable Growth or Dead Cat Bounce? A Strategic Inflection Point Analysis, 97 Neb. L. Rev. ___ (2019):

Hilary G. Escajeda (Denver), Legal Education: A New Growth Vision Part II – The Groundwork: Building a Customer Satisfying Innovation Ecosystem, 97 Neb. L. Rev. ___ (2019):

Financial sustainability awaits agile, future-focused legal education programs that deliver law students with market-valued, cost-effective, and omni-channel knowledge and skills development solutions.

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October 5, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Optimal Income Taxation Theory And Principles Of Fairness

Marc Fleurbaey (Princeton) & François Maniquet (Warwick), Optimal Income Taxation Theory and Principles of Fairness, 56 J. Econ. Lit. 1029 (2018):

The achievements and limitations of the classical theory of optimal labor-income taxation based on social welfare functions are now well known. Even though utilitarianism still dominates public economics, recent interest has arisen for broadening the normative approach and making room for fairness principles such as desert or responsibility. Fairness principles sometimes provide immediate recommendations about the relative weights to assign to various income ranges, but in general require a careful choice of utility representations embodying the relevant interpersonal comparisons. The main message of this paper is that the traditional tool of welfare economics, the social welfare function framework, is flexible enough to incorporate many approaches, from egalitarianism to libertarianism.

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October 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Gergen Presents A Securities Tax And The Taxation Of Global Capital Today At Northwestern

Gergen (2017)Mark Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents A Securities Tax and the Problems of Taxing Global Capital at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In an earlier paper I proposed a new approach to taxing capital owned by U.S. households and nonprofits. The heart of the new approach is a flat annual tax on the market value of publicly traded securities with a rate of around .8 percent (80 basis points) that is remitted by the issuer. A security issuer gets a credit for publicly traded securities it holds so that wealth that is represented by a string of publicly traded securities is taxed once. For example, a mutual fund remits the tax based on the market or redemption value of interests in the fund and gets a credit based on the market value of publicly traded securities it holds.

Income producing capital that is not subject to the securities tax, such as an interest in a closely held business or in a private equity fund, is covered by a complementary tax with the same rate as the securities tax.

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October 4, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Institutional Racism And Property Tax Assessments

Bernadette Atuahene (Chicago-Kent), "Our Taxes Are Too Damn High": Institutional Racism, Property Tax Assessment, and the Fair Housing Act, 112 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1501 (2018):

To prevent inflated property tax bills, the Michigan Constitution prohibits property tax assessments from exceeding 50% of a property’s market value. Between 2009 and 2015, the City of Detroit assessed 55%–85% of its residential properties in violation of the Michigan Constitution, and these unconstitutional assessments have had dire consequences. Between 2011 and 2015, one in four Detroit properties have been foreclosed upon for nonpayment of illegally inflated property taxes. In addition to Detroit, the other two cities in Michigan’s Wayne County where African-Americans comprise 70% or more of the population—Highland Park and Inkster—have similarly experienced systemic unconstitutional assessments and unprecedented property tax foreclosure rates. This Essay explores whether property tax administration policies in Wayne County disparately impact African-Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

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October 4, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei: The Trouble With Gig Talk — Choice Of Narrative And Worker Classification

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College), The Trouble with Gig Talk: Choice of Narrative and the Worker Classification Fights, 81 Law & Contemp. Probs. 107 (2018):

The term “sharing economy” is flawed, but are the alternatives any better? This Essay evaluates the uses of competing narratives to describe the business model employed by firms like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and GrubHub. It argues that while the term “sharing economy” may be a misnomer, terms such as “gig economy,” “1099 economy,” “peer-to-peer economy” or “platform economy” are just as problematic, possibly even more so. These latter terms are more effective in exploiting existing legal rules and ambiguities to generate desired regulatory outcomes, in particular, the classification of workers as independent contractors. This is because they are plausible, speak to important regulatory grey areas, and find support in existing laws and ambiguities. They can therefore be deployed to tilt outcomes in directions desired by firms in this sector.

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October 4, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Clausing Presents Profit Shifting Before And After The TCJA Today At Pennsylvania

Clausing (2017)Kimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Profit Shifting Before and After the TCJA at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

In recent years, estimates of profit shifting by multinational companies have indicated substantial revenue costs to the U.S. government, likely in excess of $100 billion per year. The TCJA has changed the climate for profit shifting in several important ways: the lower U.S. corporate rate should lower the incentive to shift profits away from the United States, the adoption of a territorial tax system should raise the incentive to shift profits abroad, and several novel base protection measures, in particular the GILTI and BEAT provisions, are aimed directly at profit shifting. This paper evaluates these changes, discussing their likely effect on the magnitude of profit shifting.

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October 3, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Georgia State Hosts Workshop Today On Contemporary Issues In Tax Administration

Georgia State Logo (2017)Georgia State hosted a workshop today on Tax Justice for All: Examining Contemporary Issues in State and Federal Tax Administration:

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October 3, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei: The Offshore Tax Enforcement Dragnet

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College), The Offshore Tax Enforcement Dragnet, 67 Emory L.J. 655 (2018). 

Taxpayers who hide assets abroad to evade taxes present a serious enforcement challenge for the United States. In response, the U.S. has developed a family of initiatives that punish and rehabilitate non-compliant taxpayers, raise revenues, and require widespread reporting of offshore financial information. Yet, while these initiatives help catch willful tax cheats, they have also adversely affected immigrants, Americans living abroad, and “accidental Americans.”

This Article critiques the United States’ offshore tax enforcement initiatives, arguing that the U.S. has prioritized two problematic policy commitments in designing enforcement at the expense of competing considerations: First, the U.S. has attempted to equalize enforcement against taxpayers with solely domestic holdings and those with harder-to-detect offshore holdings by imposing harsher reporting requirements and penalties on the latter. But in doing so, it has failed to appropriately distinguish among differently situated taxpayers with offshore holdings. Second, the U.S. has focused on revenue and enforcement, ignoring the significant compliance costs and social harms that its initiatives create.

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October 3, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sokol: Citation Rankings Should Be Based Only On The Top 10 Faculty At Each School

SokolTaxProf Blog op-ed:  A New Way of Thinking About the Sisk Rankings — Inspired by a Starting 5 NBA Approach, by Daniel Sokol (Florida):

The Sisk rankings, which rank US law faculties based on mean and median citation counts, came out last month. Many Deans and faculty members spend lots of time discussing the most impactful faculties based on the rankings. After having a conversation with a friend at another institution, I am convinced that the Sisk rankings have it (partially) wrong. While it is interesting to see which non-scholars bring down particular faculties in terms of school-wide rankings or which significant individual pickups lead to a big increase (Orin Kerr and Herb Hovenkamp, for example, this last time around), school-wide rankings do not accurately reflect the impact of a school. The rankings tend to benefit schools with smaller faculties where one or two faculty members with high citations make up for a number of less productive or inactive scholars. 

I propose an alternative measurement to augment the Sisk rankings. I draw upon my NBA watching experience to explain. The biggest difference between the NBA regular season and playoffs in the NBA is largely one of a shrinking rotation.  You want your better players on the floor longer because that is how you win games. Typically, but not always, your starting five players are your best players on the team and get the most minutes. Why don't we treat the faculty rankings in a similar way?

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October 3, 2018 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Duke Symposium: The Past, Present, And Future Of The Federal Tax Legislative Process

Law and Contemporary ProblemsSymposium, The Past, Present, and Future of the Federal Tax Legislative Process, 81 Law & Contemp. Probs. 1-279 (2018):

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October 2, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brunson: Using A Pigouvian Tax To Reduce Gun Violence

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Paying for Gun Violence:

Gun violence is an outsized problem in the United States. Between a culture that allows for relatively unconstrained firearm ownership and a constitutional provision that ensures that ownership will continue to be relatively unchecked, it has proven virtually impossible for politicians to address the problem of gun violence. And yet, gun violence costs the United States tens of billions of dollars or more annually. These tens of billions of dollars are negative externalities—costs that gun owners do not bear themselves, and thus that are imposed on the victims of violence and on taxpayers generally.

What can we do about these costs? One way to reduce them would be to pass meaningful laws, laws that would reduce the likelihood of gun violence. In light of both the culture and the Constitution of the United States, though, such legislation seems improbable. Lawmakers face significant limitations on their ability to regulate firearms directly. If they cannot prevent gun violence, though, they can at least cause gun owners to internalize the costs. Where direct regulation is difficult, they can turn instead to a Pigouvian tax.

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October 2, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (6)

Hasen: Asset Basis In Acquisitive Asset Reorganizations — General Utilities Hangover

ABA Tax LawyerDavid Hasen (Florida), Asset Basis in Acquisitive Asset Reorganizations: General Utilities Hangover, 72 Tax Law. ___ (2019):

The rules that govern the tax basis and, by extension, the holding period of property received by an acquired corporation in an acquisitive reorganization are an unlovely patchwork that emerged from major changes to the tax law in 1986 and 1988. They not only fail to provide clarity but also do not reflect the fact that the acquired corporation, to the extent it engages in post-reorganization activity pursuant to the overall plan of reorganization, is in substance the agent of the acquiring corporation. Congress should amend the reorganization provisions to reflect this circumstance.

October 2, 2018 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax Man Comes To College Sports

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Clemson), This Is Our House! — The Tax Man Comes to College Sports, 29 Marq. Sports L. Rev. ___ (2018):

On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Prior to January 1, 2018, college athletics had historically enjoyed favorable federal tax treatment due to the tax-exempt status of universities, athletic departments, and the NCAA. However, following the TCJA's implementation college sports took a direct tax hit for the first time in almost thirty years. Amid the mounting legal issues now enveloping college athletics, colleges and universities must also prepare for the financial impact that the TCJA could have on their athletic programs moving forward. This article (I) provides a history of the big business of college sports and early efforts to impose federal taxation on the industry, (II) reviews the applicable TCJA sections that may have a direct or indirect effect on U.S. college athletics, and (III) concludes that universities and their athletic departments must begin to account for and strategize plans to protect themselves from the financial impact of the TCJA.

October 2, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ring Presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift Today At Loyola-L.A.

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

In December 2017, Congress passed major tax reform, including new § 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. This new provision grants independent contractors and other passthrough taxpayers—but not employees or corporations—a potential deduction equal to 20% of their qualified business income. This deduction will affect tens of millions of taxpayers and may be a significant boon to those eligible. Critics argue that the deduction may cause a large-scale workplace shift in favor of independent contractor jobs, as workers seek to take the new deduction. Such a shift could cause workers who leave traditional employment to lose important employee protections and benefits, leaving them more vulnerable.

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October 1, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hemel: The Death And Life Of The State And Local Tax Deduction

Daniel Hemel (Chicago), The Death and Life of the State and Local Tax Deduction, 72 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2019):

This article considers the state and local tax deduction's history and its future. It casts the new $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction as the culmination of a seven-decade trend of successive SALT limitations, which even before 2017 had put the deduction effectively out of reach for more than two-thirds of the taxpaying public. It then evaluates the normative arguments against the deduction and in favor. The article goes on to examine the strategies that states are pursuing to ensure that their residents can pay for public goods and services with federally deductible dollars.

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October 1, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lesson From The Tax Court: When Non-Receipt Of An IRS Notice Matters

Tax Court (2017)In 2015, Congress added what is commonly called the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” to the Tax Code.  Currently codified in §7803(a)(3), it lays upon the IRS Commissioner the duty to ensure that IRS employees “are familiar with and act in accord with taxpayer rights as afforded by other provisions of this title.”  Section 7803(a)(3) then lists 10 (natch!) rights including “the right to be informed” and “the right to appeal a decision of the Internal Revenue Service in an independent forum.”  I wonder whether the person who drafted that last quoted language, or any of the folks who reviewed it, discussed whether it makes any grammatical sense for one to “appeal...in” a forum?  

Putting aside the grammatical question, readers might well question the impact of these rights on IRS operations.  The recent case of Paul T. Venable, II v. Commissioner, T. C. Memo. 2018-144 (Sept. 10, 2018), suggests an answer for the two rights I quoted above: the right to be informed and the right to appeal an IRS decision to an independent forum.  It teaches a lesson about the rare situation where the lack of actual receipt of an IRS notice can be important to a taxpayer’s ability to get judicial review of an IRS decision.  But the lesson does not come from the language in §7803(a)(3).  Nope, the lesson comes from language in “other provisions” in the Code, notably the CDP provisions in §6330(c).

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October 1, 2018 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [459 Downloads]  Compelled Subsidies and the First Amendment, by William Baude (Chicago) & Eugene Volokh (UCLA)
  2. [326 Downloads]  The New Non-Territorial U.S. International Tax System, Part 1, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here)
  3. [230 Downloads]  The Charitable Contribution Strategy: An Ineffective SALT Substitute, by Andy Grewal (Iowa)
  4. [193 Downloads]   The Death of the Income Tax (or, the Rise of America's Universal Wage Tax), by Edward McCaffery (USC)
  5. [175 Downloads]  Taxing the Robots, by Orly Mazur (SMU)

September 30, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

2018 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition (Sept. 30 Deadline)

IFA Logo (2015)

2018 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition:
Subject: Any topic relating to U.S. taxation of income from international activities, including taxation under U.S. tax treaties.
Open to: All students during the 2017-18 academic year pursuing a graduate degree. Any appropriate papers written in fall 2017 or spring and summer 2018.
Submission Deadline:  September 30, 2018.
Prize:  $2,000 cash, plus expenses-paid invitation to the IFA USA Branch Annual Meeting in Feb 2019.

Here are the recent winners:

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September 29, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)