TaxProf Blog

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hayashi: The Quiet Costs Of Taxation — Cash Taxes And Noncash Bases

Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia), The Quiet Costs of Taxation: Cash Taxes and Noncash Bases:

Tax law gives relief to “illiquid” taxpayers, those with income or wealth but no cash. This relief results in revenue losses, creates opportunities for tax avoidance, and distorts economic decisions. And yet, we don’t know how much hardship is actually created by illiquidity. This Article provides a framework for determining the magnitude of that hardship.

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August 16, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Viswanathan: Tax Compliance In A Decentralizing Economy

Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings), Tax Compliance in a Decentralizing Economy:

Tax compliance in the United States has long relied on information from centralized intermediaries — the financial institutions, employers, and brokers that help ensure income is reported and taxes are paid. Yet while the IRS remains tied to these centralized entities, consumers and businesses are not. New technologies, such as the “sharing” economy (companies such as Airbnb, Uber, and Instacart) and the blockchain (the platform on which Bitcoin is based) are providing new, decentralized options for exchanging goods and services. Without legislative and agency intervention, these technologies pose a critical threat to the reporting system underlying domestic and international tax compliance.

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August 16, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kingi & Rozema: The Effect Of Tax Expenditures On Automatic Stabilizers

Hautahi Kingi (Cornell) &  Kyle Rozema (Chicago), The Effect of Tax Expenditures on Automatic Stabilizers: Methods and Evidence,  14 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 548 (2017):

We study the effect of tax expenditures on the stabilizing power of the tax system. We propose a micro‐simulation strategy that exploits links that we identify between automatic stabilizers, tax expenditures, and effective marginal tax rates. Using U.S. tax return micro data from 2000 to 2010, we estimate that, on average, the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contributions deduction decreased the ability of the tax system to absorb fluctuations in aggregate consumption by an average of 7.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

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August 16, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Law And Social Norms In Mandatory Palestine And Israel

Tax LawAssaf Likhovski (Tel-Aviv University), Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel (Cambridge Univ. Press 2017):

This book describes how a social-norms model of taxation rose and fell in British-ruled Palestine and the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century. Such a model, in which non-legal means were used to foster compliance, appeared in the tax system created by the Jewish community in 1940s Palestine and was later adopted by the new Israeli state in the 1950s. It gradually disappeared in subsequent decades as law and its agents, lawyers and accountants, came to play a larger role in the process of taxation. By describing the historical interplay between formal and informal tools for creating compliance, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel sheds new light on our understanding of the relationship between law and other methods of social control, and reveals the complex links between taxation and citizenship.

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August 16, 2017 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN LogoSSRN 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.  Here is the new list (through August 1, 2017) 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.)

70,871

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

12,534

2

Michael Simkovic (USC)

36,914

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

9112

3

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

33,387

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3972

4

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

31,470

Michael Simkovic (USC)

3733

5

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

28,394

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

3220

6

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

23,912

Michael Graetz (Columbia)

3159

7

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

23,101

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

2969

8

James Hines (Michigan)

23,047

David Gamage (Indiana)

2720

9

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

22,174

Andy Grewal (Iowa)

2708

10

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

22,152

David Weisbach (Chicago)

2491

11

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

21,599

Daniel Shaviro (NYU)

2285

12

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

20,401

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

2057

13

David Weisbach (Chicago)

19,548

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)

1927

14

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

19,128

William Byrnes (Texas A&M)

1893

15

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

18,502

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1671

16

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

18,248

Jeff Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)

1626

17

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

17,856

Jordan Barry (San Diego)

1622

18

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

17,755

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

1575

19

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

17,740

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

1562

20

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

17,613

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

1551

21

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

17,394

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

1495

22

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

16,600

Brian Galle (Georgetown)

1482

23

David Walker (BU)

15,720

Gregg Polsky (Georgia)

1420

24

Steven Bank (UCLA)

14,933

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

1395

25

Gregg Polsky (Georgia)

14,149

Steven Bank (UCLA)

1389

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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August 15, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Weisbach: New View Integration

David A. Weisbach (Chicago), New View Integration, 71 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2017):

This paper examines the design of corporate integration systems, comparing integration limited to equity issued after enactment (New Equity Integration or NEI) to integration that applies to all equity (complete integration). It shows that NEI achieves all of the efficiency benefits of complete integration at a fraction of the cost. NEI, unlike complete integration, is, moreover, supported by both the traditional view and the new view of the effects of dividend taxation. From an efficiency perspective, NEI is strictly better than complete integration.

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August 14, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Write No Matter What: Advice For Academics

Write No Matter WhatJoli Jensen (Tulsa), Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics (University of Chicago Press 2017):

With growing academic responsibilities, family commitments, and inboxes, scholars are struggling to fulfill their writing goals. A finished book — or even steady journal articles — may seem like an impossible dream. But, as Joli Jensen proves, it really is possible to write happily and productively in academe.

Jensen begins by busting the myth that universities are supportive writing environments.  She points out that academia, an arena dedicated to scholarship, offers pressures that actually prevent scholarly writing. She shows how to acknowledge these less-than-ideal conditions, and how to keep these circumstances from draining writing time and energy. Jensen introduces tools and techniques that encourage frequent, low-stress writing. She points out common ways writers stall and offers workarounds that maintain productivity. Her focus is not on content, but on how to overcome whatever stands in the way of academic writing.

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August 14, 2017 in Book Club, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThis week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [639 Downloads]  Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan Blattmachr (Milbank, New York)
  2. [434 Downloads]  The Front Door Opens Wide for the Backdoor Roth IRA, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  3. [320 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  4. [241 Downloads]  The Case Against BEPS: Lessons for Coordination, by Mindy Herzfeld (Florida)
  5. [193 Downloads]  Formalizing the Code, by Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern)

August 13, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Erin Scharff (Arizona State) reviews a recent article by Steven A. Bank (UCLA), When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable:

Scharff (2017)The title of Steven Bank’s recent article asks a provocative question: “When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable?” Interested readers may be relieved to know that Bank also addresses other questions, including whether tax avoidance is respectable. Bank marshals a fascinating dataset (tracking newspaper ads about tax advice over time) to show that tax avoidance became more acceptable over the 1950s and 1960s. He then explains this change by suggesting, among other factors, that unsustainably high tax rates in the post-war period eroded public confidence in the tax system.  

As Bank notes, 2016 brought with it news of several major tax scandals:  the Panama Papers, tax fraud investigations of the world’s biggest soccer players—players important enough that I’d even heard of them, and, of course, Donald Trump’s, shall we say, very aggressive tax planning.  As a tax academic, it felt at the time like there might be a real public fury over aggressive efforts to lower tax payments.  My Facebook feed certainly suggested outrage.  These were big stories, or at least so it seemed to me.  

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August 11, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

NYU Tax Law Review Publishes New Issue

NYU Law (2016)The Tax Law Review has published a new issue (Vol. 70, No. 1 (Winter 2017)):

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August 10, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hatfield Wins University Of Washington 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award

HatfieldMichael (2017)Michael Hatfield Receives 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award:

The University of Washington School of Law awarded professor Michael Hatfield with the School’s 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award.

Presented by the dean of UW Law for exceptionally strong scholarship, the award recognized Hatfield’s article, Cybersecurity and Tax Reform. Forthcoming in the Indiana Law Journal, it documents the history of technology at the IRS and argues that, as it is so unlikely the IRS ever will be able to develop sufficient cybersecurity technology, Congress should reform the tax law so that the IRS is a less appealing and more defensible cybersecurity target.

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August 10, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zelinsky: The Political Process Argument For Overruling Quill

Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo), The Political Process Argument for Overruling Quill, 82 Brook. L. Rev. 1177 (2017):

Should the U.S. Supreme Court overrule Quill Corporation v. North Dakota? A careful assessment of the federal political process suggests that the Supreme Court itself should overturn Quill in the Court’s role as guardian of the states against federal commandeering. A combination of factors underlay this conclusion: the tactical advantage that Quill bestows in the political process upon the internet and mail order industries, the importance of the states in the structure of federalism, the centrality of sales taxes to the financing of state government, the severe impediment which Quill and its physical presence test impose upon the collection of these taxes, and the unique disadvantages of the states in the federal legislative process.

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August 10, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Journal Of Legal Education Symposium: ABA Accreditation Standard 405(c) And Security Of Position For Faculty

Journal of Legal Education (2018)American Bar Association Accreditation Standard 405(c) Symposium, 66 J. Legal Educ. 538-652 (2017):

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August 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tax Panel At Today's SEALS 2017 Annual Conference

SEALs Logo (2013)Tax panel at today's concluding session of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2017 Annual Conference in Boca Raton (program):

Tax Policy
This discussion group is broadly concerned with issues of taxation. Discussants address individual income tax, corporate income tax, state & local tax, estate & gift tax, tax expenditure policy, international tax and entitlements. While these disparate themes might seem only loosely related, a common thread of the difficulties of balancing equity, simplicity, incentives and transparency runs through all of them. These scholars will grapple with the central tax topics of the day and address the looming concerns that must be dealt with by all levels of government.

  • Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky) (moderator)
  • Alice Abreu (Temple)
  • Arthur Acevedo (John Marshall)
  • Neil Buchanan (George Washington)
  • Terri Lynn Helge (Texas A&M)
  • Gary Lucas (Texas A&M)
  • Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)
  • Gregg Polsky (Georgia)
  • Diane Ring (Boston College)
  • Elaine Waterhouse Wilson (West Virginia)
  • Richard Winchester (Thomas Jefferson)

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August 6, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThis week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [630 Downloads]  Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan Blattmachr (Milbank, New York)
  2. [396 Downloads]  The Front Door Opens Wide for the Backdoor Roth IRA, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  3. [313 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  4. [224 Downloads]  The Case Against BEPS: Lessons for Coordination, by Mindy Herzfeld (Florida)
  5. [188 Downloads]  Formalizing the Code, by Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern)

August 6, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado) reviews a new work by Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings), Tax Compliance in a Decentralizing Economy.

Speck (2017)In a compelling new work, Manoj Viswanathan connects two seemingly disparate hot spots in taxation, the gig economy and blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, to argue that increasing economic decentralization presents a significant and underappreciated threat to tax compliance. For Viswanathan’s paper, decentralization essentially reflects the rise of direct peer-to-peer transactions through virtual means, rather than through institutional intermediaries. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber match sellers of lodging and transportation to buyers, while cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin allow secure transfers of value without banks. Independently, the gig economy and cryptocurrencies present serious issues for tax administration. When combined, Viswanathan argues, individuals could buy and sell entirely outside of taxing authorities’ traditional purview, which would enable rampant noncompliance. For Viswanathan, the solution is enhanced information reporting rules to account for decentralization, including incentives to disclose one’s own identity in transactions.

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August 5, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Turing on AI and Lawyer-Automatons

As I've mentioned previously, the Savannah Law Review is hosting a colloquium on September 15, 2017 entitled The Rise of the Automatons, examining the legal implications of automation.  Ominous predictions like "the Singularity is coming" usually provoke me, and this one prompted my project for this summer, Halting, Intuition, Heuristics, and Action: Alan Turing and the Theoretical Constraints on AI-Lawyering, now available.  

I'm unimpressed with frenzied reactions generally and in this area particularly. Here's the abstract:

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August 5, 2017 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tax Panels At Today's SEALS 2017 Annual Conference

SEALs Logo (2013)Tax panels at today's Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2017 Annual Conference in Boca Raton (program):

Issues in Corporate and International Taxation
Panelists explore the corporate and international tax rules, with particular attention to enforcement and implementation. The papers cover the consequences of failed start-ups, worldwide taxation and competitiveness, private equity fee waivers, the classification of business entities for tax purposes, and general issues of tax compliance. The papers address both theoretical and practical consequences of these various matters.

  • Francine Lipman (UNLV) (moderator)
  • Cliff Fleming (BYU)
  • Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)
  • Gregg Polsky (Georgia)
  • Richard Winchester (Thomas Jefferson)

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August 4, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cui: A Critical Appraisal Of Destination-Based Cash-Flow Taxation

Wei Cui (British Columbia), Destination-based Cash-Flow Taxation: A Critical Appraisal, 67 U. Tor. L.J. 301 (2017):

This article offers the first comprehensive scholarly response to proposals for destination-based, cash-flow taxation (DCFT). DCFT proposals have attracted heightened public attention in 2016 because of the incorporation of one version into the US House Republican blueprint for tax reform and Donald Trump’s subsequent election to the White House. They also continue to fascinate tax specialists by suggesting that corporate profit can be taxed not only in countries of ‘source’ or ‘residence’ but also (or even exclusively) in the countries where sales to final consumers occur. This article clarifies the logical structure of DCFT proposals and exposes substantial gaps between their rhetoric and technical details.

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August 4, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tax Presentations At Today's Big 10 Junior Scholars Conference At Indiana

Big 102017 Big 10 Junior Scholars Conference:

  • Hayes Holderness (Richmond; former Illinois VAP), Strategic Non-Enforcement
  • James Puckett (Penn State), Tax Exceptionalist Rulemaking

August 3, 2017 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elsevier Acquires bepress

EBFollowing up on my previous post, Elsevier Acquires SSRN:  Press Release, Elsevier Acquires bepress, a Leading Service Provider Used by Academic Institutions to Showcase Their Research:

Elsevier, the global information analytics business specializing in science and health, today acquired bepress, a Berkeley, California-based business that helps academic libraries showcase and share their institutions’ research for maximum impact. Founded by three University of California, Berkeley professors in 1999, bepress allows institutions to collect, organize, preserve and disseminate their intellectual output, including preprints, working papers, journals or specific articles, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and a wide variety of other data.

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August 3, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Holderness Presents Questioning Quill At Ohio State

Holderness (2017)Hayes R. Holderness Jr. (Richmond) presented Questioning Quill yesterday at Ohio State as part of its Summer Faculty Workshop Series:

The physical presence rule of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota is under increasing attack from the Kill Quill movement. This rule prohibits states from requiring remote vendors to collect use taxes on goods sold into the states. As a petition to the Supreme Court for certiorari in a case directly challenging the rule grows closer, the case for certiorari remains cloudy. Technology and the economy have changed in the 25 years since Quill was decided, but are these changes enough to convince the Court to rehear the case?

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August 3, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Brauner: Towards More Behaviorally-Intelligent Regulation

Yariv Brauner (Florida), Why Examples? Towards More Behaviorally-Intelligent Regulation:

Tax regulation authors habitually infuse regulations with explanatory examples. These examples are viewed favorably by both the government that encourages their drafting and the taxpayers who regularly rely on such examples to assist them in dealing with the notoriously complex tax rules. Despite the ubiquity of these examples, there is no published guidance for their drafting, their use, or their interpretation. The first original contribution of this Article is the exposition and classification of the advantages and deficiencies in the current use of examples in tax regulations. This Article is the first to question the rationale behind the ubiquitous use of examples in tax regulations. The Article uses data collected by original surveys of expert tax professionals and government employees involved in drafting tax regulations.

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August 2, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

McLaughlin: Tax-Deductible Conservation Easements And The Essential Perpetuity Requirements

Nancy A. McLaughlin (Utah), Tax-Deductible Conservation Easements and the Essential Perpetuity Requirements, 36 Va. Tax Rev. ___ (2017):

Property owners who make charitable gifts of perpetual conservation easements are eligible to claim federal charitable income tax deductions. Through this tax-incentive program the public is investing billions of dollars in easements encumbering millions of acres nationwide. In response to reports of abuse in the early 2000s, the Internal Revenue Service (Service) began auditing and litigating questionable easement donation transactions, and the resulting case law reveals significant failures to comply with the deduction’s requirements. Recently, the Service has come under fire for enforcing the deduction’s “perpetuity” requirements, which are intended to ensure that the easements will protect the subject properties’ conservation values in perpetuity and that the public’s investment in the easements will not be lost. Critics claim that the agency is improperly discouraging easement donations by denying deductions for technical foot faults, and some have called for a change to the law that would allow taxpayers to cure their failures to comply with the perpetuity requirements if they are discovered on audit.

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August 2, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Yin: Tax Law Codification And The Emergence Of The Joint Committee On Taxation Staff

George K. Yin (Virginia), Codification of the Tax Law and the Emergence of the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation:

In 1926, Congress created the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) and its staff. This article explains how, partly by design but largely by happenstance, the JCT staff helped change the nature of the legislative process. By serving at or near the intersection of three great divides in government — those between the parties, the houses of Congress, and the legislative and executive branches — the staff demonstrated the value of unelected professionals assisting directly in the formation of legislation and led Congress to rely more on its own resources in the legislative process rather than those of the executive branch.

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August 1, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Winners Of The 2017 Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)2017 Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition:

Tax Notes:

  • Jeremy Mandell (Illinois)
  • Christopher Massie (Illinois)
  • Zoe Nutter (Sydney)

State Tax Notes:

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August 1, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN LogoSSRN 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.  Here is the new list (through July 1, 2017) 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.)

70,375

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

12,771

2

Michael Simkovic (USC)

36,723

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

9186

3

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

33,320

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

4039

4

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

31,256

Michael Simkovic (USC)

3900

5

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

28,327

Michael Graetz (Columbia)

3277

6

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

23,861

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

3146

7

James Hines (Michigan)

23,003

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

2969

8

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

22,943

David Gamage (Indiana)

2699

9

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

22,146

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

2511

10

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

22,096

David Weisbach (Chicago)

2506

11

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

21,343

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

2104

12

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

20,357

William Byrnes (Texas A&M)

2022

13

David Weisbach (Chicago)

19,477

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)

1893

14

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

19,048

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

1686

15

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

18,424

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

1665

16

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

18,203

Jeff Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)

1650

17

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

17,807

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1649

18

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

17,655

Jordan Barry (San Diego)

1625

19

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

17,616

Brian Galle (Georgetown)

1551

20

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

17,583

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

1533

21

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

17,297

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

1508

22

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

16,560

Steven Bank (UCLA)

1474

23

David Walker (BU)

15,692

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

1388

24

Steven Bank (UCLA)

14,884

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

1388

25

Gregg Polsky (Georgia)

14,052

Gregg Polsky (Georgia)

1387

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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August 1, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fall 2017 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2017 submission season covering 204 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-50) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, regular mail, Scholastica, or Twitter)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 51-57) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

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July 31, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Should The Government Continue To Exempt Churches From Taxation?

J. Michael Martin (Vice President & Legal Counsel, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), Should the Government Be in the Business of Taxing Churches?, 29 Regent U. L. Rev. 309 (2017):

While some legal scholars have suggested the legitimacy of church tax exemption may be on the decline in the modern era, this Article offers reminders of the constitutional, historical, and public policy rationales that have supported church tax exemption since the establishment of our federal government. Ultimately, it contends that protection for religious freedom guaranteed by the Framers of the Constitution precludes the federal government from levying taxes on churches, and furthermore, that the government may not constitutionally revoke the historic tax-exempt status of churches based on their religious nature.

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July 30, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

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:

  1. [611 Downloads]  Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan Blattmachr (Milbank, New York)
  2. [376 Downloads]  The Front Door Opens Wide for the Backdoor Roth IRA, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  3. [306 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  4. [216 Downloads]  The Case Against BEPS: Lessons for Coordination, by Mindy Herzfeld (Florida)
  5. [180 Downloads]  Formalizing the Code, by Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern)

July 30, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Friday, July 28, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Orly Mazur (SMU) reviews a new work by Zachary Liscow (Yale Law School) and William Woolston (Stanford University, Department of Economics),  How Income Taxes Should Change During Recessions, Tax Law Review, Forthcoming.

Mazur (2017-2)Economic recessions, a frequent occurrence in our history, are destructive in many respects. They cause wide-spread unemployment, a decline in economic growth, sinking asset values, fear and uncertainty, among other economic and social costs. Although economists generally agree that increased government spending can spur economic growth during a recession and alleviate this burden, the current literature does not sufficiently address how to design the spending so that it maximizes social welfare during a recession.

In their recent article, Liscow and Woolston (hereinafter, “LW”) make an important contribution to the literature by recommending two ways to improve fiscal policy design during a recession in the context of labor income taxes and related policies. Specifically, LW propose that Congress should (i) increase effective subsidies on the non-employed and (ii) subsidize employers rather than employees during recessions.

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July 28, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax App: Eliminating Tax Returns Entirely

David S. Miller (Proskauer), The Tax App: Eliminating Tax Returns Entirely:

Congress could very easily achieve return-free filing — without IRS involvement or any substantive changes to the tax code — by simply requiring all tax information providers (such as employers, banks, stock brokerage firms, and charities) to make the tax information they hold (e.g., IRS Forms W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, and charitable donation information) available electronically in a single accessible format so that a taxpayer could receive all of his or her tax information electronically.

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July 28, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Crawford & Spivack: Human Rights And Taxation Of Menstrual Hygiene Products In An Unequal World

HRBridget J. Crawford (Pace) & Carla Spivack (Oklahoma City), Human Rights and Taxation of Menstrual Hygiene Products in an Unequal World, in Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World (Philip G. Alston and Nikki Reisch eds., Oxford University Press 2018):

This book chapter, written in connection with the New York University School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Conference on Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World, argues that taxation, gender, and human rights are all linked. The authors use the lens of the "tampon tax" — sales, VAT and similar taxes imposed on menstrual hygiene products — to explain the relationship between and among affordable menstrual hygiene products and the human rights to be free from discrimination, to sanitation, to education, to dignity, and to work. The chapter refers to examples from India and Kenya to illustrate the importance of access to both affordable menstrual hygiene products and private, hygienic sanitation facilities.

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July 27, 2017 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Boni-Saenz: Distributive Justice And Donative Intent

Alexander A. Boni-Saenz (Chicago-Kent), Distributive Justice and Donative Intent, 65 UCLA L. Rev. ___ (2018):

The inheritance system is beset by formalism. Probate courts reject wills on technicalities and refuse to correct obvious drafting mistakes by testators. These doctrines lead to donative errors, or outcomes that are not in line with the decedent’s donative intent. While scholars and reformers have critiqued the intent-defeating effects of formalism in the past, none have examined the resulting distribution of donative errors and connected it to broader social and economic inequalities. Drawing on egalitarian theories of distributive justice, this Article develops a novel critique of formalism in the inheritance law context.

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July 26, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Columbia Journal Of Tax Law Publishes New Issue

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lawsky:  Formalizing The Tax Code

Sarah B. Lawsky (Northwestern), Formalizing the Code, 70 Tax L. Rev. 377 (2017):

The Internal Revenue Code is notoriously complex, both substantively and structurally. This article examines one source of structural complexity in the Internal Revenue Code: dependency among sections that stems from defined terms. In particular, the article examines what it terms the problem of “definitional scope”: when the structure of the Code leaves unclear to what a term refers. The article uses the problem of definitional scope as a case study to suggest that those who draft tax legislation should formalize proposed statutory language — translate it into logical terms — prior to its enactment.

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July 25, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

WSJ: Mortgage Interest Tax Break Has ‘No Effect’ on Homeownership, Study Finds

Wall Street Journal, Mortgage Interest Tax Break Has ‘No Effect’ on Homeownership, Study Finds:

The mortgage interest deduction, a sacred cow in the U.S. tax code, does nothing to promote homeownership, according to an academic paper released Monday [Jonathan Gruber (MIT), Amalie Jensen (University of Copenhagen) & Henrik Kleven (Princeton), Do People Respond to the Mortgage Interest Deduction? Quasi-Experimental Evidence From Denmark], a finding that undermines one of the core justifications for the tax break.

Letting taxpayers deduct mortgage interest encourages them to buy bigger homes and more expensive homes — but it doesn’t change that fundamental decision about whether to buy in the first place.

“Over multiple time periods, and considering multiple empirical strategies, we find no effect of the tax policy change on whether households own or rent,” wrote the authors, Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Henrik Kleven of Princeton University and Amalie Jensen of the University of Copenhagen.

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July 25, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (10)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

McIntyre & Simkovic:  Timing Law School

Frank McIntyre (Rutgers) & Michael Simkovic (USC), Timing Law School, 14 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 258 (2017):

We investigate whether economic conditions at labor market entry predict long-term differences in law graduate earnings. We find that unemployment levels at graduation continue to predict law earnings premiums within 4 years after graduation for earners at the high end and middle of the distribution. However, the relation fades as law graduates gain experience and the difference in lifetime earnings is moderate. This suggests that earnings figures from After the JD II and III — which track law graduates who passed the bar exam in 2000 — are likely generalizable to other law cohorts because these studies are outside the window when graduation conditions predict differences in subsequent earnings.

Figure 2

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July 23, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

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:

  1. [585 Downloads]  Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan Blattmachr (Milbank, New York)
  2. [341 Downloads]  The Front Door Opens Wide for the Backdoor Roth IRA, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  3. [297 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  4. [207 Downloads]  The Case Against BEPS: Lessons for Coordination, by Mindy Herzfeld (Florida)
  5. [162 Downloads]  Targeting Corporate Inversions — Are We Doing the Right Thing?, by Doron Narotzki (Akron)

July 23, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Do Taxes Affect Marriage? Lessons From History

Edward G. Fox (NYU), Do Taxes Affect Marriage? Lessons from History:

This Article investigates the effect of taxes on marriage formation using a natural experiment generated by the income tax’s halting movement from individual taxation of married couples to joint taxation. The 1948 Revenue Act was the first to explicitly adopt joint taxation. Under the Act, married couples were taxed like two individuals, except each was assigned half of the couple’s joint income. This income splitting blunted the progressivity of the tax code, usually reducing the couple’s taxes. The 1948 Act, however, only affected common law states. Married couples in community property states in practice already enjoyed joint taxation with income splitting under Poe v. Seaborn (1930). The 1948 Act thus presents an unusually good opportunity to study the impact of taxes on marriage because it offers substantial exogenous state-by-state variation in tax incentives to marry.

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July 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, David Gamage (Indiana) reviews a new draft article by Regina Herzlinger (Harvard Business School) and Barak D. Richman (Duke Law), Evaluating Changes to the Income Tax Code to Create Consumer-Driven Health Insurance Competition.

Gamage (2017)The intersections between taxation and health policy have become increasingly important to political debates in Washington. A gorilla in the room for most of these discussions is the tax exclusion for employer provided health insurance. This exclusion has been widely criticized. Yet reformers have had little success in attempting to limit this exclusion.

In their new draft article, Herzlinger and Richman (hereinafter “HR”) model how reforming the exclusion for employer provided health insurance might affect employee pay and health care costs. HR argue for making changes to the tax laws surrounding the exclusion so that employees could choose to what extent they want to take advantage of the exclusion or instead receive increased take home pay (which would be taxable). HR estimate that giving workers this option would increase after-tax incomes by $46-48 billion annually, while reducing income inequality and “likely” controlling health care costs.

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July 21, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Schizer:  Border Adjustments And The Conservation Of Tax Planning

David M. Schizer (Columbia), Border Adjustments and the Conservation of Tax Planning, 155 Tax Notes  1451 (June 5, 2017):

In this article, Schizer argues that U.S. corporate and shareholder taxes need to be reformed, and the corporate rate should be much lower. In reforming this dysfunctional regime, according to Schizer, Congress should keep both of these taxes as a form of built-in redundancy; if one tax is avoided, the other can still be collected.

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July 20, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ventry:  Lawyers As Whistleblowers

Dennis J. Ventry, Jr. (UC-Davis), Stiches for Snitches: Lawyers as Whistleblowers, 50 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1455 (2017):

This Article challenges the prevailing wisdom that ethics rules forbid lawyers from blowing the whistle on a client’s illegal conduct. While a lawyer is not free to disclose confidential information in every jurisdiction for every legal violation, the ethics rules in all jurisdictions permit disclosure of confidential information pertaining to a client’s illegal activities under certain conditions. Proving the lie of the prevailing wisdom, this Article examines a high profile case in the state of New York that ruled a lawyer whistleblower violated the state’s ethics rules by revealing confidential information to stop his employer-client from engaging in a tax fraud of epic proportions. The Article argues that the court undertook a deficient analysis of New York ethics rules pertaining to permissive disclosure of confidential client information. Even if the whistleblower had violated his ethical obligations, the New York False Claims Act (the statute under which he brought his action) expressly protects disclosure of confidential employer information made in furtherance of the statute. In addition to New York’s statutory shield, federal courts across the country have developed a public policy exception safeguarding whistleblowers for disclosing confidential information that detects and exposes an employer’s illegal conduct.

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July 20, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Liscow & Woolston:  How Income Taxes Should Change During Recessions

Zachary D. Liscow (Yale) & William A. Woolston (Stanford), How Income Taxes Should Change During Recessions, 70 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2017):

This paper offers recommendations for how the design of labor income taxes should change during recessions, based on a simple model of a recessionary economy in which jobs are rationed and some employees value working more than others do. The paper draws two counter-intuitive conclusions for maximizing social welfare.

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July 19, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Davis:  The Tax-Immigration Nexus

Tessa R. Davis (South Carolina), The Tax-Immigration Nexus, 94 Denv. L. Rev. 195 (2017):

Tax and immigration law have a shared interest in defining community. In order to implement a tax, we must know who belongs to the taxable community. At the same time, immigration law must define and administer the requirements for membership in the national community. Despite the differing objectives of tax and immigration law — raising revenue and deciding who may enter, remain, and become a citizen in the United States — each of these regimes uses a concept of citizenship to define their respective communities.

Starting from this common thread of the relevance of citizenship to both immigration and tax law, this Article draws upon social theory on citizenship to explore the many links between these seemingly disparate areas of law. Examination of these connections — what this Article calls the tax-immigration nexus — reveals that both areas of law draw upon the other to define citizenship. The interplay of tax and immigration citizenship yields important insights for tax law and policy.

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July 19, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Brooks Reviews Christians' BEPS And The New International Tax Order

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Kim Brooks (Schulich School of Law), What’s Up: BEPS and the New International Tax Order (JOTWELL) (reviewing Allison Christians (McGill), BEPS and the New International Tax Order, 2017 BYU L. Rev. ___ (2017):

It’s easy to underestimate the value of a good “what’s up” article. If you’ve been doing that, then you should take a look at BEPS and the New International Tax Order for a reminder of their value.

“What’s up” articles are the salve of the academy. They take a rapidly changing field of inquiry or policy space or legal doctrine and they encapsulate the state of play in a way that brings out and makes assessable the highlights.

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July 17, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conflicts Of Interest, Disclosure, And The Moonlighting Law Prof

MoonlightingFollowing up on my previous post, WSJ: Paying Law Professors — Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign:  Jeffrey L. Harrison (Florida) & Amy R. Mashburn (Florida), Moonlighting Sonate: Conflicts, Disclosure, and the Scholar/Consultant:

Although the impact of conflicting interests is of constant concern to those in legal education and other fields, a recent scholarly article [Robin Feldman (UC-Hastings), Mark Lemley (Stanford), Jonathan Masur (Chicago) & Arti Rai (Duke), Open Letter on Ethical Norms in Intellectual Property Scholarship, 29 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 339 (2016)] and an extensive analysis in the New York Times [Think Tank Scholar or Corporate Consultant? It Depends on the Day] suggest the problem is more pressing than ever. In the context of legal scholarship the problem arises when a professor is, in effect, employed by two entities.

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July 17, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThere is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with new papers debuting on the list at #3 and #5:

  1. [552 Downloads]  Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan G. Blattmachr (Milbank, New York)
  2. [276 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  3. [244 Downloads]  The Front Door Opens Wide for the Backdoor Roth IRA, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  4. [191 Downloads]  The Case against BEPS: Lessons for Coordination, by Mindy Herzfeld (Florida)
  5. [138 Downloads]  Taxation, Competitiveness, and Inversions: A Response to Kleinbard, by Michael Knoll (Pennsylvania)

July 16, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Ari Glogower (Ohio State) reviews a new work by Itai Grinberg (Georgetown), The New International Tax Diplomacy, 104 Geo. L.J. 1137 (2016).

Glogower (2016)Itai Grinberg’s fascinating and important new work addresses the thorny question of how best to coordinate and implement international tax norms.

International tax avoidance by multinationals has generated public attention across the globe, and ushered in a new era of cross-border coordination in the area of international tax law, most prominently through the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.  Grinberg’s new work identifies, and evaluates, the BEPS project’s increasing reliance on the institutional and procedural frameworks used for coordinating international financial law, and considers the consequences of this approach for the overall success of the BEPS project.

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July 14, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)