TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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February 5, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

The Taxation Of Crowdfunding

CrowdfundingPaul Battista (Law Office of Paul Battista, Manhattan Beach, CA), The Taxation of Crowdfunding: Income Tax Uncertainties and a Safe Harbor Test to Claim Gift Tax Exclusion, 64 U. Kan. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

Crowdfunding is the process of asking a large number of separate third parties for relatively small amounts of money to fund an endeavor. Although the concept of asking for financial “contributions” is not new, seeking funds from others via websites on the internet is relatively new. As with any distinctly new financing vehicle, there are many legal issues raised by crowdfunding that have not been explored or answered. One such issue is the income tax consequences associated with crowdfunding. The academy has not yet widely addressed the issues and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has yet to provide any formal guidance which has created a lack of clarity that needs to be addressed.

This article provides an overview of the most popular types of crowdfunding models and addresses the tax aspects of crowdfunding models that raise funds through a tax-exempt entity and that provide loans or equity investments through crowdfunding. The article also explores the tax uncertainties that arise under current income and gift tax laws and shows that the current tax laws do not provide bright-line answers to whether or not a crowdfunding transaction is taxable income or excluded from tax as a “gift.

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February 5, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trajectory Of A Law Professor

Meera E. Deo (Thomas Jefferson), Trajectory of a Law Professor, 20 Mich. J. Race & L. 441 (2015):

Women of color are already severely underrepresented in legal academia; as enrollment drops and legal institutions constrict further, race and gender disparities will likely continue to grow. Yet, as many deans and associate deans, most of whom are white, step down from leadership positions during these tumultuous times in legal education, opportunities have arisen for women of color to fill those roles in record numbers. However, there are individual and structural barriers preventing access to the leadership level. Significant hurdles have long prevented women of color from entering law teaching. Thus, this Article provides evidence to support the thesis that ongoing changes in legal education will likely continue to create barriers both to entry and advancement for women of color law faculty members and those who aspire to join legal academia.

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February 5, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hines Presents High Tax Heresy Today At Colorado

Hines (2016)James Hines, Jr. (Michigan) presents High Tax Heresy at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

An efficient and equitable income tax offers exclusions, deductions and credits that narrow the tax base and thereby require higher tax rates than would be necessary with a broad based income tax. Base narrowing features can make the tax system more efficient by focusing collection on revenue sources that are little affected by taxation, and they can promote equity by tailoring tax obligations to individual circumstances and supporting tax rate progressivity. Economic theory does not say that an efficient and equitable income tax system has a broad base and a low rate, and in fact the theory has never said that. Experience with efforts to reduce tax rates and broaden tax bases is that reforms can easily become focused on low statutory tax rates, to the detriment of efficiency and equity.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Gould Presents Tax Reform, Congress, And Politics Today At UCLA

GouldJames C. Gould (Ogilvy Government Relations, Washington, D.C.) presents Tax Reform, Congress, and Politics, 146 Tax Notes 983 (Feb. 23, 2015), at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt:

If anything is clear from both 1986 and the last quarter-century, it is that tax reform is little different from entitlement reform, military base closing, or any other legislation that would take federal benefits away from average voters or Main Street businesses. The country’s political system is not designed to curtail popular benefits, whether spending or tax benefits. The successful tax reform effort will be one designed to overcome the demosclerosis identified by Rauch two decades ago.

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February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mayer Presents Taxing Politics Today At Indiana

MayerLloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame) presents Taxing Politics at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

This draft Article addresses two key questions relating to the interaction between federal tax law and political activity. First, is it advisable as a policy matter for Congress to use the tax law to regulate the flows of money in politics in furtherance of non-tax goals such as combatting corruption, promoting equality, and encouraging democratic participation? I answer this first question generally no, in significant part because the tax law and the IRS are poorly suited for this role and suffer significant collateral damage when their poor fit becomes evident, as the ongoing controversy over the IRS’ handling of exemption applications filed by Tea Party and other conservative groups reveals. Second, does tax law in its current form treat political activity properly based on longstanding tax policies relating to what constitutes income, what expenses should be deductible, what constitutes a taxable gift, and what characteristics organizations should have in order to qualify for tax exemption?

I answer this second question generally yes, but identify several areas where the tax law needs to be changed to achieve greater consistency with such policies, including with respect to reducing the amount of political activity that is deemed permissible for most types of tax-exempt organizations.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Viard Presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison Of Three Options Today At Duke

Viard (2016)Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison of Three Options at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Three prominent tax reform options can significantly reduce the tax penalty on saving and investment while maintaining a progressive federal tax system: partially replacing the income tax system with a value added tax, fully replacing the income tax system with a Bradford X tax, or fully replacing it with a personal expenditure tax. This paper compares the options’ implications for economic growth, progressivity, transitional wealth effects, business taxation, public and private transfer payments, international transactions, and the non-business sector and the options’ political viability. The paper also outlines a hybrid option.

February 4, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer (2013)The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 69, No. 1 (Fall 2015):

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February 4, 2016 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Christians:  A Global Perspective On Citizenship Taxation

Allison Christians (McGill), Uncle Sam Wants … Who? A Global Perspective on Citizenship Taxation:

Across the globe, banks are flagging accounts with indicia indicating their owners may be "US Persons", making it possible for the United States to enforce its taxation of nonresident citizens extraterritorially for the first time in history. The indicia method constitutes a mining expedition for US citizens carried out by foreign banks and governments. Establishing a tax jurisdiction in this manner is unprecedented and has significant practical and normative consequences.

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February 4, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rees-Jones Presents Attention Variation And Welfare: A Tax Salience Experiment Today At Penn

Rees-JonesAlex Rees-Jones (Wharton) presents Attention Variation and Welfare: Theory and Evidence from a Tax Salience Experiment at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

A rapidly growing literature shows that consumers can be inattentive to complex or notfully-salient financial incentives. This literature typically estimates “the average mistake,” and uses representative agent models to analyze the economic implications. This paper shows, theoretically and empirically, that accounting for heterogeneity in mistakes is crucial in positive and normative analysis. Focusing on consumer underreaction to not-fully-salient sales taxes, we show theoretically that 1) individual differences in underreaction generate inefficiency in the resulting allocation of the taxed good, 2) the variation of underreaction across the income distribution affects the regressivity of the tax burden, and 3) the variation of underreaction across different tax rates affects the distortions to demand resulting from tax changes. To empirically assess the importance of these issues, we implement an online shopping experiment in which 3000 consumers—matching the U.S. adult population on key demographics—purchase common household products, facing tax rates that vary in size and salience.

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February 3, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Phillips Presents A Performative Theory Of Tax Policy Today At Toronto

Phillips 2Lisa Phillips (Osgoode Hall) presents Registered Savings Plans and the Making of Middle Class Canada: A Performative Theory of Tax Policy at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Campaigning politicians and elected governments of all parties strive to position themselves as defenders of the middle class. This is to be expected given the large proportion of the Canadian population that self-­‐identifies as middle class.2 Since the term itself lacks precision, it is a claim that can accommodate a wide range of policy proposals. Tax policy serves as a prime vehicle for making this appeal to middle class voters. Undoubtedly, any tax reform proposal can be critically examined to evaluate its likely distributional impacts and how well these map onto specific definitions of the middle class. However this paper attempts a different project. Drawing on the ideas of Judith Butler I analyze instead how tax policy produces middle class identity, through the very process of claiming to advance middle class interests. My case study for this purpose is the rise of tax-­‐assisted savings plans as a prominent feature of Canadian personal tax policy over the two decades from 1995 to 2015. I suggest that the presentation, design and language of registered savings plans have shaped the content of middle class identity, including the behaviours, expectations and aspirations that condition membership in this identity group.

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February 3, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kahng:  The Taxation Of Women In Same-Sex Marriages

Lily Kahng (Seattle), The Not-So-Merry Wives of Windsor: The Taxation of Women in Same-Sex Marriages, 101 Cornell L. Rev.325 (2015):

In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act definition of marriage as “between one man and one woman,” heralding its subsequent recognition, in Obergefell v. Hodges, of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Windsor cleared the way for same-sex couples to be treated as married under federal tax laws, and the Obama administration promptly announced that it would recognize same-sex marriages for tax purposes. Academics, policymakers, and activists lauded these developments as finally achieving tax equality between same- and different-sex married couples. This Article argues that the claimed tax equality of Windsor is illusory and that the only way to achieve actual equality is to eliminate taxation on the basis of marital status.

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February 3, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Merritt:  Hippocrates And Socrates — Professional Obligations To Educate The Next Generation

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Hippocrates and Socrates: Professional Obligations to Educate the Next Generation, 50 Wake Forest L. Rev. ___ (2015):

Do professionals have an ethical obligation to educate new members of their profession? The ancient Hippocratic oath recognized such a commitment, requiring all doctors “to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning...to pupils who have signed the covenant.” Contemporary theories of professionalism point to the same result, identifying intergenerational education as an essential feature of professional status. Moral theory and economic policy, finally, underscore this outcome: In return for the exclusive right to practice a profession, established members of the profession must agree to share their knowledge, skills, and other expertise with newcomers.

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February 3, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Kane:  A Defense Of Source Rules In International Taxation, And Shaviro's Response

Mitchell Kane (NYU), A Defense of Source Rules in International Taxation, 32 Yale J. on Reg. 311 (2015):

The concept of "source" is central to the functioning of the current international tax system. To the extent the "source" of income is meant to reflect the spatial location of income; however, many academic commentators have come to regard the concept as completely incoherent. Further, that incoherence is viewed as a partial explanation of the perceived artificiality and frailties of current instantiations of source rules. In this Paper I make three basic claims. First, it is in fact coherent to conceive of the source concept in terms of the spatial location of income. Second, most of the problems with current instantiations of source rules can be understood as reflections of fundamental complications in designing an income tax in a closed economy and thus have nothing to do with spatial indeterminacy. This observation allows for incremental improvement to source rules in the same fashion as one can make incremental improvement to a closed economy income tax. Third, from an efficiency perspective, a novel and ambitious way to approach source rules would be to use such rules to segregate rents from non-rents and mobile income from non-mobile income. Traditionally, scholars have viewed the efficiency characteristics of a rents-only tax as an affirmative argument for cash flow taxes over income taxes. Holding the existence of the income tax constant, however, source rules could theoretically achieve an efficient result on this dimension. The practical implementation hurdles, though, are substantial.

Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU), Mitchell Kane's A Defense of Source Rules in International Taxation:

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February 3, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

McIntyre & Simkovic:  Law Class Size Does Not Predict Changes In Financial Benefits Of Law School

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall), Smaller or Larger Law Class Sizes Don’t Predict Changes in Financial Benefits of Law School:

One of the most surprising and controversial findings from Timing Law School was that changes in law school graduating class size do not predict changes in the boost to earnings from a law degree.* Many law professors, administrators, and critics believe that shrinking the supply of law graduates must surely improve their outcomes, because if supply goes down, then price—that is, earnings of law graduates—should go up.

In a new version of Timing Law School, Frank McIntyre and I explore our counterintuitive results more thoroughly. (The new analysis and discussion appear primarily in Part III.C. “Interpreting zero correlation for cohort size and earnings premium” on page 18-22 of the Feb. 1, 2016 draft and in Table 10 on the final page).

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February 3, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Weisbach:  Capital Gains Taxation And Corporate Investment

David A. Weisbach (Chicago), Capital Gains Taxation and Corporate Investment:

This study examines the interaction of dividend taxes and capital gains taxes on the sale of stock. Using a model of the new view of dividend taxation modified to incorporate realization-based capital gains and losses on stock, it shows that there are two interactions that effect the timing of dividend payments.

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February 3, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Martin Presents The Structure Of American Income Tax Policy Preferences Today At NYU

MartinLucy Martin (North Carolina) presents The Structure of American Income Tax Policy Preferences (with Cameron Ballard-Rosa (North Carolina) & Kenneth F. Scheve (Stanford)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

In recent decades inequality in the United States has increased dramatically but policy responses in terms of redistribution have been limited. This is not easily explained by standard political economy theory, which predicts a positive relationship between inequality and redistribution. One set of explanations for this puzzle focuses on whether and why redistributive preferences are muted in the presence of high inequality. While much recent research has focused on citizens’ preferences over government spending, we argue that preferences over taxation are a central piece of this puzzle.

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February 2, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Viard Presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison Of Three Options Today At Georgetown

Viard (2016)Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presents Fundamental Tax Reform: A Comparison of Three Options at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

Three prominent tax reform options can significantly reduce the tax penalty on saving and investment while maintaining a progressive federal tax system: partially replacing the income tax system with a value added tax, fully replacing the income tax system with a Bradford X tax, or fully replacing it with a personal expenditure tax. This paper compares the options’ implications for economic growth, progressivity, transitional wealth effects, business taxation, public and private transfer payments, international transactions, and the non-business sector and the options’ political viability. The paper also outlines a hybrid option.

February 2, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brooks:  Income-Based Repayment And The Public Financing Of Higher Education

John R. Brooks (Georgetown), Income-Driven Repayment and the Public Financing of Higher Education, 104 Geo. L.J. 229 (2016):

This Article makes two main contributions to the literature. First, it is, to my knowledge, the first article in the legal literature to systematically analyze this huge new entitlement benefit that will affect millions of people and hundreds of billions of dollars. Second, in framing income-driven repayment as a tax instrument, this Article shows that PAYE should be viewed as an integrated part of the public finance system, not merely as a loan program. This framework then provides the basis for a novel analysis of the effectiveness, equity, and economic efficiency of the program, and for several new policy recommendations to make PAYE more effective and equitable.

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February 2, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Dimick:  Should The Law Do Anything About Economic Inequality?

Matthew Dimick (SUNY-Buffalo), Should the Law Do Anything About Economic Inequality?:

What should be done about rising income and wealth inequality? Should the design and adoption of legal rules take into account their effects on the distribution of income and wealth? Or should the tax-and-transfer system be the exclusive means to address concerns about inequality? A widely-held view argues for the latter: only the tax system, and not the legal system, should be used to redistribute income. While this argument comes in a variety of normative arguments and has support across the political spectrum, there is also a well-known law-and-economics version. This argument, known as the “double-distortion” argument, is simply stated. Legal rules that redistribute income only add to the economic distortions that are already present in the tax system. It would therefore be better for everyone, and especially the poor, to instead adopt an efficient, nonredistributive legal rule, and increase redistribution through the tax system.

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February 2, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kleinbard Presents The New Political Economy Of Capital Income Taxation Today At UC-Irvine

Kleinbard (2015)Edward Kleinbard (USC) presents The New Political Economy of Capital Income Taxation at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

The standard view in the U.S. tax law academy remains that capital income taxation is both a poor idea in theory and completely infeasible in practice. But this ignores the first-order importance of political economy issues in the design of tax instruments. Taxing capital income is responsive to important political economy exigencies confronting the United States, including substantial tax revenue shortfalls relative to realistic government spending targets, increasing income and wealth inequality at the top end of distributions, and the surprising persistence of dynastic wealth.

More surprisingly, a flat-rate (proportional) income tax on capital has attractive theoretical and political economy properties that can be harnessed in actual tax instrument design.

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February 1, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Spring 2016 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Spring 2016 submission season covering 204 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-51) 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. 52-58) 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

They also have posted a list of links to the submissions information on each law journal’s website. Nancy notes three highlights in this updated document:

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February 1, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and new papers debuting on the list at #2 and #5:

  1. [332 Downloads]  Conservation Easements and the Valuation Conundrum, by Nancy McLaughlin (Utah)
  2. [213 Downloads]  Uncle Sam Wants … Who? A Global Perspective on Citizenship Taxation, by Allison Christians (McGill)
  3. [170 Downloads]  Profit Shifting Of U.S. Multinationals, by Tim Dowd (Joint Committee on Taxation), Paul Landefeld (Joint Committee on Taxation) & Anne Moore (Joint Committee on Taxation)
  4. [162 Downloads]  Are Corporate Inversions Good for Shareholders?, by Anton Babkin (Wisconsin), Brent Glover (Carnegie Mellon) & Oliver Levine (Wisconsin)
  5. [141 Downloads]  Crummey Delivers Another Knockout Punch To The IRS, by Phyllis C. Taite (Florida A&M)

January 31, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Religiosity And Tax Compliance

Kadir Nagac (Zirve University, Department of Economics), Religiosity and Tax Compliance:

The intention of this paper is to analyze religiosity as a factor that potentially affects tax compliance. Studies in the 90s have shown that the puzzle of tax compliance is "why so many individuals pay their taxes" and not "why people evade taxes". It has been noted that compliance cannot be explained entirely by the level of enforcement (Graetz and Wilde, 1985; Efflers, 1991). Countries set the levels of audit and penalty so low that most individuals would evade taxes, if they were rational, because it is unlikely that cheaters will be caught and penalized. Nevertheless, a high degree of compliance is observed. Therefore, studies that analyze a variety of factors other than detection and punishment are need. Religiosity can play an important role in determining one's tax compliance decision. I use religious adherence data from the American Religious Data Archive and reported income data from IRS to analyze independent effects of church adherence rates on tax compliance in the United States at the county-level.

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January 31, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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January 29, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gergen Presents Taxing Capital Today At Colorado

GergenMark Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents Taxing Capital at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

It is well known that the existing system in the U.S. for taxing capital income is a mess. It collects a small amount of revenue relative to capital income with high administrative and compliance costs while distorting the behavior of owners and users of capital on numerous margins. This paper proposes a system for taxing capital that can collect the same amount of revenue with much lower public administrative and private compliance costs, and with significantly less distortionary impact. The pillar of the system is a flat annual tax assessed on the market value of publicly traded securities. I estimate the securities tax will cover around 60 percent of the wealth of U.S. households and around 75 to 80 percent of income producing capital that is presently subject to the individual and corporate income taxes. Income producing capital that is not subject to the securities tax, such as equity in closely held businesses and real estate held for investment, will be covered by a complementary tax that is designed to have a similar incidence in order to minimize distortions from having two systems for taxing capital. Equity in owner-occupied housing and consumer durables will not be subject to the tax, though equity in housing could easily be included in the complementary tax. ...

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January 28, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Presents User-Friendly Taxpaying Today At Duke

Thomas (2015)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents User-Friendly Taxpaying at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Technology is revolutionizing many aspects of our lives. With the touch of a button or a simple voice command, we can instantly order groceries, get directions, or find the nearest sushi restaurant. Sensibly, the private sector has capitalized on these recent innovations to drive up profits. To sell more laundry detergent, Amazon now enables consumers to order refills by simply pressing the “dash button” mounted above their laundry machines. Starbucks lures more customers by allowing them to pre-order online and have their drink waiting when they arrive at the store. The theory behind this approach is simple: if you want someone to use your product or service, you should make it as quick and easy as possible for them to do so.

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January 28, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | 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 January 3, 2016) 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 (Michigan)

52,118

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)

8947

2

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

30,103

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall)

4604

3

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall)

30,085

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3880

4

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

25,319

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

2617

5

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

25,252

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

2150

6

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

21,835

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

2073

7

James Hines (Michigan)

21,344

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

1845

8

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

20,482

Jeff Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)

1825

9

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

20,115

Gregg Polsky (N. Carolina)

1816

10

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

19,193

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

1722

11

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

18,223

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

1539

12

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

16,883

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

1499

13

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

16,537

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

1480

14

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

16,210

Chris Hoyt (UMKC)

1471

15

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

16,094

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1460

16

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

16,010

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

1396

17

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

15,855

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

1389

18

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

15,821

Nancy McLaughlin (Utah)

1349

19

David Weisbach (Chicago)

15,727

Jack Manhire (Texas A&M)

1333

20

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

15,471

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

1229

21

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

15,000

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

1186

22

David Walker (BU)

14,708

Ruth Mason (Virginia)

1167

23

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

14,237

Jordan Barry (San Diego)

1125

24

Herwig Schlunk (Vanderbilt)

13,009

James Hines (Michigan)

1083

25

Steven Bank (UCLA)

12,592

Dick Harvey (Villanova)

1068

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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January 28, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1)

Marian Reviews The Hidden Wealth Of Nations

WealthOmri Marian (UC-Irvine), Tax Havens and the Rise on Inequality (reviewing Gabriel Zucman (UC-Berkeley), Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens (University of Chicago Press, 2015)):

Tax literature is bitterly divided on the role that tax havens play in global economy. The negative view of tax havens paints them as parasitic, poaching revenue from other jurisdictions. The positive view suggests that tax havens facilitate low-cost capital mobility, mitigating some of the distortive effects of taxation.

To date, this extensive scholarly debate has produced very little information on tax havens themselves. This is hardly surprising, since tax havens are well known to be secrecy jurisdictions. This aspect of tax havens forces scholars who write about them to resort to financial modeling or available country data – data which is rarely on point. Zucman’s book is a unique breed in this context. In order to address the role of tax havens in global economy, Zucman actually collects and interprets the necessary data. Zucman assesses the wealth held in tax havens based on a long lasting anomaly in public finance: that in the aggregate, more liabilities than assets are recorded on national balance sheets, as if a portion of global assets simply vanishes into thin air, or as Zucman put it: “were in part held by Mars.” Zucman meticulously collected macro-economic data of multiple jurisdictions, and discovered that roughly the same amount of assets missing from national balance sheets shows up as ownership interest in investment pooling vehicles (such as mutual funds) organized in tax havens.

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January 28, 2016 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Eyal-Cohen Presents The Hidden Price Of Regulation Today At St. Louis

Eyal-Cohen-MiritMirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) presents The Hidden Price of Regulation at St. Louis today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

Rules and regulations inflict costs on regulated parties differently. This Article is the first to explore this discriminatory effect. It reveals that entities that lack economies of scale, scope, and age are disadvantaged. To address this discriminatory effect, governments enact various size-based exclusionary rules. The article reveals, however, that these regulatory exclusions do not solve the problem. Rather, they create more harm. These exemptions often exacerbate the impact of the very regulation whose cost they seek to reduce. The Article makes the following additional three contributions to the current literature. First, it demonstrates that the relationship between size and regulatory effects is non-exclusive and also extends to scope and age. Second, it illustrates some overlooked effects of regulations on certain entities and the latent externalities imposed on their unregulated affiliates. Lastly, it provides policymakers with mechanisms to alleviate regulatory burdens.

January 27, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simkovic Presents The Knowledge Tax Today At NYU

Simkovic 2Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall) presents The Knowledge Tax, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. ___ (2015), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Labor economists struggle to explain why the rates of return to higher education have remained much higher than the rates of return to other investments. This article proposes a novel explanation: distortionary taxation.

Economic theory suggests that when investments that are substitutes for one another are taxed inconsistently, investors are less likely to choose the investment option that is taxed more heavily. Unfavorable tax treatment of higher education relative to other forms of investment could create an undersupply of educated labor. This distortion would reduce economic growth and social welfare.

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January 26, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Call for Business Tax Papers:  Oxford University Symposium

OxfordThe Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation has issued a call for papers for its annual symposium:

We invite you to submit a paper for the tenth annual symposium of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation to be held June 28 - July 1, 2016.  As ever, we welcome research on any topics related to business taxation in its broadest sense, including papers from economics, law and other disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary contributions.

Submissions can either be completed but unpublished papers, or extended abstracts of work in progress (at least two pages) which must be completed in time for the conference. The deadline for submissions is Monday 29 February 2016 and papers should be submitted using the electronic form.

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January 26, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jellum:  Why The Treasury's Anti-Abuse Regulation Is Unconstitutional

Linda Jellum (Mercer), Dodging the Taxman: Why the Treasury's Anti-Abuse Regulation Is Unconstitutional, 70 U. Miami L. Rev. 152 (2015):

To combat abusive tax shelters, the Department of the Treasury promulgated a general anti-abuse regulation applicable to all of subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Treasury targeted subchapter K because unique aspects of the partnership tax laws - including its aggregate-entity dichotomy - foster creative tax manipulation. In the anti-abuse regulation, the Treasury attempted to “codify” existing judicially-created anti-abuse doctrines, such as the business-purpose and economic-substance doctrines. Also, and more surprisingly, the Treasury directed those applying subchapter K to use a purposivist approach to interpretation and to reject textualism.

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January 26, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference On The Fate Of Scholarship In American Law Schools

Fate_of_Scholarship_save-the-dateBaltimore hosts a conference on March 31-April 1 on The Fate of Scholarship in American Law Schools:

The conference will reexamine first principles of legal scholarship – its value (to legal education, to the legal profession, to society) and its essential aspects – and will survey particular issues of contemporary concern, including emerging scholarly forms and technologies and the relationship among legal scholarship, journalism and new media.

The two-day conference will consist of themed plenary sessions, concurrent small-group sessions, opportunities to interact informally and a keynote address by Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School.

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January 26, 2016 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shanske:  Local Government Finance As Integrated System

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Local Government Finance as Integrated System: The Uneasy Case for Using Special Districts in Real Estate Finance (A Response to Odinet's Super-Liens to the Rescue? A Case Against Special Districts in Real Estate Finance), 72 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 191 (2015):

Local governments have long used special financing districts to build infrastructure. If a local project, say building a pocket park, is likely to increase the values of properties very close to the park, then why should those properties not pay for the park in the first place? Though efficient and fair in many cases, the use of these districts can also be problematic. For instance, it seems likely that wealthier residents, with higher property values to leverage, are especially likely to use these districts effectively. It has also been the case that developers have used these districts speculatively, which had serious repercussions during the last recession. Christopher Odinet develops an additional, and important, critique of these districts. Odinet observes that these districts obtain a lien on benefiting properties, and that this lien takes priority over the liens of conventional lenders. Odinet then argues that this super-priority should only be honored if the district has served some substantial public purpose.

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January 26, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Marian Presents The State Administration Of International Tax Avoidance Today At Pepperdine

Marian (2016)Omri Marian (UC-Irvine) presents The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series:

This Article documents a process in which a national tax administration in one jurisdiction, is consciously and systematically assisting taxpayers to avoid taxes in other jurisdictions. The aiding tax administration collects a small amount tax from the aided taxpayers. Such tax is functionally structured as a fee paid for government-provided tax avoidance services. Such behavior can be easily copied (and probably is copied) by other tax administrations. The implications are profound. On the normative front, the findings should fundamentally change our understanding of the concept of international tax competition. Tax competition is generally understood to be the adoption of low tax rates in order to attract investments into the jurisdiction. Instead, this Article identifies an intentional “bagger thy neighbor” behavior, aimed at attracting revenue generated by successful investments in other jurisdictions, without attracting actual investments. The result is a distorted competitive environment, in which revenue is denied from jurisdictions the infrastructure and workforce of which support economically productive activity. On the practical front, the findings suggest that internationally coordinated efforts to combat tax avoidance are misaimed. Current efforts are largely aimed at curtailing aggressive taxpayer behavior. Instead, the Article proposes that the focus of such efforts should be curtailing certain rogue practices adopted by national tax administrations.

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January 25, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Avi-Yonah & Xu Post Tax Papers On SSRN

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) and Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2016, Michigan) have posted two tax papers on SSRN:

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January 25, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tax Policy Roundtable Today At Netanya College School Of Law (Israel)

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

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

  1. [346 Downloads]  The Three Causes of Inversions: Reflections on Pfizer/Allergan and Notice 2015-79, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)
  2. [288 Downloads]  Conservation Easements and the Valuation Conundrum, by Nancy McLaughlin (Utah)
  3. [145 Downloads]  Are Corporate Inversions Good for Shareholders?, by Anton Babkin (Wisconsin), Brent Glover (Carnegie Mellon) & Oliver Levine (Wisconsin)
  4. [123 Downloads]  Inversions and Competitiveness: Reflections in the Wake of Pfizer/Allergan, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) & Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)
  5. [118 Downloads]  Profit Shifting Of U.S. Multinationals, by Tim Dowd (Joint Committee on Taxation), Paul Landefeld (Joint Committee on Taxation) & Anne Moore (Joint Committee on Taxation)

January 24, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 22, 2016

McGinnis:  Law Schools Should Give Greater Weight To Objective Data In Faculty Hiring To Combat Bias Against Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs

Following up on last week's post, Why Are There So Few Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs, Even Though They Are More Productive Scholars Than Liberal Law Profs?:  John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), Conservative and Libertarian Legal Scholars Are More Published and Cited:

In a fascinating article, James Phillips has focused on the productivity, citations, and credentials of scholars at the top sixteen law schools. His analysis suggests that conservatives and libertarians are more productive, better cited, and, with one important exception, better credentialed than other scholars. The powerful combination of these findings is thus consistent with the hypothesis that conservatives suffer discrimination in hiring, perhaps particularly in the lateral market when productivity and citation data are very visible. It is as if they are competing in a race with an extra weight on their backs. ...

[T]he normative implication that I draw is that in hiring schools should weigh more objective data, like productivity and citations counts more heavily and take less account of their faculty’s more subjective impression of scholarship. ...

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January 22, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gamage Presents Tax Cannibalization And Fiscal Federalism Today At Duke

Gamage (2016)David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) presents Tax Cannibalization and Fiscal Federalism in the United States (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The design of federal tax law strongly influences the tax policy choices of the individual U.S. states. This article argues that under the current structure of U.S. federal tax law these influences are often perverse. Specifically, the current structure of U.S. federal tax law incentivizes state governments to adopt tax policies that inflict costs on the federal government, at the expense of national welfare. We label this the “tax cannibalization” problem.

This article introduces the tax cannibalization problem to the legal literature for the first time.

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Indiana

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine four research questions: (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes factor into driving and profitability decisions, (3) forum participants’ understandings of and attitudes towards worker classification issues (i.e., independent contractor vs. employee), and (4) user sophistication, attitudes towards compliance, and other cultural features of the forums.

We find that while forum participants displayed generally accurate understandings regarding tax filing and income inclusion obligations, their approaches to expenses and deductions were less accurate and more varied in terms of sophistication and willingness to comply with tax law. Forum participants also engaged in frequent discussions about whether driving was ultimately profitable and exhibited a range of awareness of how taxes affected such profitability. They also displayed heterogeneous understandings and preferences regarding worker classification questions (i.e., independent contractors versus employees). Finally, while the forums contained a surprising degree of sophisticated and accurate tax advice, they also contained a good amount of inaccurate, confusing, or misleading information. It is thus uncertain whether forum readers are able to successfully distinguish between accurate and inaccurate advice dispensed in the forums. 

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wilson Presents Corporate Inversions Update Today At Colorado

Wilson_John_John R. Wilson (Denver) presents  Corporate Inversions Update at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

The presentation examines the evolution of inversions from the single-company transactions of the 1990’s to the real business combinations of today. It considers the various legislative and regulatory moves that have been designed to make such transactions less appealing, and why such measures haven’t succeeded. The presentation concludes with an examination of the current state of play and possible further legislative, treaty and regulatory responses that could be undertaken short of fundamental international tax reform.

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January 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hackney:  Charitable Organization Oversight — Rules v. Standards

Philip Hackney (LSU), Charitable Organization Oversight: Rules v. Standards, 13 Pitt. Tax Rev. ___ (2015):

Congress has traditionally utilized standards as a means of communicating charitable tax law in the Code. In the past fifteen years, however, Congress has increasingly turned to rules to stop fraud and abuse in the charitable sector. I review the rules versus standards debate to evaluate this trend. Are Congressional rules the best method for regulating the charitable sector?

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January 21, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lloyd:  Raising The Bar, Razing Langdell

WakeHarold Lloyd (Wake Forest), Raising the Bar, Razing Langdell, 49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1213 (2014):

As an introduction to the Wake Forest Law Review’s symposium edition on Revisiting Langdell: Legal Education Reform and the Lawyer’s Craft, this article highlights longstanding, substantial damage Christopher Columbus Langdell has inflicted on law schools and legal education. Much of this damage stems from three of Langdell’s wrong and counterintuitive notions: (1) law is a science of principles and doctrines known with certainty and primarily traced through case law; (2) studying redacted appellate cases is “much the shortest and best, if not the only way” of learning such law, and (3) despite Langdell’s own roughly fifteen years of practice experience, practice experience taints one’s ability to teach law. This article highlights problems with, and harms resulting from, each of these wrong notions.

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January 21, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (8)

Walker:  Reconsidering Realization-Based Accounting For Equity Compensation

David I. Walker (Boston University), Reconsidering Realization-Based Accounting for Equity Compensation:

The U.S. equity compensation landscape continues to evolve. Recent innovations have improved the linkage between pay and firm-specific performance, but have added complexity. Against that backdrop, this Article urges reconsideration of the accounting rules for equity pay. Under current rules, most equity pay awards are expensed based on grant date valuation with no updating for changes in value post grant. This Article advocates the adoption of a mark-to-market or realization-based approach under which the expense recorded for all equity pay awards would ultimately be trued to the value received by employees.

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January 21, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Profit Shifting Of U.S. Multinationals

Tim Dowd, Paul Landefeld & Anne Moore (Joint Committee on Taxation), Profit Shifting of U.S. Multinationals:

We analyze the profit shifting behavior of U.S. multinational firms using a unique panel data set of U.S. tax returns over the period 2002-2012. Prior research has found significant effects of tax rates in affiliate and parent countries on the profit shifting behavior of multinational entities, with semi-elasticities ranging from close to zero to well above one. We build on this prior work by allowing more heterogeneity in response across the distribution of tax rates and by including affiliates located in tax havens around the world. Our findings suggest that elasticities based on a log-linear specification may severely understate the sensitivity of profits to tax in low-tax jurisdictions while simultaneously overstating this elasticity in high-tax jurisdictions. Accounting for this type of nonlinearity appears crucial in considering how the global allocation of firm profits might change in response to tax rate changes.

2010

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January 21, 2016 in Gov't Reports, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Miller & Stroud:  Medicaid Planning For Long Term Care — California Style

John A. Miller (Idaho) & Vanessa S. Stroud (Law Office of Vanessa Stroud, Petaluma, CA), Medicaid Planning for Long Term Care: California Style:

California’s Medicaid program, “Medi-Cal”, differs significantly from programs in other states. This article sets out the major distinctions between California's program and other state programs as applied to long term care for disabled seniors. It illustrates the major planning techniques that are employed throughout the country and also those techniques that are available only in California.

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January 21, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series (Spring 2016)

Here is the schedule for my Spring 2016 Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series:

  • Jan. 25    Omri Marian (UC-Irvine), The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance
  • Feb. 8     Adam Chodorow (Arizona State), Bitcoin, Foreign Currency, and the Case for Basis Pooling
  • Feb. 22   John Brooks (Georgetown), Quasi-Public Spending
  • Mar. 7    Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.),  The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation
  • Mar. 28  Shuyi Oei (Tulane), The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums
  • Apr. 11   Jason Oh (UCLA), How the Rich Drive Progressive Tax Rates
  • Apr. 25   Lily Kahng (Seattle), Who Owns Human Capital?

I will of course blog each professor's paper on the day of their presentation.  Southern California professors and practitioners are welcome to attend any of the sessions (11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) -- just let me know.

Pepperdine Law School (2016)

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January 20, 2016 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)