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Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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May 22, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

Weekly RoundupConor Clarke (J.D. 2015, Yale) & Edward Fox (J.D. 2015, Yale), Note, Perceptions of Tax Expenditures and Direct Spending: A Survey Experiment, 124 Yale L.J. 1252 (2015):

This paper presents the results of an original survey experiment on whether the public prefers “tax expenditures” to “direct outlays” — that is, whether members of the public are more likely to support government spending that takes the form of a tax credit rather than a check or cash. Using a survey that spans a wide variety of policy areas — and with important variations in wording and information — we show that the public strongly prefers tax expenditures even when the “economic substance” of the proposed policies is identical. We also show that the public views tax expenditures as less costly than equivalent direct outlays. These results support a longstanding but largely unstudied hypothesis that tax expenditures “hide” the costs of government spending, and have implications for why tax expenditures have continued to grow in size and complexity.

May 22, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brennan & McDonald: Deconstructing the Taxation of Packaged Financial Strategies

Thomas Brennan (Harvard) & Robert McDonald (Northwestern), Deconstructing the Taxation of Packaged Financial Strategies:

Financial claims are often taxed according to the way in which they are nominally “packaged” rather than according to their economic characteristics. We deconstruct financial taxation by viewing any financial strategy as a dynamic portfolio of pure debt and pure equity. Given the taxation of these building blocks, there is a unique consistent equivalent tax treatment for any strategy, and this transparent tax is a benchmark against which burdens or subsidies due to packaging can be measured. We quantify tax effects in present value terms in the context of a partial equilibrium model. We apply our methodology to common hybrid securities, such as convertible bonds and reverse convertible bonds. We find tax-induced discrepancies of up to about up to about 6% of value (i.e., 20 basis points per year) for typical 30-year convertible bonds. With unfunded securities, such as puts and calls, the discrepancy becomes much larger in percentage terms. Because these unfunded positions are levered, however, investors do not buy as many of them, and the discrepancy in aggregate absolute terms is therefore likely not so much greater. In our framework, the discrepancy can be eliminated either by taxation based on an ongoing determination of building block equivalents or else by eliminating distinctions in taxation among the building blocks. In particular, this would require eliminating the tax distinction between debt and equity.

May 22, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NYU Symposium: Tax And Corporate Social Responsibility

NYUSymposium, Tax and Corporate Social Responsibility, 11 N.Y.U. J.L. & Bus. 1-189 (2014):

Articles

Proceedings

Panel 1:  Should Corporations Pay Tax?,  11 N.Y.U. J.L. & Bus. 125 (2014)

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May 21, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Todres: Tax Shelters And Tax Malpractice

Jacob L. Todres (St. John's), Bad Tax Shelters -- Accountability or the Lack Thereof: Ten Years of Tax Malpractice, 66 Baylor L. Rev. 602 (2014):

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s the tax landscape in the United States was overrun by an epidemic of tax shelters that was unprecedented. The shelters were designed and sold by seemingly reputable large accounting and law firms. The same shelters were sold to many taxpayers. They became generic, off-the-shelf, products. However, the tax shelters had no business substance. The shelters were eventually found to be invalid by the courts. In light of the invalidity of the shelters, the large fees paid for the shelters and the large damages caused by participating in the invalid shelters, there were predictions that many malpractice suits against the sellers of the shelters would ensue.

For this article I attempted to determine whether the predicted wave of tax malpractice suits occurred and what impact, if any, resulted in the area of tax malpractice litigation.

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May 21, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sugin: Strengthening Charity Law With Advance Rulings

Linda Sugin (Fordham), Strengthening Charity Law: Replacing Media Oversight with Advance Rulings for Nonprofit Fiduciaries, 89 Tul. L. Rev. ___ (2015):

This Article considers three urgent challenges facing the charitable community and its state regulators: too little fiduciary duty law for nonprofits, the rise of media enforcement of wrongdoing in charities, and an inherent tension in the state’s dual role as enforcer and protector of the nonprofit sector. It analyzes whether the scarcity of law is really a problem by comparing nonprofit organizations with business organizations and concludes that charities lack the self-enforcement mechanisms of businesses and therefore need more government guidance. It evaluates whether the media has made governmental supervision obsolete and expresses skepticism about the press displacing state oversight. The solution presented, an advance-ruling procedure for fiduciary duty questions, proposes that states shift their focus from better enforcement against wrongdoers ex post to better charity governance ex ante by devoting more attention and resources to assisting well-meaning charity directors in carrying out their fiduciary obligations.

May 21, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chorvat Presents Expectations And Expatriations: A Long-Run Event Study Today at Oxford

Chorvat (Elizabeth) (2015)Elizabeth Chorvat (Illinois) presents Expectations and Expatriations: A Long-Run Event Study at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation today as part of its Research Seminar Series:

This paper represents the first event study of corporate expatriations since Desai and Hines (2002), and is the first study to link corporate expatriation behavior to intangibles. Utilizing a bootstrap methodology, the paper demonstrates that corporate expatriations – whether naked inversions or redomiciliations in the context of business combinations – generate statistically and economically significant excess returns on the order of 225% above market returns in the years following the inversion. Moreover, notwithstanding the public nature of the inversion announcement, which should be a signal of extraordinary future profits, there has historically been no price response to the signal. Because the tax cost of the inversion transaction is based on market price, their inability to send a credible signal of future profits provides corporate managers the opportunity to reorganize outside the U.S. at a reduced tax cost, if they believe that the benefits to expatriation outweigh the cost.

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May 20, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shaviro: Recent International Tax Policy Developments

Daniel Shaviro (NYU), The Crossroads Versus the Seesaw: Getting a 'Fix' on Recent International Tax Policy Developments:

FixingU.S. international tax policy is at a crossroads, say those who urge the United States to adopt what common parlance would call a territorial system. They argue that one of the two ways forward they identify – trying to fortify the current U.S. system – would lead to ever-costlier outlier status for our tax system, and ever-declining competitiveness for U.S. multinationals. They therefore urge U.S. policymakers to embrace what they identify as the other way forward: conforming to global norms by adopting a territorial system.

An alternative metaphor to that of the crossroads, more likely to appeal to proponents of addressing stateless income than to pro-territorialists, is that of the seesaw. Under this view, while policymakers in OECD countries may long have deliberately tolerated profit-shifting by multinationals – perhaps as an informal way of lowering effective tax rates for these often highly mobile taxpayers – at some point they became convinced that it had gone too far. Thus, proponents of restricting stateless income want to tip the balance somewhat (but not too far) back in the other direction. For example, they may want to ensure that each increment of a multinational’s global income will be subject to tax somewhere – but just once, rather than either zero times or twice, under what has been called the “single tax principle.”

In my 2014 book Fixing U.S. International Taxation, I tried to offer a better analytical framework for international tax policy than either of the above. The concepts that I hoped to sideline or even banish included not only the single tax principle, along with the “worldwide versus territorial” framework – which I disparaged as conflating multiple margins, even leaving aside countries’ hybridity in practice – but also normative reliance on the whole rancid “alphabet soup” of single-margin neutrality benchmarks such as capital export neutrality (CEN), capital import neutrality (CIN), and capital ownership neutrality (CON).

A number of important things have happened in international tax policy since Fixing went to press. For example:

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May 20, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leff: Preventing Private Inurement In Tranched Social Enterprises

Benjamin M. Leff (American), Preventing Private Inurement in Tranched Social Enterprises, 41 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1 (2015):

Social Enterprises are organizations that are operated for the dual purpose of engaging in profit-making activity and furthering a social good. Because of their “hybrid” nature, social enterprises are perceived to be stymied by a legal system that is overly devoted to defining organizations as either businesses or nonprofits. Legal academics and legislatures have been hard at work trying to make room for social enterprises by experimenting with modifications the laws that constrain both businesses and nonprofits. One significant sector of this reform movement is devoted to making it easier for social enterprises to receive funding from both for-profit investors and charitable non-profits. They argue that social enterprises will not flourish until charitable non-profits are permitted make below-market investments in social enterprises for the purpose of subsidizing the return expected by for-profit investors. This combination of below-market charitable investments and market-rate for-profit investments is generally called a “tranched investment structure.” It is not impossible under current law, but reformers argue that it is unnecessarily difficult, primarily because of federal laws restricting nonprofit activities.

This article addresses the specific legal issues raised by a tranched investment structure. Previous scholarship (and legislative reform) has focused on specific rules that apply only to “private foundations,” a subcategory of § 501(c)(3) organizations, the general federal classification of charities. But, surprisingly, commentators have largely ignored the laws that apply to tranched investment structures involving any § 501(c)(3) organization. This article fills that gap.

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May 20, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Corporate Inversions Increase U.S. Tax Revenues

Rita Nevada (Northwestern) & Thomas Z. Lys (Northwestern), The Paradoxical Impact of Corporate Inversions on US Tax Revenue:

Do corporate inversions cost the US Treasury billions of dollars in tax revenue, justifying legislative responses and even strong-arming corporations from moving their tax domicile abroad? We show that corporate inversions not only do not appear to reduce, but, paradoxically, are even likely to increase tax collections by the US Treasury.

May 20, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mason Presents Citizenship Taxation Today At Oxford

Mason (2015)Ruth Mason (Virginia) presents Citizenship Taxation, 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. ___ (2015), at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation today as part of its Research Seminar Series:

The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad. This Article critically evaluates the traditional equity, efficiency, and administrability arguments for taxing nonresident citizens. It also raises new arguments against citizenship taxation, including that it puts the United States at a disadvantage when competing with other countries for highly skilled migrants. 

Citizenship taxation was originally designed to punish “economic benedict Arnolds” who fled the United States during the Civil War to avoid Civil War taxes and the draft. In the modern era, migrating from the United States is not the disloyal act of a wealthy few. Our global economy and our increasingly interconnected world create professional and personal opportunities that Americans can only claim by moving abroad. Concerns about a few high-profile, rich tax defectors who can be sanctioned with targeted anti-abuse regimes should not drive tax policy governing seven million Americans who reside abroad.

May 19, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kwall & Wilbur: The Outer Limits of Realization

Florida Tax ReviewJeffrey L. Kwall (Loyola-Chicago) & Katie K. Wilbur (Varnum, Grand Rapids, MI), The Outer Limits of Realization: Weiss v. Stearn and Corporate Dilution, 17 Fla. Tax Rev. 47 (2015):

The Supreme Court’s 1924 Weiss v. Stearn decision involved a classic case of corporate dilution. In that case, a corporation (“Oldco”) transferred its business to a new corporation (“Newco”) in a transaction where the Oldco shareholders surrendered all their stock for 50% of the stock of Newco (and cash). The transaction diluted the proprietary interest of the Oldco shareholders from 100% to 50%. Because the Oldco shareholders surrendered control of the enterprise, the 50% interest they received in Newco was fundamentally different from the 100% interest they had owned in Oldco. Nevertheless, the Court held that the receipt of the Newco shares was not a taxable event (a “realization event”) to the Oldco shareholders. The Court reached this result by ignoring the dilution that occurred in the case.

In 1991, the Supreme Court resurrected the Weiss v. Stearn decision in the Cottage Savings case. There, the Court relied on Weiss v. Stearn to establish that the exchange of property triggers a realization event only if the property received is “materially different” from the property surrendered. Once again, the Court ignored the dilution that occurred in Weiss v. Stearn. As a result, Supreme Court jurisprudence sheds no light on the question of whether corporate dilution can trigger realization.

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May 19, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rosenzweig: Defining A Country's 'Fair Share' Of Taxes

Adam H. Rosenzweig (Washington University), Defining a Country's 'Fair Share' of Taxes, 42 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 373 (2015):

The international tax regime is facing a defining moment. As stories of multinational companies expatriating and shifting income around the world with seeming impunity continue to emerge, the question of how to divide the international tax base among the countries of the world increasingly draws attention from policy-makers and academics. To date, however, the debate has tended to devolve into one over the two traditional tools used to divide worldwide tax base — transfer pricing and formulary apportionment. This Article demonstrates that such focus is misplaced on the instruments of dividing the worldwide tax base rather than on first principles. Instead, this Article will adopt the first principle of maximizing the efficiency of the worldwide tax regime under two key, but realistic, assumptions: first, that the presence of multiple states in the world is efficient and, second, that there is a declining marginal utility to public goods. Under these assumptions, dividing worldwide tax base efficiently requires balancing the goals of maximizing the neutrality of tax laws and the provision of public goods across all countries.

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May 19, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Desai & Dharmapala: Interest Deductions in a Multijurisdictional World

Mihir A. Desai (Harvard) & Dhammika Dharmapala (Chicago), Interest Deductions in a Multijurisdictional World:

This paper proposes and evaluates alternative methods for addressing the tax treatment of interest expenses in a multijurisdictional setting. The differential deductibility of debt entailed by various current tax law provisions leads to potential distortions in the patterns of asset ownership across MNCs and various proposed solutions have significant limitations. We suggest alternative regimes – a worldwide debt cap (WDC) and a net financing deduction (NFD) – to address the ownership distortions that we highlight along with other well-established problems of income-shifting through debt. These alternative regimes are extensions to a multinational setting of two general approaches to the neutral treatment of interest expenses – the CBIT (comprehensive business income tax) and ACC (allowance for corporate capital). While these regimes provide solutions to ownership distortions and to problems of “base erosion and profit shifting,” they have the potential disadvantage of restricting other policy parameters.

May 18, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

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. [250 Downloads]  The Historical Origins of the Debt-Equity Distinction, by Camden Hutchison (Wisconsin)
  2. [231 Downloads]  Using the 'Smart Return' to Reduce Tax Evasion, by Joseph Bankman (Stanford), Clifford Nass (Stanford) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan)
  3. [186 Downloads]  Scholarship Against Desire, by Shari Motro (Richmond)
  4. [162 Downloads]  Tax Compliance as a Wicked System, by J. T. Manhire (U.S Treasury Department)
  5. [118 Downloads]  Believing in Life After Loving: IRS Regulation of Tax Preparers, by Alex H Levy (NYU)

May 17, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tax Papers at Today's American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting at Columbia

ALEATax papers at today's American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting at Columbia:

Empirical Research in Taxation
Panel Chair:  Kyle Rozema (Cornell)

In addition, two Tax Profs are chairing other panels and presenting papers:

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May 16, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tax Papers at Today's American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting at Columbia

ALEATax panels at today's American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting at Columbia:

Topics in Tax Policy Design I 
Panel Chair:  Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Topics in Tax Policy Design II
Panel Chair: Zachary Liscow (Yale)

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May 15, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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May 15, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chilton & Posner Present An Empirical Study Of Political Bias In Legal Scholarship At Today's ALEA Annual Meeting at Columbia

Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Eric A. Posner (Chicago) present An Empirical Study of Political Bias in Legal Scholarship at the American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting today at Columbia:

Law professors routinely accuse each other of making politically biased arguments in their scholarship. They have also helped produce a large empirical literature on judicial behavior that has found that judicial opinions sometimes reflect the ideological biases of the judges who join them. Yet no one has used statistical methods to test the parallel hypothesis that legal scholarship reflects the political biases of law professors. This paper provides the results of such a test. We find that, at a statistically significant level, law professors at elite law schools who make donations to Democratic political candidates write liberal scholarship, and law professors who make donations to Republican political candidates write conservative scholarship. These findings raise questions about standards of objectivity in legal scholarship.

Figure 3

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May 15, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Chaffee: Answering The Call To Reinvent Legal Education

Eric C. Chaffee (Toledo), Answering the Call to Reinvent Legal Education: The Need to Incorporate Practical Business and Transactional Skills Training into the Curricula of America's Law Schools, 20 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 121 (2014):

The legal academy must make the conscious decision to change, or the pressures upon it will combine to transform legal education in ways that may be extremely harmful. The media, the law school applicant pool, the job market, the legal profession, and the legal academy itself have created an unprecedented need for reimagining legal education.

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May 15, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bartlett: Is The Only Purpose Of A Corporation To Maximize Profit?

Bruce Bartlett, Is the Only Purpose of a Corporation to Maximize Profit?:

Historically, corporations were expected to serve some public purpose as justification for the benefits and privileges they receive from the state. But since the 1970s, the view has become widespread that corporations exist solely to maximize profits and for no other purpose. While the shareholder-first doctrine was supposed to solve the agency problem, in fact it has gotten worse as corporate executives enrich themselves at the expense of shareholders. Moreover, the obsession with current share prices as the only measure of corporate success may be destroying long-term value as companies cut back on investment to raise short-term profits. Tax policies designed to raise after-tax profits have done nothing to reverse these trends.

May 15, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Galle: Law and the Problem of Restricted-Spending Philanthropy

Brian Galle (Boston College), Pay It Forward? Law and the Problem of Restricted-Spending Philanthropy, 92 Wash. U.L. Rev. ___ (2016):

American foundations and other philanthropic giving entities hold about $1 trillion in investment assets, and that figure continues to grow every year. Even as urgent contemporary needs go unmet, philanthropic organizations spend only a tiny fraction of their wealth each year, mostly due to restrictive terms in contracts between donors and firms limiting the rate at which donations can be distributed. Law has played a critical role in underwriting and encouraging this build-up of philanthropic wealth. For instance, contributors can typically take a full tax deduction for the value of their contribution today, no matter when the foundation spends their money, and pay no tax on the investment earnings the organization reaps in the meantime.

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May 14, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Givati: Economic Theory And The Taxation of Fringe Benefits

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law), Googling a Free Lunch: The Taxation of Fringe Benefits, 68 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2015):

How should fringe benefits be taxed? Though fringe benefits are covered in every basic law school course on federal income taxation, no widely accepted economic framework has developed for thinking about their taxation. As a result, policymakers lack a clear picture of the benefits and costs of alternative tax regimes, when faced with situations such as the free luxurious meals provided by Google and Facebook to their employees. This Article fills this gap in the literature, by developing an economic theory of the provision of fringe benefits.

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May 14, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

NTA 45th Annual Spring Symposium: The 20th Century Tax Code In A 21st Century World

The 45th Annual Spring Symposium on The 20th Century Tax Code in a 21st Century World: Where Are the Pressure Points? by the National Tax Association and American Tax Institute kicks off today in Washington, D.C.

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May 14, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Columbia Journal of Tax Law Publishes New Issue

Columbia Journal of Tax Law LogoThe Columbia Journal of Tax Law has published  Vol. 6, No. 2:

May 13, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue

Journal of Legal Education (2014)The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 64, No. 3:

Symposium: Nurturing Professionalism:

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May 13, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Law School Website Rankings

For the fourth year in a row, Roger V. Skalbeck (Associate Law Librarian for Electronic Resources & Services, Georgetown) has ranked law school websites. Top 10 Law School Home Pages of 2012, 3 J.L. (2 J. Legal Metrics) 51 (2013) (with Matthew L. Zimmerman (Electronic Resources Librarian, Georgetown).  Here are the Top 10 and Bottom 10:

1

Thomas Cooley

192

Ave Maria

1

Pennsylvania

193

Mississippi C.

3

Arkansas

194

Cornell

3

Houston

194

Touro

5

Florida Coastal

196

St. Thomas (FL)

5

Illinois

197

Stanford

5

U. Mississippi

198

U. Puerto Rico

8

Arizona State

199

St. John's

9

New England

200

D.C.

10

CUNY

201

Catholic U. P.R.

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May 12, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Manhire: A Government Perspective On Voluntary Tax Compliance

J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department), What Does Voluntary Tax Compliance Mean?: A Government Perspective, 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online ___ (2015):

One of the IRS’s principle goals is to maximize voluntary compliance. Yet, there is often a great deal of confusion and consternation when taxpayers discover that the IRS refers to the annual filing and payment ritual as “voluntary;” especially since most taxpayers do not believe they have a choice when it comes to filing and paying their taxes. What does voluntary compliance mean? Does it mean taxpayers can volunteer to file returns and pay taxes, much as one might volunteer to make a charitable donation? Does it mean taxpayers don’t have to comply with the tax laws if they don’t feel like it? How can it be a federal crime to not file or pay taxes if compliance is voluntary? This essay offers a government perspective as to why the IRS uses this sometimes perplexing term. After investigating (and dismissing) a possible literal defense, the essay surveys the IRS’s history to see why voluntary compliance is such a critical part of the U.S. tax system. The essay then recommends changing the term from voluntary to cooperative compliance to retain the government’s meaning while lessening taxpayer confusion.

May 11, 2015 in IRS News, 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. __ (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” and is now poised to recognize 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 gay and straight 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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May 11, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is quite 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 #4 and #5:

  1. [215 Downloads]  The Historical Origins of the Debt-Equity Distinction, by Camden Hutchison (Wisconsin)
  2. [213 Downloads]  Using the 'Smart Return' to Reduce Tax Evasion, by Joseph Bankman (Stanford), Clifford Nass (Stanford) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan)
  3. [179 Downloads]  Scholarship Against Desire, by Shari Motro (Richmond)
  4. [129 Downloads]  Tax Compliance as a Wicked System, by J. T. Manhire (U.S Treasury Department)
  5. [121 Downloads]  Tax Account Misstatements and the PCAOB's Restrictions on Auditors’ Tax Services, by Clive Lennox (Nanyang Technological University)

May 10, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer (2013)The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 68, No. 2 (Winter 2015):

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May 8, 2015 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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May 8, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

University College London Hosts Conference Today on The Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law

UCLUniversity College London Faculty of Laws hosts a two-day conference beginning today on The Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law:

There is currently very little literature considering the philosophical aspect of tax law. Yet given the controversy that surrounds tax, particularly in a turbulent economic environment, it is an excellent time to explore tax from a philosophical perspective. It is essential that we have a complete understanding of the answers to some of the seemingly basic questions which surround tax, before we can begin to think about what a tax system should look like. Questions such as what in fact is a tax? Why should we tax? How much should we tax and on whom should tax be levied? What should taxes be used for? How do ideas of fairness and justice tie in with the tax system?  The consideration of all these questions is crucial to a complete understanding of the tax system and the future of the tax system.

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May 8, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kahn & Kahn: The Agency Exception to the Anticipatory Assignment of Income Doctrine

Douglas A. Kahn (Michigan) & Jeffrey H. Kahn (Florida State), The Agency Exception to the Anticipatory Assignment of Income Doctrine, 147 Tax Notes 555 (May 4, 2015):

One consequence of having graduated income tax rates is that it becomes advantageous to shift income from a high bracket taxpayer to a person in a lower tax bracket. A number of different vehicles have been tried to shift the incidence of the income tax to another person, and the courts and Congress have adopted a number of rules to prevent that from occurring. As early as 1930, the Supreme Court adopted the anticipatory assignment of income doctrine to prevent a person who anticipates earning income from his services from shifting that income to another person in a lower tax bracket. Income is taxed to the person whose services produced it rather than to the person who has the beneficial right to possess the income once it is earned.

This article discusses the tax treatment of an employee whose services create income for his employer. The anticipatory assignment of income doctrine does not apply in these circumstances under the so-called agency exception. This article explains the policy justification of the agency exception and uses examples to help illustrate when and when not the agency exception should apply.

May 8, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Virginia Tax Review Publishes New Issue

Virginia Tax Review (2014)The Virginia Tax Review has published Vol. 34, No. 2 (Fall 2014):

May 7, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Journal of Tax Administration Publishes Inaugural Issue

JOTA LogoThe Chartered Institute of Taxation and the University of Exeter Business School have launched the Journal of Tax Administration:

This open access, peer reviewed and on-line journal provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars and practitioners to share knowledge and research on issues of concern to tax administrations, governments, the tax practitioner community and wider society. An international editorial board includes leading academics in the field.

The inaugural issue (Vol. 1, No. 1) contains these articles:

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May 7, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maynard: Reimagining Wealth Taxation As A Tool For Building Wealth

Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Louisville), Addressing Wealth Disparities: Reimagining Wealth Taxation as a Tool for Building Wealth, 92 Denv. U. L. Rev. 145 (2014):

In the past three decades, research has indicated that the building of assets can have a sustainable impact on well-being. Yet to the extent that the tax system has incorporated this insight, it has been done in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion, disproportionately benefiting those with wealth and further reinforcing wealth inequality. This paper argues that while reducing wealth concentrations is important, there should be an increased emphasis on how our tax system can build wealth or, put differently, level up. While the problem of wealth disparities may be too large for any one part of the federal policy toolkit to solve, I argue that the tax system can and should play a vital role.

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May 7, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oei & Ring: Human Equity? Regulating The New Income Share Agreements

Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College), Human Equity? Regulating the New Income Share Agreements, 68 Vand. L. Rev. 681 (2015):

A controversial new financing phenomenon has recently emerged. New “income share agreements” (“ISAs”) enable an individual to raise funds by pledging a percentage of her future earnings to investors for a certain number of years. These contracts, which are offered by entities such as Fantex, Upstart, Pave, and Lumni, raise important questions for the legal system: Are they a form of modern-day indentured servitude or an innovative breakthrough in human financing? How should they be treated under the law?

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May 6, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

LoPucki: Disciplining Legal Scholarship

Lynn M. LoPucki (UCLA), Disciplining Legal Scholarship, 95 Tul. L. Rev. ___ (2015):

American law schools are hiring large proportions of J.D.-Ph.D.s in tenure-track faculty positions in an effort to increase the quantity and quality of empirical legal scholarship. That effort is failing. The new recruits bring methods and objectives unsuited to law. They produce lower-than-predicted levels of empiricism because they compete on the basis of methodological sophistication, devote time and resources to disputes over arcane issues in statistics and methodology, prefer to collaborate with other Ph.D.s, and intimidate empiricists whose work does not require high levels of methodological sophistication. In short, Ph.D.s impose the cultures of their disciplines on legal scholarship.

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May 6, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Silver: The Responsible Way Out Of The Law School Crisis

Jay Sterling Silver (St. Thomas), Pedagogically Sound Cuts, Tighter (Not Looser) Accreditation Standards, and a Well-Oiled Doomsday Machine: The Responsible Way Out of the Crisis in Legal Education, 66 Rutgers L. Rev. 353 (2014):

This Article outlines the actual causes of exorbitant tuition and graduate unemployment, the pedagogical problems posed by the proposed solutions urged upon the ABA as the accrediting body for law schools, and the solutions that will preserve legal education as both a public and a private good.

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May 6, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fleischer: Libertarianism And The Charitable Tax Subsidies

Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego), Libertarianism and the Charitable Tax Subsidies, 56 B.C. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

Tax scholarship is largely silent about the interaction between libertarian principles and the structure of our tax system. If all taxation is indeed slavery, as Nozick suggested, why bother analyzing libertarianism for insights into our tax system? This dismissal, however, ignores the diversity of libertarian thought. To that end, this Article mines the nuances of libertarian theory for insights into one feature of our tax system: the charitable tax subsidies.

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May 6, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Preparing The Online Generation For The Occupational Hazards Of The Legal Profession

Brittany Stringfellow Otey (Pepperdine), Buffering Burnout: Preparing the Online Generation for the Occupational Hazards of the Legal Profession, 24 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 147 (2014):

OnlineThis article explores legal education’s “elephant in the classroom”: the innate psychological toll of the legal profession and legal education’s failure to adequately prepare law students for that reality. This article will address the increasing need for reform by: 1) examining several unique qualities of Millennials and their use of technology; 2) exploring the occupational hazards of lawyering, namely stress, burnout and compassion fatigue; 3) identifying the ways in which technology increases Millennials’ vulnerability to these occupational hazards and subsequent professional impairments; and 4) providing best practices and preventative tools to be used in a professional formation curriculum aimed at preparing Millennial students to thrive in legal practice.

May 6, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Polsky Presents Private Equity Tax Games Today At NYU

Polsky (2015)Gregg D. Polsky (North Carolina) presents A Compendium of Private Equity Tax Games at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Alan Viard:

This paper will describe and analyze tax strategies, lawful and unlawful, used by private equity firms to minimize taxes. While one strategy — the use of “carried interest” — should by now be well understood by tax practitioners and academics, the others remain far more obscure. In combination, these strategies allow private equity managers to pay preferential tax rates on all of their risky pay (through carried interest), pay preferential tax rates on much of their non-risky pay (through management fee waivers and misallocations of their expense deductions), and push much of the residual non-risky pay down to their funds’ portfolio companies who, unlike the fund, can derive significant tax benefits from the resulting deductions (through monitoring fees and management fee offsets).

May 5, 2015 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Soled Reviews Zelenak's Learning To Love Form 1040

Learning to Love 1040Jay A. Soled (Rutgers), Book Review, 87 Temp. L. Rev. 111 (2014) (reviewing Lawrence Zelenak (Duke), Learning to Love Form 1040: Two Cheers for the Return-Based Mass Income Tax (University of Chicago Press, 2013)): 

For the last several decades, a few days immediately before and on April 15 itself, our country has experienced an annual ritual as taxpayers nationwide form long lines at their local post offices to file their income tax returns. Akin to military service, undoubtedly few relish this obligation but recognize it as their civic obligation worthy of fulfillment. In a fascinating new book, Learning to Love Form 1040, published by the University of Chicago Press, Duke University School of Law professor Lawrence Zelenak details the origins of this obligation, traces its history, and explores how it has fostered what he terms fiscal citizenship, or “the important civic purpose of recognizing and formalizing the financial responsibilities of citizenship.”

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May 5, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Clark: Thoughts On The Uses (Or Uselessness) Of Legal Scholarship

Sherman J. Clark (Michigan), Drawing (Gad) Flies: Thoughts on the Uses (or Uselessness) of Legal Scholarship, 48 U. Mich. J.L. Reform ___ (2015):

The apparent uselessness of much legal scholarship is a recurring theme in the profession. As with the broader pressures law schools are facing, we should embrace and learn from this scrutiny. In that spirit, this brief essay makes two related points. First, at least some scholarship should question, rather than merely accept as given, the aims and priorities of the profession. We should be willing to rethink, rather than merely reflect, current assumptions about what matters — about what is or is not truly useful. Thus some of our work will, by definition, initially strike the profession as useless — at least if we are doing our job. Second, support for a certain amount of wide-ranging scholarship attracts and helps retain law teachers who are willing and able to do this sort of work — and who are thus able to help future members of the profession develop that same capacity. How we evaluate this latter consideration will depend on our views about who should be teaching law and what we should be teaching. In this way, responding thoughtfully to difficult questions from the profession about the value of our scholarship should prompt reflection not just about the uses of legal research but about the aims of legal education more broadly.

May 5, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thomas Reviews Avi-Yonah's Corporate Taxation and Corporate Social Responsibility

Jotwell Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina), Do Corporate Managers Have a Duty to Avoid Taxes? (Jotwell) (reviewing Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Just Say No: Corporate Taxation and Corporate Social Responsibility, 12 NYU J. L. & Bus. __ (2015):

The recent wave of corporate inversion transactions, in which domestic companies essentially move their headquarters abroad to lower their U.S. tax bill, is just the latest in a decades-long trend of aggressive tax avoidance behavior by corporations. From the government’s perspective, inversions and other tax avoidance strategies erode the U.S. tax base and impose a costly enforcement challenge on Treasury and the IRS. But from the perspective of corporate managers, aggressive tax planning may simply be part of the corporation’s duty to maximize shareholder value. Reuven Avi-Yonah questions this latter proposition in Just Say No: Corporate Taxation and Corporation Social Responsibility. He offers a compelling argument that corporate managerial duties are not hopelessly at odds with the goal of promoting better corporate tax compliance.

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May 4, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taxpayer Standing In International Tax Disputes

Limor Riza (Carmel Academic Center, Haifa, Israel), Taxpayers’ Lack of Standing in International Tax Dispute Resolutions: An Analysis Based on the Hybrid Norms of International Taxation, 34 Pace L. Rev. 1064 (2014):

This paper examines whether a taxpayer should have “standing” in international dispute resolutions. To answer this question the primary task is to identify the nature of international taxation. In other words, this paper discusses how to classify the field of international taxation. Is it part of public international law, private international law (i.e., conflict of laws), national (domestic) law, or is it a hybrid field that requires specific attention? Making this distinction is vital for resolving disputes when a taxpayer is taxed twice for cross-border transactions in cases where the double tax convention is unclear and both contracting states claim full or partial tax on accrued income.

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May 4, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy And The Invisible Hand Of God

We Are Better Than This (2014)Huffington Post:  The Invisible Hand of God, by Jim Burklo (Associate Dean of Religious Life, USC):

The United States has the highest poverty rate, the greatest income inequality, and the greatest wealth inequality of any major developed economy in the world. Edward Kleinbard, We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money (Oxford University Press, 2014) (p 98).

America ought to be better than these statistics imply. It's time for us to live up to the moral values espoused so long ago by Adam Smith. The real Adam Smith, that is.

I've just finished a dense but important and surprisingly readable book by a University of Southern California professor of tax law, Ed Kleinbard. I had the privilege of enjoying a vegetarian lunch with him last week at USC's Good Karma Cafe. He was eager for me to do what I could in the faith community to spread the message of his recent book. And I'm eager to do so, because there is good theology lurking amid the wonky details of tax and spending policy in We Are Better Than This.

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May 4, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is quite 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 #4 and #5:

  1. [247 Downloads]  Can Sharing Be Taxed?, by Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College)
  2. [199 Downloads]  Using the 'Smart Return' to Reduce Tax Evasion, by Joseph Bankman (Stanford), Clifford Nass (Stanford) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan)
  3. [188 Downloads]  The Historical Origins of the Debt-Equity Distinction, by Camden Hutchison (Wisconsin)
  4. [171 Downloads]  Scholarship Against Desire, by Shari Motro (Richmond)
  5. [126 Downloads]  Fairness and Taxation in a Globalized World, by Sigrid Hemels (Eramus)

May 3, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)