TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, April 11, 2016

Oh Presents How The Rich Drive Progressive Marginal Tax Rates Today At Pepperdine

OhJason S. Oh (UCLA) presents How the Rich Drive Progressive Marginal Tax Rates at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

Why do income tax systems consistently feature progressive marginal rates? The existing literature tells a political story focusing on the preferences of the poor and middle class – high rates at the top of the rate schedule can fund greater redistribution. This Article argues that progressive marginal rates can alternatively be explained by focusing on the preferences of the middle class and the rich regarding the bottom of the rate schedule. Specifically, these groups benefit from inframarginal rate cuts at low levels of income. This alternative explanation of marginal rate progressivity is attractive because it focuses on the rich, a group which intuition and research suggest wields disproportionate political power.

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April 11, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fleischer Presents Alpha: Labor Is The New Capital Today At UC-Irvine

Fleischer (2016)Victor Fleischer (San Diego) presents Alpha: Labor is the New Capital at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

What taxpayers report as capital gains income is often a form of labor income in disguise. This is especially true at the very top of the income distribution, where a large and rising share of national income is derived from partnership allocations of carried interest, the sale of founders’ stock, and the sale of investment services partnership interests. Rich people sometimes say they are lightly taxed because they have investment income. This is not always true. Often, they are lightly taxed because corporate executives, founders of technology companies, and investment fund managers earn income that measures the value of their labor by reference to the value of a capital asset, thus transforming labor income into capital gains. This kind of income—what I call alpha income—accounts for the lion’s share of the recent rise of income inequality in the United States.

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April 11, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hemel:  The Vanguard Case Reconsidered

VanguardDaniel Hemel (Chicago), The Vanguard Case Reconsidered, 150 Tax Notes 1466 (Mar. 21, 2016):

Recent news reports have suggested that the Vanguard Group family of mutual funds may need to quadruple investors’ fees to cover corporate income tax liabilities. Professor Reuven Avi-Yonah has estimated that Vanguard’s federal tax liability for the 2007-2014 period is roughly $34.6 billion. For the more than 20 million investors in Vanguard funds, the potential financial implications of the tax dispute are significant: Vanguard would presumably pass its tax costs along to customers, leading to higher expense ratios and lower returns. For observers of the IRS, the issue is an important one as well: A $34.6 billion recovery from Vanguard would be multiples more than what the IRS has ever recouped from a taxpayer in a transfer pricing case.

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April 11, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Caron & Soled:  New Prominence Of Tax Basis In Estate Planning

Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine) & Jay A. Soled (Rutgers), New Prominence of Tax Basis in Estate Planning, 150 Tax Notes 1569 (Mar. 28, 2016):

In this article, Caron and Soled discuss how section 1014(b)(6) offers a bridge for taxpayers to maximize the tax basis they have in their assets. Whether Congress should retain this anachronistic provision is an open issue. The authors explain the historical background of section 1014(b)(6), demonstrate the potential income tax savings from applying it, and outline several planning strategies to achieve those savings.

April 11, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Should Law Schools Give Summer Grants To Faculty For Teaching Projects As Well As For Research?

Summer GrantsMost law schools offer summer research grants.  The latest Society of American Law Teachers survey reports summer research grant awards at 82 law schools (41% of all law schools), ranging from $3,000 at Gonzaga (ranked #132 in U.S. News) to $27,500 at Georgia (#33).  Only one of the Top 25 law schools (Iowa) responded to the SALT survey, and anecdotal evidence suggests that summer research grants are much higher at those schools, often 2/9 of salary. The Best Practices for Legal Education blog "suggests that in addition to research grants, schools consider summer teaching innovation grants":

At Georgia State, like at many schools, our dean has encouraged us to integrate experiential learning throughout the curriculum.  And, he has put his money where his mouth is.

Faculty can compete for  summer teaching innovation grants which are funded at the same level as research grants. Both junior and senior faculty members have taken advantage of the summer grant  opportunities to either revamp existing courses or create new ones.

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April 11, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, April 10, 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 paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. [623 Downloads]  Lexisnexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance: Chapter 1, by Willliam Byrnes (Texas A&M) & Robert J. Munro (Texas A&M)
  2. [300 Downloads]  The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums, by Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College)
  3. [264 Downloads]  Ownership of the Means of Production, by E. Glen Weyl (Chicago) & Anthony Lee Zhang (Stanford)
  4. [243 Downloads]  Taxing Wealth Seriously, by Edward J. McCaffery (USC)
  5. [233 Downloads]  The Law of the Platform, by Orly Lobel (San Diego)

April 10, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

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April 8, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call For Papers:  NTA 109th Annual Conference On Taxation

NTA LogoThe National Tax Association has issued a Call for Papers for its 109th Annual Conference on Taxation to be held Nov. 10-12, 2016 in Baltimore:

The 109th Annual Conference on Taxation will cover a broad range of topics including, but not limited to, taxation and tax policies; expenditure policies; government budgeting; intergovernmental fiscal relations; and subnational, national, and international public finance. The conference will focus, as always, on policy-relevant research bearing on taxation and government spending.

You are invited to submit a paper or a complete session. May 1, 2016 is the deadline for submitting papers or sessions. Decisions concerning the inclusion of papers and sessions will be announced in July 2016. Authors of accepted papers will be offered the opportunity to include them in the Proceedings. All presenters will be required to register and pay a conference registration fee.

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April 8, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Kahng Presents Who Owns Human Capital? Today At Indiana

Kahng (2016)Lily Kahng (Seattle) presents Who Owns Human Capital?, 93 Wash. U. L. Rev. ___ (2016), at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

This Article analyzes the tax law’s capital income preference through the lens of intellectual capital, an increasingly important driver of economic productivity whose value derives primarily from workers’ knowledge, experience and skills. The Article discusses how business owners increasingly are able to “propertize” labor into intellectual capital — to control their workers and appropriate the returns on their labor through the expansive use of intellectual property laws, contract and employment laws, and other legal mechanisms. The Article then shows how the tax law provides significant subsidies to the process of propertization and thereby contributes to the inequitable distribution of returns between business owners and workers. The Article’s analysis further reveals the tax law’s fundamental capital-labor distinction to be questionable, perhaps even illusory, an insight which has profound implications for the tax law.

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April 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Blank Presents The Timing Of Tax Transparency Today At Duke

Blank (2016)Joshua Blank (NYU) presents The Timing of Tax Transparency, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Fairness in the administration of the tax law is the subject of intense debate in the United States. As recent headlines reveal, the Internal Revenue Service has been accused of failing to enforce the tax law equitably in its review of tax-exempt status applications by political organizations, the international tax structures of multinational corporations, and the estate tax returns of millionaires, among other areas. Many have argued that greater “tax transparency” would better empower the public to hold the IRS accountable and the IRS to defend itself against accusations of malfeasance. Mandatory public disclosure of taxpayers’ tax return information is often proposed as a way to achieve greater tax transparency. Yet, in addition to concerns regarding exposure of personal and proprietary information, broad public disclosure measures pose potential threats to the taxing authority’s ability to enforce the tax law.

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April 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lederman Presents Does Enforcement Crowd Out Voluntary Tax Compliance? At Tulane

Ledderman (2016)Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomnington) presented Does Enforcement Crowd Out Voluntary Tax Compliance? at Tulane as part of its Regulation and Coordination Workshop Series:

Governments commonly use deterrence methods, such as audits and the imposition of penalties, to foster compliance with tax laws. Although this approach is consistent with economic modeling of tax compliance, some scholars caution that deterrence may backfire, “crowding out” intrinsic motivations to pay taxes and thus reducing compliance. This article analyzes the evidence to date to determine the extent of such an effect. Field studies suggest that deterrence tools, such as audits, generally are highly effective at increasing tax collections but that crowding out may occur in some contexts, with respect to certain subgroups of taxpayers.

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April 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prisinzano & Yagan Present Business In The U.S.: Who Owns It And How Much Do They Pay? At NYU

NYU Law (2016)Richard Prisinzano (U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Analysis) & Danny Yagan (UC-Berkeley) presented Business in the United States: Who Owns It and How Much Do They Pay? at NYU as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

"Pass-through" businesses like partnerships and S-corporations now generate over half of U.S. business income and account for much of the post-1980 rise in the top-1% income share. We use administrative tax data from 2011 to identify pass-through business owners and estimate how much tax they pay. We present three findings. (1) Relative to traditional business income, pass-through business income is substantially more concentrated among high-earners. (2) Partnership ownership is opaque: 20% of the income goes to unclassifiable partners, and 15% of the income is earned in circularly owned partnerships. (3) The average federal income tax rate on U.S. pass-through business income is 19%--much lower than the average rate on traditional corporations. If pass-through activity had remained at 1980's low level, strong but straightforward assumptions imply that the 2011 average U.S. tax rate on total U.S. business income would have been 28% rather than 24%, and tax revenue would have been approximately $100 billion higher.

Dan Shaviro (NYU):

This is an important contribution, or rather the first of what are likely to be a series of important contributions, that attempt to increase our knowledge by making use of U.S. federal tax return information about businesses in the U.S. that are taxed as pass-throughs (i.e., partnerships or S corporations). In particular, it seeks to link information from partnership-level Form 1065 returns to that from partner-level Schedule K-1 returns, thereby presenting a comprehensive picture of who reports partnership income and how much U.S. federal income tax is paid on such income. In a more rational world, this would have been done years ago, and doing it would be easier than it actually is. I'll focus here just on partnerships, although there is also some information in the paper in re. S corporations.

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April 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stark Presents Regional Taxation And Regional Tax Base Sharing In State Tax Reform Today At Colorado

Stark (2014)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents Regional Taxation and Regional Tax Base Sharing in State Tax Reform at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

This article describes and evaluates a specific subset of state tax reforms—i.e., those involving regional approaches to funding subnational public goods. Reforms examined include those where policymakers devise new multijurisdictional fiscal arrangements to address regional objectives that conventional local governments, by virtue of their more limited geographic scope, are unlikely to tackle. As used in this article, the term “region” refers to a geographic area (1) constituting less than the entire jurisdiction of a state, and (2) encompassing more than one local government jurisdiction. A “regional tax” is therefore any tax (fee, assessment, etc....) limited in its application to a geographic area so defined. A closely related policy is “regional tax base sharing”—i.e., the imposition of a tax on a base that is shared among several local jurisdictions, with the proceeds distributed among those localities.

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April 7, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brunson:  The Taxation Of Mutual Funds

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), The Taxation of RICs: Replicating Portfolio Investment or Eliminating Double Taxation?, 20 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 222 (2015):

Mutual FundsMutual funds and other regulated investment companies currently occupy a central space in American households’ financial lives. Is spite of their near-ubiquity, though, regulated investment companies occupy a strange tax limbo as quasi-pass-through entities, neither fully taxable nor fully tax-transparent. To qualify for this quasi-pass-through status, regulated investment companies must, among other things, distribute the bulk of their income to shareholders annually.

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April 7, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Burman Presents An Analysis Of The Ted Cruz And Bernie Sanders Tax Plans Today At Georgetown

Burman (2016)Len Burman (Tax Policy Center) presents An Analysis of the Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders Tax Plans at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s tax proposal would (1) repeal the corporate income tax, payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and estate and gift taxes; (2) collapse the seven individual income tax rates to a single 10 percent rate, increase the standard deduction, and eliminate most other deductions and credits; and (3) introduce a new 16 percent broad-based consumption tax. The plan would cut taxes at most income levels, although the highest-income households would benefit the most and the poor the least. Federal tax revenues would decline by $8.6 trillion (3.6 percent of gross domestic product) over a decade.

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April 6, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Prisinzano Presents Business In The U.S.: Who Owns It And How Much Do They Pay? Today At Penn

Penn (2016)Richard Prisinzano (U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Analysis) presents Business in the United States: Who Owns It and How Much Do They Pay? at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner:

"Pass-through" businesses like partnerships and S-corporations now generate over half of U.S. business income and account for much of the post-1980 rise in the top-1% income share. We use administrative tax data from 2011 to identify pass-through business owners and estimate how much tax they pay. We present three findings. (1) Relative to traditional business income, pass-through business income is substantially more concentrated among high-earners. (2) Partnership ownership is opaque: 20% of the income goes to unclassifiable partners, and 15% of the income is earned in circularly owned partnerships. (3) The average federal income tax rate on U.S. pass-through business income is 19%--much lower than the average rate on traditional corporations. If pass-through activity had remained at 1980's low level, strong but straightforward assumptions imply that the 2011 average U.S. tax rate on total U.S. business income would have been 28% rather than 24%, and tax revenue would have been approximately $100 billion higher.

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April 6, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Faulhaber Presents Designing R&D Credits And Patent Boxes In The Age Of BEPS At Northwestern

FaulhaberLily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presented Tax Incentives for Innovation: Designing R&D Credits and Patent Boxes in the Age of BEPS at Northwestern yesterday as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation  Workshop Series hosted by Herbert Beller, Charlotte CraneDavid Cameron, Philip Postlewaite, Jeffrey Sheffield, and Robert Wootton:

For decades, governments have turned to their tax codes to support research and development and innovation. In recent years, countries have added yet another tool to their repertoire of tax incentives for R&D: innovation boxes, sometimes referred to as patent boxes or IP boxes, which provide benefits to income from intellectual property. In response to the increasing number of innovation boxes, the forty-four OECD and G-20 member countries involved in the recent BEPS Project developed a requirement known as the nexus approach that places limits on the design of these tax incentives.

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April 6, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lipman Presents The Individual Tax Penalty And The Affordable Care Act Today At UNLV

LipmanFrancine Lipman (UNLV) presents Irresponsibly Taxing Irresponsibility: The Individual Tax Penalty and the Affordable Care Act, 23 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y ___ (2016) (with James Owens (J.D. 2015, UNLV)) at the Western Decision Sciences Institute Annual Meeting today at UNLV:

This article first details and then revises the newly implemented penalty tax (the Shared Responsibility Payment or the “SRP”) under the Affordable Care Act. The SRP was designed by Congress to ensure that every American obtains minimum essential healthcare coverage so that comprehensive and affordable health care coverage can be achieved for all qualifying Americans. While the penalty tax was deemed constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, it is extremely complicated and has challenged many Americans especially lower-income individuals.

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April 6, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer (2013)The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 69, No. 2 (Winter 2016):

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April 6, 2016 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Knoll & Mason:  Economic Foundation Of The Dormant Commerce Clause

Michael S. Knoll (Pennsylvania) & Ruth Mason (Virginia), Economic Foundation of the Dormant Commerce Clause, 102 Va. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

Last Term, a sharply divided Supreme Court decided a landmark dormant Commerce Clause case, Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. Wynne represents the Court’s first clear acknowledgement of the economic underpinnings of one of its main doctrinal tools for resolving tax discrimination cases, the internal consistency test. In deciding Wynne, the Court relied on economic analysis we provided. This Essay explains that analysis, why the majority accepted it, why the dissenters’ objections to the majority’s reasoning miss their mark, and what Wynne means for state taxation.

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April 5, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

ACTEC Issues Request For Proposals For $20,000 Grant To Host T&E Symposium

ACTECThe Legal Education Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) requests proposals for a $20,000 grant to host an academic symposium on trust and estate law during the 2017-18 academic year:

The ACTEC Foundation Symposium is intended to be the premier academic symposium on trust and estate law in the United States. The goals of the symposium are to stimulate development of scholarly work in trust and estate law, bridge the gap between the academic community and practitioners, provide opportunities for junior academics to present papers and interact with more senior academics, provide an opportunity for trust and estate professors to interact with each other, involve academics from other disciplines in discussions of trust and estate topics, and strengthen ACTEC’s image as the leading organization for trust and estate lawyers, both practitioners and academics.

The grant associated with this RFP is contingent on approval by the ACTEC Foundation.

RFPs are due by Monday, May 2, 2016, and will be considered by the Symposium Subcommittee of the ACTEC Legal Education Committee at ACTEC’s Summer Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, in June 2016. Please submit RFPs (RFP content and guidelines are set forth below) to:

Nancy A. McLaughlin
Professor of Law, University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law
Co-Chair, ACTEC Legal Education Committee
nancy.mclaughlin@law.utah.edu

Electronic submissions are fine (subject line of email should read “ACTEC Symposium RFP”).

I. RFP Content

The RFP should provide the following information.

A. Theme. The theme of the symposium should be related to trust and estate law, defined to include any topic related to the gratuitous transfer of property (e.g., probate law, trust law, elder law, transfer tax law). A broad theme permits a wide range of papers and is more likely to be successful. Past themes have included Trust Law in the 21st Century (Cardozo 2005); Inheritance Law in the 21st Century (UCLA 2008); Philanthropy Law in the 21st Century (Chicago-Kent 2009); The Uniform Probate Code: Remaking of American Succession Law (Michigan 2011); and The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer (Vanderbilt 2014). The theme of the most recent symposium, which took place at Boston College Law School in October 2015, was The Centennial of the Estate Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations (articles will be published in the Boston College Law Review May 2016 symposium edition).

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

University Of Basel Call For Papers:  Global Histories Of Taxation And State Finances Since The Late 19th Century

BaselVanessa Ogle (Pennsylvania) and the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel (Switzerland) have issued a  Call for Papers for a symposium on Global Histories of Taxation and State Finances Since the Late 19th Century to be held at the University of Basel on December 1-3, 2016.  The deadline for submitting proposals is May 31, 2016.

Taxation has wide-ranging implications for global as well as domestic orders, ranging from budgets and public finances to inequality, the social fabric of societies, and worldwide competition for corporate profits. Since the global financial crisis of 2008 in particular, taxation and the reform of tax systems have become talking points in many parts of the North Atlantic world. Tax reform is often said to be required for fostering a more attractive business climate through reducing the tax burden and thus increasing tax competitiveness. Other voices focus on government revenues in times of empty coffers and instead call for higher tax rates especially for top earners. Thomas Piketty and his Capital in the Twenty-First Century as well as the Occupy movement in the United States have galvanized attention on the connections between taxes and inequality. Outrage at the rise of the “One Percent” is accompanied by calls for shutting down tax havens available mostly to the super rich. Whether in the United States or Britain, however, multinationals such as Google and Apple successfully play the inversion game by splitting up into multiple units and reincorporating in lower-tax countries for the purpose of obtaining better tax conditions.

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

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shobe:  Supercharged IPOs, The Up-C, And Private Tax Benefits In Public Offerings

Gladriel Shobe (BYU), Supercharged IPOs, the Up-C, and Private Tax Benefits in Public Offerings, 88  U. Colo. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

The “supercharged IPO”, a new and increasingly popular financial transaction, has fundamentally changed the nature of IPOs for many companies. Traditionally, an IPO was a tax nonevent for the company and the owners, meaning it created no tax liability for either. Through creative and questionable tax planning, companies have found a way to do better than this by effectively generating a negative tax liability for the company and its owners. These transactions have received substantial attention from practicing lawyers, investment bankers, journalists, and even briefly caught the attention of Congress. Yet these transactions have attracted surprisingly little scrutiny from scholars, and the attention they have received has failed to consider the different types of supercharged IPOs, which is necessary for understanding why these transactions exist, why they have increased in popularity, and whether they are justified legally and normatively. This Article examines the costs and benefits of the different types of supercharged IPOs to show that some of these transactions have greater tax benefits than scholars have realized. It places a particular emphasis on the Up-C, a structure with the greatest tax benefits, which scholars have overlooked even though it is by far the most common, and increasingly popular, form of supercharged IPO. A closer examination of the Up-C, separate from other supercharged IPOs, reveals that this structure produces tax benefits that are not justified by the regulations that supposedly allow them.

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

Oei, Simkovic Debate The Knowledge Tax

Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane), Supply, Demand, and the Taxation of Knowledge, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. Dialogue 268 (2016):

In The Knowledge Tax, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1981 (2015), Professor Michael Simkovic tackles the question of why rates of return on higher education are higher than rates of return on other types of investments, such as equity and real estate. Dissatisfied with existing economic explanations, the additional account that he offers is distortionary taxation: specifically, we tax higher education less favorably than other investments, thereby driving down demand for higher education relative to alternatives, creating an undersupply of labor, and buttressing education’s rate of return. In this invited response essay, I explore some of the issues raised but left open by The Knowledge Tax. I largely accept the article’s factual premise — that pretax rates of return on higher education are higher than returns on equity — but question some aspects of the argument and develop other aspects. I make three basic points: First, it is not clear that higher education is, in fact, taxed less favorably than traditional investments. Second, the analysis rests on the assumption that higher education and capital investment are substitutes, but it is not clear the extent to which this is the case. Finally, to the extent that tax considerations play a role in the decisions of potential students, we need a more robust account of which tax incentives matter.

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall), Taxes, Subsidies, and Knowledge: A Reply to Professor Oei, 82 U. Chi.. L. Rev. Dialogue ___ (2016):

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

Sunday, April 3, 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 other reshuffling of the order within the Top 5:

  1. [509 Downloads]  Lexisnexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance: Chapter 1, by Willliam Byrnes (Texas A&M) & Robert J. Munro (Texas A&M)
  2. [459 Downloads]  What Now? A Boomer's Baedeker for the Distribution Phase of Defined Contribution Retirement Plans, by Richard Kaplan (Illinois)
  3. [288 Downloads]  The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums, by Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College)
  4. [227 Downloads]  Ownership of the Means of Production, by E. Glen Weyl (Chicago) & Anthony Lee Zhang (Stanford)
  5. [222 Downloads]  Taxing Wealth Seriously, by Edward J. McCaffery (USC)

April 3, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

19th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference Concludes Today At Tulane

Tulane (2015)The 19th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference concludes today at Tulane:

Panel #4:  Tax Expenditures, Social Insurance, and Younger Generations (Chair: Charlotte Crane (Northwestern))

  • Samuel Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) & David Herzig (Valparaiso), The Effect of Obergefell on the Tax Exemption of Churches and Religiously-Affiliated Organizations
  • Neil Buchanan (George Washington), Social Security, Inequality, and Younger Generations
  • Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Rethinking the Taxable Unit: Why Dependency Trumps Marriage as the Preferred Reference Standard

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April 2, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kleinbard Presents Fiscal Policy In An Age Of Inequality Today At AAA Conference

Kleinbard (2015)Edward Kleinbard (USC) presents Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality at the American Accounting Association 2016 Conference and Doctoral/Early Scholar Consortium today in Orlando, Florida:

Federal budget deficits are always easy news fodder, and the Congressional Budget Office’s deficit projections for the next 10 years are uncomfortably high by most measures. Government today is operating in a budget deficit lull, but the pace of deficit growth is predicted to increase again after 2018, and under the CBO’s baseline assumptions are projected to reach 4.9 percent of GDP in 2026.

But deficit projections convey less information than is generally understood, both because the assumptions underlying the projections abstract from realistic outcomes in various respects, and because deficits themselves are the net of two numbers, government revenues and government expenses. Are taxes too low, or government spending too high? Or are both too low relative to our needs?

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

19th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference Kicks Off Today At Tulane

Tulane (2015)The 19th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference kicks off today at Tulane:

Critical tax scholarship aims at looking beyond the language of the Code and regulations to examine what the tax law actually does. It has roots in critical legal studies generally, and therefore Critical tax scholars frequently ask why the tax laws are the way they are and what impact tax laws have on historically disempowered groups, such as people of color; women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; low-income and poor individuals; the disabled; and nontraditional families. But Critical tax scholarship is not limited either to those topics or to any particular methodology.

Critical tax scholarship shares the following goals: (1) to uncover bias in the tax laws; (2) to explore and expose how the tax laws both reflect and construct social meaning; and (3) to educate nontax scholars and lawyers about the interconnectedness of taxation, social justice, and progressive political movements. Critical tax scholars employ a variety of methods to achieve these goals such as bringing "outsider" perspectives to the study of tax law; using historical material, contemporary case studies, and personal or fictional narratives to illustrate the practical impact of the tax laws on individuals and groups; interpreting social science and economic data to show how the tax laws impact groups differently; and exploring the interconnectedness of tax laws with economic forces such as the labor market and international financial and political development.

Panel #1:  Tax Compliance and Tax Regime Design (Chair: Adam Rosenzweig (Washington University))

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April 1, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blank Presents The Timing Of Tax Transparency Today At Virginia

Blank (2016)Joshua Blank (NYU) presents The Timing of Tax Transparency, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at Virginia today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

Fairness in the administration of the tax law is the subject of intense debate in the United States. As recent headlines reveal, the Internal Revenue Service has been accused of failing to enforce the tax law equitably in its review of tax-exempt status applications by political organizations, the international tax structures of multinational corporations, and the estate tax returns of millionaires, among other areas. Many have argued that greater “tax transparency” would better empower the public to hold the IRS accountable and the IRS to defend itself against accusations of malfeasance. Mandatory public disclosure of taxpayers’ tax return information is often proposed as a way to achieve greater tax transparency. Yet, in addition to concerns regarding exposure of personal and proprietary information, broad public disclosure measures pose potential threats to the taxing authority’s ability to enforce the tax law.

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April 1, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drumbl Presents Poverty, Tax, And Noncompliance Today In Australia

DrumblMichelle Drumbl (Washington & Lee) presents Beyond Polemics: Poverty, Tax, and Noncompliance today at the 12th International Conference on Tax Administration (program) hosted by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia:

The earned income tax credit (EITC) is the most significant earnings-based refundable credit in the U.S. tax system. Designed as an anti-poverty program, it is a social benefit administered by the Internal Revenue Service. The EITC reaches more than 27 million households annually. Studies show it has a positive impact upon the children whose families receive it. Despite its many positives, however, the EITC is a program that for years has been plagued by taxpayer noncompliance: the estimated rate of improper payments on EITC claims has ranged between 20 and 30%, totaling billions of dollars annually. Though it is believed that the majority of EITC noncompliance may be unintentional, public reports of misconduct and fraud add fuel to the political rhetoric about a revenue system in which nearly half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

This article unpacks the rhetoric. It describes why the term “improper payments” is not synonymous with fraud. It places EITC noncompliance within the broader context of the U.S. “tax gap” and examines what intentional EITC noncompliance has in common with sole proprietor noncompliance. It explores motivations for intentional EITC noncompliance and also examines the role of inadvertent error in the overclaim rate. It describes the ways in which self-prepared returns present wholly different challenges than those completed by paid preparers.

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

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Goldin Presents Rethinking The Taxation Of Single Parents Today At Duke

GoldinJacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Beyond Head of Household: Rethinking the Taxation of Single Parents (with Zachary Liscow (Yale)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Under current law, unmarried taxpayers with children can take advantage of the head of household filing status (HHFS) to reduce their federal income taxes. We argue that the design of the filing status is largely obsolete, geared toward alleviating a “marriage penalty” in the tax code that is much less important than when the filing status was first established. At the same time, the growth in the fraction of Americans raising children outside of traditional two-parent households has dramatically raised the cost of the filing status to the fisc.

In this article, we highlight two features of the design of HHFS that undermine its goal of providing support to single parent households.

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

Bank Presents Executive Pay: What Worked? Today At UCLA

Bank (2016)Steven Bank (UCLA) presents Executive Pay: What Worked? (with Brian R. Cheffins (Cambridge) & Harwell Wells (Temple)) at UCLA today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium Series hosted by Jason Oh and Eric Zolt: :

CEO pay is a controversial issue in America but there was a time, often overlooked today, when chief executives were not paid nearly as much as they are now. From 1940 to the mid-1970s executive pay was modest by today’s standards even though U.S. business was generally thriving. What worked to keep executive pay in check? Economist Thomas Piketty and others credit high marginal income tax rates, leading to calls for a return to a similar tax regime. This paper casts doubt on the impact tax had and also shows that neither the configuration of boards nor shareholder activism played a significant role in constraining executive pay.

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

Raskolnikov Presents From Deterrence to Compliance: Legal Uncertainty Reexamined Today At Colorado

Raskolnikov (2015)Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia) presents From Deterrence to Compliance: Legal Uncertainty Reexamined at Colorado today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Hasen and Sloan Speck:

Law is imperfect. It is full of standards that are neither clear nor socially optimal. How do rational actors respond to these standards? How should we evaluate these responses? What happens when legal advisors tackle legal uncertainty? These questions have few answers in law and economics. This article investigates a model of rational decisionmaking under uncertain law from the perspective of legal compliance rather than optimal deterrence. It does so by combining economic analysis with a practical understanding of the market for legal advice. Some of the results are unsurprising from both theoretical and practical perspectives; others are unexpected.

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

O'Brien Presents The Relationship Between Taxation And Investment Agreements Today At British Columbia

O'BrienMartha O'Brien (University of Victoria, Faculty of Law) presents The Relationship Between Taxation and Investment Agreements at the University of British Columbia today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Canada has entered into numerous bilateral investment Treaties (BITs), and is in the process of ratifying both the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union and its 28 member states, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with 11 other Pacific rim nations including Canada’s NAFTA partners. These international trade and investment agreements (IIAs) contain significant commitments to investors of national treatment, most-favoured nation treatment and fair and equitable treatment by the host state; they prohibit expropriation of investments and provide for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) through arbitration. The implications of such commitments for the tax systems of the parties to these agreements means that issues of direct taxation are almost entirely carved-out of the investment agreement and are resolved under the relevant double taxation treaty or domestic tax law.

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

2016 Florida Tax Institute

Florida Tax InstituteThe two-day 2016 Florida Tax Institute (program), sponsored by the Florida Tax Education Foundation with all proceeds benefiting the University of Florida Graduate Tax Program, concludes today.  Tax Prof speakers include:

  • Karen Burke (Florida) & James Sowell (KPMG), Hot Asset Distributions and New Rules Under Section 751(b)
  • Sam Donaldson (Georgia State), Current Developments in the Transfer Tax Arena

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

Conference On The Fate Of Scholarship In American Law Schools

FateBaltimore hosts a two-day conference beginning today 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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March 31, 2016 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sarah Lawsky Leaves UC-Irvine For Northwestern

LawskySarah B. Lawsky, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at UC-Irvine, has accepted a lateral offer to join Northwestern's faculty in the fall.  After working as a tax associate in New York City for five years, Sarah joined the George Washington faculty in 2007.  She moved to UC-Irvine in 2010 (and will receive her Ph.D. in philosophy there in 2017).  She visited Northwestern in Fall 2015 (and Virginia in 2009-10).  Her recent publications include:

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bradley Presents Two Patent Box Papers Today At Penn

DrexelSebastien Bradley (Drexel) presents two patent box papers (with Estelle Dauchy (New Economic School) & Leslie Robinson (Dartmouth)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series:

Cross-Country Evidence on the Preliminary Effects of Patent Box Regimes on Patent Activity and Ownership:

This paper evaluates the initial impacts of patent box regimes in light of their primary stated objectives: stimulating domestic innovation and retaining mobile patent income to limit base erosion. Despite their lack of nexus requirements, we find that patent box regimes yield a 3 percent increase in new patent applications for every percentage point reduction in the tax rate on patent income. We find no significant impact of these regimes on deterring outward cross-border attribution of patent ownership, or on attracting ownership of foreign inventions. Increased patenting activity hence appears focused on inventions involving co-located (domestic) patent owners and inventors.

The Impact of Patent Box Regimes on the M&A Market:

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March 30, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hayashi Presents The Effects Of Refund Anticipation Loans On Tax Filing And Compliance Today At Toronto

HayashiAndrew Hayashi (Virginia) presents The Effects of Refund Anticipation Loans on Tax Filing and Compliance at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

The IRS has an uneasy relationship with the use of paid tax return preparers by low-income taxpayers. Preparers may improve filing and take-up of benefits like the earned income tax credit (EITC), but many preparers also profit from financial products sold in connection with tax preparation that have been viewed as exploitative. Can we have a market for low-income tax preparation without such products, and should we? I estimate the effects of regulation curtailing the market for refund anticipation loans (RALs) on a variety of outcomes, including demand for paid tax preparation, EITC take-up, and demand for other financial products, to explore the source of RAL demand and the relationship between RALs and tax compliance.

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March 30, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Liscow & Woolston:  How Income Taxes Should Change During Recessions

Zachary D. Liscow (Yale) & William A. Woolston (Stanford), How Income Taxes Should Change during Recessions:

This paper offers recommendations for how the design of labor income taxes should change during recessions, based on a simple model of a recessionary economy in which jobs are rationed and some employees value working more than others do. The paper draws two counter-intuitive conclusions for maximizing social welfare. First, subsidize non-employment. This draws marginal workers out of the labor force, creating “space” for those who really need jobs. Second, subsidize employers for hiring, not the employees themselves.

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March 30, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 March 1, 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 (Mich.)

54,150

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich)

9988

2

Michael Simkovic (S. Hall)

30,903

Michael Simkovic (S. Hall)

4778

3

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

30,485

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3897

4

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

25,873

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

2436

5

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

25,518

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

2238

6

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

22,042

Jeff Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)

1912

7

James Hines (Michigan)

21,480

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

1870

8

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

20,727

Robert Sitkkoff (Harvard)

1842

9

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

20,717

Nancy McLaughlin (Utah)

1741

10

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

19,431

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

1723

11

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

18,469

David Weisbach (Chicago)

1611

12

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

17,322

Chris Hoyt (UMKC)

1588

13

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

16,709

Jack Manhire (Texas A&M)

1548

14

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

16,557

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

1536

15

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

16,281

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1479

16

David Weisbach (Chicago)

16,520

Gregg Polsky (N. Carolina)

1467

17

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

16,168

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

1434

18

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

16,136

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

1431

19

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

15,897

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

1283

20

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

15,616

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

1192

21

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

15,299

Ruth Mason (Virginia)

1147

22

David Walker (BU)

14,867

Yariv Brauner (Florida)

1146

23

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

14,465

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

1135

24

Herwig Schlunk (Vanderbilt)

13,082

Jordan Barry (San Diego)

1128

25

Steven Bank (UCLA)

12,719

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

1052

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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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Stewart Presents Transnational Tax Law: Fiction Or Reality, Future Or Now? Today At NYU

StewartMiranda Stewart (Australian National University) presents Transnational Tax Law: Fiction or Reality, Future or Now? at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

There is an increasing contemporary literature on transnational law. In the tax law context, there is a substantial literature on international tax law. Recently, Genschel and Rixen (2015) have analysed what they term a “transnational legal order” of international tax. Yet tax law has historically been seen as a bastion and expression of national sovereignty, funding public goods in the nation state and legitimated by legislative authority. What does it mean to identify a transnational legal order for taxation? Does transnational tax law really exist? If so, what is its authority and legitimacy? Who are its subjects and its agents? How is it enacted, interpreted and enforced in national or international spheres and how is it embedded in practice?

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March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Faulhaber Presents The Long Reach Of European Union Law: Patent Boxes And The Limits Of International Cooperation Today At Georgetown

Faulhaber (2016)Lily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents The Long Reach of European Union Law: Patent Boxes and the Limits of International Cooperation at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

From 2013 to 2015, the forty-four member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 worked together on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which was focused on curbing corporate tax avoidance. This article argues that the outcomes from that project show that European Union law is no longer just a concern of EU Member States. Instead, EU law and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) place constraints on non-EU countries by creating downward pressure on international standards.

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March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Rosenbloom Presents The Implications Of BEPS For A Rational United States Today At Case Western

RosenbloomH. David Rosenbloom (James S. Eustice Visiting Professor of Practice and Taxation and Director, International Tax Program, NYU; Partner, Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, D.C.) delivers the Norman A. Sugarman Memorial Lecture on The BEPS Project of the OECD: Implications for a Rational United States at Case Western today:

The project of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development on "Base Erosion and Profit Shifting" has launched a revolution in the field of international taxation. This lecture begins with the genesis of that project, proceeds to its core themes and recommendations, and identifies its foreseeable impacts. It concludes with an examination of both how the United States is likely to be affected and how, as a (perhaps counter-factually) rational country, it might appropriately respond.

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March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Southwestern

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Southwestern today as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

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March 29, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blinder & Watson:  The U.S. Economy Grows Faster Under Democratic Presidents

Alan S. Blinder (Princeton) & Mark W. Watson (Princeton), Presidents and the U.S. Economy: An Econometric Exploration, 106 Am. Econ. Rev. 1015 (2016):

The U.S. economy has grown faster--and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics--when the President of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican. For many measures, including real GDP growth (on which we concentrate), the performance gap is both large and statistically significant, despite the fact that postwar history includes only 16 complete presidential terms. This paper asks why. The answer is not found in technical time series matters (such as differential trends or mean reversion), nor in systematically more expansionary monetary or fiscal policy under Democrats. Rather, it appears that the Democratic edge stems mainly from more benign oil shocks, superior TFP performance, a more favorable international environment, and perhaps more optimistic consumer expectations about the near-term future. Many other potential explanations are examined but fail to explain the partisan growth gap.

1A

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March 29, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Pepperdine, UC-Irvine

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) today at Pepperdine (as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine) and UC-Irvine (as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian):

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

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

Crawford:  Widening The Critical Tax Lens

JotwellBridget Crawford (Pace), Widening the Critical Tax Lens (Jotwell) (reviewing Lily Kahng, The Not-So-Merry Wives of Windsor: The Taxation of Women in Same-Sex Marriages, 101 Cornell L. Rev. 325 (2015)):

In the wake of the Windsor and Obergefell decisions, some tax scholars have drawn important attention to legal issues created in the period between Windsor and Obergefell for same-sex couples whose states did not recognize their marriages, as well as challenges faced by those who choose civil unions over marriage. Other tax scholars are wary of Obergefell’s glorification of marriage as the highest form of human fulfillment, and are skeptical that marriage is the correct foundation for a variety of procedural and substantive rules.

Enter into this conversation Lily Kahng’s thoughtful examination at how women in same-sex couples might fare from a tax perspective in a post-Windsor, post-Obergefell world.

For almost twenty years, Kahng has been a leading and consistent voice in critiquing the fiction of marital unity in the tax law. In The Not-So-Merry Wives of Windsor: The Taxation of Women in Same-Sex Marriages, Kahng turns on its head the assumption that same-sex marriage is a salutary shift in the legal landscape for same-sex couples. Kahng argues that under federal law, women in same-sex couples will be taxed unfavorably compared to women in different-sex couples. ...

For anyone interested in understanding the tax implications of the Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage, Kahng’s article is a must-read. Writing squarely within the critical tax tradition, Kahng looks at the tax system to ask important questions about advantage and disadvantage. For years, critical tax theorists have taken up the challenge of identifying ways in which the tax system privileged different-sex couples over same-sex couples. With this article, Kahng widens the critical tax lens further, inviting readers to consider the ways that women in same-sex couples might experience the tax law differently than men in same-sex couples or men and women in different-sex couples. The quest for fairness in taxation must be a nuanced one, as Lily Kahng’s careful work demonstrates.

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