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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Borden: Reforming REIT Taxation (Or Not)

REITBradley T. Borden (Brooklyn), Reforming REIT Taxation (Or Not), 53 Hous. L. Rev. ___ (2015):

Tax law treats the income of real estate investment trusts (REITs) differently from the income of regular corporations. Income distributed by regular corporations is subject to an entity-level tax and a shareholder-level tax, while taxable income distributed by REITs is subject to tax only at the shareholder level. To qualify for that single-level of tax, REITs must hold primarily real estate assets, and their income must be primarily from such assets. After being a relatively insignificant part of the economy for the first three decades of their existence, REITs have become relevant over the last twenty years, with the market capitalization of publicly traded REITs eclipsing 5% of U.S. GDP at the end of 2014. Reports about REITs appear frequently in major media outlets, with an emphasis on corporate-tax-base erosion that results from REIT taxation. Calls for REIT reform have been answered with proposed legislation that would change various aspects of REIT taxation. Recent work in this area shows that even though REITs do erode the corporate tax base, the requirement that they distribute income and the higher tax rates of REIT shareholders offset corporate-tax-base erosion and minimize the tax-revenue effects of REIT taxation.

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June 23, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Winning Papers In The 2014 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

TannenwaldThe co-winning papers in the 2014 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition, have been published by the Florida Tax Review:

Here are the abstracts:

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June 23, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sokol: Teaching Compliance

Compliance 2D. Daniel Sokol (Florida), Teaching Compliance, 84 U. Cin. L. Rev. ___ (2015):

Compliance is a growing field of practice across multiple areas of law. Increasingly companies put compliance risk among the most important corporate governance issues facing them. Moreover, as “JD plus” jobs proliferate, the demand for hiring both at the entry level and for former students currently in practice who are experienced in the compliance field will continue to grow. The growth in compliance jobs comes at a time in shifting demand for legal jobs for law school graduates. Traditional law firm entry level jobs at large law firms, which were the staple of on campus recruiting before 2007, have not returned to pre-2007 levels even with the end of the recession. Technological changes, greater in-house hiring, and better creation of efficiencies have reduced demand for large law firms, which were the traditional training ground for in-depth legal skills and soft skills.

Law schools have responded to the demand shift in entry level hiring with a supply side response - classes in compliance. In some cases, law schools have set up compliance certificates or degrees in areas such as health care and business law. There is now even a casebook devoted to compliance. Yet, with all of these efforts at creating opportunities for careers in compliance, many programs and classes in compliance are nothing other than dressed up versions of classes in white collar crime or regulation or lectures on latest case developments that one might find in a continuing legal education program. These courses do not focus on the substantive areas needs practice with the highest demand for compliance (in-house legal and JD plus jobs) and do not teach the analytical skills necessary to succeed in such jobs. Nor do they focus on the special context within which compliance operates – ideally independent of the “business” but always a part of it. Essentially, law schools have misdiagnosed the demand side - it is not merely the particular type of class (compliance) but also the substance of such classes with the type of quality offering necessary to maximize student short term (entry level hiring) and long term (preparation for ever-shifting analytically complex practice challenges).

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June 23, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Oxford Hosts Business Tax Conference This Week

Sanchirico: Tax Inertia And Business Tax Reform

Chris William Sanchirico (Pennsylvania), Tax Inertia: A General Framework with Specific Application to Business Tax Reform (appendix):

A surprising degree of bipartisan consensus has lately formed in the United States around two propositions of business tax reform: that something should be done about the “lockout” of US multinationals’ foreign earnings; and that the corporate income tax rate should be reduced. This paper questions whether these two propositions are really consistent. In the process of attempting to provide an answer, it develops a framework for relating and measuring various forms of “tax inertia”: tax-based disincentives to alter investments. Applying this framework, the paper concludes that the current agreement on business tax reform is substantially in disagreement with itself. 

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

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

  1. [357 Downloads]  Taxation of E-Commerce, by Orkhan Abdulkarimli (Baku State)
  2. [281 Downloads]  Trust Decanting: A Sale Without Gain Realization, by Jason Kleinman (Herrick, New York)
  3. [180 Downloads]  Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital, by James Kwak (Connecticut)
  4. [164 Downloads]  Citizenship Taxation, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)
  5. [143 Downloads]  What Does Voluntary Tax Compliance Mean?: A Government Perspective, by J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department)

June 21, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Atanassov Presents Corporate Income Taxes, Financial Constraints And Innovation Today At Northwestern

SearleJulian Atanassov (Oregon) presents Corporate Income Taxes, Financial Constraints and Innovation (with Xiaoding Liu (Oregon)) at the Eighth Annual Conference on Innovation Economics today at Northwestern's Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth:

We examine exogenous changes in state corporate income taxes over the 1988-2006 period and find that tax decreases significantly boost both the quantity, measured by the number of patents, and the quality, measured by citations per patent, of innovative output, while tax increases have little impact on innovation. Most of the impact of tax changes on innovation occurs two or more years after the tax change, which alleviates concerns of reverse causality. Further tests examine the channels through which tax decreases affect innovation. We document that tax decreases have stronger impact on innovation for more financially constrained firms, for firms with weaker governance and for firms that engage in tax avoidance to a greater extent. The latter result suggests that, after a tax decrease, firms can allocate more resources to innovative activities rather than to tax avoidance. We conduct numerous additional tests to demonstrate that our results are not spurious and subject to endogeneity biases.

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

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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June 19, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

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June 19, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crespi: The 'Tax Bomb' Facing Lawyers Who Enroll In Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans Is Even Bigger

IBRFollowing on last week's post, The 'Tax Bomb' Facing Lawyers Who Enroll In Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans:  Greg Crespi (SMU) reports that he has

substantially revised and greatly improved my IBR “tax bomb” draft paper that I sent to you on June 7, in response to a lot of very helpful feedback from other scholars and practitioners, and I have replaced my prior SSRN posting with this new draft (attached) .  This new draft has a much more accurate assessment of the actually quite limited significance of the DOE’s new REPAYE Plan (more limited than I had previously realized), and now includes significantly larger and probably much more accurate projections of the size of the problem.  I now project that by 2038 approximately 20,000+ lawyers will be impacted each year by this IBR or PAYE debt forgiveness tax liability (see p. 80-81), with an annual aggregate tax bill imposed upon these lawyers of approximately $800 million to $900 million (see p. 82-83).  According to SSRN many of your readers have downloaded my draft, and you may want to give them a heads-up as to this new and improved  draft with its more dramatic predictions as to the 2032 and later tax implications for high-debt law school graduates of the IBR program.

June 19, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fennell: Do Not Cite Or Circulate

DNCCLee Anne Fennell (Chicago), Do Not Cite or Circulate, 18 Green Bag 2d 151 (2015):

This short essay ponders why legal scholars attach formulations such as "Do Not Cite or Circulate" to draft works. It argues against the practice in most circumstances, particularly for work posted on the internet.

June 18, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IRS-TPC Research Conference Today On Improving Tax Administration Through Research-Driven Efficiencies

TPC-IRSThe IRS and Tax Policy Center are hosting a research conference today on Improving Tax Administration Through Research-Driven Efficiencies with these presentations and papers:

Session 1Innovative Methods for Improving Resource Allocation

Estimating Marginal Revenue/Cost Curves for Correspondence Audits
Ron Hodge, Alan Plumley, Kyle Richison, and Getaneh Yismaw (IRS, RAS), and Nicole Khoury, Matt Olson, and H. Sanith Wijesinghe (MITRE Corporation)

Examining the TDA Collectability Curve: How Does the Aging of TDA Delinquencies Impact Dollars Collected?
Joe Saldana, Jeff Wilson, and Tom Beers (IRS, Taxpayer Advocate Service)

Analysis of Flow-Through Entities Using Social Network Analysis Techniques
Rahul Tikekar, Ririko Horvath, and Larry May (IRS, RAS), Ashish Agarwal and Shannon Chen (University of Texas at Austin)


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June 17, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Walker: Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation

Christopher J. Walker (Ohio State), Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation, 67 Stan. L. Rev. 999 (2015):

The Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress, yet Congress grants expansive lawmaking authority to federal agencies. As positive political theorists have long explored, Congress intends for federal agencies to faithfully exercise their delegated authority, but ensuring fidelity to congressional wishes is difficult due to asymmetries in information, expertise, and preferences that complicate congressional control and oversight. Indeed, this principal-agent problem has a democratic and constitutional dimension, as the legitimacy of administrative governance may well depend on whether the unelected bureaucracy is a faithful agent of Congress. Despite the predominance of lawmaking by regulation and the decades-long application of principal-agent theory to the regulatory state, we know very little about how federal agencies interpret statutes.

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

Monday, June 15, 2015

Call For Review Essays: ABA Tax Section NewsQuarterly

ABA News QuarterlyFrom Linda Beale (Wayne State):

The ABA Tax Section’s NewsQuarterly is transitioning to an all-digital format. One new feature to be introduced in connection with the move to digital is reviews of books and articles on topics of interest to tax practitioners. Reviews serve the purpose of informing readers of recent publications pertaining to tax policy and emerging issues, as well as broader concerns about the interrelationship between tax policies and economic growth. Reviews may be of single books or articles or they may be review essays that discuss and compare two or more books and articles addressing the same topic, similar to such review essays in the New York Review of Books. Reviews will be considered for publication in each quarterly issue, with the first review appearing in the Winter 2016 issue.

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June 15, 2015 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zelinsky: Preliminary Thoughts About The Enigma Of Wynne

ZelinskyTaxProf Blog op-ed:  Preliminary Thoughts About The Enigma of Wynne, by Edward Zelinsky (Cardozo):

Maryland’s county income tax does not grant a credit to Maryland residents for the out-of-state income taxes such residents pay on the income they earn outside of Maryland. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, the U.S. Supreme Court held that this failure causes the Maryland county income tax to violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Wynne perpetuates an inherent problem of the Court’s dormant Commerce Clause doctrine: The Court declares some, ill-defined taxes such as the Maryland county income tax unconstitutionally discriminatory while other, economically equivalent taxes and government programs are apparently acceptable under the dormant Commerce Clause. A decision as enigmatic as it is important, Wynne raises as many questions as it answers. Among these are the continuing viability (or not) of external consistency and apportionment, concepts which have been central to the Court’s formulation of the dormant Commerce Clause. Wynne also undermines the Supreme Court’s traditional tolerance of the double state income taxation of dual residents.

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June 15, 2015 in New Cases, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Sunday, June 14, 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 #2:

  1. [335 Downloads]  Taxation of E-Commerce, by Orkhan Abdulkarimli (Baku State)
  2. [175 Downloads]  Trust Decanting: A Sale Without Gain Realization, by Jason Kleinman (Herrick, New York)
  3. [171 Downloads]  Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital, by James Kwak (Connecticut)
  4. [152 Downloads]  Citizenship Taxation, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)
  5. [135 Downloads]  What Does Voluntary Tax Compliance Mean?: A Government Perspective, by J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department)

June 14, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

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June 12, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers: University of North Carolina Tax Symposium

North Carolina Tax SymposiumThe University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business has issued a call for papers for its Nineteenth Annual Tax Symposium to be held March 18-19, 2016. The symposium "is designed to bring together leading tax scholars from economics, accounting, finance, law, political science, and related fields." The deadline for the call for papers is December 15, 2015:

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June 12, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stiglitz: New Theoretical Perspectives On The Distribution Of Income And Wealth

Joseph E. Stiglitz (Columbia), New Theoretical Perspectives on the Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals:

June 11, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mintz & Venkatachalam:The Low-Tax Backlash

Jack Mintz (Calgary) & Ven Venkatachalam (Calgary), The Problem with the Low-Tax Backlash: Rethinking Corporate Tax Policies to Adjust for Uneven Reputational Risks:

When a major corporation is found to be paying little or no taxes, public backlash and media furor over the issue may ensue. Some governments may well be just fine with it, while others like U.S. may take steps to ensure companies pay more tax. Sometimes, companies being in a non-taxpaying position properly reflects appropriate tax policy. That explanation, however, does not sell lattés, which is why in 2012, after the British public grew outraged over the discovery that Starbucks was paying no corporate taxes in the U.K., the coffee retailer actually volunteered to just write a cheque to the government. The reputational damage to Starbucks’ brand, the company calculated, was not worth the money it was saving in avoiding taxes, even if it was doing so perfectly legally.The fear of this kind of reputational damage can foil the very taxation policies that governments design specifically as a means to tax corporations fairly, efficiently and competitively. It may be good tax policy to allow corporations various deductions, or the ability to carry forward or carry back losses, but it can be politically vexatious. U.S. President Barack Obama demonstrated that explicitly when he suggested certain American companies using so-called tax inversions to relocate their headquarters to low-tax jurisdictions, were failing in their “economic patriotism.”Yet more multinationals than ever are legally and quite appropriately using tax strategies to minimize their taxes in various jurisdictions to the point where they are paying little to no corporate tax. For some corporations, the risk of public backlash is greater than it is for others: Starbucks and Facebook, being consumer-facing companies with a great deal of brand goodwill, have a lot more at risk than do Pfizer and Oracle. This risk makes the playing field for taxation less level, jeopardizing the fundamental tax principle of horizontal equity — that those of similar means should pay similar taxes. If Starbucks feels pressured to pay extra taxes, then the tax system is not functioning optimally.This emerging reputational risk is a new dimension governments are going to have to take into account when designing tax policy. Understanding that there is more to consider than the financial implications of a tax policy should and will have an effect on the way policies are designed. One important approach that governments should take is to avoid the practice of targeted tax incentives, such as tax holidays or accelerated depreciation. The reputational risk will see some companies willing to take the government up on tax breaks, but others may prefer to pass. Better to focus on more general corporate tax reductions, which will be less distortive and unfair to those companies at greater risk of reputational damage.

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June 11, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Is Obamacare Constitutional While DOMA Was Not?

John R. Dorocak (California State University, San Bernardino), Why is Obamacare Constitutional While DOMA Was Not? How Libertarian Is the Constitution?, 14 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 1 (2014):

Despite the Supreme Court's holding in NFIB, that the individual mandate of Obamacare was constitutional as a tax, Obamacare's tax may be unconstitutional under the Direct Tax Clause, the Uniformity Clause, and the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The conclusion, that Obamacare's tax and individual mandate are unconstitutional even as a tax, may seem far afield from the unconstitutionality of Obamacare as violating liberty rights, the focus of this article. However, the Obamacare legislation may now appear unconstitutional under various constitutional analyses, including as a denial of liberty rights, as a tax, as an exercise of the Commerce Clause, and as an exercise beyond the enumerated powers. Such a conclusion indicates that the various constitutional analyses are in harmony, or that the Constitution is holistic. And, more specifically, a conclusion, that the Obamacare legislation is unconstitutional under a liberty rights analysis as advanced by Justice Kennedy in Windsor and Lawrence, which suggests that the the Constitution is not only holistic but libertarian.

June 11, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The State Tax Implications Of Paying Student Athletes

NCAAKathryn Kisska-Schulze (North Carolina A&T) & Adam Epstein (Central Michigan), "Show Me the Money!"—Analyzing the Potential State Tax Implications of Paying Student-athletes, 14 Va. Sports & Ent. L.J. 13 (2014):

On March 26, 2014, the Chicago district (Region 13) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Northwestern University football players qualify as employees and can unionize and bargain collectively, a decision which contravenes the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) core principle of amateurism. Shortly after, Northwestern University filed an appeal with the NLRB in Washington, D.C. to quash the prior Region 13 decision. This case has added fuel to the longstanding debate over whether student-athletes should be paid. Amidst arguments both for and against supporting the pay-for-play model from a purely compensatory stance, there has been minimal focus on the realistic implications of paying student-athletes from an income tax perspective.

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June 10, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Smith: Challenges To Tax Regulations — The APA And The Anti-Injunction Act

Patrick J. Smith (Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Washington, D.C.), Challenges to Tax Regulations: The APA and the Anti-Injunction Act, 147 Tax Notes 915 (May 25, 2015):

In this report, Smith focuses on post-Mayo tax regulation challenges under the direct review provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). He examines how those cases overcame the procedural hurdle traditionally presented by the Anti-Injunction Act and argues that in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Direct Marketing Association, the Anti-Injunction Act will likely pose much less of an obstacle to future direct APA challenges to tax regulations. 

June 10, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Borden: Rethinking The Tax-Revenue Effect Of REIT Taxation

Florida Tax ReviewBradley Borden (Brooklyn), Rethinking the Tax-Revenue Effect of REIT Taxation, 17 Fla. Tax Rev. 527 (2015):

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have recently made headlines in major media outlets and have caught the attention of lawmakers and analysts because they erode the corporate tax base. REITs are not subject to the entity-level tax that typically applies to corporations. To avoid being taxed on real-estate income, some corporations spin off real estate into REITs. After a REIT spinoff, such corporations rent the real estate from the REIT and continue to use it in their operations. Thus, a mere change in corporate form removes taxable income from the corporation (i.e., erodes the corporate tax base) and eliminates the entity-level tax on income from the spun-off real estate. This erosion of the corporate tax base concerns lawmakers (who have proposed prohibiting tax-free REIT spinoffs), some economists, and the media. Another concern is that the IRS has extended REIT classification to entities that hold non-traditional real estate, such as telecommunications infrastructure, billboards, oil and gas pipeline systems, timber, casinos, prisons, and data centers.

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June 9, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Roig: The Case For Retaining Law Faculty Tenure

Jorge R. Roig (Charleston), The First Thing We Do, 47 J. Marshall L. Rev. 1275 (2014):

There is currently a concerted effort to dumb down America. In the midst of this, the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recently agreed to propose that tenure for law professors be eliminated as a requirement for accreditation of law schools. This article analyzes the arguments for and against tenure in legal academia, and concludes that the main proposed justifications for eliminating tenure are highly questionable, at best. A lawyer is more than a legal technocrat. Lawyers are policy makers and public defenders. They are prosecutors and activists. And the development of a critical and independent mind is no more important in any area of human action than in the law. There is a concerted effort to turn law schools into automaton production lines. Practice-ready, skills-oriented legal education (quite meritorious in itself) has become code for the manufacture of attorneys capable only of following their corporate clients’ instructions to the tee. The goal of this concerted effort is not a truly practice-ready and skilled attorney. The endgame is a mindless legal machine. That is not what a legal education is about. The survival of critical thought is at stake. This is not just about law professors. This is but one salvo in a much larger war against independent minds.

June 9, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hellwig: The United States Tax Court – An Historical Analysis

HellwigPress Release, W&L Law’s Brant Hellwig Publishes Book on U.S. Tax Court:

Washington and Lee law professor and incoming dean Brant Hellwig recently completed a manuscript detailing the historical evolution and jurisdiction of the United States Tax Court.

The text, titled The United States Tax Court – An Historical Analysis, is an expanded second edition of the seminal Tax Court history published by Professor Harold Dubroff in the late 1970s. Dubroff’s edition was written shortly after Congress established the Tax Court as a court of record under Article I of the Constitution.  The Tax Court commissioned Hellwig to update Dubroff’s work in light of the considerable expansion in the Tax Court’s statutory jurisdiction in recent years.

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June 9, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal Taxation Of Non-resident Aliens' Wagering Gains From Slot Machines

Denis M. McDevitt, Michael D. McDevitt (Hancock & Dana, Omaha), & Drew M. BouchardMr. Park Goes to D.C.: Federal Taxation of Non-resident Aliens' Wagering Gains from Slot Machines and the Per Session Rule, 48 Creighton L. Rev. 65 (2014):

Nonresident alien individuals who visit the United States and play slot machines in a state where slots are legal have always been subject to tax at a thirty percent rate, unless exempted by treaty, on *66 their U.S. source wagering gains as defined by I.R.C. § 871(a)(1)(A). This tax is enforced by a withholding system that requires casinos to withhold thirty percent of each slot jackpot of $1,200 or more and remit those funds to the United States government. The definition of wagering gains was first addressed in Barba v. United States. The Barba case instituted the per-bet rule that defined wagering gains to be equal to gross winnings taxable under I.R.C. § 871(a). Under the per-bet rule, all wagers and wagering losses were never considered in calculating the amount of tax due. The per-bet rule ignored the fact that gambling is by nature a series of individual bets and had the practical result that no foreign slot player could ever recover any of the taxes withheld by the casino on their jackpots. Between 1983 and 2011, no taxpayer ever questioned the per-bet rule and it was not until the case of Sang Park v. Commissioner, a case recently decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, that a court revisited the issue of defining wagering gains for purposes of I.R.C. § 871(a).

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June 9, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Morse: Safe Harbors, Sure Shipwrecks

Safe HarborSusan C. Morse (Texas), Safe Harbors, Sure Shipwrecks, 49 UC Davis L. Rev. ___ (2016):

In law, a safe harbor describes behavior that will not be penalized, and leaves other facts that fall outside the safe harbor to be judged case-by-case. A sure shipwreck, as I call it, is the mirror image. It describes behavior that violates the law as a matter of rule, and leaves other conduct to be judged by a standard. Prior literature analyzes rules and standards at length. But it has largely missed safe harbors and sure shipwrecks, even though these hybrids are everywhere in statutory, regulatory and case law.

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

Crespi: The 'Tax Bomb' Facing Lawyers Who Enroll In Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans

IBRGregory Scott Crespi (SMU), Should We Defuse the "Tax Bomb" Facing Lawyers Who are Enrolled in Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans?:

Starting in the early-2030's each year thousands of mid-career lawyers who have previously incurred large student loan debts, and who unfortunately have been able to earn only relatively modest annual incomes in the 20 or 25 years following their law school graduation, will be subject to large cancellation of indebtedness-based federal and sometimes also state income tax obligations. These tax bills will often be in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $100,000 and in some instances even larger. Many of these lawyers will likely have failed to adequately provide for this large tax obligation and will find that it will impair or even devastate their retirement plans.

The phrase “tax bomb” is an apt one to describe this large tax obligation that will be imposed on income that is attributed to but not actually received by a relatively small group of taxpayers. It will result because a large portion of the student loan debts that have been incurred by many law school graduates will eventually be forgiven under one or another variant of the increasingly popular federal Income-Based Repayment Plan, and those forgiven debts will then be treated under the Internal Revenue Code as taxable income.

This article explains how this tax bomb was created and how the various statutes and regulations that define its scope and size have evolved over time, and how much but not all of its impact will be substantially reduced by the Department of Education’s proposed new Revised Pay as You Earn rules that will be in force as of December of 2015.

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June 8, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (14)

Sunday, June 7, 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. [287 Downloads]  Taxation of E-Commerce, by Orkhan Abdulkarimli (Baku State)
  2. [206 Downloads]  Tax Compliance as a Wicked System, by J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department)
  3. [166 Downloads]  Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital, by James Kwak (Connecticut)
  4. [144 Downloads]  Citizenship Taxation, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)
  5. [123 Downloads]  What Does Voluntary Tax Compliance Mean?: A Government Perspective, by J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department)

June 7, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Stark Delivers Keynote Address Today On Tax Policy In The Super Zips At L.A. Bar Association

Stark (2014)Kirk Stark (UCLA) delivers the keynote address on Tax Policy in the Super Zips at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dana Latham Award Luncheon today:

As the distribution of income and wealth has grown more skewed, households have increasingly sorted into income homogenous neighborhoods. The rise of income segregation entails increased fiscal segregation as well, as the operation of federal tax law becomes more differentiated across space. This paper concerns one dimension of the tax law’s disparate geographical impact—i.e., the operation of the federal income tax in the nation’s wealthiest communities, or “Super ZIPs.” Using IRS zip code level data for tax year 2012, the paper examines several key federal income tax characteristics for these zip codes (e.g., AGI, income composition, itemized deductions), comparing these figures to the same data for the nation as a whole as well as select neighboring zip codes on the opposite end of the income distribution. The resulting analysis reveals a stark perspective on income segregation in the United States through the lens of the federal tax system.

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

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

10th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Concludes Today At Texas

Texas LogoPanel #5:  Administration

Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland), Tailoring Tax
Commentators:  Philip Hackney (LSU), Fadi Shaheen (Rutgers-Newark)

Philip Hackney (LSU), Tied Up in (K)Nots
Commentators:  Kim Brooks (Schulich), Christine Allie (Widener)

Jake Brooks (Georgetown), Quasi-Public Spending 
Commentators:  Leigh Osofsky (Miami), Micah Burch (Sydney)

Leigh Osofsky (Miami), Strategic Simplicity and the Tax Law 
Commentators:  Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland), Itai Grinberg (Georgetown)

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

1st Annual Mid-Career Tax Professors Workshop Concludes Today At Ohio State

Ohio State LogoPanel #5

Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego), Making The Charitable Deduction More Charitable
Commentator:  Benjamin Leff (American)

Brian Galle (Georgetown), Pay It Forward? Law and the Problem of Restricted-Spending Philanthropy
Commentator:  Stephanie Hoffer (Ohio State)

Samuel Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Tax & Religious Exceptions
Commentator:  Bobby Dexter (Chapman)

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

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Shaviro Applauds Tax Policy Community's Influence On Supreme Court's Decision In Comptroller v. Wynne

JotwellDaniel Shaviro (NYU), Discrimination Against Interstate Commerce Vs. Double Taxation (Jotwell) (reviewing Michael Knoll (Pennsylvania) & Ruth Mason (Virginia), What Is Tax Discrimination?, 121 Yale L.J. 1014 (2012); Ryan Lirette (Goodwin Procter, Boston) & Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute), State Taxation of Interstate Commerce and Income Flows: The Economics of Neutrality (American Enterprise Institute 2014)):

For good reasons on balance, the best academic work in tax (and other) law has moved far away in recent decades from focusing primarily on which answers to particular questions are legally correct. Not only have scholars wanted to pursue larger game than just the current, inevitably flawed, state of the law, but it is often hard to say what “legal correctness” means. Writing about policy, rather than just about legal correctness, not only broadens the menu of possible topics, but permits one to devise clearer criteria for assessing the merits of competing arguments.

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

Rosenzweig: Source As A Solution To Residence

Florida Tax ReviewAdam H. Rosenzweig (Washington University), Source as a Solution to Residence, 17 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2015):

The choice between source-based and residence-based taxation has defined the terms of the debate for the international tax regime since its inception in the early 1900's. The thesis of this Article is that the construct of source and residence as two competing and irreconcilable doctrines is largely incorrect as a legal matter. Rather, both source rules and residence rules can and should be thought of solely as instrumental tools to divide taxing authority in a globalized world with mobile capital. Under this approach, there is no reason why “source” rules as a doctrinal matter need to be used only for “source” taxation as an economic matter, or that “residence” rules as a doctrinal matter need be used for “residence” taxation as an economic matter. Instead, the source rules as a doctrinal matter can actually be used to solve the problems of the residence rules as a doctrinal matter. Put differently, source and residence as doctrinal rules can converge into a single concept in the modern global economy.

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

10th Annual Junior Tax Scholars Workshop Kicks Off Today At Texas

Texas LogoPanel #1:  Compliance

Tessa Davis (South Carolina), Of Tax Evasion and Bad Citizens
Commentators:  Emily Satterthwaite (Toronto), Randle Pollard (Indiana)

Emily Satterthwaite (Toronto), Tax Compliance Learning
Commentators:  Susie Morse (Texas), Andy Grewal (Iowa)

Susan Morse (Texas), Tax Anti-Avoidance Law in Australia and the United States
Commentators:  Tessa Davis (South Carolina), Allen Madison (South Dakota)

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

1st Annual Mid-Career Tax Professors Workshop Kicks Off Today At Ohio State

Ohio State LogoPanel #1

Rifat Azam (Radzyner), Responsible Corporate Tax
Commentator:  Samuel Brunson (Loyola-Chicago)

Adam Rosenzweig: (Washington University), Electing Arbitrage: Tax Elections, Tax Fictions and Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage
Commentator:  Rebecca Kysar (Brooklyn)

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

Bloom Receives Albany Law School's Annual Faculty Scholarship Award

BloomIra Mark Bloom, Justice David Josiah Brewer Distinguished Professor of Law, received Albany Law School's annual faculty scholarship award:

Professor Ira Bloom received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship for producing a body of work that that is seen as influential and required reading in his field for New York state and the country. Professor Bloom is the author of numerous law review articles, co-author of nine law school casebooks on tax and trusts and estates, and principal author of the two-volume treatise Drafting New York Wills and Related Documents.

June 4, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ventry Reviews Mehrotra's Making the Modern American Fiscal State

Book Cover 2Dennis J. Ventry Jr. (UC-Davis), Book Review, 46 J. Interdisc. Hist. 133 (Summer 2015) (reviewing Ajay K. Mehrotra (Director, American Bar Foundation), Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (Cambridge University Press, 2013)):

Mehrotra’s award-winning book is a tour de force. It chronicles a transformative period in the development of the American fiscal state during which the old order — characterized by indirect, hidden, mercilessly regressive, and partisan taxation — gave way to a direct, transparent, steeply progressive, and professionally administered tax regime.

Making the Modern American Fiscal State will appeal to historians across multiple disciplines with diverse research interests. Mehrotra’s diligent chronicling of “what actually happened in the past” aptly fulfills the historian’s mandate “to trace and explain change over time.” Moreover, Mehrotra identifies and informs all of the relevant schools of thought about state-building at the turn of the century, including the influence of national crises, the “corporate liberal” view that Progressive Era reforms were designed to deflect more radical change, “progressive” historical accounts of ineluctable advancement and “great men,” and “democratic-institutionalism” as advanced not just by historians but also political scientists, sociologists, and economists.

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June 3, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of Texas Hosts Inaugural Texas Tax Faculty Workshop

Texas LogoThe University of Texas School of Law is hosting the inaugural Texas Tax Faculty Workshop today with these papers:

  • Bret Wells (Houston), The Foreign Tax Credit War
    Discussants:  Susie Morse (Texas), Bob Peroni (Texas)
  • Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), How the IRS Can Regulate Return Preparers Without New Law
    Discussants:  Dennis Drapkin (Jones Day, Dallas), John Dzienkowski (Texas)
  • Bob Peroni (Texas), Designing a U.S. Minimum Tax on Foreign Business Income (with Stephen Shay (Harvard) & Clifford Fleming (BYU))
    Discussant:  Bret Wells (Houston)
  • Susie Morse (Texas), Tax Anti-Avoidance Law in Australia and the United States (with Robert Deutsch (University of New South Wales))
    Discussants:  Stephen Black (Texas Tech), Calvin Johnson (Texas)

June 3, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blank Presents The Timing Of Tax Transparency Today In Sweden

BlankJoshua D. Blank (NYU) presents The Timing of Tax Transparency in Gävle, Sweden today at a Conference on Secrecy and Transparency in Tax Administration”co-hosted by Gävle University College, Vienna University of Economics and Business and Örebro University:

Fairness in the administration of the tax law is a subject of intense focus in the United States. As myriad recent headlines reveal, the Internal Revenue Service has been accused of failing to enforce the tax law equitably in its review of gift and estate tax returns of millionaires, the international tax structures of multinational corporations and applications for tax-exempt status by political organizations, among others. 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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June 2, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Tax Papers: Akron Law Review

AkronFrom Rich Lavoie:  The Akron Law Review is seeking tax articles for its annual tax issue (formerly the stand-alone Akron Tax Journal).  For more information or to submit an article, contact Jesse Moses.

June 2, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnson: Tax ‘Simplification’ As A Trojan Horse For Terrible Tax Policy

Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), When ‘Simplification’ Is a Trojan Horse for Great Harm, 147 Tax Notes 565 (May 4, 2015):

In this article, Johnson argues that simplification is sometimes used as a cover for terrible tax policy. A flat tax, for instance, will increase harm by shifting the burden of tax from Uncle Scrooge, who can bear tax on a dollar without much loss in value, to the Little Match Girl, who cannot. Flat tax does not accomplish substantial simplification. An add-on VAT is not a simplification, but another level of complication. So too, expensing of inventory, repeal of net operating loss carryover limitations, and repeal of straddle rules are not are not well illuminated by calling them simplification and are not justified by simplification.

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June 2, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2015 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Seattle:

  • Panel #14:  The Creation of Transnational Legal Orders in Tax: Actors, Processes and Their Implications
  • Panel #15:  Eclecticism in Tax Law

Panel #14:  The Creation of Transnational Legal Orders in Tax: Actors, Processes and Their Implications (Adam Rosenzweig (Washington University), Chair & Discussant)

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May 31, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 #3, #4, and #5:

  1. [223 Downloads]  Taxation of E-Commerce, by Orkhan Abdulkarimli (Baku State)
  2. [181 Downloads]  Tax Compliance as a Wicked System, by J. T. Manhire (U.S Treasury Department)
  3. [143 Downloads]  Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital, by James Kwak (Connecticut)
  4. [124 Downloads]  The Un-Precedented Tax Court, by Andy Grewal (Iowa)
  5. [113 Downloads]  Citizenship Taxation, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)

May 31, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2015 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Seattle:

  • Panel #10:  Social Issues and Taxation
  • Panel #11:  Using the Tax System to Address Social Problems
  • Panel #12:  The Tax System, Regulation, and the Environment
  • Panel #13:  Theory and Constitutionalism in Tax Law
  • International, Socio-legal Feminisms: Perspectives on Taxation Law

Today's paper presenters and topics are below the fold:

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May 30, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup