TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Perry Fleischer Presents How Is The Opera Like The Soup Kitchen? Today At Melbourne

Fleischer (Miranda)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents How is the Opera Like the Soup Kitchen? in The Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016) today at the Australian Society Of Legal Philosophy Annual Conference at Melbourne Law School:

The charitable tax subsidies are, at heart, redistributive. Some individuals (the recipients of charitable goods and services, such as students, museum-goers, and soup kitchen patrons) receive benefits. Other individuals pay for these benefits, both voluntarily (through donations) and involuntarily (in the form of higher taxes or reduced benefits). At first glance, it appears that the redistribution effectuated by the subsidies violates commonly-held notions of distributive justice. After all, the subsidies treat charities that serve the wealthy (like the opera) the same as charities that aid the poor (such as the soup kitchen). How can spending public funds on the wealthy in this manner be considered just? As this Chapter shows, so doing is just under expansive interpretations of resource egalitarianism and left-libertarianism that account for expensive tastes and talent-pooling.

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July 23, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bank, Cheffins & Wells:  Executive Pay—What Worked?

Steven A. Bank (UCLA), Brian R. Cheffins (Cambridge) & Harwell Wells (Temple), Executive Pay: What Worked?,  42 J. Corp. L. ___ (2016):

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. It emphasizes instead the roles played by strong unions, a different and more circumscribed market for managerial talent, and social norms, explanations that do not easily lend themselves to generating modern policy prescriptions.

Bank

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July 22, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Brooks Reviews Hines & Logue's Delegating Tax

Jotwell (2016)Kim Brooks (Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University), Don’t Delegate This Reading, JOTWELL (reviewing James R. Hines Jr. (Michigan) & Kyle D. Logue (Michigan), Delegating Tax, 114 Mich. L. Rev. 235 (2015)):

In modern regulatory states, the theoretically firm lines dividing the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are increasingly blurred. Teasing out how to design and enforce effective regulation has become a major preoccupation of scholars and policymakers in every area of law.

Delegating Tax, an article by the talented James R. Hines Jr. and Kyle D. Logue, is wonderful reading in that light. The article contrasts the reluctance of Congress to delegate the lawmaking authority of the IRS and Treasury in the tax area with Congress’ increasing willingness to delegate that authority to other federal administrative agencies. The authors make the case for great delegation in the tax area, noting the potential for the executive branch to draw on greater expertise and to respond more quickly. ...

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

McCaffery:  It's Tax, Not Trade

Edward J. McCaffery (USC), It's Tax Not Trade (Stupid):

Globalization, trade and other free market policies increase wealth. But the gains from trade are not being evenly spread among all citizens. People and politicians rage against foreigners. But it is the United States tax system, not trade, that ought to change, and wealthy Americans, not workers world-wide, who should be sharing the wealth. And it is the form of tax, not just its rate structure, that must reform, so that capital at last bears a meaningful share of the burden.

July 20, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cooper Reviews Caron's The One-Hundredth Anniversary Of The Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time To Renew Our Vows

JOTWELL (General)Jeffrey Cooper (Quinnipiac), The Estate Tax Of Our Youth JOTWELL (July 19, 2016) (reviewing Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine), The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time to Renew Our Vows, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 823 (2016)):

In The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time to Renew Our Vows, Paul L. Caron tracks how the modern estate tax has evolved since its 1916 inception and contends the tax should be modified to serve its original purposes. Caron analogizes the nation’s relationship to the estate tax as that of an aging marriage, arguing that our passion for the tax has cooled with the passage of time. He urges us to find that lost passion and renew our vows to the estate tax we once so adored. To do so, we must reinvigorate the estate tax and restore it to its historical position as an important, robust component of our federal tax system.

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July 20, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gershon:  The Socio-Economics Of The Federal Estate Tax

I. Richard Gershon (Mississippi), The Socio-Economics of the Federal Estate Tax: Why Do so Many People Hate (or Love) this Centenarian?, 49 Akron L. Rev. 329 (2016):

The federal estate tax has faced many detractors during its almost 100 years of existence. While the tax affects only a very small percentage of estates, many have called for its repeal. This Essay discusses the socio-economic reasons why the estate tax should be maintained. The tax is an important source of revenue, and it helps to rectify the growing issue of wealth and income inequality in the United States.

See also Symposium, The Centennial of the Estate Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 801-1078 (2016).

July 19, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Grewal:  Why Lenity Has No Place In The Income Tax

Andy Grewal (Iowa), Why Lenity Has No Place in the Income Tax Laws, 80 Mo. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

A controversy has emerged over how to interpret statutes under which the government can undertake either civil or criminal action against a person. Should courts interpret these statutes like any other civil statutes, and defer to agencies to resolve ambiguities? Or should courts treat these statutes like pure criminal provisions, and use the rule of lenity to resolve ambiguities in a defendant-friendly fashion?

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July 19, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is It Time For Authors To Leave SSRN?

ESSRNFollowing up on my previous post, Elsevier Acquires SSRN:  Authors Alliance, Is It Time for Authors to Leave SSRN?:

As feared, it now appears that SSRN is taking up restrictive and hostile positions against authors’ ability to decide when and how to share their work. Reports are surfacing that, without notice, SSRN is removing author-posted documents following SSRN’s own, opaque determination that the author must have transferred copyright, the publisher had not consented to the posting, or where the author has opted to use a non-commercial Creative Commons license. One author, Andrew Selbst, reported that SSRN refused his post even though the article’s credits reflected his retained copyright.

This policy fails to honor the rights individual authors have negotiated in order to put their work on services like SSRN. It misreads the Creative Commons licenses authors adopt in order to share their work. And it is a marked departure from the standard notice and takedown procedures typically used to remove user-uploaded copyright-infringing works from the web, eliminating both any apparent notice from the putative copyright owner and any clear recourse for the affected authors.

SSRN authors: you have not committed to SSRN. You can remove your papers from their service, and you can opt instead to make your work available in venues that show real commitment to the sharing, vetting, and refinement of academic work.

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

Johnson:  House Votes To Dump Chevron And Auer

JohnsonTaxProf Blog op-ed:  House Votes to Dump Chevron and Auer, by Steve R. Johnson (Dunbar Family Professor of Law, Florida State):

On July 12, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4768, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA).  The vote was 240 to 171, mostly along party lines.  If enacted, SOPRA would amend 5 U.S.C. sec. 706, a judicial review section of the Administrative Procedure Act (the APA).  The goal, according to the Judiciary Committee’s report, would be “to overturn the so-called Chevron and Auer doctrines of judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutory and regulatory provisions.”  H. Rep. 114-622, at 2  (June 14, 2016); see Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984) (deference to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes); Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997)(deference to reasonable agency interpretations of the agency’s own ambiguous regulations).

1.  Significance

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July 18, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Associate Deans Symposium:  Student-Edited Law Reviews—Future Publication Platforms

Associate Dean Symposium, Student-Edited Law Reviews: Future Publication Platforms, 32 Touro L. Rev. 235-74 (2016):

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

Friday, July 15, 2016

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

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July 15, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Journal of Tax Administration Hosts Workshop Today On U.S. And U.K. Trends In Tax Exceptionalism And Tax Litigation

JOTAThe Journal of Tax Administration hosts a workshop today on Trends in Tax Exceptionalism and Tax Litigation (program):

In the United States, the Supreme Court's 2011 decision in the Mayo Foundation case has fundamentally changed tax litigation and tax administration. Previously, tax administration functioned with a mindset of "tax exceptionalism" from the administrative statutory requirements, legal doctrines, and norms that applied to other federal government agencies. The legal veracity of tax exceptionalism had not been tested; it was an unchallenged assumption, but one that persisted for some decades. In Mayo Foundation, the Supreme Court expressly rejected tax exceptionalism from general administrative law requirements, doctrines, and norms absent "good reason" — which is generally thought to mean unless the Internal Revenue Code provides an express exception.

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July 14, 2016 in Colloquia, Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools Should Teach Students How To Write Email

GmailKatrina Lee (Ohio State), Process Over Product: A Pedagogical Focus on Email as a Means of Refining Legal Analysis, 44 Cap. U. L. Rev. 655 (2016):

The prevalence of emails in law practice alone provides a compelling reason for assigning emails in the 1L legal writing course. Law students should learn how to write the types of documents they will be expected to write in law practice. Not surprisingly, over the past several years, email communications have increasingly become part of legal writing curricula.

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July 14, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Cockfield:  Big Data And Tax Haven Secrecy

Florida Tax Review  (2015)Arthur J. Cockfield (Queen's University), Big Data and Tax Haven Secrecy, 18 Fla. Tax Rev. 483 (2016):

While there is now a significant literature in law, politics, economics, and other disciplines that examines tax havens, there is little information on what tax haven intermediaries — so-called offshore service providers — actually do to facilitate offshore evasion, international money laundering and the financing of global terrorism. To provide insight into this secret world of tax havens, this Article relies on the author’s study of big data derived from the financial data leak obtained by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

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July 14, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

UC-Berkeley, Oxford & Tax Policy Center Host Program Today On Corporate Tax For The 21st Century

UCBThe Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at UC-Berkeley and Tax Policy Center are hosting a program today on Corporate Tax for the 21st Century:

Welcome and Introduction: Michael Devereux (Oxford)

Panel:  The Need for Reform and Current Policy Proposals

  • Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley) (moderator)
  • Michael Devereux (Oxford)
  • Michael Graetz (Columbia)
  • Justus S. Hotchkiss (Yale)
  • Mark Mazur (Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury Department)
  • John Vella (Oxford)

Session:  Residual Profit Allocation Proposal

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July 14, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Netanya Hosts Roundtable Today On Taxation And Tax Policy

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Law Review Editor And Prof Spar After He Declines To Publish Article Rather Than Accept Offer From Low-Ranked Journal

Dan Subotnik (Touro), A Law Review Editor and Faculty Author Learn to Speak Honestly, 32 Touro L. Rev. 441 (2016):

[From Professor S on Aug. 28 via ExpressO] ...
I am a law teacher of twenty-five years standing and am widely published in the areas of contracts, professional responsibility, and legal education. Attached is an article for your consideration, “Forward to the Law School Past,” which I am sending to a select number of law reviews. ...

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July 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (16)

A Game Theory Model Of Law Faculties: Greater Turnover Needed To Curb Antisocial Faculty Behavior

Shi-Ling Hsu (Florida State), A Game-Theoretic Model of Cooperation in Law School Faculties:

A standard account of group cooperation would predict that group stability would bring about greater cooperation, because repeat-play games would allow for sanctions and rewards. In an academic unit such as a department or a law faculty, one might thus expect that faculty stability would bring about greater cooperation. Faculty turnover, by contrast, would cause faculty to invest less in each other, and depress cooperative behavior.

However, academic units are not like most other groups. Tenured professors face only limited sanctions for failing to cooperate, for engaging in unproductive conflict, or for shirking. It is thus open to question as to whether faculty turnover actually leads unambiguously to a decline in cooperation. This article posits that within limits, some faculty turnover may enhance cooperation. Certainly, excessive and persistent loss of faculty is demoralizing, and reduces the number of individuals among which administrative work can be spread. But for less dire losses, faculty turnover may play the disciplining role that academic units are deprived of by the tenure system.

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July 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chodorow & Hackney:  Post-Graduate Legal Training — The Case For Tax-Exempt Programs

ASUAdam Chodorow (Arizona State) & Philip Hackney (LSU), Post-Graduate Legal Training: The Case for Tax-Exempt Programs, 65 J. Legal Educ. 463 (2016):

The challenging job market for recent law school graduates has highlighted a fact well known to those familiar with legal education: A significant gap exists between what students learn in law school and what they need to be practice-ready lawyers. Legal employers historically assumed the task of providing real-world training, but they have become much less willing to do so. At the same time, a large numbers of Americans — and not just those living at or below the poverty line — are simply unable to afford lawyers. In this Article, we argue that post-graduate legal training, similar to post-graduate medical training, is a good way to address these market failures and reduce the gap in both skills and legal services.

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July 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Morse & Deutsch:  Tax Anti-Avoidance Law In Australia And The U.S.

AUSSusan C. Morse  (Texas) & Robert Deutsch (Australia Administrative Appeals Tribunal), Tax Anti-Avoidance Law in Australia and the United States, 49 Int'l Law. 111 (2015):

In both Australia and the U.S., the tax anti-avoidance law has evolved to include two common doctrinal components. One component requires evidence of taxpayers’ tax avoidance purpose. The other component protects transactions clearly contemplated by the tax statute against charges of tax avoidance. The two bodies of law usually get to the same answer. Transactions involving loss generators, income assignment, and foreign tax credit generators illustrate this similarity.

But the two bodies of law sometimes arrive at different answers. This is because important but subtle doctrinal differences also exist. Australian law conceives of a tax avoidance transaction as a contrived, tax-motivated Plan B departure from the counterfactual of a more normal, Plan A course of action. Australia’s Part IVA has been applied to invalidate a planning step that is part of a larger, business-motivated merger transaction. In contrast, tax planning steps that are part of business-motivated merger and acquisition transactions generally are not vulnerable under U.S. law.

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July 12, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shaviro:  Ten Observations Concerning International Tax Policy

Daniel Shaviro (NYU), Ten Observations Concerning International Tax Policy:

This is a slightly revised version of a lunch talk that the author gave at the National Tax Association’s 46th Annual Spring Symposium on May 12.

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July 12, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Winners Of The 2016 Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)2016 Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition:

Tax Notes:

  • S. Bruce Hiran (Houston)
  • Katrina Vitale (Villanova)
  • Luke Wagner (San Diego)

State Tax Notes:

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July 10, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

The (Im)Possibility Of Christian Legal Education

Trinity WesternVictor M. Muniz-Fraticelli (McGill), The (Im)Possibility of Christian Education:

Opponents of the Trinity Western University Law School do not seek to prohibit traditionalist religious law schools outright, nor do they seek to exclude individual candidates who hold traditionalist beliefs from becoming lawyers. Their effort, rather, is to give these schools the option to compromise on their religious identity, or to have students lose access to the most direct routes into the legal profession. This choice inhibits the establishment of traditionalist religious law schools by increasing the cost of maintaining a distinct institutional religious identity. When the alternative is to hold fast to religion but retreat from the task of producing lawyers, or play religion down and enter the legal market without any difference from secular institutions, the result is always the elimination of distinctly religious institutions from the educational landscape. This paper proposes an alternative that allows for the possibility of institutional diversity.

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July 10, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Defense Of Horizontal Equity

Florida Tax Review  (2015)Ira Lindsay (Dartmouth), Tax Fairness by Convention: A Defense of Horizontal Equity, 19 Fla. Tax Rev. 79 (2016):

Horizontal equity is the principle that people who earn equal income should owe equal tax. It has gotten a bad name. Although horizontal equity remains a textbook criterion of tax fairness, scholarly literature is largely hostile. Scholars ranging from the legal theorist Louis Kaplow to philosophers Thomas Nagel and Liam Murphy question its conceptual coherence and normative significance. The crux of the case against horizontal equity is that it seems irrational to worry about the relationship between pre-tax income and tax obligations rather than determining tax policy in light of what our best theory of distributive justice tells us is the best post-tax outcome. I argue that horizontal equity is best understood as a compromise principle for people who disagree about deeper principles of distributive justice.

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

Mehrotra:  Law And The New Intellectual Histories of Capitalism

Ajay K. Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation), A Bridge Between: Law and the New Intellectual Histories of Capitalism, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 1 (2016):

The American historical profession has in recent years witnessed a significant revival of two subfields that were once thought to be nearly dead. Both intellectual history and what is often referred to today as the history of capitalism— and what was earlier considered a variant of business or economic history—are flourishing. They are thriving mainly because of a newfound desire and interest among scholars and the public, alike, for better ways to understand the past. ...

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

Stars Upon Thars:  Law Schools Use ABA Standard 405(c)'s Tenure-Like Security Of Position To Discriminate Against Female Legal Writing Faculty

SneetchesMelissa H. Weresh (Drake), Stars upon Thars: Evaluating the Discriminatory Impact of ABA Standard 405(c) Tenure-Like Security of Position, 34 Law & Ineq. 137 (2016):

This brief Article (the title is inspired by the Dr. Seuss story, The Sneetches) relates to the institutional discrimination against women within the legal academy. More specifically, this Article addresses the potential for exploitation of law faculty members who hold ABA Accreditation Standard 405(c) status and the likelihood that such exploitation will have a disparate, discriminatory impact on a predominantly female cohort of law faculty. ...

The security of position afforded to 405(c) contractual law faculty members, defined as "reasonably similar to tenure, is somewhat vague and largely untested. This ambiguity provides an opportunity for law schools undergoing financial strain to terminate contractual legal writing faculty members without providing adequate, tenure-like protections. Augmenting this problem is the fact that faculty members who hold 405(c) status represent an overwhelmingly female cohort of faculty, resulting in a discriminatory and disparate impact on female members of the academy.

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July 7, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WSJ:  Marginal Tax Rates Matter To Star Scientists (And To The Rest Of Us)

Wall Street Journal editorial, Why Everyone Needs a Tax Cut: Scientists Like Living in Countries That Don’t Plunder Their Paychecks:

It’s déclassé on the left and right these days to talk about marginal tax rates, so forgive us for pointing out economic evidence that rates affect individual behavior. Two 2015 papers from the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at the impact of top marginal tax rates on the mobility of superstar scientists—the people critical to U.S. success in a high-tech global economy.

Mobility 1One study, by Ufuk Akcigit, Salomé Baslandze and Stefanie Stantcheva, looked at the international migration patterns of highly successful inventors since 1977. The authors found that “top 1% inventors”—those with the most valuable patents—“are significantly affected by top tax rates when choosing where to locate.” Specifically, countries enjoy a “26% increase in foreign superstar top 1% inventors” with each “10 percentage points decrease in top tax rates.” [Taxation and the International Mobility of Inventors]

The authors, in hilariously dry academic fashion, dare to note that these “migratory responses to tax policy might represent a cost to tax progressivity.” Imagine trying to attract the top 1% of earners instead of driving them away.

Mobility 2In another study, Enrico Moretti and Daniel Wilson examine star scientists “at or above the 95th percentile in number of patents over the past ten years” to find that state taxes have “a significant effect” on the geographical location of these innovators. In short, they found, “relative taxes matter.” [The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists]

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July 6, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Frye:  Social Technology And The Origins Of Popular Philanthropy

Brian Frye (Kentucky), Social Technology & the Origins of Popular Philanthropy, 32 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 413 (2016):

The prevailing theory of charity law holds that the charitable contribution deduction is justified because it solves market and government failures in charitable goods by compensating for free riding on charitable contributions. This article argues that many market and government failures in charitable goods are actually caused by transaction costs, and that social technology can solve those market and government failures by reducing transaction costs.

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

Natelson:  The Meaning Of The Constitution's Financial Terms, Including 'Tax,' 'Direct Tax' And 'Apportionment'

Rob Natelson (Independence Institute), What the Constitution Means by “Duties, Imposts, and Excises”—and “Taxes” (Direct or Otherwise), 66 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 297 (2016):

This Article recreates the original definitions of the U.S. Constitution’s terms “tax,” “direct tax,” “duty,” “impost,” “excise,” and “tonnage.”

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

Clausing, Kleinbard & Matheson:  U.S. Corporate Income Tax Reform And Its Spillovers

Kimberly Clausing (Reed College), Edward Kleinbard (USC) & Thornton Matheson (IMF), U.S. Corporate Income Tax Reform and its Spillovers:

This paper examines the main distortions of the U.S. corporate income tax (CIT), focusing on its international aspects, and proposes a set of reforms to alleviate them. A bold reform to replace the CIT with a corporate-level rent tax could induce efficiency-enhancing reform of the international tax system. Since fundamental reform is politically difficult, this paper also proposes an incremental reform that would reduce tax expenditures, reduce the CIT rate to 25-28 percent, and impose a minimum rent tax on foreign earnings.

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

Hayashi:  The Effects Of Refund Anticipation Loans On Tax Filing And EITC Takeup

Andrew Hayashi (Virginia), The Effects of Refund Anticipation Loans on Tax Filing and EITC Takeup:

The IRS has an uneasy relationship with tax return preparers. Preparers may ease the tax filing process and improve take-up of benefits like the earned income tax credit (EITC); however, preparers also profit from financial products sold in connection with tax preparation that have been viewed as exploitative. But 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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July 6, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

More On A Law Review Publishing Drama Over The LSAT And Discrimination

Law & InequalityFollowing up on my previous post, Subotnik: Plain Talk About Testing and Race: A Law Review Publishing Drama:  Harvey Gilmore (Monroe College), The SAT, LSAT, and Discrimination: Professor Gilmore Again Responds to Professor Subotnik, 34 Law & Ineq. 153 (2016):

On this very website, Touro Law Professor Dan Subotnik published a response to a piece that I wrote that will be published in a forthcoming edition of the University of Minnesota’s Journal of Law and Inequality. My piece continues the debate that Professor Subotnik and I have had for the past two years over whether standardized tests like the SAT and LSAT are reliable. I argue that they are not, and he argues that they are the best indicators for success in higher education…warts and all. In doing so, he makes some comments and generalizations that I found a little distasteful, and unjustifiably harsh, thus I replied accordingly.

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July 6, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Alstott:  Raising The Retirement Age, Fairly

A New DealAnne Alstott (Yale), Raising the Retirement Age, Fairly (Chapters 6 & 7 in A New Deal for Old Age: Toward a Progressive Retirement (Harvard University Press, 2016)):

A growing chorus of policy analysts is calling for an increase in the Social Security retirement age. Even staunch defenders of Social Security have begun to concede that the retirement age of 66 is too low, in light of the increasing longevity, improving health, and expanding work options of older Americans. Still, some progressives worry that the only way to protect disadvantaged workers is to leave the early and full retirement ages as they are. The result is a debate that pits intergenerational fairness against intragenerational fairness: either we shortchange the young (by paying unneeded benefits to the old) or else we shortchange the disadvantaged (by raising the retirement age to levels that are unrealistic for low-earners).

We can solve the policy deadlock by reframing the question. Policy debates tend to focus on how high the retirement age should rise. But age is, more and more, a contingent category, with shifting physical and social meaning. Instead of beginning with chronological age, we can and should start with a deeper account of the objectives of retirement policy.

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July 5, 2016 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Beale:  Reforming Intellectual Property Taxation

Linda M. Beale (Wayne State), #Wow: Reforming Intellectual Property Taxation (or Maybe IP Law), 151 Tax Notes 1249 (May 30, 2016):

Intellectual property (IP) is often used narrowly to refer to areas of the law that provide generally settled legal protections for expressive works and inventions. However, the classic concepts of IP law – e.g., patent, design, copyright, trademark and trade secret — no longer afford easy categorization for taxation purposes. As the “knowledge economy” has expanded, so too have the types of value-producing intangible assets that are often technological and critical to describing business values. Of perhaps the greatest consequence is the shrinking ability of sovereign governments to capture a fair share of tax from quasi-sovereign multinationals that set their own tax liabilities, in part because of the difficulty of determining which country should tax the income attributable to the IP assets. The purview of IP — or at least the scope of what we need to consider in a digitalized, globalized, and deeply commercialized world to establish appropriate IP tax provisions — has become much broader, and characterization has become more difficult.

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

Grubert & Altshuler:  Shifting The Tax Burden From Corporations To Shareholders

Harry Grubert (U.S. Treasury Department) & Rosanne Altshuler (Rutgers), Shifting the Burden of Taxation from the Corporate to the Personal Level and Getting the Corporate Tax Rate Down to 15 Percent, 69 Nat'l Tax J. ___ (2016):

We consider three plans for shifting the tax on corporate income to the personal level to achieve a significant reduction in the corporate tax rate. One plan eliminates the corporate tax and taxes dividends and the annual change in the value of publicly traded financial assets at ordinary rates. The second integrates corporate and shareholder taxes. The third lowers the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and taxes dividends and capital gains as ordinary income. To prevent large reductions in capital gains realizations and dividend payouts, an interest charge on taxes deferred during the holding period would be imposed when an asset is sold. We conclude that the third alternative is more robust than the other two.

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

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Charlene Luke Succeeds Marty McMahon As Editor-In-Chief Of The Florida Tax Review

Florida Tax Review  (2015)Charlene D. Luke has been named Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Tax Review, succeeding Martin J. McMahon, Jr. Prof. McMahon and the other tax faculty at the University of Florida Levin College of Law will continue as members of the editorial board, and the Florida Tax Review will continue to draw on the talent of several graduate tax student editors. A board of advisors comprising tax faculty at other institutions provides additional support and guidance. The Florida Tax Review will begin reviewing new submissions on August 1, 2016.

July 3, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

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 news papers debuting on the list at #4 and #5:

  1. [349 Downloads]  Following the Money: Lessons from the Panama Papers, Part 1: Tip of the Iceberg, by Lawrence Trautman (American)
  2. [264 Downloads]  Why Does Inequality Matter? Reflections on the Political Morality of Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Liam Murphy (NYU)
  3. [224 Downloads]  'Death Tax' Politics, by Michael J. Graetz (Columbia)
  4. [197 Downloads]  Fiduciary Financial Advice to Retirement Savers: Don't Overlook the Prudent Investor Rule , by Max M. Schanzenbach (Northwestern) & Robert H. Sitkoff (Harvard)
  5. [159 Downloads]  The President's Power To Tax, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

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

Friday, July 1, 2016

Kleinbard:  The Trojan Horse Of Corporate Integration (With Shaviro's Commentary)

Edward D. Kleinbard (USC), The Trojan Horse of Corporate Integration:

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has invested significant resources, including hearings and staff reports, to make the case for an unusual form of corporate dividend integration – a corporate dividends-paid deduction, combined with a universal shareholder dividend withholding tax collected from the firm. This proposal would not reduce the cash tax outlays of U.S. corporations in respect of distributed or retained earnings. It would not reduce the aggregate tax burdens imposed on most shareholders, and in many plausible circumstances would raise those tax costs. It is a poorly targeted response to design weaknesses in the U.S. international corporate tax system. Its efficiency gains are undeveloped and largely overstated.

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July 1, 2016 in Congressional News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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July 1, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oxford 10th Annual Academic Tax Symposium

OxfordThe 10th Annual Academic Tax Symposium concludes today at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation:

Allison Christians (McGill University), Not So Soft Law: The OECD BEPS Regime
Discussant:  John Vella (Oxford University)

Dominika Langenmayr (KU Eichstatt-Ingolstadt & CESifo), Why The Current Tax Rate Tells You Little: Competing for Mobile and Immobile Firms
Discussant:  Johannes Voget (University of Mannheim)

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

Brown:  Domestic Abuse And The EITC

Fred B. Brown (Baltimore), Permitting Abused Spouses to Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit in Separate Returns, 22 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 453 (2016):

The subsidy provided by the earned income tax credit (EITC ) is of particular importance to individuals subjected to domestic abuse, given that such individuals are often impoverished, and the EITC can provide them with the financial resources necessary to improve, endure, or leave an abusive relationship. Despite the importance of the EITC, married individuals subjected to domestic abuse face serious difficulties in claiming the credit. Because married individuals are not permitted to claim the EITC in a married filing separate return, such individuals are left with three return-filing options for claiming EITCs: (1) file a joint return, (2) qualify and file as a single taxpayer, or (3) qualify and file as a head of household.

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July 1, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer (2013)The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 69, No. 3 (Spring 2016):

2016 Erwin N. Griswold Lecture Before the American College of Tax Counsel

Selected Papers From the Inaugural International Taxpayer Rights Conference

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June 30, 2016 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Faulhaber:  Patent Boxes And The Limits Of International Cooperation

Patent Box (2015)Lilian V. Faulhaber (Georgetown), The Luxembourg Effect: Patent Boxes and the Limits of International Cooperation:

This article uses patent boxes, which reduce taxes on income from patents and other IP assets, to illustrate the fact that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice has a longer reach than has previously been recognized. This article argues that, along with having effects within the European Union, the ECJ’s decisions can also have effects on countries outside of the EU. In the direct tax context, the ECJ’s jurisprudence has hampered the ability of both EU and non-EU countries to police international tax avoidance.

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

Oxford 10th Annual Academic Tax Symposium

OxfordThe 10th Annual Academic Tax Symposium continues today at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation:

Annette Alstadsæter (NMBU), Accounting for Business Income in Measuring Top Income Shares: Integrated Accrual Approach Using Individual and Firm Data from Norway
Discussant:  Brian Bell (University of Oxford)

Jennifer Blouin (University of Pennsylvania), Investment and Tax Uncertainty: Evidence from Fin 48
Discussant:  TBA

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

Kleinbard:  Searching For Our Fiscal Soul

Ted 2Edward D. Kleinbard (USC), Searching for Our Fiscal Soul (Presentation Slides):

This is an extended version of a presentation made at TEDx Livermore 2016, the theme of which was The Economics of Empathy. Searching for Our Fiscal Soul argues that democracy is an exercise in empathy towards fellow citizens we do not know, and, if we did, might not like. We express that empathy through government spending, because that is how we actualize values that are important enough that we are willing to pay for them. This is our fiscal soul in action. Whether measured against the values we all routinely recite, or against the social environments achieved by peer countries, the fiscal soul of the United States is in peril. The remedy lies in understanding the value of a complementary economy, in which government spending is properly reframed as purchasing investments and insurance that private markets do not, and cannot, reach.

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June 30, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)