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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Johnston: Kinder Morgan’s Evolving Tax Strategy

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David Cay Johnston (Syracuse), Kinder Morgan’s Evolving Tax Strategy, 144 Tax Notes 881 (Aug. 18, 2014):

Johnston looks at Kinder Morgan’s recent announcement that it would be folding two master limited partnerships into a C corporation holding company.

August 19, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Johnson: Repealing the Tax Subsidies to Qualified Retirement Plans

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Calvin H. Johnson (Texas),  Amazing Waste: Tax Subsidies To Qualified Retirement Plans, 144 Tax Notes 727 (Aug. 11, 2014):

The proposal would repeal the tax advantages given to qualified retirement plans. Qualified plans are ineffective or counterproductive for their given rationales, which makes them a rich source of revenue when the United States needs money. Johnson argues that qualified plans provide a safety net where there is little need for it and provide no safety net where it is needed. Qualified plans are said to improve the value of a dollar by moving it from high-income working years to low-income retirement years. However, the tax advantages are distributed under a reverse-Robin Hood pattern to high income groups (many with soaring salaries) and by negating the tax brackets. That distribution of benefits can be expected to reduce the utility of a dollar. Qualified plans are said to be an incentive for savings, but when government cost and deficits are considered, the plans reduce net national savings. It would be cost free and effective to increase retirement savings by mandating savings for retirement or by imposing default rules without a tax subsidy.

August 15, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Zelinsky: Wynne and the Double Taxation of Dual Residents

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo), Wynne and the Double Taxation of Dual Residents, 73 State Tax Notes 259 (July 28, 2014):

Zelinsky discusses Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Wynne [431 Md. 147 (2013), cert. granted (May 27, 2014)]. He writes that the U.S. Supreme Court should decide the case narrowly and in a way that does not prevent it from ruling later that the dormant commerce clause requires tax credits to abate the double taxation of individuals who are residents of two or more states but lack the ability to vote in a state that taxes them as residents on their worldwide income.

August 12, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Schler: International Mismatches on Hybrid Instruments

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Michael L. Schler (Cravath, New York), OECD vs. D/NI: International Mismatches on Hybrid Instruments, 75 Tax Notes Int'l 485 (Aug. 11, 2014):

Michael L. Schler discusses technical and policy issues, as well as unexpected results, that arise under the OECD's proposals to eliminate mismatches of income and deduction resulting from hybrid instruments.

August 11, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Taylor: Closing the Gap Between Private Letter Rulings and Regulations

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Willard Taylor (Sullivan & Cromwell & NYU), Closing the Gap Between Private Letter Rulings and Regulations, 144 Tax Notes 597 (Aug. 4, 2014):

In this article, Taylor summarizes and comments on proposed regulations that would redefine real property for real estate investment trusts, and he argues that there should be more (and earlier) guidance on these and similar issues to close the gap between private letter rulings and published guidance affecting REITs and publicly traded partnerships in the natural resources sector.

August 7, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Christians: Regulating Return Preparers -- A Global Problem for the IRS

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Allison Christians (McGill), Regulating Return Preparers: A Global Problem for the IRS, 75 Tax Notes Int'l 391 (Aug. 4, 2014):

The IRS is in charge of a juggernaut of a tax system, the likes of which there truly is no equal in the world. And as all too often appears to be the case, in the enthusiasm to improve the functioning of this regime, its authors and enforcers appear to have forgotten that this unique system is perfectly global in reach, thanks to its unique inclusion of citizens and others with legal residence status no matter where in the world they live.

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August 6, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Shay: Take the Tax Juice Out of Corporate Expatriations

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Stephen E. Shay (Harvard), Mr. Secretary, Take the Tax Juice Out of Corporate Expatriations, 144 Tax Notes 473 (July 28, 2014):

Shay describes the principal tax benefits companies seek from expatriating, and he outlines regulatory actions that can be taken without legislative action to materially reduce the tax incentive to expatriate.

Bloomberg, Lew Can Use Tax Rule to Slow Inversions, Ex-Official Says:

The U.S. Treasury Department should use immediate stopgap regulations to make offshore transactions known as corporate inversions less lucrative, said the department’s former top international tax lawyer.

The administration can unilaterally limit inverted companies from taking interest deductions in the U.S. or from accessing their foreign cash without paying U.S. taxes, Stephen Shay said in an interview and in an article published today in Tax Notes.

July 28, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blair-Stanek: Intellectual Property Law Solutions to Transfer Pricing Abuse

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland), IP Law Solutions to Transfer Pricing Abuse, 143 Tax Notes 175 (June 30, 2014):

The article discusses a new way to attack transfer-pricing abuse: change intellectual property (IP) law.

July 19, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hariton: Should Share Repurchases Be Dividends to Remaining Holders?

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David P. Hariton (Sullivan & Cromwell, New York), Should Share Repurchases Be Dividends to Remaining Holders?, 144 Tax Notes 175 (July 14, 2014):

Under current law, holders of common stock pay less tax than holders of debt, and arguably less tax than might be deemed desirable from a utilitarian perspective. The most frequently proposed solution is to require investors to mark publicly traded stocks to market and pay current tax on their associated gains. But there is a more modest alternative that might present fewer problems and better target the simple objective of ensuring that most shareholders pay at least some amount of tax.

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July 14, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Jensen: The Constitutionality of a Mark-to-Market Taxing System

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Erik M. Jensen (Case Western), The Constitutionality of a Mark-to-Market Taxing System, 143 Tax Notes 1299 (June 16, 2014):

This article comments on Is a Broadly Based Mark-to-Market Tax Unconstitutional, 143 Tax Notes 952 (May 26, 2014), by Gene Magidenko. Magidenko gets all the big points right in questioning the constitutionality of a mark-to-market system of taxation, but this article suggests he did not emphasize one point enough: the Supreme Court’s 1920 decision in Eisner v. Macomber, which concluded that realization is a requirement for a tax to be on income within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment, continues to reflect the Court’s understanding. Although the Court cut back on Macomber’s scope over the years, it has not repudiated the case. And in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, decided in 2012, Chief Justice Roberts, in an opinion joined in relevant part by four other justices, cited Macomber favorably on an issue of constitutional law.

July 9, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sullivan: The Pros and Cons of Federal-State Corporate Tax Harmonization

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts), The Pros and Cons of Federal-State Corporate Tax Harmonization, 73 State Tax Notes 11 (July 7, 2014):

Martin A. Sullivan examines the benefits and drawbacks of harmonizing federal and state corporate tax regimes.

STN

July 7, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Crawford: 7 Notable Estate & Gift Tax Articles of 2013

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Bridget Crawford (Pace), Law Review Articles You Should've Read (But Probably Didn't) in 2013, 143 Tax Notes 1305 (June 16, 2014):

This short column is part of the annual Tax Notes issue that highlights noteworthy law review articles published during the previous year. In this piece, I identify articles relating to estate and gift taxation that practitioners likely will find of interest. The articles reviewed (in alphabetical order by author's last name) are:

  1. Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Reforming the Charitable Contribution Substantiation Rules, 14 Fla. Tax Rev. 275 (2013)
  2. Arianne Renan Barzilay (Haifa), You're on Your Own, Baby: Reflections on Capato's Legacy, 46 Ind. L. Rev. 557 (2013)
  3. John F. Coverdale (Seton Hall), Of Red Bags and Family Limited Partnerships: Reforming the Estate and Gift Tax Valuation Rules to Achieve Horizontal Equity, 51 U. Louisville L. Rev. 239 (2013)
  4. John P. Goldberg (Harvard) & Robert H. Sitkoff (Harvard), Torts and Estates: Remedying Wrongful Inheritance, 65 Stan. L. Rev. 335 (2013)
  5. Adam Hirsch (San Diego), Incomplete Wills, 111 Mich. L. Rev. 1423 (2013)
  6. Grayson M.P. McCouch (Florida), Who Killed the Rule Against Perpetuities?, 40 Pepp. L. Rev. 1291 (2013)
  7. Carla Spivack (Oklahoma City), Killers Shouldn't Inherit From Their Victims -- Or Should They?, 48 Georgia L. Rev. 145 (2013)

July 5, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Borden: 11 Notable Partnership Tax Articles of 2013

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Bradley T. Borden (Brooklyn), Notable Partnership Articles From 2013, 143 Tax Notes 1513 (June 30, 2014):

July 2, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wells: Corporate Inversions and Whack-a-Mole Tax Policy

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Bret Wells (Houston), Corporate Inversions and Whack-a-Mole Tax Policy, 143 Tax Notes 1429 (June 23, 2014):

In this article, Wells argues that until policymakers address the fundamental tax disparity that creates corporate inversions, ever changing forms of the transaction will continue to pop up like moles in a whack-a-mole game.

June 25, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

22 Notable Corporate Tax Articles of 2013

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Jordan M. Barry (San Diego), Karen C. Burke (Florida) & Monica Gianni (Florida), A Brief Review of Corporate Tax Articles of 2013, 143 Tax Notes 1314 (June 16, 2014):

June 18, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Analysts Hosts Conference Today on U.S. State Tax Considerations for International Tax Reform

TA 2Tax Analysts hosts a roundtable discussion on U.S. State Tax Considerations for International Tax Reform at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave.) today at 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST in Washington, D.C.:

OECD officials leading the international tax reform project can learn much from the experience of state tax practitioners. The panel, comprising both state and international tax experts, will examine how the lessons learned by U.S. states can help shape the debate on international tax reform. Practitioners will also share their insight into how international tax rules may affect state tax positions.

  • Peter A. Barnes (Of Counsel, Caplin & Drysdale)
  • Christopher E. Bergin (President and Publisher, Tax Analysts) (moderator)
  • Joe Huddleston (Executive Director, Multistate Tax Commission)
  • Stephen P. Kranz (Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery)

June 18, 2014 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shaviro: Capital Levies: A Solution for the Sovereign Debt Problem?

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Daniel Shaviro (NYU), Capital Levies: A Solution for the Sovereign Debt Problem?, 74 Tax Notes Int'l 1027 (June 16, 2014):

The following speech was delivered as the University of Luxembourg's "Distinguished Lecture" on May 15, 2014.

June 17, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sullivan: How Will Japan Pay for a Lower Corporate Rate?

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts), How Will Japan Pay for a Lower Corporate Rate?, 74 Tax Notes Int'l 788 (June 2, 2014):

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's second term began in December 2012. In the first 12 months, prices on the previously moribund stock market soared 63 percent. In the following six months, they have dropped by 10 percent. ... The rise and fall are largely explained by Abenomics.

TNIThe prime minister's radical break from Japan's previous economic policies has three components, referred to as the three arrows. The first arrow is an enormous expansion of the money supply by the Bank of Japan. The second arrow is a big boost in government spending. By all accounts, both of these measures have been successful in providing short-term stimulus to the economy. ...

But Japan's miraculous made-in-Tokyo recovery is now stalled by a lack of progress on the third arrow of Abe's program: promised but unspecified structural, supply-side reforms like reduced regulation of the labor market, reductions in trade barriers and other protections of favored industries, and a reduction in the corporate tax rate, currently the second highest in the world after the United States. The government's fiscal and economic blueprint, due later this month, is expected to offer proposals on these issues. ...

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June 4, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Jones: The IRS Should Reevaluate its Floundering ADR Program

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Ken Jones (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Washington, D.C.), Appeals Arbitration: Not a Compelling Litigation Alternative, 143 Tax Notes 1059 (June 2, 2014):

IRS Appeals announced its initial arbitration program in 2000, and after 14 years, there apparently have been only a few cases resolved by binding arbitration. Appeals arbitration has failed to become popular in the tax controversy marketplace, and there are some likely reasons for the program's lack of success. ... I offer my observations about the arbitration program, why it has not been embraced by taxpayers as a viable alternative to litigation, and why Appeals should reevaluate the role of binding arbitration -- and, indeed, all of its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) tools -- to determine whether they are meeting the needs of the taxpayers and the IRS.

June 2, 2014 in IRS News, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sullivan: Lessons From the Last War on Inversions

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts), Lessons From the Last War on Inversions, 2014 WTD 101-4 (May 26, 2014):

Martin A. Sullivan looks at the history of anti-inversion legislation in Congress, starting with Democratic efforts in 2002 and culminating in the enactment of section 7874 in 2004.

Sullivan 2

May 29, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Alm & Soled: Improving Tax Basis Reporting For Passthrough Entities

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)James Alm (Tulane) & Jay Soled (Rutgers), Improving Tax Basis Reporting For Passthrough Entities, 143 Tax Notes 809 (May 19, 2014) :

Tax basis reporting is a notoriously complex enterprise, and taxpayer compliance is lackluster at best. One area of the law in which basis reporting remains absent is for passthrough entity investments, such as partnerships and S corporations. As a result, many taxpayers do not know the basis they have in their passthrough investments. These taxpayers must therefore estimate the tax basis they have in those investments, often producing inflated basis figures and, as a byproduct, smaller taxable gains and larger taxable losses. In light of its proven track record in the area of marketable securities (where third-party tax basis reporting has recently become mandatory), Congress should make third-party tax basis reporting for passthrough entities a similar reality. Mandating passthrough entity basis reporting would greatly simplify the compliance process, alleviate the IRS's burdensome task of trying to detect basis misreporting, and produce billions of dollars in revenue without raising taxes.

May 23, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sullivan Reviews Shaviro's Fixing U.S. International Taxation

FixingMartin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts) Book Review, 74 Tax Notes Int'l 492 (May 12, 2014) (reviewing Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU), Fixing U.S. International Taxation (Oxford University Press, 2014)):

When it comes to international taxation, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich., and professor Daniel N. Shaviro of New York University Law School have a lot in common. In the age-old debate between the two poles of worldwide and territorial taxation, they want compromise. They want to achieve a balance between promoting competitiveness and preventing excessive profit shifting to tax havens.

A pro-business conservative, Camp would have preferred his plan to lean more in the direction of multinational competitiveness. But in his three-year quest for tax reform, the chair has learned by doing, and what he has learned from the revenue estimators at the Joint Committee on Taxation is that moving to an exemption system is too expensive without tough measures to discourage profit shifting. Shaviro's path to compromise is based on his own reasoning after extensive review of the legal and economic scholarship on international tax.

The main way Camp and Shaviro seek to achieve a balanced approach is by setting the average effective rate on foreign-source income of U.S. multinationals somewhere below the statutory corporate rate and somewhere above zero. Although this conclusion would hardly be startling to a newcomer to the study of international tax -- and is the practical result under current law for many taxpayers because of deferral -- the traditional debate on international tax does not easily lend itself to compromise. ...

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May 12, 2014 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Taite: The Two-Trust Tango in Trombetta

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Phyllis C. Taite (Florida A&M), Trombetta: The Two-Trust Tango, 143 Tax Notes 503 (Apr. 28, 2014):

Taite discusses [Estate of Trombetta v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2013-234 (Oct. 21, 2013)], in which the Tax Court held that the value of properties transferred to the annuity trust and residence trusts were properly includable in the gross estate of the decedent as retained interests. The court also held that the estate was entitled to deduct the full unpaid amount of a promissory note for mortgage indebtedness because the decedent was personally liable on the debt. Finally, the Tax Court concluded the estate was not entitled to a charitable deduction based on a postmortem trust reformation. 

May 2, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tax Analysts Hosts Conference Today on Marketing Derivatives to Market for Tax Purposes

Tax NotesTax Analysts hosts a roundtable discussion on Marketing Derivatives to Market for Tax Purposes at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave.) today at 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. EST in Washington, D.C.:

Rep. Camp recently proposed requiring all derivatives to be marked to market unless they are part of hedges. Marking derivatives to market is a source of controversy, but it has been under consideration by Treasury for a while. Supporters believe that it is necessary to clearly reflect income and to prevent taxpayers from exploiting different treatment of economically similar products. Critics argue that marking would complicate tax accounting for holders. The discussion will introduce the politics and history of mark-to-market in tax, examine Camp’s derivatives plan in detail, and debate the merits of marking certain types of derivatives

  • Christopher E. Bergin (President and Publisher, Tax Analysts) 
  • Viva Hammer (Legislation Counsel, Joint Committee on Taxation)
  • Yoram Keinan (Partner, Carter Ledyard & Milburn)
  • Lee A. Sheppard (Contributing Editor, Tax Analysts)

April 25, 2014 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crawford & Blattmachr: Planning With Portability Do-Overs

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) & Jonathan G. Blattmachr (Interactive Legal Systems), Planning With Portability Do-Overs (But Only for a Limited Time), 143 Tax Notes 117 (Apr. 7, 2014):

In this article, the authors discuss Rev. Proc. 2014-18, in which the IRS provides some estates with a simplified method for making a portability election and having that election treated as timely even though the statutory deadline may have passed. The authors suggest that once the estate tax exemption of a first spouse to die has been preserved under Rev. Proc. 2014-18, an effective estate plan for the surviving spouse may include creating and funding a lifetime trust structured as a grantor trust.

April 11, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Johnson: Reforming the § 183 Hobby Loss Rules

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), Horse Losses and Other Pleasures, 142 Tax Notes 443 (Apr. 1, 2014):

Current law denies the deduction of losses from equestrian and other such activities if not undertaken for profit. The IRS wins almost all the contested cases, but the test is too indeterminate for the Service to enforce on a tax return.

The following proposal would defer the deduction of business losses until the claimed future income from the activity comes in. Loss deferral would apply automatically to activities specified by statute, including those associated with horses, dogs, airplanes, cars, and collectibles, and to activities from which significant participants derive recreation or pleasure. Deferral is limited to activities suppressed as a result of recreational value to encourage the general diversification of investments and to allow room for congressionally intended tax incentives.

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April 2, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tax Analysts Hosts Conference Today on Is It Time For a Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

TA ConfTax Analysts hosts a roundtable discussion on Taxpayers and the IRS: Is It Time For a Taxpayer Bill of Rights? at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. today at 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST:

On January 9, 2014, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released the 2013 Annual Report to Congress, urging the IRS to implement administratively a comprehensive, principle-based TBOR. That proposal, comprising 10 rights modeled on the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, is designed to strengthen the IRS’s ability to serve taxpayers. However, the lack of resources needed to implement these rights could prevent the IRS from proceeding. The speakers and the conversation that follows will provide a historical perspective on prior legislation, discuss recommendations for adopting a TBOR, and debate the timing and politics involved in its implementation.

  • Nina E. Olson (National Taxpayer Advocate)
  • Christopher S. Rizek (Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, D.C.)
  • Alan J. Wilensky (Former Acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S> Treasury Department)
  • Moderator:  Christopher E. Bergin (President and Publisher, Tax Analysts)

March 27, 2014 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Senior IRS Lawyer Charges Chief Counsel's New York Office With Waste and Abuse

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David Cay Johnston (Syracuse), Attorney Details Mismanagement in IRS Chief Counsel's New York Offices, 2014 TNT 53-1 (Mar. 19, 2014):

A veteran IRS lawyer opened a window on the secretive operations of one of the biggest IRS field offices March 18, telling 10 senators in a letter that the Office of Chief Counsel ignores serious problems of waste and employee abuse in two New York offices.

Jane Kim, a 10-year veteran chief counsel attorney for the Small Business/Self-Employed Division, wrote that "a sustained pattern of abuse" by chief counsel's supervising lawyers in Manhattan and Long Island, has led to "gross waste of government resources, gross mismanagement, violation of labor laws, and active abuse and retaliation against employees."

The complaint depicts a workplace culture in which favored employees are given light workloads, while their colleagues who pick up the slack face discipline and retaliation if they chafe at unfair treatment. Meanwhile management turns a blind eye to the problems -- when it isn't actively making them worse.

As a result of that negligence, tax cheats often get away without paying, taxpayers needing help go unaided, and good employees suffer more stress in an agency already struggling to deal with budget cuts and public scorn. ...

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March 19, 2014 in IRS News, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Call for Student Papers: Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, and Tax Notes International

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Call For Entries: Tax Analysts’ Inaugural Student Paper Competition:

Tax Analysts’ Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, and Tax Notes International magazines are now accepting submissions for the inaugural student paper competition. Winning contestants will have their papers published in a well-established and reputable magazine.

Students must be enrolled in a law, economics, or tax postgraduate program. Papers should be between five and 25 pages long and focus on an unsettled question of tax law or tax policy. Submissions will be judged on argument, content, grammar, and overall quality and should include a cover letter providing information about the author and a short abstract about the paper.

Each magazine will choose at least one, but no more than five, high-quality papers for publication. Papers must not have been published elsewhere.

Submissions should be sent to studentpapers@tax.org by May 31 and will be published in the summer of 2014.

March 10, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax Implications of Spring Break

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Billy Hamilton, Where the Bucks Are: The Fiscal Realities of Spring Break, 71 State Tax Notes 587 (Mar. 10, 2014):

Hamilton describes the annual pilgrimage college students make to sunnier climes during spring break. Hamilton says there’s more to the ritual than sun and beer, and that it’s both a boon and a bane for those cities frequented by students. He outlines the costs and tax implications for the local governments of spring break destinations.

Fort

March 10, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Burke & McCouch: Woods: A Path Through the Penalty Maze

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Karen C. Burke (Florida) & Grayson M.P. McCouch (Florida), Woods: A Path Through the Penalty Maze, 142 Tax Notes 829 (Feb. 24, 2014):

In this report, Burke and McCouch discuss the Supreme Court’s Woods decision concerning partnership-level penalty jurisdiction in proceedings under the 1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, and they explore the implications of the decision for subsequent partner-level proceedings.

February 26, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Morse: A Simpler Offshore Profits Transition Tax

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Susan C. Morse (Texas), A Simpler Offshore Profits Transition Tax, 73 Tax Notes Int'l 629 (Feb. 17, 2014):

Susan C. Morse proposes a simpler corporate transition tax to deal with the large amounts of cash parked offshore by multinational companies.

February 19, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Serreze: Science, Taxes, and Bonds

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Peter H. Serreze (Ropes & Gray, Boston), As Simple as It Can Be but Not Simpler:  Science, Taxes, and Bonds, 142 Tax Notes 729 (Feb. 17, 2014):

With the recent and potential future decline in governmental funding, many nonprofit research organizations are increasingly venturing into the world of commerce. This report examines the issues raised by this trend under the tax law restrictions applicable to the use of facilities financed with tax-exempt debt.

February 18, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feld: The Constitutionality of the Cash Parsonage Allowance

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Alan L. Feld (Boston University), The Constitutionality of the Cash Parsonage Allowance, 142 Tax Notes 667 (Feb. 10, 2014):

Professor Zelinsky has made a valiant effort to defend the constitutionality of section 107(2), the provision that excludes from gross income cash housing allowances of a minister of the gospel. [The First Amendment and the Parsonage Allowance, 142 Tax Notes 413 (Jan. 27, 2014).].  A U.S. district court granted summary judgment to plaintiffs attacking the provision on First Amendment and Equal Protection grounds. Zelinsky criticizes the decision for failing to give due weight to the secular purposes of the exemption. Unfortunately, Zelinsky's argument is ultimately unpersuasive.

February 11, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, February 3, 2014

WSJ: Private Equity Firms Save Millions in Taxes by Treating Dividends as 'Monitoring Fees,' Says Polsky

Wall Street Journal:  Private-Equity Firms' Fees Get a Closer Look: Industry May Be Underpaying Taxes by Misrepresenting Payments, by Mark Maremont:


ImageGregg D. Polsky, a tax-law professor, has long been a thorn in the side of the private-equity industry. Now he is at it again.

In 2009, Mr. Polsky wrote an article criticizing a strategy that allowed many fund executives to save on taxes by converting ordinary fee income into capital gains taxed at substantially lower rates. [Private Equity Management Fee Conversions, 122 Tax Notes 743 (Feb. 9, 2009).] The IRS later started examining the propriety of the practice, called a management-fee waiver, and recently said it plans to issue new guidance on it.

In a new article published over the weekend, Mr. Polsky takes aim at the tax treatment of another revenue stream for private-equity firms, called monitoring fees. [The Untold Story of Sun Capital: Disguised Dividends, 142 Tax Notes 556 (Feb. 3, 2014)]  He claims the industry may be underpaying federal corporate taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars a year by mischaracterizing these fees.

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February 3, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zelinsky: The First Amendment and the § 107 Parsonage Allowance

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo),  The First Amendment and the Parsonage Allowance, 142 Tax Notes 413 (Jan. 27, 2014):

In this report, Zelinsky criticizes the recent district court decision in Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. v. Lew, declaring section 107(2) unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The provision excludes from gross income cash housing allowances furnished to ministers. Zelinsky details three interrelated reasons why the district court’s opinion is unpersuasive.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

January 30, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Johnston: Give to Charity, Turn a Profit

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David Cay Johnston (Syracuse), Give to Charity, Turn a Profit, 71 State Tax Notes 225 (Jan. 27, 2014):

Arizona lawmakers let some donors make charitable gifts in a way that makes the donors richer, a trend sure to spread unless Congress stops it.

All Tax Analysts content is available through the LexisNexis® services.

January 27, 2014 in Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Individual Tax Reform in a Time of Crisis

Tax ReformLuca Gattoni-Celli, Scholar Calls for 'Distributive Justice' in Charitable Tax Reform, 2014 TNT 13-7 (Jan. 21, 2014):

Tax subsidies for charitable giving need to be reformed with an eye toward "distributive justice," a tax law professor said at a conference on tax reform on January 17.

Miranda Perry Fleischer of the University of San Diego School of Law said the activities of charitable organizations should be examined to ensure they are benefiting the economically disadvantaged.

The discussion was part of a tax reform symposium in Malibu, Calif., organized by Pepperdine University School of Law and cosponsored by Tax Analysts. ...

Emory Law School professor Dorothy Brown cited research suggesting that racial minorities are adversely affected by the tax system. Pivoting from a study of her own that compared the Obamas' tax returns from 2000 through 2004 with tax return data from white taxpayers earning similar incomes, Brown focused on racial disparities in tax outcomes, saying middle-income African-Americans pay higher taxes on average than their economic peers.

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January 22, 2014 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wright: Short Sales as Nonrecourse Mortgages

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Kathleen K. Wright (Golden Gate), Short Sales as Nonrecourse Mortgages, 71 State Tax Notes 27 (Jan. 6, 2014):

Short sales in states that have enacted anti-deficiency statutes can now be treated as nonrecourse mortgages if the state statute bars collection of a deficiency balance by the lender after the borrower and lender agree that the lender will accept a loan payoff for less than what is owed on the mortgage and release the lender's security interest in the property. In a letter from the IRS to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., released to the public in November 2013, the IRS concluded that an obligation involved in a short sale would be treated as a nonrecourse obligation under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) section 580e for federal income tax purposes. This disclosure was followed by a letter from California Franchise Tax Board Chief Counsel Jozel Brunett to California State Board of Equalization member George Runner, dated December 4, 2013, wherein the FTB stated that they would conform to the federal guidance. This result could provide significant tax benefits to clients who engaged in a short sale of their homes.

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January 7, 2014 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 6, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 242: Lois Lerner Is 2013 Tax Person of the Year

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)The 2013 Tax Person of the Year: Lois Lerner, 142 Tax Notes 7 (Jan. 6, 2014):

Last year was a struggle for the IRS. The effects of years of frozen or cut budgets began to take their toll on tax administration. The agency had a tough tax season because of the late passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Guidance for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the Affordable Care Act was slow in coming. And, of course, the IRS spent the last eight months dealing with a major controversy involving the handling of exempt organization applications.

While many of the Service's problems were not necessarily its own fault, the exempt organization scandal was an almost entirely self-inflicted wound. No one personifies that scandal more than Lois Lerner.

Lerner ignited a political and media firestorm when she confessed in May that the exempt organizations unit of the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division inappropriately handled many Tea Party groups' exemption applications.

mThe now former exempt organizations director's admission and subsequent refusal to testify before Congress contributed to her becoming the public face of the scandal. Although Lerner does not bear sole responsibility for the IRS's missteps in processing conservative groups' exemption applications, the publicity of her role in one of the year's biggest news stories earns her the distinction of being Tax Notes' 2013 Person of the Year.

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January 6, 2014 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

State Tax Person of the Year: Richard Pomp (UConn)

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Person of the Year, 70 State Tax Notes 715 (Dec. 23, 2013):

State Tax Notes is pleased to announce its annual year in review edition, featuring person of the year, given to the individual or organization that had the most influence on state tax policy and practice. The editorial staff has compiled a list of the best in our profession in five categories: academics, practitioners, organizations, administrators, and lawmakers.

This year's person and academic of the year is Richard Pomp for his pro bono work as the hearing officer for the Multistate Tax Commission's proposed amendments to Article IV of the Multistate Tax Compact. The compact's apportionment formula, Article IV, incorporates nearly verbatim the Uniform Division of Income for Tax Purposes Act as drafted in 1957.

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December 28, 2013 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christians: What the Baucus International Tax Reform Plan Reveals About Tax Competition

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Allison Christians (McGill), What the Baucus Plan Reveals About Tax Competition, 72 Tax Notes Int'l 1113 (Dec. 23, 2013):

Conventional wisdom explains tax competition as an external constraint on lawmaking: All countries compete for investment in a global capital market, and therefore each is forced, as by an incontrovertible law of nature, to lure investment into their jurisdiction with attractive tax policies. Conventional wisdom then also surmises that the only way governments can curb tax competition is by working together cooperatively to eliminate beggar-thy-neighbor tax policies. The international tax reform plan recently introduced by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., squarely confronts both parts of this conventional wisdom and reveals some very disturbing observations about tax competition: that it is as much a supply-side as a demand-side problem (luring strategies require a supply of otherwise tax-favored capital), that governments have always had the power to counter this problem, and that accordingly, political will is the reason why tax competition has become the overwhelming force that it is today.

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December 26, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Johnston: District Court Rebukes IRS Church Plan Rulings

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David Cay Johnston (Syracuse), District Court Rebukes IRS Church Plan Rulings, 141 Tax Notes 1349 (Dec. 23, 2013):

Johnston reports on the first court case in an expanding effort to exempt pension plans from ERISA on religious grounds. The decision implicitly criticizes the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.

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December 23, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bartlett: Tax Policy and the Bible

Tax Analysys Logo (2013) Bruce BartlettTax Policy and the Bible, 141 Tax Notes 1231 (Dec. 16, 2013):

In this article, Bartlett uses a recent statement by Pope Francis to examine what the Bible says about tax policy. He finds that academic opinion about biblical principles of taxation has shifted in a more progressive direction over the last 10 years.

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December 16, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Johnston: Billions of Tax Dollars Later, No New Jobs for New York

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)David Cay Johnston (Syracuse), Billions of Tax Dollars Later, No New Jobs for New York, 70 State Tax Notes 609 (Dec. 8, 2013):

The fast-increasing use of tax incentives by all 50 states has failed to increase jobs or investment, two respected experts on state tax policy found after reviewing more than 50 years of giveaways. [Marilyn M. Rubin & Donald J. Boyd, New York State Business Tax Credits: Analysis and Evaluation (Nov. 2013).]

This year, state government subsidies to corporations, partnerships, and other businesses in New York state alone will total $1.7 billion, triple the giveaways in 2005, according to the new study. That's $235 taken from the average Empire State household this year and redistributed to business owners on the theory that redistribution will create jobs.

During those years, the number of jobs in New York declined, the state's official jobs data website shows. The total number of New Yorkers employed in 2012 was down 175,000, or 2 percent, compared with 2005. Think of it this way: Over nine years, the state of New York gave businesses roughly $10 billion, or almost $1,400 from each household, in a jobs program that eliminated 175,000 jobs at an average cost of $57,000.

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December 9, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lobel: Eliminate the Corporate Income Tax and Level the Playing Field

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Martin Lobel (Lobel Novins & Lamont, Washington, D.C.), Eliminate the Corporate Income Tax and Level the Playing Field, 141 Tax Notes 967 (Dec. 2, 2013):

Lobel offers a proposal that would level the playing field between traditional C corporations and passthrough business entities, while achieving the goals of simplicity and fairness.

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December 2, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Clarifying the Meaning of 'Beneficial Owner' in Tax Treaties

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Koichiro Yoshimura (LL.M. (Tax) 2014, NYU),  Clarifying the Meaning of 'Beneficial Owner' in Tax Treaties, 72 Tax Notes Int'l 761 (Nov. 25, 2013):

Koichiro Yoshimura looks at the meaning of the term "beneficial owner" in the OECD model income tax treaty, and through a functional analysis, attempts to set reasonable and more acceptable beneficial ownership criteria.

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November 26, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Johnson: Ordinary Medical Expenses

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), Ordinary Medical Expenses, 141 Tax Notes 773 (Nov. 18, 2013):

Calvin H. Johnson argues that taxpayers should bear ordinary medical expenses out of their post-tax income with no further allowance beyond personal exemptions, the standard deduction, and low tax brackets.

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November 22, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Interview With Darien Shanske

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Jennifer Carr, An Interview With Darien Shanske, 70 State Tax Notes 447 (Nov. 18, 2013):

State Tax Notes legal editor Jennifer Carr interviews professor Darien Shanske about his new theory of state taxation, under which the corporate income tax, which is increasingly apportioned using a single-salesfactor formula and destination-based sourcing, can act as a complement to the retail sales tax.

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November 18, 2013 in Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cummings: Tax Decisions of the Supreme Court's 2012 Term

Tax Analysys Logo (2013)Jasper L. Cummings, Jr. (Alston & Bird, Raleigh, N.C.), Tax Decisions of the Supreme Court's 2012 Term, 141 Tax Notes 635 (Nov. 11, 2013):

In its just completed 2012 term, the Supreme Court decided only three federal tax cases. The most politically important decision was Windsor, which held the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. One criminal case, Davila, marked the long, slow decline of the Warren Court’s limited view of harmless error. PPL ... was the only real tax decision of the term. Finally, a nontax decision, Horne, raises questions about state tax procedures that preclude consideration of constitutional issues in administrative hearings.

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November 13, 2013 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (0)