Thursday, February 11, 2010
(Hat Tip: Bridget Crawford.)
In making the award, the selection committee noted his innovation in developing teaching methods appropriate to different course contexts and aligned with the professional goals of his students, as well as his significant work with students on moot court competitions and the Pittsburgh Tax Review.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
It is with heavy hearts that Jim Repetti and I share the news that our friend, mentor, and co-author Paul McDaniel, James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar in Taxation and Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, is seriously ill with stage IV mesothelioma. We join Paul’s wife Ginny and family in fervently praying for Paul.
By any reckoning, Paul is one of the most influential tax scholars and teachers of the past 50 years. Paul’s signal scholarly achievement among his fifty law review articles and ten books is his pioneering work on tax expenditure analysis with Stanley Surrey, culminating in their 1985 Harvard University Press book, Tax Expenditures. Paul has influenced generations of tax students with his six casebooks (Federal Income Taxation, Federal Income Taxation of Business Organizations, Federal Income Taxation of Corporations, Federal Income Taxation of Partnerships and S Corporations, Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation, and Introduction to United States International Taxation).
For us, being asked to join Paul as a co-author was one of the proudest (and most intimidating) moments of our careers. In working with Paul, we have been repeatedly struck by his encyclopedic knowledge of the tax law, clear yet elegant prose, and organizational genius. But what stands out most for us has been Paul’s incredible grace and patience in nurturing two junior co-authors struggling to match the high standards he set in prior editions. Jim is especially grateful to have also benefitted from Paul’s tutelage as his student at Boston College Law School and later as his colleague at Hill & Barlow and Boston College.
We had to convince a reluctant Paul to allow us to share this news with his many friends and admirers in the tax community. We know you will appreciate the opportunity to send Paul your best wishes and to let him know what he has meant to you. We will print the comments received to this post in a book for Paul and his family.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Following up on my prior post, Nominate a Tax Prof for Best Law Teachers in America: Michael Hunter Schwartz (Washburn) has released the list of 150 nominees for inclusion in his forthcoming book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2011). Here are the Tax Prof nominees:
- Howard E. Abrams (Emory):
Professor Abrams has the unique ability to make a class as dry as personal income tax one that is engaging and even entertaining. He has an expansive knowledge of background cases and their underlying issues and presents them in a way that really clarifies the cases at hand. Further, he seems to know about every case in existence as, when someone asks a question, he normally knows of a case where the taxpayer asked the same question. In all, his teaching style is unabashed, humorous, enthralling, and most importantly: effective.
- Dennis A. Calfee (Florida):
Prof. Calfee has the best teaching style for tax law: he makes the students read the tax code ("out loud and with feeling!") and then teaches them to interpret, emphasizing the importance of punctuation, style, and format. In a world where placement of periods versus commas can make the difference, this is vital. Prof. Calfee also leads his classes into forays into the more interesting and esoteric concepts of tax law, where core concepts butt heads with practicality. The skills learned in Prof. Calfee's classes have long-lasting utility for his students who pursue tax careers. Most importantly, Prof. Calfee's enthusiasm for the subject matter is surpassed by his enthusiasm for the students. He always has time for students, be it to help with their particular tax code struggles, to advise on a job search, or to just listen. As law school communities grow larger and more corporate, that personal touch is invaluable.
- Bridget J. Crawford (Pace):
Professor Crawford has won the "Outstanding Professor of the Year" award at Pace for the past three years. One student described her teaching by saying, "I have never met a person with more energy or enthusiasm for her work. When you leave her class, you are wowed by her immense commitment to providing the necessary knowledge to her students, not just related to the given area taught that day, but also with regard to the underlying issues in every case or policy issue . . .Her door is always open to everyone." Another student said, "Professor Crawford stands out as an amazing professor because she has this great ability to turn staid topics into exciting energetic lectures. She also breaks down complex legal concepts into understandable pieces in a way that makes us all wonder why we were confused in the first place."
- Edward A. Morse (Creighton):
Professor Morse is an exceptional teacher. First, he has an incredibly deep understanding of the tax law. Second, he has a true passion for the subject matter he teaches and is able to instill that passion and interest in his students. Third, is a very well respected professor. The first thing that strike as a student of Professor Morse is that he truly knows 'his tax stuff.' He doesn't just know the answers to the problems he has assigned and merely recite that limited bit of information when teaching. He takes you beyond the shallow water of superficial explanations and gives you a deep, well rounded understanding of the complicated principles of tax law. When sitting in Prof. Morse's Taxation of Business enterprise class, each day I was truly impressed with how excited he seemed to be able to teach our class. You could tell he truly enjoyed the subject matter and wanted his class to understand the concepts and develop the same level of interest. His enthusiasm along with his positive reinforcement which he provided his students when they didn't quite grasp a concept, he me realize that I too could learn and someday practice in this complex area of law.
- Stanley D. Neeleman (BYU):
Prof. Neeleman does not confine his tax course to a case book. He has developed additional problems to flesh out the relevant cases and code sections. Instead of using the traditional Socratic method while reviewing a case he uses the Socratic method with the problems. The problems create a teaching opportunity and are not merely short cuts to dispense the black letter law. The problems are usually not simple and require applying common law, relevant code sections, and previously covered materials. In addition, the problems usually have multiple parts and each part adds an additional layer of complexity. Prof. Neeleman is also a well-spring of legal ethics. Not only does he teach what is permissible under the law, but he also points out what permissible behavior is not necessarily ethical. It is refreshing to have a teacher that doesn't just teach what you can get away with. Finally, the fascinating thing about Prof. Neeleman is that even though he brings his case book and tax code supplement to class, he never opens them. It is all in his head. He remembers every detail about the cases, about his own problems, and the code text. Amazing!
- Sergio Pareja (New Mexico):
Professor Pareja]'s courses require students to actively learn material. His teaching style incorporates problem-based learning, quizzes, written exercises, class participation, student teaching of material, along with his own creative and practice-based presentation of materials. His courses are rigorous and challenge students to grapple with new material in a way that ensures they understand and are able to apply the material. Student comments regarding [his] teaching demonstrate that he is well-regarded by his students for his high expectations of their performances. Because of his teaching, several students have decided upon tax as their area of concentration and practice, a decision which even surprised some of them.
- David M. Schizer (Dean, Columbia):
Dean Schizer is an outstanding person as well as lecturer. He displays tremendous respect for his students. His clarity of teaching as well as his ability to draw the students into discussion made him by far the best professor I had at Columbia. What was particularly interesting is that he has a strong tax focus, which is not known as the most engaging of topics. Nevertheless, Dean Schizer's classes are always full and well attended. Despite his outstanding intellect, Dean Schizer is very approachable. His natural humility marks him as an exceptional human being.
- David I. Walker (Boston University):
Nominations remain open and will be accepted through March 30, 2010.
Professor Walker teaches Corporations and Tax to huge numbers of students, many of whom say they refuse to take these courses from anyone else. Her gets near perfect evaluations in Tax, of all things, even while teaching sections of over 100. He maintains his reputation as an extremely humane professor even while working his students as hard as anyone in the school."
Monday, January 11, 2010
David Brunori today announced his 15-person All-Decade State Tax Team (55 State Tax Notes 127 (Jan. 11, 2010)), which includes three Tax Profs:
- Walter Hellerstein (Georgia)
- Richard D. Pomp (Connecticut)
- John A. Swain (Arizona)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This Article critiques the prevailing justification for subsidies for the charitable sector, and suggests a new alternative. According to contemporary accounts, charity corrects the failure of the private market to provide public goods, and further corrects the failure of government to provide goods other than those demanded by the median voter.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Allison Christians was chosen Teacher of the Year from among all eligible tenure-track professors at the Law School by a poll of the three most recent classes (excluding the graduating class). Christians joined the law faculty in 2005, after practicing tax law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York City. She has written several articles and book chapters addressing national and international policy, globalization, competition, institutional, and development aspects of taxation and is co-author of a leading casebook on U.S. international tax law.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A leading tax scholar, Repetti's lecture explored the role of economic analysis in determining the future of our tax system. Repetti noted that concerns about fairness, administrability and economic efficiency had traditionally played equal roles in the design of our tax system. In the past twenty years, however, concerns about economic efficiency appear to have become dominant in the debate about the best system. Professor Repetti argued that economic efficiency should not play a greater role in structuring our tax system than concerns about the system's fairness and administrability because the anticipated gains from economic efficiency are no more certain than gains associated with fairness and administrability. ...
Repetti was appointed as the first The Rev. William J. Kenealy, SJ, Professor at the start of this academic year. The Professorship is named in honor of the member of the Law School's first class who went on to serve as dean of the school from 1939-1956.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
In our article, Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83 (2006), Bernie Black and I noted that one of the advantages of SSRN download counts over the other faculty rankings measures (citation counts, publication counts, and reputation surveys) is that SSRN downloads favor younger scholars at improving law schools while the other measures favor more established scholars and schools. We also noted that women and minorities are under-represented in SSRN download counts as they are in citation counts, publication counts, and reputation surveys, but speculated that the representation of women and minorities would improve in the future as they posted more papers on SSRN, particularly in the recent downloads measure. We closed the article with case studies of the SSRN download rankings in our respective fields -- corporate and tax law (pp. 120-22). The SSRN download data were from August 2005. The chart below compares that data with the most recent tax download data (September 2009) on gender, race, and age:
Earlier this year, I asked Why Do Female Tax Profs Do Better in the SSRN Rankings Than Their Nontax Counterparts?. The representation of women in the Top 25 has increased from 2005 to 2009 in both all-time (4 percentage points) and recent (19) downloads. However, the representation of minorities has decreased in all-time downloads (4) downloads and has stayed at 0 in recent downloads (based on self reporting in the AALS listing of minority law teachers).
On the age front, Tax Profs in the Top 25 of the SSRN download rankings in both 2005 (all time: 47.0 mean, 47.0 median; recent: 45.4 mean, 44.5 median) and 2009 (all time: 47.6 mean, 48.0 median; recent: 46.3 mean, 47.0 median) are much younger than Tax Profs (55 mean, 54 median) and law professors (53 mean, 52 median) generally. Eric A. Lustig, Who We Are: An Empirical Study of the Tax Law Professoriate, 1 Pitt. Tax Rev. 85 (2003) (2001 AALS data). However, the mean and median ages have increased from 2005 to 2009 in both download categories -- all-time (0.6 mean, 1.0 median) and recent (0.9 mean, 2.5 median) downloads.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I am honored to be included on the list of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People for the fourth year in a row. The magazine contains one-sentence explanations of why each of the folks made the list; here is mine:
Caron has built the leading tax blog on the Internet, with over 10 million page views since he created it in 2004.
I am flattered to be on the list with such high-powered people in the tax and accounting worlds, including:
Government and Industry Group Officials:
- Robert Attmore (Chair, GASB)
- Ben Bernanke (Chair, Federal Reserve System)
- Timothy Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury)
- J. Russell George (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration)
- Robert Harris (Incoming Chair, AICPA)
- Karen Hawkins (Director, IRS Office of Professional Responsibility)
- Robert Herz (Chair, FASB)
- James Kroeker (Chief Accountant, SEC)
- Barry Melancon (President & CEO, AICPA)
- Nina Olson (National Taxpayer Advocate, IRS)
- Thomas Sadler (Chair, NASBA)
- Mary Schapiro (Chair, SEC)
- Douglas Shulman (Commissioner, IRS)
- David Tweedie (Chair, IASB)
- Edward Yingling (Chair, ABA)
CEOs of Major Accounting Firms:
- Timothy Flynn & John Veihmeyer (KPMG)
- Robert Moritz & Dennis Nally (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
- Edward Nusbaum (Grant Thornton)
- James Quigley & Barry Salzberg (Deloitte)
- James Turley (Ernst & Young)
CEOs of Tax & Accounting Companies & Publishers:
- Jonathan Baron (Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting)
- Kevin Robert (Wolters Kluwer)
- Mike Sabbatis (CCH)
- Brad Smith (Intuit)
- Russ Smyth (H&R Block)
As one who has difficulty learning my students' names each year, I may follow the approach Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark) has taken this fall with his Income Tax class:
Thursday, September 10, 2009
From Jonathan Turley (George Washington):
Minnesota prosecutors have charged Hamline University professor Robin Magee with 11 felony counts for failing to file tax returns and filing false returns. In addition to to criminal law, tax law is one of Magee’s specialties and she also practices as a tax lawyer.
Prosecutors allege that Magee failed to file her state tax returns for 2004 through 2006 until this year, never filed for 2007, and underpaid her taxes by $5,000. The government also charges that Magee claimed eight exemptions, even though she is single and has no dependents. ...
Magee reportedly claimed that she failed to file her tax returns because she has extreme attention deficit disorder, though if true that makes her work on the taxes of others a bit difficult to square. ... On her faculty page, she writes:
“I believe, as the founders of this country espoused, that the greatest threat to law and order, peace and liberty is tyranny, not crime. I, therefore, believe that the highest calling of the lawyer is the call to fight against tryanny and government-sponsored or tolerated oppression. Thus, I struggle in my classes to instill in my students the knowledge of the law and the critical and analytical skills to hold the government (and everyone else) accountable to the rule of law and the rights of all people.”
Monday, August 24, 2009
Tax Prof Susan Kalinka, the Harriet S. Daggett-Frances Leggio Landry Professor of Law at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, died this morning. She was 60 years old. From LSU Chancellor Jack M. Weiss:
Professor Kalinka was an exceptional teacher and scholar of tax law. She inspired dozens of students to seek specialized degrees in tax law and to pursue careers in that field. She was passionate about her work and about her students. She will be missed greatly and remembered fondly.
Update #1: From Susan's tax colleague, Chris Pietruszkiewicz, Vice Chancellor - Business and Financial Affairs & J.Y. Sanders Professor of Law at LSU:
I am saddened to report that Professor Susan Kalinka passed early this morning after a sudden illness. Susan joined the LSU faculty in 1988 and, for 20 years, has only ever had one passion – students. Some people have a personality that others want to follow but Susan had much more than that, building a tax program in which over 90% of our students enroll in at least one tax class despite its absence from the Louisiana Bar Exam. She not only encouraged tax students to apply for LL.M. programs, but she funded their application fees, sending over 35 students to tax LL.M. programs in the last five years. Without fanfare, she devoted countless hours to the Baton Rouge community with her VITA program.
Her gift was inspiring students and, we are enormously thankful for everything that she did and everything that she represents. As a colleague for nine years, I gained a mentor – and a friend, one who created a fantastic place to be a tax professor. Two decades of students had the benefit of the kindness and dedication of Professor Mom and, while we are very sorry to see her pass so early in life, we celebrate her life as a colleague, teacher, mentor, and, most importantly, a wonderful person.
Update #2: From the LSU press release:
Professor Kalinka had been diagnosed recently with cancer. She had been undergoing treatment for only a few weeks, and her condition deteriorated rapidly over the weekend.
Family members have asked that colleagues, students, alumni, and friends send written comments regarding Professor Kalinka and her teaching career at LSU. Comments, photos, and personal remembrances may be sent to KalinkaCondolences@law.lsu.edu.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This initial one year appointment involves teaching and supervision of law students who are learning to practice law in a client-centered manner. This is a grant funded position and continued employment beyond one year is contingent continuation of the grant. Subject to grant funding, this position may become a renewable long-term contract upon review after three years of continuing successful performance.
Applications (cover letter, resume and list of references) can be sent to Barbara Jordan-Smith.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Columbia today released a letter signed by 1,200 law professors supporting the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the signatories are these Tax Profs:
- Nancy Abramowitz (American)
- Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.)
- Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)
- Karen Brown (George Washington)
- Noel Cunningham (NYU)
- Barbara Fried (Stanford)
- Brian Galle (Florida State)
- Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore)
- Roberta Mann (Oregon)
- Elena Marty-Nelson (Nova)
- Ajay Mehrotra (Indiana-Bloomington)
- Reginald Mombrun (North Carolina Central)
- Robert Peroni (Texas)
- William Popkin (Indiana-Bloomington)
- Mildred Robinson (Virginia)
- Richard Schmalbeck (Duke)
- Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)
- Joshua Tate (SMU)
- William Turnier (North Carolina)
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Hamill, a Democrat, on Wednesday listed the core principles that she said compelled her to seek public office. “I believe government must serve the weak equally as well as it serves the strong,” she told friends and supporters in front of Trinity Methodist Church. “I believe tax policy should be written not by those with the most lobbyists, but those with the greatest commitment to equity and fairness.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
He has provided pro bono services for the past 10 years for the New York State Breast Cancer Support and Education Network, as well as for the Capital Region Action against Breast Cancer, and he has handled more than 20 cases for the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. Professor Bloom also helped the Community Foundation of the Capital Region plan their recent symposium on Emerging Issues in Planning & Philanthropy.
Friday, June 5, 2009
The award is given only in those years when the Executive Committee of the Taxation Section concludes that there is a then living leader of the Los Angeles tax bar who has made an outstanding contribution to the community and to the legal profession in the field of taxation. Generally, such service involves a broad participation in community and public service coupled with achievement as a leader on the Bench, in legal education, tax literature, or in practice as a lawyer, and may involve a combination of these factors.
The award is especially dear to Ellen, since she and her husband Sandy Holo (Musick, Peeler, Los Angeles) met through the LACBA Tax Section (she was chair and Sandy was on the Executive Committee). Sandy won the award in 2006 -- Ellen and Sandy are the first couple to have both won the award in its 30+-year history. Ellen is first law professor and third woman to win the award.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Trustees Awards recognize excellence in teaching, and are awarded by a committee that reviews student and faculty nominations.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
- Prof. Beyer was selected the 2009 Outstanding First Yirst Professor of the Year by vote of the 1L students. (He also received the 2007 Outstanding Professor of the Year Award by vote of 1L, 2L, and 3L students.)
- Prof. Hatfield was selected the 2009 Outstanding Advanced Professor of the Year by vote of the 2L and 3L students. (He also received the award in 2008. In 2006, Professors Beyer and Hatfield shared the Outstanding Professor of the Year as selected by the 1L, 2L, and 3L students.)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The 3L class also selects its Professor of the Year, who hoods each graduate as they walk on the stage. For the second time Professor Scott Taylor has been chosen. Professor Taylor’s scholarship is wide ranging and includes articles on the taxation of captive insurance, integration of the corporate income tax, taxation in Indian Country, taxation of Indian gaming, innovations in legal education, harmonization of consumption taxes, and law and technology. Taylor has developed a national reputation as an authority on taxation in Indian Country. At the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Taylor teaches Taxation and Native America Law among other courses.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Mitchell Gans, JD, is the Steven A. Horowitz Distinguished Professor of Tax Law at Hofstra. Before joining the law school faculty, he had been an associate in the Tax and Trust and Estates Departments at the New York City law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and law clerk to Associate Judge Jacob D. Fuchsberg, New York State Court of Appeals. He is an Academic Fellow at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law.
Thomas Griffith, John B. Milliken Professor of Taxation at USC has been awarded the William A. Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award. (Prof. Griffith is pictured holding the award next to Mr. Rutter.) From the USC press release:
"He's been the prime mover in our academic support program. In his criminal law class, he teaches an extra hour each week for which he receives no extra teaching credit, no extra compensation, but rather he does it because he recognizes that all USC Law students can be successful attorneys," [Dean] Rasmussen said.
"Tax, by all accounts, is one of the most complex statutory courses that we teach at the law school ... [Griffith] has that rare and important ability of great professors to be clear without inordinately simplifying the material; he's able to ensure that everyone in the classroom understands precisely what is being said and learns the basic structure and argument of our tax code."
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The American Economic Association announced on Friday that Emmanuel Saez (UC-Berkeley, Department of Economics) has won the 2009 John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the "American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge." From the press release:
Emmanuel Saez has distinguished himself through definitive contributions to the field of Public Economics. His work attacks policy questions from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, on the one hand refining the theory in ways that link the characteristics of optimal policy to measurable aspects of the economy and of behavior, while on the other hand undertaking careful and creative empirical studies designed to fill the gaps in measurement identified by the theory. Through a collection of interrelated papers, he has brought the theory of taxation closer to practical policy making, and has helped to lead a resurgence of academic interest in taxation.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Professor Martinez’s experience and lengthy tenure with UC Hastings provides stability for the university as we continue our search for a permanent Chancellor and Dean,” said Board Chair James E. Mahoney. "In addition," he added,"Martinez has extensive administrative experience, having served as Academic Dean for 12 years."
From Leo's faculty page:
Leo Martinez attributes his equanimical outlook to the fortunate circumstance of his birth and childhood in the pristine mountain air of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree in math and physics from the University of Kansas and an M.S. in systems analysis from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of Hastings. ...
[H]e lives in the Oakland hills with his wife, Sharon (an accountant). He has two children, Jennifer (a UCLA graduate and Stanford law student) and Elizabeth (a University of Chicago undergraduate). His passions include the Oakland A's, his family, Kansas basketball, racket sports, and softball (though not necessarily in that order).
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The U.S. tax code is so complex that almost no one can file a tax return without making a mistake, according to New York University Law School Professor Deborah Schenk. On the eve of the April 15 tax deadline, Schenk gives Robert Siegel examples of common mistakes.
Monday, April 6, 2009
- William J. Brown (Pittsburgh)
- Samuel A. Donaldson (Washington)
- Lawrence A. Frolik (Pittsburgh)
- William H. Lyons (Nebraska)
- Michael T. Yu (California-Western)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
- Georgia State
- South Carolina
For salary data for legal writing faculty, law librarians, and clinicians, see
- Association of Legal Writing Directors, Legal Writing Institute, 2008 Survey Results
- American Association of Law Libraries, 2007 Salary Survey
- Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education
Friday, March 20, 2009
Professor Stark joined the UCLA Law faculty in 1996 and quickly became a popular professor. He was elected Professor of the Year by the law school graduating classes of 1999 and 2002. In 2003, he received the University Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor for teaching awarded by UCLA.
Monday, March 16, 2009
This isn't a "scholarly" publication; it's aimed at a non-academic audience of investors and their advisors. But, as we all know, the distinction between the practical and the theoretical in tax law is a tenuous one, and I welcome articles not only from practitioners but also from the tax academy. A number of academics serve on the board, and many have written for JTI over the years. In short, this is an opportunity to put promotion-and-tenure issues to the side and to focus on matters that lend themselves to nice 10-25 page discussions-—footnoted, but not overdone. (You can expand the piece for promotion purposes later.) I interpret "investments" broadly—-indeed, I interpret "taxation" broadly as well-—but remember the audience.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I could not help but wonder what would happen if my tax situation were to become a matter of public debate.
I actually have recently become aware of an issue that might raise an eyebrow or two. My employer provides me with a laptop computer (in addition to my office desktop computer), which I use while traveling to conferences, etc. I also, of course, keep it at home when I am not on the road, using it for everything that I do on a computer. Since much of what I do is not job-related, I am using the computer (that the university owns) for personal as well as professional matters. As a matter of tax law, the question is whether the professional use is enough to prevent this from being counted as income to me, in the same way that use of my desk chair at work is excluded from my income. If so, this would be a deviation from consistent income tax rules, because my employer's provision of this computer makes it unnecessary for me to spend my own money on a laptop computer (which I surely would otherwise do). If I get to use this computer tax-free, I am being treated better than people who pay taxes on their salaries and then use their after-tax income to buy a laptop computer to use at home.
Stated this way, it becomes obvious that the only way I should be able to exclude the value of this benefit from my income is if the Internal Revenue Code explicitly allows me to do so. Otherwise, the default is for me to pay tax on the value of what I am receiving. The thing is, I had never even thought about this until a couple of weeks ago, when the issue was raised on the TaxProf blog (linking to an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education). As it turns out, there is no provision in the Code that excludes university-provided laptops from being taxable. Since I received the computer on Jan. 1, 2007, I need to amend my 2007 taxes and to get this right when I do my 2008 taxes on April 14 of this year.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The AALS has announced that the following Tax Profs have been selected as the Teacher of the Year for 2007-08 at their respective law schools:
Samuel A. Donaldson (University of Washington)
Heather M. Field (UC-Hastings)
William H. Lyons (Nebraska)
Michael T. Yu (California Western)
Prior Tax Teachers of the Year:
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I always attempt to bridge that chasm between practicing lawyers and law professors (although realizing that a favorable mention of a law professor's blog outside academia might be disastrous for his or her tenure chances, I try to be careful). Jim Maule's Mauled Again is all about tax law developments and, as I've said before, it is so darned interesting that you won't believe you are reading a tax law blog by a tax law professor. I've found his coverage and insights into the current economic crisis to be invaluable.
Friday, November 28, 2008
That's the Ticket, by Sue Reisinger (p. 16):
The story of how an impeccably times traffic ticket helped transform a shy Russian chemist into one of the nation's leading tax scholars. ...
The role that chance has played in the life of Columbia Law School Professor Alex Raskolnikov is, in his word, incredible. Asked why he decided to give up a career in chemistry to study law, Raskolnikov credits luck as much as conscious planning. ...
Raskolnikov graduated with highest honors from Moscow's Mendeleev University of Chemical technology in 1988. Three years later, at age 25, he left Russia to join his father, who had immigrated to Michigan. There he worked as a metallurgist until a minor fender-bender changed his life. Facing a $160 traffic ticket -- "a very large fine by my standards at the time" -- Raskolnikov asked the police office how he could fight the citation.
The officer told him about traffic court, and the rest, as they say, is history. "This is a great country," Raskolnikov says, recalling the hearing. "I got to thinking about what I could say, and how I would convince the judge. And I thought, 'My God, this is kind of fun!'" The ticket was dismissed, and a future lawyer was born.
Raskolnikov, who at the time wasn't confident in his social skills, went to Yale Law School, and sought a field where "substantive expertise is more important than interpersonal skills." He settled on tax law.
- Tax Man, by Daniel Gross (pp. 20-27):
Columbia Law School's newest faculty member, Michael Graetz, has decided to make the move from New Haven to Morningside Heights. Now if he could just convince the nation that its tax code needs an overhaul. ...
Graetz's curriculum vitae is stocked with the usual accoutrements of a distinguished academic: degrees from Emory University and the University of Virginia, authorship of several books and textbooks, articles that number in the three digits, and stints in two presidential adminstrations. "If you wanted to list the three best tax professors in the country, he's in that group," say Alex Rasknolnikov, professor of law at Columbia.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Congratulations to Tax Prof Pat Cain and her long time partner Jean Love, who were married on October 4, 2008 in San Francisco. Pat previously taught at the University of Texas School of Law for 17 years (1974-1991) and at University of Iowa School of Law for 16 years (1991-2007), before moving with Jean to Santa Clara University School of Law in 2007 as the Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor of Law. I got to know Pat as a contributor to our Tax Stories book; her chapter is one of my favorites -- Ch. 9: The Story of Earl: How Echoes (and Metaphors) from the Past Continue to Shape the Assignment of Income Doctrine. (Pat and Jean are pictured in front of the Empress Hornblower on which they got married in San Francisco Bay; their Iowa friends and colleagues celebrated at the same time at a party hosted by Bill and Barby Buss at their home, dubbed the Empress Cornblower for the evening.)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
- Thomas G. Bost (Pepperdine)
- Kristin E. Hickman (Minnesota)
- Douglas A. Kahn (Michigan)
- Michael A. Livingston (Rutgers-Camden)
- Philip D. Oliver (Arkansas-Little Rock)
- Anthony Polito (Suffolk)
- Ira B. Shepard (Houston)
- Jack F. Williams (Georgia State)
Friday, September 19, 2008
The Fall 2008 issue of NYU's alumni magazine -- The Law School -- is out (and, as the granddaddy of Law Porn, mailed to every law professor in the United States in advance of next month's U.S. News peer review survey). It includes a Professorial Pop Quiz with fun facts about faculty hired during Dean Richard L. Revesz's term (2002-). Match these "fun facts" with the appropriate Tax Prof: Lily Batchelder and Mitchell Kane:
- He/she is shy (but loves teaching), is an expert in international tax arbitrage, and once slept right through his/her stop on an Italian train, waking up in Verona.
- Who broke up fights in a soup kitchen as a social worker, managed a state senator’s reelection campaign and left a tax practice at Skadden, Arps for NYU?
Answers below the fold:
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"This is a great honor, and it is fitting that it will go to someone of Jim's distinction," said BC Law Dean John H. Garvey. ...
Repetti, who joined the faculty of BC Law School in 1986, has been recognized for both research and teaching. Hailed as a leading tax law scholar and the author of seminal work in his field, he also was selected by the student body to be the first recipient, in 1999, of the Law School's award for excellence in teaching.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Arthur J. Cockfield (Queen's University Faculty of Law) has published:
- Use Taxes to Open Up U.S. Border, National Post, Sept. 6, 2008:
- Finding Silver Linings in the Storm: An Evaluation of Recent Canada-U.S. Cross-border Tax Developments, C.D. Howe Commentary No. 272 (Sept. 2008)
Art also was awarded two major federal research grants:
- $77,750 (as sole applicant) from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (a federal research grant agency) to study Reforming Laws and Policies Surrounding Cross-border Tax Information Exchanges' from 2008-2010.
- $2.5 million (with five other co-applicants) from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council for The New Transparency project, an inter-disciplinary research project on the social implications of the emerging surveillance society, including privacy concerns surrounding cross-border tax information exchanges.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tax Prof Patricia E. Dilley (Florida) has received a Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award for her proposal, Restoring Old Age Income Security for Low Wage Workers. See press releases from the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Congratulations to Illinois Tax Profs Vic Fleischer and Miranda Perry-Fleischer, who welcomed Penelope Everett Fleischer into the world on Tuesday (4 weeks early!) at 6 lbs 3 oz. See the great picture here. For TaxProf Blog coverage of their journey, see here (engagement), here (marriage), and here (move to Illinois).
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tax Prof Steven J. Willis (Florida) is one of the fifty candidates who have applied to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court. Steve joined the Florida faculty in 1981, having previously taught at NYU. He earned his B.A. (1974) and J.D. (1977) from LSU, and his tax LL.M. (1979) from NYU. He is the co-author of one of our books in the LexisNexis Graduate Tax Series, Federal Tax Accounting (2006) (with Michael Lang (Chapman) & Elliot Manning (Miami)).
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Jim Maule noted on his blog yesterday that "retirement is around the corner if I have my way." That took me by surprise, since Jim is one of the most active Tax Profs I know, and he's only 57! I hope Villanova students are lining up to take Jim's tax courses while they still have the chance. He noted that he has taught 4,000 - 5,000 students in his 25 years at Villanova. Most remarkably, Jim has taught Partnership Tax 60 times -- that has to be a record!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Oregon has announced several professorship appointments, including:
Susan Gary, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, as Orlando J. and Marian H. Hollis Professor of Law:
Professor Gary's research examines the way inheritance laws apply to changing family structures, regulation of nonprofit organizations, and use of mediation in estate planning and probate. She currently serves as reporter for the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act.
Nancy Shurtz, as Bernard Kliks Professor of Law:
Professor Shurtz's scholarly interests include individual and business tax law, tax policy, environmental policy, and women and the law. She is editor for the Media/Book Products Committee of the American Bar Association's Real Property, Probate, and Trust section. Professor Shurtz has been a literature reviewer and columnist for Estate Planning magazine since 1990.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
We are excited to have David join us in the fall to carry on the fine tradition we reinstituted last year when first Calvin Johnson, and after him Gregg Polsky, joined us as professors in residence,” Korb said. “It is an extremely worthwhile program for both our lawyers, particularly the more recent hires, and for the law professors.”
Polsky’s term as professor in residence will end on June 30. Hasen will serve a nine-month term starting in late October. ...
The IRS Office of Chief Counsel revived its Professor in Residence program in 2006 after being dormant since the late 1980s. The program provides some of the nation’s top legal academicians the opportunity to contribute to the development of legal tax policy and administration.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- IRS Names Calvin Johnson 2007 Professor-in-Residence (1/10/07)
- Polsky Named 2007-08 Professor in Residence (6/5/07)
Monday, March 17, 2008
The third annual Junior Tax Scholars' Workshop will be held this year at New York University from the evening of Thursday, June 5th through Saturday, June 7th. The workshop is an opportunity for junior tax faculty to meet each other and present works-in-progress in a supportive environment. All participants present a work-in-progress, are assigned two discussants, and serve as a discussant twice. We welcome presentations at any stage, from outlines and preliminary ideas to almost-final drafts.
In order to ensure that all participants can present, the size of the workshop is limited. New participants will be added on a first-come basis. The workshop is open to scholars who have a tenure-track appointment and will not have received tenure by the date of the workshop. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lily Batchelder, Miranda Fleischer, Vic Fleischer, or Dennis Ventry.
Monday, February 18, 2008
One thing I'll say for Sarah, she definitely came in with some flair. A key feature of the paper that she came to NYU to present is its criticizing moi (of all people), in this case for a hypothetical in a paper of mine discussing tax penalties ...
The most deflating thing about it all was having one's nose rubbed in the brute fact of the passage of time. Time was that I and others in my age cohort (law professors such as Bankman, Griffith, Kaplow, Fried, Strnad, McCaffery, and Weisbach) were the young pups criticizing the work of the prior generation, and sometimes meeting a rough reception. Now we're the establishment (as Sarah crisply, and I would say irrefutably, informed me) and thus can expect similar treatment from younger persons of spirit. I believe we'll be a lot nicer about it, however. But then again let's not revisit the dead past, or revive disputes that by this point have been so fully resolved that they tend to show up, if at all, purely as schtick.
For a technical explanation of Sarah's criticism of Dan's paper, and Dan's response, see below the fold:
Monday, February 4, 2008
The University of Illinois College of Law has received a $1.3 million gift from June E. Michael to honor Tax Prof John D. Colombo. The gift will be used to create the John D. Colombo Professorship in Law and several need-based student scholarships.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The AALS has announced that the following Tax Profs have been selected as the Teacher of the Year for 2006-07 at their respective law schools:
J. Martin Burke (Montana)
Bridget J. Crawford (Pace)
James M. Delaney (Wyoming)
Jeffrey L. Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)
Linda F. Sugin (Fordham)
Patrick E. Tolan (Barry)
Michael T. Yu (California Western)
See the 2005-06 Tax Teachers of the Year here.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
There are 63 quotations by Tax Profs in As Certain as Death -- Quotations About Taxes (2008 Edition), an annual collection of 1,371 quotations published in Tax Notes by Jeffery L. Yablon (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Washington, D.C.). Below the fold are the quotations from these Tax Profs:
- Alice G. Abreu (Temple)
- Joseph Bankman (Stanford)
- Boris I. Bittker (Yale)
- Walter Blum (Chicago)
- Evelyn Brody (Chicago-Kent)
- James Bryce (Alabama)
- Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati)
- Charles Davenport (Rutgers-Newark)
- Jonathan Barry Forman (Oklahoma)
- Martin D. Ginsburg (Georgetown)
- Michael J. Graetz (Yale)
- Erwin N. Griswold (Harvard)
- James Hines (Michigan)
- Calvin H. Johnson (Texas)
- Marjorie E. Kornhauser (Arizona State)
- Edward J. McCaffery (USC)
- Paul R. McDaniel (Florida)
- Martin J. McMahon Jr. (Florida)
- Joel S. Newman (Wake Forest)
- Sheldon D. Pollack (Delaware)
- Joshua Rosenberg (San Francisco)
- Deborah H. Schenk (NYU)
- Joel Slemrod (Michigan)
- Dennis J. Ventry Jr. (American)
- David A. Weisbach (Chicago)
- Bernard Wolfman (Harvard)
- George K. Yin (Virginia)