Paul L. Caron
Dean


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Amidst 40% Decline In Applications, University Of Maine System Approves Law School Reorganization

Following up on my previous post, Report Recommends Sweeping Changes At Maine Law School:  Portland Press-Herald, UMaine System to Consider Changes to Maine’s Only Law School:

Maine LogoThe University of Maine System may give its law school more independence from the University of Southern Maine in hopes of addressing financial challenges, growing enrollment and improving academic programming.

The proposed changes come at a key time as the law school is embarking on a search for a new dean and trying to determine how to best meet the needs of the state as Maine’s only law school. ...

In a report released in July, the committee documented budget shortfalls, faculty positions that have gone unfilled or without pay raises, a lack of fundraising and marketing schemes, and an enrollment strategy that relies too heavily on scholarships. It also stressed a need to diversify course offerings and do outreach in rural, underserved areas of the state. ...

From 2011 to 2018, the number of applications in Maine dropped from 988 to 574 – a 40 percent decrease. ... To stay competitive, the law school has increased the amount of money it spends on grants and scholarships, but failed to bring in necessary tuition funds. ...

At the same time, state funding that flows to the law school through USM has remained stagnant at around $850,000 for several years. Cummings has pledged to increase those funds by 50 percent through 2021 to bring the new allocation to nearly $1.3 million.

Portland Press-Herald, UMaine System Trustees Approve Law School Reorganization:

Trustees of the University of Maine system on Monday approved a reorganization of the University of Maine School of Law in an effort to grow enrollment, provide more relevant academic programming and improve its financial standing. ... The law school changes, which will take place immediately, gained unanimous approval from the board.

Continue reading

September 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: GAO Study Shows Income Gap Between Rich And Poor Keeps Growing, With Deadly Effects

New York Times, Study Shows Income Gap Between Rich and Poor Keeps Growing, With Deadly Effects:

The expanding gap between rich and poor is not only widening the gulf in incomes and wealth in America. It is helping the rich lead longer lives, while cutting short the lives of those who are struggling, according to a study released this week by the Government Accountability Office [Income and Wealth Disparities Continue through Old Age].

Almost three-quarters of rich Americans who were in their 50s and 60s in 1992 were still alive in 2014. Just over half of poor Americans in their 50s and 60s in 1992 made it to 2014.

GAO

“It’s not only that rich people are living longer but some people’s life expectancy is actually shrinking compared to their parents, for some groups of people,” said Kathleen Romig, a senior policy analyst at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Continue reading

September 17, 2019 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former Employee Defrauded University Of Texas Law School Out Of $1.6 Million

Texas Tribune, Former Law School Employee Defrauded UT-Austin Out of Nearly $1.6 million, Internal Report Finds:

Texas Logo (2016)A former University of Texas at Austin facilities director facing felony charges ran an elaborate financial scheme from his perch at one of the state’s top law schools, costing the university nearly $1.6 million, an internal memorandum released Friday found.

A sternly worded letter from a university provost blamed the aw school dean for “serious failures” in oversight, and the law school must pay for a continuous audit of its internal business operations for the next year. The audit will cost about $110,000.

“As a public university, we must always be good stewards of our budget and earn the public trust,” said UT-Austin spokesman Gary Susswein in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “We will work to prevent this type of behavior from occurring again.”

Jason Shoumaker is said to have engaged in a variety of financial and professional improprieties at UT-Austin, including funneling payments to vendors who may have been friends and associates, falsifying travel documents and educational credentials, and manipulating procurement processes to make a host of questionable purchases with little oversight. ...

Continue reading

September 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

American Taxation Association Journal Of Legal Tax Research Call For Papers

The American Taxation Association Journal of Legal Tax Research Call for Submissions:

ATAThe ATA Journal of Legal Tax Research (JLTR), a double-blind peer-reviewed journal, publishes creative and innovative studies that employ legal research methodologies that logically and clearly:

  • Identify, describe, and illuminate important current tax issues including the history, development, and congressional intent of specific provisions
  • Propose improvements in U.S., state and local, or foreign tax systems, and unique solutions to tax or fiscal problems
  • Critically analyze proposed or recent tax law changes from both a technical and a policy perspective
  • Discuss improvements in tax compliance, tax complexity, or tax policy
  • Provide critical discussions for strategically structuring transactions, considering tax and non-tax ramifications
  • Critically analyze recent or proposed legislative or regulatory changes
  • Critically analyze similarities and differences between tax accounting and financial accounting issues
  • Critically analyze similarities and differences between U.S. and other tax regimes

Legal tax research articles in all areas are appropriate for the journal, including state and local taxation, international taxation, estate and gift tax law, and federal income taxation.  Manuscripts analyzing tax issue of countries other than the U.S., particularly if it includes a comparison to U.S. tax law, are also encouraged. 

Continue reading

September 17, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Gordon Presents Fiscal Democracy In The States: How Much Spending Is On Autopilot? Today At Loyola-L.A.

Tracy Gordon (Urban Institute) presents Fiscal Democracy In The States: How Much Spending Is On Autopilot? (with Megan RandallC. Eugene Steuerle & Aravind Boddupalli) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Ted Seto: 

GordonGovernors, lawmakers, and journalists often decry constitutional and statutory formulas, federal grant requirements, and court rulings they think excessively limit state budget decisions.

Some observers estimate as much as 70 percent of state spending is “on autopilot,” meaning these constraints are in place before proposals or negotiations begin.

But measuring predetermined state budget commitments is far from straightforward. The federal government explicitly defines “tax expenditures” and “mandatory spending” and reinforces these concepts through the annual budget process. In contrast, few states rigorously and transparently assess the long-term cost of tax breaks and spending programs that are either fixed in size or will grow automatically without policy changes.

In this report, we perform a first-of-its-kind analysis of how much spending was restricted or partially restricted in CaliforniaFloridaIllinoisNew YorkTexas, and Virginia from 2000 to 2015.

Key findings:

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Paper Presentations Today At UC-Berkeley

Tax paper presentations at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

Antoine Ferey (Ph.D Candidate (Economics), CREST – École Polytechnique, Paris, France)), Optimal Income Taxation and Tax Complexity with Taxpayers Misperceptions (with Jérémy Boccanfuso (Ph.D Candidate (Economics), Paris School of Economics):

Ferey

We analyze optimal income taxation and tax complexity – defined as the features of a tax system preventing agents from correctly internalizing taxes in their choices – in a Mirrlees economy where agents misperceive taxes. We capture tax complexity along two dimensions – the number of tax instruments and the design (e.g. salience) of each instrument – and demonstrate how these factors shape the overall complexity of an integrated tax system. Tax complexity is a desirable feature of tax systems to the extent that it induces misperceptions which reduce the efficiency costs of taxation and allow an inequality-averse government to increase taxes and redistribution towards poor households. However, misperceptions generate utility misoptimization costs which are heterogeneous across taxpayers: more able workers are relatively more stricken and thus willing to pay more attention to the tax schedule. The possibility to dedicate time and energy to study the tax schedule and to turn to tax advisors give rise to an optimal level of tax complexity that we characterize. Preliminary estimations indicate that the monetary equivalent for internalizing the US income tax system was $2,364 in 2016, whereas our estimate for the optimal level of complexity is around $1,100. Because richest households resort to tax advisors, it is the upper middle class who loses the most from this tremendous complexity.

Malka Guillot (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Law and Economics, ETH Zürich), Who Paid the 75% Tax on Millionaires? Optimisation of Salary Incomes and Incidence in France:

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zwick Presents Top Wealth In The United States — New Estimates And Implications For Taxing The Rich At NYU

Eric Zwick (Chicago) presented Top Wealth in the United States: New Estimates and Implications for Taxing the Rich (with Matthew Smith (U.S. Treasury Department) & Owen Zidar (Princeton)) at NYU last week as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Zwick (2019)This paper uses administrative tax data to estimate top wealth in the United States. We build on the capitalization approach in Saez and Zucman (2016) while accounting for heterogeneity within asset classes when mapping income flows to wealth. Our approach reduces bias in wealth estimates because wealth and rates of return are correlated. Overall, wealth is very concentrated: the top 1% holds as much wealth as the bottom 90%. However, the “P90-99” class holds more wealth than either group after accounting for heterogeneity. Relative to a top 0.1% wealth share of more than 20% under equal returns, we estimate a top 0.1% wealth share of [15%] and find that the rise since 1980 in top wealth shares falls by [half]. Top portfolios depend less on fixed income and public equity, depend more on private equity and housing, and more closely match the composition reported in the SCF and estate tax returns. Our adjustments reduce mechanical revenue estimates from a wealth tax and top capital income shares in distributional national accounts, which depend on well-measured estimates of top wealth. Though the capitalization approach has advantages over other methods of estimating top wealth, we emphasize that considerable uncertainty remains inherent to the approach by showing the sensitivity of estimates to different assumptions.

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 2019 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 5th Year In A Row

Florida Bar 2The July 2019 Florida bar passage rates by school are out. The overall pass rate for first-time takers is 73.9%, up 6.7 percentage points from last year. For the fifth year in a row, Florida International is #1. Here are the results for the 11 Florida law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (Florida and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

FL (Overall)

1 (95.7%)

Florida Int'l

4 (91)

2 (87.9%)

Florida

1 (31)

3 (86.8%)

Florida State

2 (48)

4 (80.8%)

Miami 

3 (67)

5 (77.6%)

Stetson

5 (108)

6 (71.4%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

7 (71.0%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

8 (65.9%)

Nova

Tier 2

9 (61.1%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (57.8%)

Barry

Tier 2

11 (52.6%)

Ave Maria

Tier 2

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Extending Leiter-Sisk Citation Counts To Interdisciplinary Scholarship

J. B. Ruhl, Michael P. Vandenbergh & Sarah Dunaway (Vanderbilt), Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals:

This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall.

IDR Final

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lesson From The Tax Court: Administrative File Notes Are Not Ex-Parte Contact

Tax Court (2017)Tax collectors have an tough and lonely job.  I know.  I collected taxes for Arlington County, Virginia shortly after law school.  And when I was in IRS Office of Chief Counsel, my clients were Revenue Officers (ROs), the IRS employees whose dolorous job is to collect unpaid taxes. 

When a taxpayer receives a CDP hearing, ROs are prohibited from making ex part contacts with anyone in Appeals about the substance of the collections under review.  If the RO wants to communicate with anyone in Appeals about matters that are not ministerial, administrative, or procedural, they must give taxpayers an opportunity to participate in the discussion. Rev. Proc. 2000-43, §3, Q&A-6.   If they violate the ex-parte prohibition, then the CDP hearing becomes tainted and the ex part nature of the contact must either be cured or else the case be reassigned.  Rev. Proc. 2012-18, §2.10(1).

Not every communication from an RO to Appeals is a prohibited ex parte contact.  Last week’s case of Jason Stewart and Kristy Stewart v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2019-116 (September 10, 2019) (Judge Kerrigan) teaches a lesson in what does not constitute a prohibited communication from an RO to the Settlement Officer in a CDP hearing.  Details below the fold.

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax News, Tax Practice And Procedure | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tax Uniformity As A Requirement Of Justice

Charles Delmotte (NYU), Tax Uniformity as a Requirement of Justice:

Barbara Fried takes the view that uniform taxation — that is, a single rate applicable to all income levels — cannot be defended on any grounds of justice. She goes further by saying that, of all possible rate structures, it might be “the hardest one” to ground in “a” theory of fairness. Using the contractarian-constitutional perspective advanced by John Rawls and James Buchanan, this article argues that tax uniformity can be seen as a requirement of justice. After modelling how the political world realistically decides to distribute tax shares (self-interested parties act under a majority constraint), I show how the uniformity principle could emerge from the constitutional contract. In other words, rational individuals would choose uniformity as a procedural constraint under a “veil of uncertainty”; that is, with limited knowledge regarding their positions under the future application of the rule.

Continue reading

September 16, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Deuteronomy Leadership

Wall Street Journal op-ed: T-Mobile’s CEO and the Tribal Approach to Management, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassOfficially speaking, John Legere is the chief executive of T-Mobile, the $68 billion wireless carrier. Unofficially, the 61-year-old telecom veteran has another title.

He is, hands down, the world’s most relentless corporate pugilist.

Since he arrived at T-Mobile in 2012, Mr. Legere has used every public forum at his disposal to bash and belittle his company’s chief rivals, AT&T and Verizon; or as he likes to call them, “Dumb and Dumber.” ...

It might be tempting to dismiss Mr. Legere’s aggressive leadership style and occasionally profane language (he describes his attacks as “jabs” and “good-natured ribbing”) as the product of one man’s singular personality.After all, most CEOs don’t sport shoulder-length hair, or wear motorcycle jackets to work, or have 6.4 million Twitter followers. ...

Before rendering judgment, however, there’s one interesting tidbit about Mr. Legere that’s worth considering. His opponents may loathe him—but a large majority of his employees seem to genuinely like the guy. At T-Mobile events, the marathon-running bachelor often enjoys receptions befitting a rock star, complete with the occasional marriage proposal. While Glassdoor’s annual employee surveys aren’t scientific, the 2019 edition gave Mr. Legere a 99% internal approval rating—No. 4 overall among his CEO peers.

Mr. Legere’s intensely tribal approach to management may seem new—but in a sense, it harkens all the way back to the Old Testament.

Continue reading

September 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Founders’ Fortunes And Philanthropy: A History Of The U.S. Charitable Deduction

Vox, The Charitable Deduction Is Mostly for the Rich. A New Study Argues That’s by Design.:

In the early 20th century, legislators carved out a tax break to help megaphilanthropists. It still shapes our tax law today. ... [A] a new paper published this week in Business History Review argues that throughout its 100-year history, the charitable deduction was always aimed primarily at benefiting the rich.

Nicolas J. Duquette (USC), Founders’ Fortunes and Philanthropy: A History of the U.S. Charitable-Contribution Deduction, 93 Bus. Hist. Rev. 553 (2019):

Since 1917, tax filers in the United States who itemize tax deductions have been able to subtract gifts to eligible charities from their taxable income. The deduction is especially valuable to successful entrepreneurs who donate corporate stock.

Founders

Such philanthropy was seen as a close substitute for government spending until after the mid-twentieth century. In the 1950s and 1960s, high tax rates catalyzed the formation of large foundations from industrial fortunes and precipitated a national debate about the legitimacy of such giving. The midcentury debate preceded increased oversight of charities and foundations and a shift in the way U.S. lawmakers regarded the contribution deduction—from a subsidy by philanthropists of public goods government would otherwise provide to an implicit public cost.

Nicolas J. Duquette (USC), Highlighting The (Elitist) History Of The Charitable Contribution Income Tax Deduction:

Continue reading

September 15, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Great Enrollment Crash

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Great Enrollment Crash:

Students aren’t showing up. And it’s only going to get worse. ...

Higher education has fully entered a new structural reality. You’d be naïve to believe that most colleges will be able to ride out this unexpected wave as we have previous swells.

Those who saw modest high-school graduation dips by 2020 as surmountable must now absorb the statistical reality: Things are only going to get worse. As Nathan Grawe has shown, a sharp decrease in fertility during the Great Recession will further deepen the high-school graduation trough by 2026. Meanwhile, the cost of attendance for both private and public colleges insists on outpacing inflation, American incomes continue to stagnate, and college-endowment returns or state subsidies can no longer support the discounting of sticker prices. ...

This perfect storm has changed, and will continue to change, student and family college-choice behavior for the next decade and more. I see this playing out across three dimensions: majors, money, and mission.

Continue reading

September 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #4:

  1. [484 Downloads]  Five Key Research Findings on Wealth Taxation for the Super Rich, by David Gamage (Indiana)
  2. [341 Downloads]  An Introduction to Tax Careers for J.D.s, by Heather Field (UC-Hastings)
  3. [155 Downloads]  The Superiority of the Digital Services Tax over Significant Digital Presence Proposals, by Wei Cui (University of British Columbia)
  4. [131 Downloads]  The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion: How Startup Shareholders Get $10 Million (Or More) Tax-Free, by Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings)
  5. [96 Downloads]  Cannabis Businesses and Passthrough Deduction Availability, by Daniel Rowe (Green Hasson & Janks, Los Angeles)

September 15, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Leadership Changes, Student Loans, And Nonprofit Status At Florida Coastal Law School

BEPS And The Emerging Global Approach To Taxing Multinational Enterprises

Jinyan Li, Jin Bao & Huaning (Christina) Li (York University, Osgoode Hall Law School), BEPS and the Emerging Global Approach to Taxing Multinational Enterprises, in Symposium, Re-Imagining Tax for the 21st Century: Inspired by the Scholarship of Tim Edgar):

The G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project aimed at revising existing tax rules to align the taxation of profit with the location of economic activities and value creation (the “value creation principle”). It has received much commentary in literature and general debates and has been regarded as “the most significant re-write of the international tax rules in a century”, an opportunity to “rebuild a healthy scheme for allocating taxation rights”, having the potential to significantly alter the contours of the international tax regime, transforming the international tax regime, signaling a “new struggle over international taxation”, or representing the “emergence of a new international tax regime”. The OECD claimed that the revised rules represent “the first substantial – and overdue – renovation of the international tax standards in almost a century”.

Continue reading

September 14, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Virtual Tour Of Pepperdine Law School

Friday, September 13, 2019

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Speck Reviews Osofsky's Agency Legislative Fixes

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado) reviews a new work by Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Agency Legislative Fixes, 105 Iowa L. Rev. __ (2020).

Speck (2017)In Agency Legislative Fixes, Leigh Osofsky develops a framework for understanding and analyzing agency actions to correct technical and drafting errors in legislation. Osofsky motivates this framework primary through various examples from the December 2017 tax legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In addition, Osofsky alludes to a number of other high-profile legislative mistakes in the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and elsewhere. Osofsky adeptly interweaves her tax-oriented story with academic work on legislation and administrative law, yielding a rich critique of Treasury’s current practices in handling gaps between Congress’s presumptive or purported intent and prevailing interpretations of statutory text, as enacted. Osofsky concludes by addressing several possible reforms, including an interesting proposal to adjust the revenue baseline in budget reconciliation to account for erroneous scores attributable to congressional mistakes.

Continue reading

September 13, 2019 in Scholarship, Sloan Speck, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Trump's Taxes And Tax Returns

Batchelder & Kamin: Taxing the Rich: Issues and Options

Lily L. Batchelder (NYU) & David Kamin (NYU), Taxing the Rich — Issues and Options:

The U.S. economy exhibits high inequality and low economic mobility across generations relative to other high-income countries.

BK1

The U.S. will need to raise more revenues in order to reduce these disparities, finance much-needed new services and investments, and address the nation’s long-term fiscal needs. This paper outlines policy options for raising a large amount of revenues primarily from the most affluent, first discussing potential incremental reforms and then focusing on four main options for more structural reform: (1) dramatically increasing the top tax rates on labor and other ordinary income, (2) taxing the wealthy on accrued gains as they arise and at ordinary rates, (3) a wealth tax on high-net-worth individuals, and (4) a financial transactions tax.

Continue reading

September 13, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

July 2019 Bar Exam Pass Rates Are Poised To Rise, As MBE Scores Increase At Highest Rate In 11 Years

National Conference of Bar Examiners, July 2019 MBE Mean Score Rebounds:

The national Multistate Bar Examination mean scaled score for July 2019 was 141.1, an increase of about 1.6 points from the July 2018 mean of 139.5. This increase is a rebound from the drop in the MBE mean score observed between July 2017 and July 2018 and marks the largest increase compared to the previous July’s mean since July 2008. 45,334 examinees sat for the MBE in July 2019, a nominal increase of one tenth of one percent (0.1%) compared to the 45,274 examinees who tested in July 2018.

July Bar Exam

Continue reading

September 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Minors And Digital Asset Succession

Natalie M. Banta (Drake), Minors and Digital Asset Succession, 104 Iowa L. Rev. 1699 (2019):

Minors who die in the United States hold a property interest in an asset that did not exist when the law established eighteen as the age of legal capacity to devise. These assets are digital assets: email, social networking, documents, photos, text messages, and other forms of digital media. Minors use these assets with a fluidity and ease unrivaled by older generations. Under the current law, minors have no right to decide what happens to their digital property at death. Despite the fact that minors have the capacity to contract with online businesses, make health care decisions, marry, have sex, and seek employment, minors are denied one of the most basic rights of property ownership — the right to devise. This Article is the first to explore how minor capacity law should change to accommodate the changing nature of property and grant minors the right to devise their digital assets.

Continue reading

September 13, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Peripatetic Nature Of EU Corporate Tax Law

Christiana HJI Panayi (Queen Mary University of London), The Peripatetic Nature of EU Corporate Tax Law:

This article examines some aspects of the European Union’s corporate tax set-up which correspond to aspects of a country’s corporate tax regime. The overarching question is whether there is such a thing as EU corporate tax law. This article seeks to address this in the context of the following issues: the existence of a uniform tax base and tax rates;the existence of anti-abuse rules and a transfer pricing regime; and, finally, the existence of a common tax administration and its powers. The article questions whether the peripatetic development of EU corporate tax law is suitable for the EU or whether it undermines its long-term objectives.

Continue reading

September 13, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Polsky Presents Two Tax Papers Today At Florida

Polsky (2018)Gregg Polsky (Georgia) presents two papers today at Florida:

There's a Problem With Buybacks, But It's Not What Senators Think, 162 Tax Notes 765 (Feb. 18, 2019) (with Daniel Hemel (Chicago)), as part of the Tax Colloquium Series:

In a deeply divided Washington, one of the few issues on which leading lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appear to agree is that corporations should be discouraged from buying back their stock from shareholders. This short article argues that, while this anti-buyback sentiment is misguided, there nevertheless are good tax policy arguments for reforming the tax treatment of buybacks. The article recommends adoption of a 1969 proposal made by Professor Marvin Chirelstein that would recharacterize (for tax purposes) buybacks as a pro rata cash dividend, followed by sales of shares from the shareholders who participate in the buyback to the shareholders who do not.

Taxing Residential Solar as part of the Marshall M. Criser Distinguished Lecture and Workshop Series (with Ethan Yale (Virginia)):

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Osofsky: Agency Legislative Fixes

Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Agency Legislative Fixes, 105 Iowa L. Rev.  ___ (2019):

Legislative drafting mistakes can upset statutory schemes. The Affordable Care Act was nearly undone by such mistakes. The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is rife with them. Traditional legal scholarship has examined whether courts should help resolve Congress’s mistakes. But courts have remained stubbornly resistant to fixes outside of the legislative process.

In the face of legislative error and judicial inaction, administrative agencies have taken it upon themselves to fix legislative drafting mistakes. This Article provides the first comprehensive analysis of these “agency legislative fixes.” It identifies features and complexities of such fixes, which are not captured by existing scholarship. It also describes the behind-the-scenes, post-legislative dialogue between Congress and agency officials about such fixes, which is frequently hidden from public view. The Article shows that agencies routinely fix legislative drafting mistakes in a manner that is nontransparent and motivated by factors external to the legal framework.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mitchell Hamline Offers New Blended Hybrid-Weekend J.D.

Mitchell Hamline Announces New Blended-Learning J.D. Option:

Mitchell Hamline (2018)Mitchell Hamline School of Law announced Sept. 5 it will take the next step as the nation’s leader in online and on-campus legal education with the launch next fall of a new blended-learning enrollment option.

The new offering integrates elements of Mitchell Hamline’s pioneering Hybrid J.D. program and its Executive and Weekend J.D. options into a single partly online, partly on-campus option.

Through blended learning, students will have an unmatched opportunity to customize their legal educations in terms of format, content, and pace, and all graduates will be eligible to sit for the bar exam in all 50 states.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Andrew Weiner Appointed To Lead Temple Tax LL.M. Program

Andrew Weiner Appointed to Lead LL.M. in Tax at Temple Law School:

Weiner 2Nationally recognized tax litigator Andrew Weiner has joined the faculty at Temple Law School, where he will serve as Director of the Graduate Tax Program and Practice Professor of Law.

In joining Temple’s nationally ranked tax program, Professor Weiner brings a wealth of tax litigation experience to an exceptional roster of scholar-teachers on the full-time faculty and highly accomplished adjuncts. He also brings experience in the classroom, having taught corporate tax and partnership tax at American University Washington College of Law for several years. In addition, Professor Weiner is developing a tax research and writing class, and has plans to explore interdisciplinary opportunities with Temple’s vaunted trial advocacy program. ...

Prior to joining Temple Law, Professor Weiner served for more than a decade in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. Most of his tenure at the Tax Division was spent as an Attorney in the Appellate Section, where he briefed and argued approximately 50 cases, including Florida Bankers Association v. Department of the Treasury before the DC Circuit and Bedrosian v. United States before the Third Circuit—important victories for the government. During that time, Professor Weiner also served as Counsel to both Diana Erbsen (Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate and Review) and Tamara Ashford (then Acting Assistant Attorney General & Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate and Review and now a judge on the United States Tax Court). Most recently, he worked as a Trial Attorney at the Court of Federal Claims Section.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 11th At Pepperdine

Yesterday was a very special day at Pepperdine. In the morning, we held a solemn ceremony at our Waves of Flags for the 12th consecutive year featuring a display of 2,887 American flags for each American life lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and 90 international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad who also were killed:

September 11

In the afternoon, I hosted a conversation with Justice Gorsuch about his new book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, with two of his former law clerks, David Feder and Tobi Young, following an honor guard of four of our student veterans (Capt Lindsey Kirchoff, US Air Force; CPT Austin McNaul, US Army; CPT Daniel Schmidt, US Army; and Col (Ret.) Mark Seilhamer, USMC)), a singing of the National Anthem by 3L Marcy Kuo, and an invocation by Eric Wilson, Associate University Chaplain.

Gorsuch Event (091119)

In the evening, my wife and I hosted the weekly Dean's Bible Study:

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Joulfaian: The Federal Estate Tax: History, Law, and Economics

David Joulfaian (U.S. Treasury Department), The Federal Estate Tax: History, Law, and Economics (MIT Press 2019):

JoulifanA comprehensive and accessible account of the U.S. estate tax, examining its history and evolution, structure and inner workings, and economic consequences.

Governments have been levying some form of inheritance tax since the ancient Egyptians did so in the seventh century BC. In the United States, the federal government experimented with various forms of inheritance taxes, settling on an estate tax in 1916 and a gift tax in 1932. Despite this long history, there are few empirical studies of the federal estate tax. This book offers the first comprehensive look at U.S. estate and inheritance taxes, examining their history and evolution, structure and inner workings, and economic consequences. Written by David Joulfaian, a veteran economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the book provides accessible accounts of such topics as changes in tax laws, issues of equity, the fiscal contribution of the estate tax, and its behavioral effects.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

46 Law Schools Accept The GRE For Admissions, And 5 Accept The GMAT

GRE GMATForty-six law schools now accept the GRE for law school admissions.  Forty-four law schools accept the GRE outright (American, Arizona, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, California-Western, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Penn State, Pepperdine, Seattle, SMU, South Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington University, and Yale).  Two law schools (Georgia and UC-Berkeley) allow students enrolled in another graduate program to submit the GRE.  (George Washington has rescinded its use of the GRE because it has not done a school-specific validation study.)   Two non-U.S. law schools — Peking University School of Transnational Law (China) and Hamd Bin Khalifa University Law School (Qatar, in partnership with Northwestern) — also accept the GRE.

Five law schools accept the GMAT for law school admissions — two outright (Cornell and Penn) and three (Chicago, Georgia and UC-Berkeley) for students enrolled in another graduate program.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stock Repurchases And The 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

Benjamin Bennett (Tulane University), Anjan V. Thakor (Washington University) & Zexi Wang (Lancaster University), Stock Repurchases and the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

We study the effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on repurchases, leverage and investment. The TCJA generates tax windfalls through a repatriation tax cut and a corporate income tax cut. Using monthly repurchase data from SEC filings, we find the surge of repurchases after the TCJA is driven by the repatriation tax cut, and not the income tax cut.

Stock Repurchases

Continue reading

September 12, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Benshalom Presents Recalibrating Moral Feasibility Boundaries Of Taxation Today At Toronto

Ilan Benshalom (Hebrew University, Faculty of Law) presents Recalibrating Moral Feasibility Boundaries of Taxation at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Benshalom (2019)Tax theorists have recognized the importance of linking policy proposals to different ideal theories of distributive justice such as equality of resources, maximin of primary goods, and welfarism. However, they have invested considerably less efforts in trying to engage the tax-distributive debate with a moral analysis that deals with non-ideal settings. This essay offers a new framework that enables a more effective integration of normative considerations into academic analysis the distributive dilemmas associated with existing tax systems.The essay briefly reviews some of the relevant modern social science research dealing with how individuals view the role of the tax system in reducing inequality, and then discusses the importance and limitations of empirical research. I argue that any attempt to rely on measurable concepts such as biases and distributive preferences to normatively evaluate the distributive function of the tax system would likely be insufficient and perhaps even somewhat misleading. Instead, any moral evaluation of tax policymaking should be done with reference to a set of feasibility constraints, which explicitly recalibrate the framework of normative debate based on relevant social science findings.

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bill Henderson: Legal Evolution

Three great posts from Bill Henderson (Indiana) on Legal Evolution:

Credible Commitments to Legal Diversity:

Since the early 2000s, law departments and law firms have advanced ambitious public initiatives to diversify the legal profession. In law firm power centers, however, the disconnect between public proclamations and empirical reality is staggering. ...

It’s true that law firms are focused on building diverse pipelines and seeking diverse law school graduates, and on that front they do relatively well. I wonder how many know African-American law school graduates borrow about $112,000 more to pay for law school (median is about $207k) than White law school graduates (median is about $95k). See AccessLex Institute, “Examining Graduate Lending” at 26 (June 2019).

We can examine how demographic groups are distributed across law schools broadly by looking at four groups: law schools ranked 1 to 14 by U.S. News = “T-14”, those ranked 15 to 50 = “Tier 1,” 51 to 100 = “Tier 2,” and 101 and lower/not ranked = “Tier 3/4”. Figure 2 reports the percentage shares for each group graduating from each tier category. The distributions reveal a stark demographic asymmetry.

HendersonDropping the Rock: Three Examples:

Everyday, when I am paying attention, the world is nudging me to let go of something wrong and unhelpful. A friend of mine calls it “dropping the rock.” The rock is an assumption about how the world operates that can’t be reconciled with an honest evaluation of facts and experience.

Dropping the rock is primarily a personal philosophy. But as my friend points out, “It also has professional benefits.”

One of those benefits is the ability to see and savor developments that are fundamentally good and hopeful in all aspects of life. Indeed, that is the purpose of this post: to sketch out three brief examples of the legal profession entering a period of learning and regeneration.

Does a Blog Have a Publication Schedule?:

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Journals With Openings For Articles

ExpressO reports that two tax journals have openings for tax articles:

Virginia Tax Review
The Virginia Tax Review is one of the oldest student-run law journals at the University of Virginia. The journal seeks to publish a wide variety of articles within the general ambit of tax law, including domestic and international taxation. We are still accepting articles for our Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 issues.

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chicago's First Public Law School Makes Its Debut

Law.com, Chicago's First Public Law School Makes Its Debut:

UIC MarshallChicago finally has a public law school.

The John Marshall Law School officially welcomed students back to campus on Aug. 26 as the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School, completing its transition from private, stand-alone institution to part of a large public university.

Administrators went public in November 2017 with their plans for the university to acquire the law school, saying that joining forces would strengthen both entities and make legal education in the Windy City more affordable. (No money exchanged hands, and all of John Marshall’s assets transferred to the university.) John Marshall had been an independent law school for its 120-year existence.

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Finds UDC And WNE Law Schools Out Of Compliance With Accreditation Standards

The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has informed two law schools — University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Western New England University School of Law — that they are out of compliance with accreditation standards:

University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law:
UDCAt its August 22-24, 2019, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standard 501(b) ["A law school shall only admit applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar."] and Interpretation 501-1 ["Among the factors to consider in assessing compliance with this Standard are the academic and admission test credentials of the law school’s entering students, the academic attrition rate of the law school's students, the bar passage rate of its graduates, and the effectiveness of the law school's academic support program. Compliance with Standard 316 is not alone sufficient to comply with the Standard."].

Western New England University School of Law:
Western New EnglandAt its August 22-24, 2019, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of the Western New England University School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standard 202(a) ["The current and anticipated financial resources available to the law school shall be sufficient for it to operate in compliance with the Standards and to carry out its program of legal education."] and (d) ["A law school is not in compliance with the Standards if its anticipated financial condition is reasonably expected to have a negative and material effect on the school’s ability to operate in compliance with the Standards or to carry out its program of legal education."].

For responses of UDC Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins and Western New England Dean Sudha Setty, see:

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Davis: Elective Egg Freezing And The Limits Of The Medical Expense Deduction

Tessa R. Davis (South Carolina), Freezing the Future: Elective Egg Freezing and the Limits of the Medical Expense Deduction, 107 Ky. L. Rev. 373 (2019):

Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) allows a deduction for unreimbursed expenses for medical care. To qualify as medical care, an individual’s outlay must meet the statutory definition of “medical care” set forth in § 213. Specifically, an outlay must be for care that is either for “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” Many costs raise few interpretive challenges. When an individual receives chemotherapy, for example, the costs tied to that care clearly satisfy the disease prong of § 213. But as medicine advances, emerging technologies test the breadth of the Code’s concept of medical care. This Article examines the case of elective egg freezing — an increasingly available technology and, in some cases, a new employer-provided benefit — analyzing the likely treatment of such costs under current law.

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Junior Scholars Advance ‘One Funeral At A Time’

Inside Higher Ed, Scientific Advancement, ‘1 Funeral at a Time’:

The life sciences benefit from death — the death of star researchers. So concludes a recently published paper in American Economic Review [Pierre Azoulay (MIT), Christian Fons-Rosen (UC-Merced) & Joshua S. Graff Zivin (UC-San Diego), Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?, 109 Am. Econ. Rev. 2889 (2019)].

But co-author Pierre Azoulay, professor of management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, warns, tongue in cheek, that it’s not an implicit invitation to plot against life sciences luminaries. Instead, Azoulay said in a recent interview, it’s a reason for journal editors and funding agencies to think even harder about who they’re supporting, and why. ...

[I]n the “circle of academic life,” Azoulay said, superstars may “overstay their welcome at the top of their fields.” So “we should probably think a little bit more systematically about this, and open up our practices in the realms of funding and publishing in ways that create more entry points — and make it faster for new ideas to challenge old ones.” ...

Azoulay and his co-authors examined the relationship between the relatively early or sudden deaths of 452 eminent scientists between 1975 and 2003 and the subsequent “vitality” of the field, measured in publication rates and flow of federal funding. ...

Following the deaths of star scientists, subfields saw an 8.6 percent increase in articles published by those scientists who had not previously collaborated with the late luminaries. Those papers were disproportionately likely to be highly cited. All effects are compared to control subfields, which are associated with superstars who did not die. The effects were more pronounced for those who were previously "outsiders" to the subfields.

Funeral

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

How Cryptocurrencies Thwart International Tax Policy

Benjamin Molloy (J.D. 2019, Oregon), Comment, Taxing the Blockchain: How Cryptocurrencies Thwart International Tax Policy, 20 Or. Rev. Int'l L. 623 (2019):

Over the past decade, cryptocurrencies have surged into the mainstream discussion about the future of financial transactions. Although cryptocurrencies first gained notoriety as digital cash to facilitate illegal transactions, blockchain technology could help shift the international financial system into the twenty-first century. Rather than imposing strict regulations or banning cryptocurrencies, the Chinese and American governments should embrace the shift toward a digital currency.

Continue reading

September 11, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pratt Presents The Curious State Of Tax Deductions For Fertility Treatment Costs Today At UC-Hastings

Katherine Pratt (Loyola-L.A.) presents The Curious State of Tax Deductions for Fertility Treatment Costs, 28 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 261 (2019) (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado) here), at UC-Hastings today as part of its Tax Speakers Series:

Pratt (2017)The federal tax treatment of assisted reproductive technology (ART) expenses incurred by intended parents is unclear. This lack of clarity in the tax law is curious because millions of intended parents have incurred ART expenses, which typically are quite large, over the past 40 years. ARTs include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg donation, and surrogacy. This Article addresses the question of whether various categories of taxpayers can classify the costs of specific types of ART expenses as tax deductible “medical care,” taking into account new developments in the law, including the 2017 federal appellate court decision in Morrissey v. United States.

Part I of this Article outlines the contours of the income tax deduction (and related tax benefits) for “medical care,” incorporating the statutory definition of “medical care” and the interpretation of that definition by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and courts. Part II applies the “medical care” definition to expenses incurred by different-sex married couples for specific types of reproductive medical care and ancillary payments. We begin our analysis with this cohort of intended parents because the IRS seems to have had such taxpayers in mind when it initially provided informal advice to taxpayers who incurred fertility treatment costs. Part II then extends the analysis to same-sex couples and unmarried individuals, focusing primarily on the U.S. Tax Court decision in Magdalin v. Commissioner, and briefly summarizing Longino v. Commissioner. In both cases, the court denied fertile unmarried men a medical expense deduction for ART expenses. Part II considers the implications of Magdalin for medically infertile men, married and unmarried women, and married different-sex couples. Part II also articulates a novel argument men could make for deducting some ART costs, notwithstanding Magdalin and Longino.

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hatfield Presents Professionally Responsible Artificial Intelligence Today In England

Michael Hatfield (University of Washington) presents Professionally Responsible Artificial Intelligence at the 28th Annual Tax Research Network Conference today at the University of Central Lancashire, England:

HatfieldMichael (2017)As artificial intelligence (AI) developers produce more applications for professional use, how will we determine when the use is professionally responsible? One way to answer the question is to determine whether the AI augments the professional’s intelligence or whether it is used as a substitute for it. To augment the professional’s intelligence would be to make it greater, that is, to increase and improve the professional’s expertise. But a professional who substitutes artificial intelligence for his or her own puts both the professional role and the client at risk. The problem is developing guidance that encourages professionals to use AI when it can reliably improve expertise but discourages substitution that undermines expertise.

This Article proposes a solution, using tax professionals as a case study. There are several reasons tax professionals provide a good case study, including that tax practice has a long history of computerization and that AI is already being developed for tax professionals. Tax professionals, including not only lawyers but certified public accountants are directly regulated by the Internal Revenue Service, in addition to their regulation by professional bodies.

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in Colloquia, Legal Ed Scholarship, Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Relationship Between Law School Coursework And Bar Exam Outcomes

Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University) & David R. Moss (Wayne State), A Study of the Relationship between Law School Coursework and Bar Exam Outcomes, 68 J.Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

The recent decline in bar exam passage rates has triggered speculation that the decline is being driven by law students taking more experiential courses and fewer bar-subject courses. These concerns arose in the absence of any empirical study linking certain coursework to bar exam failure.

This article addresses speculation about the relationship between law school coursework and bar exam outcomes. It reports the results of a large-scale study of the courses of over 3800 graduates from two law schools and the relationship between their experiential and bar-subject coursework and bar exam outcomes over a ten-year period.

KM 1

At both schools, the number of experiential courses or credits taken by a student did not correlate with bar passage, positively or negatively.

KM 3

Enrollment in bar courses correlated positively with passage, but the correlation was modest and significant only for students whose class rank placed them at heightened risk of bar failure. Even for those students, the marginal benefit of additional bar-related courses was not statistically significant once the student had taken approximately the average number of bar courses at that school.

KM 5

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

29 Tax Profs Say Deference To Tax Court Is Not Needed In Altera

Bloomberg Tax, Deference to Tax Court Isn’t Needed in Altera Case, Academics Say:

AlteraIntel-owned Altera misrepresented how the Ninth Circuit should treat conflicting decisions between its own three-judge panel and the U.S. Tax Court, a group of legal academics said.

“No special deference is due to Tax Court decisions,” the 29 academics argued in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. They were responding to Altera's request for a rehearing in a tax dispute with the IRS.

The 29 Tax Profs signatories are:

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in New Cases, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

2020 U.S. News College Rankings

US NewsU.S. News & World Report has released its 2020 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges (along with their 2017-2019 rankings):

2020

Rank

 

National Universities

2019

Rank

2018

Rank

2017

Rank

1

Princeton

1

1

1

2

Harvard

2

2

2

3

Columbia

3

5

5

3

MIT

3

5

7

3

Yale

3

3

3

6

Chicago

3

3

3

6

Stanford

7

5

5

6

Penn

8

8

8

9

Northwestern

10

11

12

10

Duke

8

9

8

10

Johns Hopkins

10

11

10

12

Cal-Tech

12

10

12

12

Dartmouth

12

11

11

14

Brown

14

14

14

15

Vanderbilt

14

14

15

15

Notre Dame

18

18

15

17

Cornell

16

14

15

17

Rice

16

14

15

19

Washington (St. Louis)

19

18

19

20

UCLA

19

21

24

21

Emory

21

21

20

22

UC-Berkeley

22

21

20

22

USC

22

21

23

24

Georgetown  

22

20

20

25

Carnegie Mellon

25

25

24

25

Michigan

27

28

27

Pepperdine is ranked #50 (tied with Georgia, Lehigh, and RPI).

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Trump Took A Big Loan From Trump And Never Paid Trump Back ... Because It's A Tax Scam

Daily Kos, Trump Took a Big Loan From Trump and Never Paid Trump Back ... Because It's a Tax Scam:

A loan listed on Donald Trump’s personal financial disclosure forms appears to be hiding a scheme in which he got tens of millions from Deutsche Bank and never reported the income to the IRS. It all adds up to a huge violation of federal tax law that Trump is hiding behind one of the many LLCs that make up the Trump Organization.

Donald Trump has debts. How many debts, and who is collecting on those debts, is not very clear. It’s especially not clear because Trump is fighting tooth and nail to prevent the release of his tax returns and to prevent banks from providing Congress with any information. But among Trump’s loans there is one that may be more mysterious than all the rest, and that’s the over $50 million that Donald Trump owes to … Donald Trump.

Trump’s business is not actually a single business at all, but an interwoven network of over 500 LLCs and holding companies. They may have different names, different assets, and even different addresses, but what almost all these companies have in common is that they are 100% owned by Trump.

With that in mind, Mother Jones took a look a Trump’s personal financial disclosure forms and found that he reports owing “over $50 million” to Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. Trump owns that company 100%. So he owes that debt to himself. Which isn’t necessarily dishonest, but Trump sets the value of Chicago Unit Acquisition at zero. He’s borrowed at least tens of millions, but he doesn’t seem to be making any payments on this “loan” at all. That’s just the start of the weirdness. On the books of the company, the company that Trump owns, the loan to Donald Trump is classified as a high-risk loan. 

That last thing is certainly true. But everything else about this situation stinks to high heaven. As the Mother Jones analysis points out, it not only violates every rule of accounting, but it also looks like massive tax fraud.

Continue reading

September 10, 2019 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (4)