Paul L. Caron
Dean




Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How A $2 Million Condo In Brooklyn Ends Up With A $157 Real Estate Tax Bill

Bloomberg, How a $2 Million Condo in Brooklyn Ends Up With a $157 Tax Bill:

Opaque methods, hypothetical numbers and ‘bonkers’ adjustments shift the property-tax burden toward middle- and working-class New Yorkers.

For years, when confronted with complaints of uneven property taxes, the New York City Department of Finance has blamed a state law that requires it to ignore the sale prices of condos and co-ops when determining their taxable value. Instead, the law requires city assessors to engage in a kind of thought experiment: Pretend co-ops and condos produce income for their owners—even though they don’t—and set their taxable values based on a hypothetical amount of income they’d generate if they did.

That law, designed to protect condos and co-ops from higher taxes, lays the groundwork for warped results. But now, for the first time, a Bloomberg News investigation reveals that city officials have made a bad situation worse. They’ve invented data points that bear no resemblance to market reality and used them in opaque calculations that tend to favor wealthy property owners. These flawed valuations shift hundreds of millions of dollars in tax burden from higher- to lower-priced properties and to rental apartment buildings every year.

City ordinances have created special exemptions that reduce taxable values for qualifying properties and abatements that shrink eligible tax bills—special breaks that have significant effects. But flawed valuations present a problem at a deeper level, one that’s far less apparent to most taxpayers.

A Bloomberg analysis of millions of city records related to condo sales and taxes shows that, in effect, two steps in New York’s assessment process combine to help perpetuate unfairness. First, city officials reduce the taxable values of condos across the board by adjusting an important data point—the so-called capitalization rate—in their calculations. Capitalization rates help investors gauge the value of income-producing properties; the higher the rate, the lower the property value. The rate that assessors apply is more than double the actual rates reflected in New York real estate markets.

Bloomberg

October 20, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

NY Times Op-Ed: Be Careful With IRS Reform

New York Times op-ed:  I’m the President of the National Taxpayers Union. Be Careful With I.R.S. Reform., by Pete Sepp (President, National Taxpayers Union):

Democratic lawmakers plan to boost the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement authority to help pay for the spending package working through Congress. But while the I.R.S. needs more funding to fulfill its mission, the current version of the reform legislation would run roughshod over decades of taxpayer protections that were enshrined by huge bipartisan majorities. ...

Beyond the rollback of taxpayer rights, the retroactivity of these provisions could face legal trouble. Retroactive taxation is still widely practiced, and used to pressure taxpayers to settle with the I.R.S. While the Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the practice, when it last considered the issue in 1994’s United States v. Carlton, it came close to deciding that anything beyond one year of retroactivity violates due process. Given a retroactive tax case again, the court may rein in the practice for good.

Ironically, the I.R.S.’s budget increase is unlikely to raise the revenue Congress anticipates.

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October 19, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

WSJ Op-Ed: The Democrats’ Tax-The-Rich Ruse

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  The Democrats’ Tax-the-Rich Ruse, by Phil Gramm & Mike Solon:

President Biden’s effort to pass the largest tax increase in U.S. history is based on the verifiably false claim that Americans with high incomes don’t pay their “fair share.” In no other country do the rich bear a greater share of the income-tax burden than they do in the U.S.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data show that the top 10% of American households earn about 33.5% of all earned income but pay 45.1% of all income taxes, including Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. That progressivity ratio of 1.35 is far higher than in any other country. The ratio in France is 1.10. In Germany it’s 1.07, and in Sweden an even 1. In the last OECD study, in 2015, the top 10% of earners in the U.S. paid 45% of all income taxes. In France, the top 10% only paid 28%. In Germany they paid 31% and in Sweden 27%. Conversely, the bottom 90% of earners in the U.S. paid 55%. The bottom 90% of earners in France paid 72%. In Germany it was 69% and in Sweden 73%.

WSJ

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October 19, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Wallace & Lutkenhaus: Measuring Scholarly Impact In Law

Karen L. Wallace (Drake) & Rebecca Lutkenhaus (Drake; Google Scholar), Measuring Scholarly Impact in Law, 28 Widener L. Rev. ___ (2022):

In February 2019, U.S. News & World Report announced a proposal to use HeinOnline data to publish a scholarly impact ranking of law schools. As a result, interest in using scholarly metrics to quantitatively assess legal scholarship soared. Legal scholars debated several issues, including: the concept of evaluating scholarly impact through citation metrics; the ramifications of publishing this information alongside the highly criticized, but undeniably influential, U.S. News law school rankings; the optimal procedures for creating such a ranking; the rationale underlying the decisions involved in establishing a methodology; and HeinOnline’s available content and metrics. The concerns raised ultimately led U.S. News to abandon its planned ranking in summer 2021, two and a half years after its initial announcement. 

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October 19, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

U.S. News Crime Spree: Florida Students Steal 40 Of 75 Banners Celebrating Top 5 Public University Ranking

The Independent Florida Alligator, Forty UF Top-Five Banners Stolen From Campus:

UF Top 5Seventy-five banners that read “Top 5” hung at UF. Now, only 35 remain.

Forty banners celebrating the school’s new national ranking have been stolen across the UF campus.

Since the week of Sept. 13, the missing banners amount to a loss of almost $3,000, UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said. The double-sided, vinyl hangings are 24 inches wide and 72 inches tall. They cost about $73 each. ...

In less than one month, the banners have disappeared just as quickly as they were put up. Within six days of the U.S. News and World Report ranking announcement, banners were hung around campus including the Reitz Lawn, Plaza of the Americas and along Union Road. ...

Orlando attributes these thefts to excitement about the university’s new ranking. “We were glad that people are excited about the number five ranking,” he said. “We would prefer it if they would find another way to express their excitement.” ...

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October 19, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Koppelman: Yale Law School’s Bullying, Coercive Diversity Leaders

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Yale Law’s Bullying, Coercive Diversity Leaders: How Not To Do Equity Work, by Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern):

Yale Law Logo (2020)The movement for diversity and inclusion has improved people’s lives in many tangible ways. A few days ago at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, where I’m a professor, I went into the men’s restroom and saw that the school had provided tampons and sanitary pads on a shelf there. It made me happy. There are people here who menstruate and identify as male. Their needs matter, and the school now recognizes that.

But in other respects, the diversity and inclusion movement is becoming the enemy of diversity and inclusion, imposing a cookie-cutter orthodoxy and trying to turn thinking human beings into marionettes. An already-notorious recent episode at Yale Law School (disclosure: I’m an alumnus) highlights the problem. It offers lessons in how to, and how not to, manage issues of inclusion.

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October 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Beller: S Corporations As Shareholders, LLC Members, And Partners

Herbert N. Beller (Professor of Practice, Northwestern; Of Counsel, Eversheds-Sutherland), S Corporations as Shareholders, LLC Members, and Partners, Part 1, 172 Tax Notes Fed. 1713 (Sept. 13, 2021); S Corporations as Shareholders, LLC Members, and Partners, Part 2, 172 Tax Notes Fed. 1915 (Sept. 20, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)This two-part article focuses on numerous transactional scenarios involving S corporations that have sole or partial ownership interests in other entities, including C corporations, qualified S corporation subsidiaries, single- and multiple-member limited liability companiess and partnerships. Part 1 outlines the fundamentals of how subchapter S operates and examines the tax treatment of transactions through which the S corporation comes into existence, other entities become affiliated with the S corporation group, and cash or other property is transferred from an affiliate to the S corporation or to another affiliate. Part 2 examines the tax consequences of transactions in which a complete or partial interest in an affiliate is sold or otherwise disposed of by the S corporation, including through a taxable stock or assets acquisition, a tax-free reorganization under section 368 or a tax-free corporate separation under section 355.

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October 19, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Is Big Law's Addiction To Elite Law Schools Hobbling Diversity Efforts?

Reuters, Is Big Law's Addiction to Elite Schools Hobbling Diversity Efforts?:

Black Lawyers MatterIf they really want to expand their ranks of Black associates, law firms should recruit from more schools, consider candidates outside the very top of their class and not wait for on-campus interviews to build relationships with diverse law students.

That was the advice from Big Law partners and law school officials during a discussion Friday on the recruitment and retention of Black lawyers—part of a day-long "Black Lawyers Matter" conference co-hosted by University of Houston Law Center, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and the Law School Admission Council.

Law schools consistently fall short in helping Black students on the job market, said panelist Jim Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement.

Over the past six years, the gap between white and Black law graduates landing jobs that require passing the bar exam averaged 18 percentage points, he said. Black law graduates consistently have the lowest rate of private sector employment, NALP data show.

“It’s impossible for me not to conclude that law schools have long had systems in place that preference and prioritize the employment outcomes of white graduates over Black graduates,” Leipold said.

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October 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tax Profs Oppose Proposed Charitable Conservation Easement Curing Provision

Letter To Senate Finance Committee On H.R. 5376:

We are teachers, scholars, and practitioners in the fields of tax law, property law, natural resource management, and land use law. We write today to express our deep concern about a provision recently added to the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, that is now part of H.R. 5376, the “Build Back Better Act” (the reconciliation bill). This provision, if enacted into law, would open the door to widespread abuse of the charitable deduction for conservation easements and lead to a massive waste of taxpayer dollars. We urge you to omit the same or comparable language from a Senate bill and to work to ensure that it is not included in the final legislation.

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October 19, 2021 in Congressional News, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Monday, October 18, 2021

Maag Presents The Next Stage Of The Child Tax Credit Today At Loyola-L.A.

Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Issues In Child Benefit Administration In The United States: Imagining the Next Stage of the Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Maag-elaineThe American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for one year and delivered it as a monthly benefit to the vast majority of recipients. Whether the credit will retain its current form, revert to its previous form, or take on a new form altogether is unclear. Even if the credit is extended, it is unlikely to be extended permanently and there remains the possibility that if will continue to evolve as discussions around providing a robust child benefit continue. A robust child benefit could provide a minimum source of support to all or most families with children which would mean that fewer children would grow up in poverty and would be harmed by temporary income drops. We compare how a tax credit such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC) administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a universal child allowance administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) could be structured to best meet the needs of families with children. Tax credits, in general, have been the more popular tool of choice for both Democrats and Republicans to redistribute income in recent years (Faricy 2015)–including the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

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October 18, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Federal Tax Revenues Soar 18%, Most In 44 Years, Primarily From Individual (+28%) And Corporate (+75%) Taxes

Congressional Budget Office, Monthly Budget Review: September 2021:

Total Receipts: Up by 18 Percent in Fiscal Year 2021 ...

CBO

Chris Edwards (Cato Institute), Federal Tax Revenues Soar:

New data from the Congressional Budget Office show that federal tax revenues are soaring. Despite the Republican tax cuts of 2017 and the ongoing pandemic, taxes are pouring into the U.S. Treasury. ...

The chart below shows the major sources of federal revenues from fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2021, which ended September 30. The GOP tax cuts were effective January 2018, which was part way through fiscal 2018. ...

Cato

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October 18, 2021 in Congressional News, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

The Unsung Heroes Of The Desegregation Of American Law Schools

Gail S. Stephenson (Southern; Google Scholar), The Unsung Heroes of the Desegregation of American Law Schools, 51 J. of L. & Educ. ___ (2022):

In 1940 seventeen American states prohibited interracial education by force of law. In 1945 the south offered white students sixteen law schools, but African-American students were limited to one segregated law school. Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP developed a strategy to desegregate American education by first attacking the inequities in graduate and professional education in the courts. Law schools were the first targets as Marshall hoped to develop a cadre of civil rights advocates who could carry on his work.

These lawsuits required courageous individuals to step forward to serve as test plaintiffs. These individuals were vilified, intimidated, and threatened. Ultimately only two actually graduated from the schools they sued to attend and practiced law, although some graduated from other law schools and went on to highly successful careers.

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October 18, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Says Three Years Of Law School Is A ‘Waste’

Florida Politics, Ron DeSantis Says Three Years of Law School Is a ‘Waste’:

DeSantisGov. Ron DeSantis continued his recent tradition of unsolicited critiques of higher education, saying Friday that current three-year law school tracks are a “waste.”

“You don’t need three years for law school,” DeSantis, a Harvard Law product, said in Naples Friday, where he was rolling out a job growth grant award to expand vocational offerings.

“Some of these degrees you see. You know, I went to law school; you don’t need three years for law school,” DeSantis divulged. “I mean, seriously, you don’t. You could do it probably in one. Definitely in two. You don’t need three.”

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October 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Yale Law Student Who Sent 'Trap House' Email Faces Removal As 2L Representative

Following up on my previous posts:

Lat

David Lat, The Yale Law School Email Controversy: An Interview With Trent Colbert:

[David Lat]: As you know, there has been a lot of support for you outside of YLS. Do you think this could be the start of an improvement in the climate at the law school?

[Trent Colbert]: We’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic.

[Trent's Friend: This story goes beyond Trent. The administration mishandled his situation badly. Students shouldn’t be treated the way that he was treated. But more broadly, what we’ve heard in these recordings should give people in the legal profession—and beyond—reason to be concerned.

We heard administrators say that membership in FedSoc is an aggravating factor when you’re accused of offensive conduct. It’s ideological discrimination, in an environment that’s already challenging for conservatives, a school where we have no conservative public-law scholars on the faculty.

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October 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court #200: The Great Divide

Camp (2021)Today's Lesson is an appropriate one for my 200th post.  While the line separating my 199th from my 201st post is not big—not a great divide—the line does make visible a degree of effort and consistency that might otherwise be obscure.  So, yeah, I'm kinda proud about crossing this line.

The concept of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) also creates a line, one that confuses my students enormously.  They have trouble understanding that the ability to take a deduction is affected not simply by the statute that authorizes the deduction but also by the statutes that tell you where to take the deduction in the process of calculating taxable income.  And not only does the concept of AGI create a line—dividing deductions taken above the line from those taken below the line—it sometimes creates a great divide.

In Carl L. Gregory and Leila Gregory v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-115 (Sept. 29, 2021)(Judge Jones), the taxpayer’s lawyers had the same trouble my students have.  The case teaches a graphic lesson on the great divide that can exist between treatment of deductions taken above the line and those taken below, not to mention the great divide between the really rich and the rest of us.  There, the taxpayers were unable to deduct a penny their yacht hobby expenses.  While §183 allowed over $340,000 of deductions, this amount did not exceed 2% of the Gregorys' AGI.  Wow.  That fact at least explains why they may have thought it a good idea to pay attorneys to argue that the expenses went above the line.  It does not explain why the attorneys did not advise that such an argument was groundless, bordering on frivolous.  Details below the fold.    

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October 18, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. News Releases Elementary School (!) Rankings

U.S. News & World Report, New Elementary and Middle Schools Rankings Launched:

U.S. News Elementary School RankingsToday, for the first time, U.S. News published rankings of public elementary and middle schools [methodology here]. Like our annual Best High Schools rankings, we hope these statistical assessments are a useful resource for parents in conjunction with the accompanying data we publish on school characteristics.

All public schools were ranked for which source data and history allowed. In other words, whether a school was ranked or unranked was independent of academic quality. About 81% of public schools with elementary and middle school grades received a ranking.

Including ranked and unranked schools, U.S. News now lists 118,332 public and private grade schools in its directory; among which U.S. News ranked 79,941 unique public grade schools in 2021. These include 47,325 schools newly ranked as elementary schools and 23,255 as middle schools — some of which are in both rankings.

Unlike the high school rankings, there are no national rankings of elementary and middle schools. There are overall state rankings and state rankings broken out by school district. We also published statewide rankings specific to charter schools and magnet schools.

Drexel Dean Dan Filler's 2008 tongue in cheek announcement of a U.S. News Preschool Rankings has nearly come true:  U.S. News lists, but does not rank, over 1,500 preschools.

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October 18, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Secret To A Happy And Meaningful Life: Choose Suffering

Wall Street Journal Saturday Essay:  Why We Choose to Suffer: The Struggle for a Meaningful Life, by Paul Bloom (University of Toronto; Author, The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning):

Sweet SpotIn the search for a meaningful life, simply seeking pleasure isn’t enough. We need struggle and sacrifice.

The simplest theory of human nature is that we work as hard as we can to avoid ... [painful] experiences. We pursue pleasure and comfort; we hope to make it through life unscathed. Suffering and pain are, by their very nature, to be avoided. ... .

But this theory is incomplete. Under the right circumstances and in the right doses, physical pain and emotional pain, difficulty and failure and loss, are exactly what we are looking for. ...

Consider ... chosen suffering. People, typically young men, sometimes choose to go to war, and while they don’t wish to be maimed or killed, they are hoping to experience challenge, fear and struggle—to be baptized by fire, to use the clichéd phrase. Some of us choose to have children, and usually we have some sense of how hard it will be. Maybe we even know of all the research showing that, moment by moment, the years with young children can be more stressful than any other time of life. (And those who don’t know this ahead of time will quickly find out.) And yet we rarely regret such choices. More generally, the projects that are most central to our lives involve suffering and sacrifice.

The importance of suffering is old news. It is part of many religious traditions, including the story in Genesis of how original sin condemned us to a life of struggle. It is central to Buddhist thought—the focus of the Four Noble Truths.

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October 17, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink

Symposium: Is This A Christian Nation?

Symposium, Is This a Christian Nation?, 26 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 237-665 (2021):

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October 17, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Scholarship | Permalink

Garnett: Revisiting The 'Separation Of Church And State' In Our Time Of Deep Division

Richard Garnett (Notre Dame), Revisiting the "Separation of Church and State" in Our Time of Deep Division:

Religious freedom, I believe, is a fundamental human right. Religious freedom does not matter because the Constitution protects it; instead, the Constitution (like modern human-rights law) protects it because religious freedom matters. It is not a gift from the government; it is a limit on the government. Every person, because he or she is a person, has the right to religious liberty—to embrace, or to reject, religious faith, traditions, practices, and communities. This freedom is enjoyed by, and is important to, religious believers and nonbelievers alike. Religious freedom, protected through law, helps both individuals and communities to flourish. It protects the “private” conscience and also promotes the “public,” common good. Religious or not, devout or not, we all have a stake in the religious-liberty project, and in the success of what Thomas Jefferson called our First Amendment’s “fair” and “novel” experiment.

Now, it is true that religious freedom is sometimes inconvenient for overreaching governments. Sometimes, it comes at a cost. Sometimes, it benefits people we think are just weird. Sometimes, it is abused. The same is true, of course, of other constitutional rights, like the right to be free from unreasonable searches, or the right to remain silent, or the right to protest and dissent. Legal and constitutional protections for fundamental human rights are sometimes inefficient; they sometimes get in the way. That our fellow citizens have constitutional and other legal rights means, sometimes, that we have to tolerate a lot of speech and action that we don’t like, that we disagree with, that irritates us, and that offends us. Religious freedom and free speech mean, necessarily, that there will be dissent, and dissenters. After all, if everyone agrees, these freedoms are unnecessary. A premise of our Constitution, though, is that—all things considered—they are worth it. ...

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October 17, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

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 #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [571 Downloads]  Federal Tax Procedure (2021 Practitioner Ed.), by John Townsend (Houston)
  2. [404 Downloads]  Mega-IRAs, Mega-401(k)s, and Other Mega-Retirement Accounts: Statement for the Record, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Steven Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)
  3. [308 Downloads]  State Aid Prohibition — The New GAAR in Town, by Joachim Englisch (Muenster)
  4. [260 Downloads]  Has Cross-Border Arbitrage Met Its Match?, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) & Pascal Saint-Amans (OECD) (reviewed by Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) here)
  5. [220 Downloads]  Closing Gaps in the Estate and Gift Tax Base, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Robert Lord (Americans for Tax Fairness)

October 17, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, October 16, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

1L, Unsure If She's 'Cut Out' For Law School, Starts Twitter Dialogue On Law Student Mental Health

Law.com, 'Play the Game YOUR Way': 1L, Unsure If She's 'Cut Out' for Law School, Starts Twitter Dialogue on Law Student Mental Health:

EatonFirst-year law student Amelia Eaton was unsure whether law school was for her.

Just in the first few weeks, she’s enjoyed what she’s learning and found classes engaging, but she had doubts.

As someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder and attention-deficit/hyper activity disorder, she realized that some of her symptoms were already impacting her studies at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She’s been having difficulty staying on top of the readings and fully digesting the content has been overwhelming, she told Law.com on Friday. Self-doubt ensued and she wondered if she was meant to go to law school.

She took to #lawtwitter on Thursday afternoon to vent and look for advice.

“I’ve spent a long time challenging stigma, but since starting law school it’s been difficult to stop myself from questioning whether I’m ‘cut out’ for law school,” she tweeted

Tweet 2

She wasn’t expecting her post to start such a conversation.

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October 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Yale Law School Triggers Me

Update: Yale Law Student Who Sent 'Trap House' Email Faces Removal As 2L Rep 

Following up on yesterday's post, Ruth Marcus (Washington Post), At Yale Law School, A Party Invitation Ignites A Firestorm:  Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Yale Law School Triggers Me:

Yale University LogoA sign on my desk reads: “I’ll be nicer if you’ll be smarter.”

I’m not feeling nice today — and I’m talking to you, Yale.

No offense intended toward my many friends — and certain family members — who attended the university in Connecticut. But the recent campus skirmish over an alleged triggering event has revealed the absurdity of, oh, just everything — students’ overindulged self-regard; the failure of colleges and universities, generally, to encourage maturity and intellectual rigor in its charges (rather than indulging crippling sensitivity); and our exaggerated notions of triggering as a social and civil guard rail.

Who, anyway, taught the college-bound that they should always be protected, that people should always be “nice,” or that feelings should never be hurt?

What happened at Yale is this: A creative, second-year law student at its venerable law school emailed an invitation to classmates for a “Constitution Day Bash,” to be held at the “NALSA Trap House” and co-hosted by the Federalist Society (of which he’s a member). He promised “American-themed snacks,” such as fried chicken and apple pie.

Before we go further, a few questions, definitions and clarifications: First, who knew Constitution Day was a reason for celebration at graduate schools? Second, NALSA stands for “Native American Law Students Association,” of which the student is also a member. Third, “trap house,” in case you’re unaware, is defined by the Urban Dictionary as, “Originally used to describe a crack house in a shady neighborhood . . .

I don’t think the definition was referring to tree-lined streets, but I also don’t think shady neighborhoods come in only one race, color or ethnicity. But at least nine other law students inferred as much and filed complaints of racism with the Office of Student Affairs. Rather than tell the complainants to get a life, administrators crumpled in a heap of cheap umbrage. Associate dean Ellen Cosgrove and diversity and inclusiveness director Yaseen Eldik called the alleged offender in for a little chat, which he wisely recorded, and told him that not only was his invitation out of line, but also that his membership in the conservative Federalist Society was triggering.

My sides are splitting with laughter, not from any kinship with the FedSoc, as it is nicknamed, but because I don’t have a pillow handy to smother my screams.

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October 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Break Into Tax: Talking Tax Careers With The Tax Chick

BiT's first-ever crossover episode: Break Into Tax + Amanda Doucette, host of The Tax Chick Podcast! Like us, Amanda likes to make information and resources more accessible and tackle tax topics with humor. The BiT video contains information and extras not in the 30-minute podcast & vice versa! Find the podcast episode at https://thetaxchickpodcast.transistor... (available on all major podcast streaming sites).

Amanda Doucette is a self-proclaimed foodie, spin class and Pilates enthusiast, and a tax lawyer in Canada. She fell into the practice of tax law despite having a life-long hatred of spreadsheets, math, and numbers in general. She hosts both The Tax Chick Podcast and The Tax Chick Blog.

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October 16, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Friday, October 15, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews The Trouble With Targeting Tax Shelters By Blank & Glogower

This week, Michelle Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar) reviews Joshua D. Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) and Ari D. Glogower (Ohio State; Google Scholar), The Trouble with Targeting Tax Shelters, 74 Admin. L. Rev. __ (2022).

Layser (2018)

The subject of tax avoidance hit the headlines a couple weeks ago when news organizations began to publish analyses of the Pandora Papers. The leaked documents contain confidential records related to offshore accounts held by “130 Forbes billionaires, as well as celebrities, fraudsters, drug dealers, royal family members and leaders of religious groups around the world” (ICIJ). Among other things, analyses of the Pandora Papers illustrate the challenges governments face when trying to detect and deter abusive tax avoidance strategies used by the ultra-wealthy. Though the problem itself is not new, Professors Joshua Blank and Ari Glogower argue that a recent Supreme Court case, CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service, may have made it even harder for the IRS to target tax shelters.

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October 15, 2021 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Monday, October 18: Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Issues In Child Benefit Administration In The United States: Imagining The Next Stage of The Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Tuesday, October 19: Stephanie Hoffer (Indiana-Indianapolis; Google Scholar) presents Tax Legislation in Crises as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Wednesday, October 20: David Gamage (Indiana; Google Scholar) presents Tax Now or Tax Never: Political Optionality and the Case for Current-Assessment Tax Reform (with John Brooks (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) as part of the UC-Irvine Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please email taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

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October 15, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

At Yale Law School, A Party Invitation Ignites A Firestorm

Update #1Yale Law School Triggers Me 
Update #2: Yale Law Student Who Sent 'Trap House' Email Faces Removal As 2L Rep 

Ruth Marcus (Washington Post), At Yale Law School, a Party Invitation Ignites a Firestorm:

Yale University LogoMaoist reeducation camps have nothing on Yale Law School. If you think this is an exaggeration, okay, it is, but keep reading.

Last month, a second-year law student sent some classmates an invitation to a party — to celebrate Constitution Day, of all things.

The student, Trent Colbert, who has the unusual profile of belonging to both the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) and the conservative Federalist Society, emailed: “Sup NALSA, Hope you’re all still feeling social! This Friday at 7:30, we will be christening our very own (soon to be) world-renowned NALSA Trap House . . . by throwing a Constitution Day bash in collaboration with FedSoc. Planned attractions include Popeye’s chicken, basic-bitch-American-themed snacks (like apple pie, etc.) . . . Hope to see you all there.”

“Trap House,” according to the Urban Dictionary, was “originally used to describe a crack house in a shady neighborhood,” but “has since been abused by high school students who like to pretend they’re cool by drinking their mom’s beer together.” A popular far-left podcast, by three White men, calls itself Chapo Trap House, without incident.

Not at Yale Law School. Within minutes, as reported by Aaron Sibarium of the Washington Free Beacon, the invitation was posted on the group chat for all 2Ls, or second-year law students, of which several asserted that the invite had racist connotations, and had encouraged students to attend in blackface. ...

But what erupted on the group chat didn’t stay on the group chat. All too typically, the issue was escalated to authorities and reinforced by the administrative architecture of diversity and grievance. And that’s when things went off the rails.

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October 15, 2021 in Legal Education, News | Permalink

Michigan And Rutgers Host Virtual Symposium Today On Treaty Override

Michigan, Rutgers, and the Michigan Journal of International Law host the Treaty Override Virtual Symposium today (zoom link here): 

Michigan-rutgersThis symposium will consider the legitimacy and scope of treaty overrides, i.e., situations in which a country unilaterally changes the outcome of a bilateral treaty through its domestic law. This practice appears to be unlawful under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (which is generally accepted as customary international law) but is constitutional in certain countries, including the United States. There has been a long, ongoing debate on the advisability of such overrides and the conditions under which they are possible in the United States. These days, the debate centers on whether some parts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 were an override. The symposium will focus on this debate and compare it to similar debates in other jurisdictions. 

10:30 - 11:00 AM: Welcome and Opening Remarks 

  • Gracy Brody (Editor in Chief, Michigan Journal of International Law) 
  • Monica Hakimi (Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, Michigan; Google Scholar)

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Treaty Overrides Abroad

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October 15, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Call For Tax Papers And Panels: Law & Society Hybrid Annual Meeting

Law & Society

Neil Buchanan (Florida) has issued his annual call for tax papers and panels for next year's hybrid  annual meeting of the Law & Society Association in Lisbon and online (July 13-16, 2022):

The Law & Society Association (LSA) will host its next annual meeting from July 13 - 16, 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal.  For the eighteenth year in a row, I will organize sessions for the "Law, Society, and Taxation" group (Collaborative Research Network 31).  For the sixth year in a row, I am pleased that Professors Jennifer Bird-Pollan and Mirit Eyal-Cohen have committed to working tirelessly to make our conference-within-a-conference a success. ...

As currently planned, the conference will be held in a hybrid format, with some sessions entirely in person and others entirely virtual.

Although there is an official call for papers, please remember that you are not bound by the official theme of the conference ("Rage, Reckoning, & Remedy").  We will give full consideration to proposals in any area of tax law, tax policy, distributive justice, interdisciplinary scholarship, and so on.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. ET (USA) on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

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October 15, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Hubbard: A Call To Action On Rule Of Law In The United States

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  A Call to Action on Rule of Law in the United States, by William C. Hubbard, Dean, South Carolina; Co-founder and Chair of the Board, The World Justice Project):

HubbardWe are living through a rule of law crisis, with authoritarianism on the rise in many countries around the world. Even those with strong rule of law traditions are under stress, and the events of January 6 were a stark reminder that the United States is no exception. Indeed, new data released today by the World Justice Project (WJP) paint a particularly alarming picture of recent rule of law developments in the United States. Legal educators have a critical role to play in reversing these trends.

Drawing on surveys of 138,000 households and 4200 practitioners about how governance and justice systems work in practice, the WJP Rule of Law Index scores and ranks countries on eight factors of the rule of law. The Index is widely recognized as the leading source of original rule of law data, relied on by a wide range of public and private sector institutions, scholars, and the media.

The 2021 Index, based on data collected between October 2020 and May 2021, shows rule of law declining in 74% of countries measured, with deterioration most prevalent in factors measuring constraints on government powers, civic space, timeliness of justice, and discrimination. The negative trends held in every region of the world and in rich and poor countries alike.

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October 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Hines Presents Evaluating Tax Harmonization Today At Georgetown

James Hines (Michigan; Google Scholar) presents Evaluating Tax Harmonization at Georgetown today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

James-HinesTax harmonization can address downward rate pressure due to tax competition, but does so by imposing a common rate that may not suit all governments.  A second-order Taylor approximation yields the simple rule that tax rate harmonization advances collective government objectives only if tax competition reduces average tax rates by more than the standard deviation of observed tax rates.  Consequently, any objective-maximizing harmonized tax rate must exceed the sum of the observed average tax rate and the standard deviation of tax rates.  In 2020 the standard deviation of world corporate tax rates weighted by GDP was 4.5%, and the mean corporate tax rate 25.9%, so if competition sufficiently depresses tax rates then governments may find it attractive to harmonize at a corporate tax rate of 30.4% or higher. The minimum tax rate that most effectively advances collective objectives equals the average effect of tax competition plus the average tax rate in affected countries.  Hence there are dominated regions: in the 2020 data, there is no degree of tax competition for which a world minimum corporate tax rate between 4% and 27% would be consistent with maximizing collective objectives.

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October 14, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hoffer Presents Tax Legislation In Crises Today At Indiana

Stephanie Hoffer (Indiana-Indianapolis; Google Scholar) presents Tax Legislation in Crises at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Stpehanie-hoffer

Introduction
Congress, during crises, uses tax law as an instrument of mitigation. A legislature convened in crisis, though, faces unusual informational, political, and time constraints. Tax legislation tends toward complexity. Passing complex legislation under unusual constraints likely precludes thorough contemporaneous consideration of the distributional or other policy effects of the legislation on a diverse group of stakeholders. Perhaps as a consequence, tax legislation passed in times of crises typically builds on prior crisis legislation and contains many recurring provisions. 

This essay examines recurring provisions in crisis-motivated tax and presents preliminary observations on a study of tax legislation passed in response to national crises during the years the 2000 – 2020. The study period includes the September 11 terrorist attacks, hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, the 2008 housing market collapse, the Great Recession, and the COVID pandemic. The study examines which kinds of provisions recur under which circumstances, for whose benefit, and at what cost.

The broader work of which this essay is a part addresses three hypotheses. First, crisis tax legislation is formulaic, generally including a number of provisions drawn from prior tax crisis bills. Second, subsequent crisis tax legislation tends to expand the scope of provisions repeated from earlier crisis tax legislation. Third, among recurring provisions, privately-directed outlays via tax expenditure will outweigh Congressionally-directed outlays.

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October 14, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Cardozo Seeks To Hire An Entry Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University invites applications for a faculty position focused on Taxation:

Cardozo (2015)We are open both to lateral and entry-level candidates. Lateral candidates should have a superior publication record. Entry-level candidates should have a demonstrated commitment to scholarship.

Cardozo Law values diversity and aims to build a team with a multiplicity of backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences that inform and strengthen our work. The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

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October 14, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

Jewish Lawyers And The Legal Profession: The End Of The Affair?

Eli Wald (Denver), Jewish Lawyers and the U.S. Legal Profession: The End of the Affair?, 36 Touro L. Rev. 299 (2020):

Scholars of the legal profession have long puzzled over the apparent affinity between Jewish lawyers and the law, in and outside of the United States. This article advances a new explanation to account for the overrepresentation of Jewish lawyers in the U.S. legal profession in the twentieth century: the Confluence of Circumstances theory. The theory shows that a confluence of circumstances including evolving practice realities, changing professional ideologies, increased competition, discrimination, and the cost of legal education coalesced to account for the affinity. Moreover, tracking the same conditions in the twenty-first century the theory predicts the end of the affair explaining why the practice of law no longer represents a particularly attractive proposition for Jews.

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October 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Kleiman: Revolutionizing Redistribution — Tax Credits And The American Rescue Plan

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.), Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan, 133 Yale L.J.F. ___ (2021):

Yale Law Journal Logo (2018)The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dramatically alters the federal government’s approach to redistribution in 2021. Among its boldest reforms are its temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the first time, ARPA authorizes meaningful cash support for nonworking families and childless workers, two groups that have been historically disadvantaged by social safety net programs. This Essay considers ARPA’s effects on low-income American taxpayers, spotlighting in particular how the reforms will protect millions of households from being pushed into poverty or further into poverty as a result of paying taxes—a phenomenon called “fiscal impoverishment.” Policy makers must make ARPA’s reforms permanent in order to ensure that low-income taxpayers remain protected past 2021. As they work to do so, policy makers should be mindful of gaps in the tax credits that will undermine the reforms’ positive effects. The Essay identifies several such gaps and argues that Congress should legislate more dramatic inclusion for households with and without children.

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October 14, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

AccessLex Offers $5 Million In Free Bar Review Courses (20 Students At Each Law School)

Leading Nonprofit AccessLex Institute Launches New Bar Review With Donation of $5 Million in Free Courses:

Helix 2Leading legal education nonprofit AccessLex Institute is pleased to announce the launch of Helix Bar Review by AccessLex®, the only national nonprofit bar preparation program. Consistent with its history and mission of working to improve access for the next generation of lawyers and create a more diverse legal profession, AccessLex is offering more than 4000 complimentary Helix course packages with a value of $5 million to nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-approved law schools during this inaugural year. The Uniform Bar Exam and Multistate Bar Exam course packages will be directed toward law students who can most benefit from a comprehensive, high-quality bar review at no cost to them.

AccessLex is donating 20 complimentary Helix UBE courses (a $24,000 value) to each of its nearly 200 member ABA-accredited law schools.

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October 14, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Bearer-Friend: Colorblind Tax Enforcement

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar), Colorblind Tax Enforcement, 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. ___ (2022):

NYU Law ReviewThe United States Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has repeatedly taken the position that, because the IRS does not ask taxpayers to identify their race or ethnicity on submitted tax returns, IRS enforcement actions are not affected by taxpayers' race or ethnicity. This claim, which I call “colorblind tax enforcement,” has been made by multiple IRS Commissioners serving in multiple Administrations (both Democratic and Republican). This claim has been made to members of Congress and to members of the press.

In this article, I refute the IRS position that racial bias cannot occur under current IRS practices. I do so by identifying the conditions under which race and ethnicity could determine tax enforcement outcomes under three separate models of racial bias: racial animus, implicit bias, and transmitted bias. I then demonstrate how such conditions can be present across seven distinct tax enforcement settings regardless of whether IRS asks about race or ethnicity. The IRS enforcement settings analyzed include summonses, civil penalty assessments, collection due process hearings, innocent spouse relief, and DOJ referrals.

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October 14, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Profit Shifting During Foreign Tax Holidays

Travis Chow (Hong Kong; Google Scholar), Jeffrey L. Hoopes (North Carolina; Google Scholar) & Edward L. Maydew (North Carolina; Google Scholar), Profit Shifting During Foreign Tax Holidays:

We undertake the first empirical analysis of profit shifting by U.S. firms during foreign tax holidays. We show that foreign tax holidays have become a prevalent and powerful tax planning strategy among U.S. firms. We find that U.S. firms significantly increase their outbound profit shifting while participating in foreign tax holidays. However, we also find that profit shifting associated with tax holidays comes at the cost of increased tax uncertainty. Our results have important implications for policy making and for understanding firm behavior.

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October 14, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Rise Of Law And The Fall Of Circular 230

Michael Hatfield (Washington), The Rise of Law and the Fall of Circular 230: Tax Lawyer Professional Standards, 1985-2015, 24 Fla. Tax Rev. 828 (2021):

Florida Tax Review (2021) (1)This third article focuses on the two issues that dominated discussions of professional responsibility standards for tax lawyers in the 1985-2015 period: return position standards and tax shelter opinions. It opens with consideration of the ABA’s 1965 opinion providing “reasonable basis” as the standard for undisclosed return positions, and then traces the response to that opinion as the response prods the development of the 1985 replacement with its “realistic possibility of success” standard. The Article documents the extensive interaction between Congress, the Treasury Department, and the tax bar over the next 30 years during which penalties are studied and revised and, eventually, § 6694, Circular 230, and the “substantial authority” standard succeed to primary importance. It chronicles the rise of the Treasury Department and Circular 230 and the idea of a single regulator of the full scope of professional tax work until Loving and Ridgely trip-up Treasury in its efforts to become that regulator.

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October 13, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Taxing Interstate Remote Workers After New Hampshire v. Massachusetts: The Current Status Of The Debate

Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo), Taxing Interstate Remote Workers After New Hampshire v. Massachusetts: The Current Status of the Debate, 25 Fla. Tax Rev. __ (2022):

Florida Tax Review (2021)Under the dormant Commerce Clause, Massachusetts, New York and other states emulating them violate their constitutional duty to apportion when they tax the income nonresident telecommuters earn remotely working at their out-of-state homes. Also for Commerce Clause purposes, nonresident telecommuters lack substantial presence to their employer’s state when such nonresidents work at their out-of-state homes. New Hampshire thus argued correctly in New Hampshire v. Massachusetts that, for Due Process purposes, Massachusetts taxed extraterritorially and unconstitutionally when Massachusetts taxed income earned by nonresident telecommuters from their homes outside Massachusetts’ borders.

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October 13, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Townsend: Preconditions Of Leadership In Law

Kenneth Townsend (Wake Forest), Preconditions of Leadership in Law, 56 Wake Forest L. Rev. __ (2021):

While lawyers have long been over-represented in various leadership contexts, law schools and legal employers have not always been concerned with teaching and cultivating leadership. This historic reluctance is rooted in many things, including an overconfidence that the study and practice of law somehow automatically prepared one for leadership; a fear that legal education and practice would be compromised by a focus on “soft skills” associated with leadership studies; a belief that leadership capacities are established by the time students arrive at law school; and concerns that a more holistic approach would lead law schools into the fraught business of moral formation.

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October 13, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

True Confessions Of A Legal Writing Professor: I Will Never Surrender To The Sinful Comma Splice

Diana Simon (Arizona; Google Scholar), More True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: I Will Never Surrender to the Sinful Comma Splice, __ Ariz. Att'y __ (2021):

This, at times, irreverent and tongue-in-cheek article analyzes the increase in the use of comma splices from a legal writing professor’s perspective and suggests ways to fix the problem. First, it traces the increase of comma splices to the Harry Potter series because, as English professors have suggested, that best-selling series is full of comma splices. Second, it explains exactly what a comma splice is and how historically, the use of comma splices was acceptable. Third, it provides examples of sentences with comma splices and suggests different methods of fixing the sentence to correct the problem. Finally, it addresses exceptions to the ban on comma splices.

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October 13, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Fordham Symposium: Mental Health And The Legal Profession

FordhamFordham Symposium, Mental Health and the Legal Profession, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 2415-2595 (2021):

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October 13, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Accounting Firms Are Beating Law Firms In The Tax Services Battle

Danielle Higgins Green (Fordham), & Stanley Veliotis (Fordham; Google Scholar), Law vs. Accounting Firms: Competing Over Three Decades of Change, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 13 (Oct. 4, 2021):

In this report, Green and Veliotis investigate how major regulatory and legislative changes over the past three decades have affected the competitive market for tax services between large U.S. law firms and accounting firms — particularly the supply side of the market for tax services provided to corporations.

Tax Notes 1

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October 13, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

New Legal Ed Podcast: EdUp Legal

Patty Roberts, Dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, has launched EdUp Legal as part of EdUp Experience, the leading higher education podcast:

EdUpLegal education is experiencing explosive applications; a call for innovation and adaptation; demand for increased diversification of the profession; and cries for social justice impact and protection of the Rule of Law.

Host Patty Roberts, Dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, will explore the opinions of legal education leaders regarding the future of legal training, and consider the value proposition of law school.

Conversations with thought leaders and law deans will provide insight to those considering, attending, or graduating from law school, and current members of the profession interested in its evolution. 

The first ten podcasts:

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October 13, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

New Tax Podcast: Taxes For The Masses

Taxes For The Masses

Taxes For The Masses (TFTM):

Lisa De Simone (Associate Professor of Accounting, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin) and Bridget Stomberg (Associate Professor of Accounting, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University) (friends, professors, tax nerds) discuss tax topics in simple terms.

What is TFTM?
We started this podcast because we love talking tax with each other and want to share our passion with the world. We aim to discuss hot tax topics in a way that informs non-tax and/or non-accounting experts about the issues making headlines. Our goal is to explain each issue in a way anyone can understand - even people who are not tax nerds like us! To do so, we'll provide examples and color commentary that help our audience understand each side of the issue in an objective way. Our own personal biases will inevitably poke out, but we do our best to indicate when we are stating our own opinions versus objectively explaining an issue.

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October 13, 2021 in Tax | Permalink

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Blouin Presents Does Tax Planning Affect Organizational Complexity: Evidence From Check-the-Box Today At NYU

Jennifer Blouin (Penn) presents Does Tax Planning Affect Organizational Complexity: Evidence from Check-the-Box (with Linda Krull (Oregon; Google Scholar)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Dan Shaviro:

Blouin (2021)This study investigates the effect of the 1997 check-the-box regulations on the current effective income tax rates of U.S. multinational firms. Following the empirical methodology developed in Dyreng and Lindsey (2009), we measure the effect that the change in tax law has on the average worldwide, U.S., and foreign taxes paid on worldwide, federal and foreign pretax book income for a large sample of U.S. multinational firms. We find that on average U.S. multinational firms’ worldwide tax rates declined by 7.5% in the post-1996 period. Further, we find that the effect of the regulations was greater on U.S. multinational firms’ average foreign tax rates as compared to their average U.S. foreign tax rates. Our results also suggest that the effect is concentrated in the U.S. multinational firms that had a greater change in their ownership structures and a greater change in the balance of their intercompany payments in the post-1996 period.  

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October 12, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink