Paul L. Caron
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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

October 2020 Ohio Bar Exam Results: Case Western #1

Ohio Bar Exam Results Released:

Ohio State Bar LogoThe Ohio Supreme Court has released results from the October 2020 Ohio Bar Examination. The pass rate for the 958 applicants who sat for the exam was 77.4%, up 4.3 percentage points from last year. Out of 810 first-time test takers, 85% passed, up 3 percentage points from last year).

Here are the October 2020 Ohio Bar Exam results for first-time test-takers by law school:

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

OH (Overall)

1 (93.7%)

Case Western

2 (76)

2 (92.7%)

Ohio State

1 (38)

3 (88.0%)

Capital

8 (Tier 2)

4 (86.4%)

Ohio Northern

8 (Tier 2)

5 (85.16%)

Cincinnati

3 (83)

6 (85.11%)

Dayton

6 (141)

7 (84.4%)

Toledo

5 (136)

8 (82.1%)

Cleveland State

4 (102)

9 (73.9%)

Akron

6 (141)

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December 2, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Alleged WTO Law Incompatibility Of Destination-Based Taxes

Alice Pirlot (Oxford), Don't Blame It on WTO Law: An Analysis of the Alleged WTO Law Incompatibility of Destination-Based Taxes, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 432 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)The idea that corporations should be taxed in the jurisdiction where they make their sales or provide their services is getting more and more attention in the policy debate on international taxation. In 2016, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed to introduce a destination-based cash flow tax (DBCFT) in order to reform America’s corporate income tax (CIT). Moreover, in the last few years, more and more countries have considered the adoption of new rules to tax the digital economy in the country where the users and/or the consumers are located.

These proposals differ from traditional direct taxes imposed on corporations. They borrow from the tax design of indirect taxes, such as sales taxes or value added taxes. Consequently, it is difficult to predict whether these sui generis destination-based taxes will fit in with superior legal provisions, in particular international tax and trade law. One recurring legal argument against destination-based taxes is that they are likely to violate the law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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December 2, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Academe’s Disturbing Indifference to Racism: College Presidents Are More Concerned With Reputation Management Than Racial Justice

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Academe’s Disturbing Indifference to Racism; College Presidents Are More Concerned With Reputation Management Than Racial Justice, by Eddie R. Cole (UCLA):

On a Saturday night earlier this fall, approximately 300 Northwestern University students gathered to march for the abolition of the university police force. A Whole Foods window was smashed, campus and community buildings were spray-painted, and a Northwestern banner was removed, burned, and left at the home of Morton Schapiro, the president.

The following Monday, Schapiro emailed the campus: “I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the overstepping of the protesters. They have no right to menace members of our academic and surrounding communities.” Schapiro condemned the defacing of property, and also chants that he said went into the early hours of Sunday morning: “f— you Morty” and “piggy Morty” — the latter of which he suggested bordered on anti-Semitism. “It is an abomination and you should be ashamed of yourselves,” he wrote. “If you haven’t yet gotten my point,” he continued, “I am disgusted by those who chose to disgrace this university in such a fashion.”

“Abomination,” “disgrace,” shame, disgust — it is rare to hear a sitting college president sound off with such vehemence. Indeed, it was exactly such passion and moral abhorrence that was lacking from college presidents’ anodyne statements on police violence earlier this summer (“a true master class in the passive voice,” wrote Jason England and Richard Purcell in The Chronicle Review, of one such statement).

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December 2, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Sarah Caudwell, Thus Was Adonis Murdered:

CaudwellWhen her personal copy of the current Finance Act is found a few metres away from a body, young barrister Julia Larwood finds herself caught up in a complex fight against the Inland Revenue.

Set to have a vacation away from her home life and the tax man, Julia takes a trip with her art-loving boyfriend. However, all is not what it seems. Could he in fact be an employee of the establishment she has been trying to escape from? And how did her romantic luxurious holiday end in murder?

It would be a conventional murder mystery, in the classic mid-century English style (although published in 1981), except that (1) it's hilarious — both the narrative voice and the dialogue seem to have stepped out of the pages of Oscar Wilde, and (2) it features a group of English barristers, prominently including a tax lawyer who is getting audited because she didn't file for some years and now feels that Inland Revenue is unfairly harassing her, and who is always giving advice such as: find excuses to deduct your holiday trips as business, or marry a poor person if you're rich to take maximum advantage of income-splitting rules. She also gets arrested for murder because the police find her inscribed copy of the Finance Act at the scene of the crime (while she is on vacation). — Dan Shaviro (NYU)

December 2, 2020 in Book Club, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Scharff Presents Revisiting Local Income Taxes Virtually Today At NYU

Erin Scharff (Arizona State) presents Revisiting Local Income Taxes (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)) virtually at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a4e58128200d-150wiIt has been decades since legal scholarship has seriously explored the role of income tax laws in municipal finance, but recent federal and state court cases are changing the laws related to municipal income taxation. At the same time, local governments are increasingly searching for new sources of revenue, especially as they face increasing pension obligations and increasing maintenance costs on aging infrastructure. Independently, and in part as a response to rising income inequality, there has been a resurgence in interest in progressive taxation. So far, however, this political moment has not resulted in significant reforms to local tax policy, in large part because of the limited authority local governments often have under state law. As local activists and policymakers begin to think about how to rebuild city budgets post-Covid, they will once again be looking for new local revenue options.

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December 1, 2020 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brown: Can Anyone Be Trusted To Enforce National Treatment Disciplines With Respect To Tax Measures?

Patricia Brown (Miami), Can Anyone Be Trusted to Enforce National Treatment Disciplines with Respect to Tax Measures?, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 193 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)Because the traditional non-discrimination article of tax treaties seem­ingly provides protection against only the most blatant discrimination against non-residents and non-nationals of a taxing State, governments may be emboldened to adopt “anti-abuse” rules that are in reality dis­guised trade barriers. On the other hand, trade disciplines in non-tax agreements may include protections against discriminatory taxes that non-specialist courts interpret in expansive ways, contrary to the wishes of tax authorities. An OECD project in the mid-2000s was an opportu­nity for governments to re-think the piecemeal nature of the traditional non-discrimination article in tax treaties and develop a coherent national treatment system that takes into account legitimate tax policy concerns. Instead, the project resulted in a mishmash of changes that largely blessed the various discriminatory practices that governments had adopted to that date.

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December 1, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Innovators To Provide Diverse Junior Lawyers To Bechtel

Legal Innovators Cover (2020)

Following up on my previous post, Startup Partners With 11 Law Schools To Bring Diverse Students Into BigLawLegal Innovators and Bechtel Corporation Announce Collaboration Around Innovative Talent Management Solution Designed To Drive Cost Savings and Support DE&I Initiatives:

Today, Legal Innovators, an alternative legal services provider that is changing the way the law approaches hiring, pricing, inclusion, and diversity of junior legal talent, and Bechtel Corporation, a global leader in engineering, construction and project management, announced a collaboration.  Under the terms of the arrangement, Legal Innovators will provide junior lawyers to assist with the internal legal work performed by Bechtel’s legal department.

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December 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of Florida Denies Requests By 144 Faculty At High Risk For COVID-19 Complications To Teach Remotely In Spring Semester

The Independent Florida Alligator, ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way:’ UF Faculty Angry With COVID-19 ADA Accommodations for Spring:

Florida (2021)UF has denied 144 UF professors the ability to teach remotely this Spring, leaving some to feel like the university administration has put their safety at risk.

As of Sunday, 222 high-risk faculty members requested accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act, most asking to teach remotely. Only 78 people were granted that request, said Jodi Gentry, UF’s vice president of human resources, at a UF Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 19.

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December 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 Tax Journal Rankings: Tax Notes #1, Florida Tax Review #2

Here are the Washington & Lee tax law review rankings of the six major tax journals:

  • Columbia Journal of Tax Law ("Columbia")
  • Florida Tax Review ("Florida")
  • Tax Law Review ("NYU")
  • Tax Lawyer ("ABA")
  • Tax Notes
  • Virginia Tax Review ("Virginia")

The rankings are based on citations to articles published in 2015-2019 (methodology):

 

Combined

Impact

Journals

Cases

Currency

1. Tax Notes

15.16

0.02

406

5

0.03

2. Florida

14.30

0.75

188

1

1.45

3. NYU

12.29

0.65

161

0

1.16

4. Virginia

8.52

0.46

108

2

0.61

5. Columbia

6.98

0.45

69

0

0.53

6. ABA

5.82

0.16

115

4

0.23

As I have previously noted, Tax Notes fares poorly in the Impact Factor category (citations/number of articles published) because W&L apparently counts as "articles" all of the advance sheet material in Tax Notes. Tax Notes is #1 by a wide margin in the number of citations in law reviews, with more than double the citations of its nearest competitor.

December 1, 2020 in Law Review Rankings, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Rankings, Tax Scholarship, W&L Tax Journal Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Missouri Law Dean Lyrissa Lidsky, A Breast Cancer Survivor, Is On The Mend From COVID-19

Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'It Was Terrifying.' Law Dean on the Mend From COVID-19:

LidskyLyrissa Lidsky, dean of the University of Missouri School of Law, knew something wasn’t right when she came home two weeks ago so exhausted that she fell asleep in her work clothes and slumbered through the night.

That marked the start of a two-week bout with COVID-19 where she vacillated between feeling well enough to teach her classes via Zoom and seeing her oxygen levels drop so low that she headed to the emergency room. Lidsky kept followers up to date on her illness via Twitter—where she has more than 5,000 followers—just as she tracked her progress through breast cancer treatment in 2019. Lidsky began to feel better over the Thanksgiving break, and spoke with Law.com on Monday about her symptoms, her hospital visit and her advice for those who haven’t yet contracted COVID-19. Her answers have been edited for length.

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December 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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December 1, 2020 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grinberg: Stabilizing 'Pillar One' — Corporate Profit Reallocation In An Uncertain Environment

Itai Grinberg (Georgetown), Stabilizing 'Pillar One': Corporate Profit Reallocation in an Uncertain Environment, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 130 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)This paper is about how the world reestablishes international tax order.

The paper focuses on the OECD’s work on profit reallocation and asks whether this multilateral effort can be successful in stabilizing the international tax system. The analysis centers on the current leading concepts for reallocating profit among jurisdictions under what is known as “Pillar One” of the OECD work programme. To analyze whether any Pillar One concept can be turned into a stable multilateral regime, it is necessary to specify certain elements of what a proposal to reallocate profits might entail. Accordingly, this paper sets out two strawman proposals. One strawman uses a “market intangibles” concept that explicitly separates routine and residual returns. The other strawman may reach a similar result, but does not explicitly attempt to separate routine and residual returns. Instead, in current OECD parlance, it might be described as a “distribution-based” approach.

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December 1, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

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December 1, 2020 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Rich Colleges Get Richer & Poor Colleges Get Poorer: The Case For Equity-Based Funding in Higher Education:

Third Way, Why Rich Colleges Get Richer & Poor Colleges Get Poorer: The Case for Equity-Based Funding in Higher Education:

Much like America’s household income inequality, American colleges and universities are deeply unequal when it comes to their finances. A small handful of colleges hold the vast majority of wealth and financial resources—and these colleges enroll far too few low-income students and students of color. Meanwhile, the colleges enrolling the majority of the nation’s low-income students and students of color too often have the fewest financial resources. The divide is stark and, if left unaddressed, will only get worse, with rich colleges getting richer and poor colleges getting poorer.

Third Way

But what would happen if the tables were turned? What if colleges serving the nation’s lowest-income students and students of color had the most (or at least equal) resources? This report explores these possibilities by presenting recent college enrollment and financing trends that are—surprisingly—not well documented in policy and research conversations.

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December 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 30, 2020

Duke Symposium: Law And Macroeconomics

Law and Contemporary Problems (2020)

Symposium, Law and Macroeconomics, 83 Law & Contemp. Probs. 1-232 (2020):

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November 30, 2020 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aprill: Revisiting Federal Tax Treatment Of States, Political Subdivisions, And Their Affiliates

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Revisiting Federal Tax Treatment of States, Political Subdivisions, and their Affiliates, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 73 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2018)Several provisions of the 2017 tax legislation, known as Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), focused attention on federal taxation of states, their political subdivisions and their affiliates. Most prominently, TCJA limited the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000. States have sued and attempted work-arounds. Another provision, which imposes an excise tax of 21% on “excessive compensation” paid by certain entities not subject to income tax, inadvertently failed to subject to tax entities that are integral parts of states or political subdivisions or are themselves political subdivisions. Calls for a technical correction have so far gone unheeded.

More than twenty years ago, I wrote two articles about federal taxation of state governments, political subdivisions, and their affiliates. The Teacher’s Manual to a leading casebook on nonprofit organizations describes these two articles as “as much as anyone knows about this confusing patchwork and its ramifications.” The passage of time, changes in my own thinking and new developments call for my returning to this topic. I do so here. Moreover, far more than in my earlier work, I examine the applicable rules regarding charitable contribution deductions to these entities as well as discuss the special rules applicable to governmental charities and the category of charities that lessen the burdens of government.

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November 30, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Applications Surge To Law Schools (+32%) And Medical Schools (+18%)

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Inside Higher Ed, Applications Jump to Law and Medical School:

LSAT MCATThis is the year for admissions officers to worry about enrollments. Undergraduate enrollment is down 4.4 percent, according to the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Freshman enrollment is down 13 percent. Community college freshman enrollment is down 19 percent.

Graduate enrollment is up modestly, at 2.9 percent.

But law school applications are surging, and some signs suggest that medical school applications are as well. While the application cycle for neither sector is over yet, the numbers have officials encouraged.

Kellye Y. Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, said that applications are up 32 percent from this point last year. And there are more applications for each applicant, with the average student applying to six law schools instead of five. Applications are up across geographic boundaries and LSAT scores.

For medical schools, the Association of American Medical Colleges didn't see a significant increase in the number of students who took the MCAT in the last year (only about 2 percent). But applications to medical schools are up 18 percent compared to a year ago. ...

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November 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Prof Uses Technology To Meaningfully Connect With Her Students During COVID-19

ABA Journal, Law Prof Finds Ways to Connect Remotely Amid Historic Election and COVID-19 Restrictions:

Dawson ABAApril Dawson, an associate dean and professor at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, misses seeing her constitutional law students in person. ... But the constitutional law and voting rights scholar has been finding creative ways to use technology ... [to] connect with students and foster meaningful discussions, even when classes can’t meet in person.

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November 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lesson From The Tax Court: The Right Way To Do Conservation Easements

Tax Court (2020)Over 40 years ago, Congress modified §170 to permit deductions for donations of partial interests in land when such donations advanced an important public purpose such as protecting environmentally or historically important land from development.  Starting in the early 2000’s, however, developers and tax shelter promoters began exploiting conservation easements to provide huge tax deductions for donations that provided little or no conservation benefit.  The problem reached the point that the IRS issued Notice 2017-10 which described certain syndicated conservation easement arrangements and listed them as tax shelter transactions. This informative Senate Finance Committee Report from August 2020 details the abuses.

But not all conservation easements are tax shelters.  Kumar Rajagopalan and Susamma Kumar v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-159 (Nov. 19, 2020) (Judge Holmes) shows how taxpayers can properly deduct the donation of a conservation easement if they have good planning, good representation, and good luck.  Details below the fold.

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November 30, 2020 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Middleditch & Schwartz | Episode 2: Law School Magic

I started watching Middleditch & Schwartz, an improv show that Rotten Tomatoes rated as the 14th best show or series available on Netflix. Here is the trailer for Episode 2, Law School Magic, based on a prompt from a 1L in the audience who is anxious about her upcoming final exams, especially Contracts.

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November 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Choi, Curtis & Hayashi: Crisis-Driven Tax Law — The Case Of Section 382

Albert H. Choi (Michigan), Quinn Curtis (Virginia) & Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia), Crisis-Driven Tax Law: The Case of Section 382, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 1 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)At the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2008-83 (the Notice), administrative guidance that limited Internal Revenue Code (the Code) section 382, an important tax rule designed to discourage tax-motivated acquisitions. Although styled as a mere interpretation of existing law, the Notice has been widely viewed as an improper exercise of the IRS's authority that undermined its legitimacy. But did the Notice work? There were many extraordinary interventions during the financial crisis that raised questions about eroding the rule of law and the long-term destabilizing effects of bailouts. In a financial crisis, regulators must weigh these real, but distant and uncertain, costs against the immediate benefits of the intervention. Toward that end, we report the first evidence of the effects of limiting Code section 382 during the 2008 financial crisis.

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November 30, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Haverford Students Claim Victory As Strike Ends; Administration Agrees To Implement Bias Training, Change Tenure Standards, Create Accountability Body

Following up on my previous post, 57% Of Haverford Students Boycott Classes; President Says She Will Resign If 'Adequate Progress' Is Not Made On Racial Justice Demands:

HaverfordPhiladelphia Inquirer, Haverford Students End Strike After Getting Demands Met:

After two weeks, Haverford College students called an end to their strike Wednesday, saying most of their demands aimed at improving campus conditions for Black students and other groups had been met.

Haverford president Wendy Raymond agreed to step down as interim chief diversity officer, as students had called for, and the college will create an accountability group to be sure the college follows through on its promises. The school committed to renovation of the Black Cultural Center, bias training, compensation up to 20 hours for student workers who participated in the strike, and other initiatives around academics and mental health. ...

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November 29, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

From The Texas Cotton Fields To The U.S. Tax Court: The Life Journey Of Judge Vasquez

Mary Theresa Vasquez & Anthony Head, From the Texas Cotton Fields to the United States Tax Court: The Life Journey of Juan F. Vasquez (2020):

Judge VasquezThe story of the life of the first Hispanic American appointed to serve on the United States Tax Court. An educational and inspirational story of a professional career, the book is accessible to lawyers and laypersons of all ages.

From picking cotton to deciding cases as a Judge on the U.S. Tax Court, the story of Judge Juan Vasquez is told with both pride and humility. The Judge's tenacity and the importance of family, community, and opportunity come through loud and clear, providing both testimony and inspiration. -- Alice G. Abreu, Temple University

Judge Vasquez's journey to one of the most esteemed positions in the practice of tax is an inspiring example of defining your own path through hard work, perseverance, and persistence in the face of adversity. -- Lany L. Villalobos, Dechert LLP

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November 29, 2020 in Book Club, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Syracuse Law School Will Use Proctoring Software On Final Exams Despite Bias, Security Concerns

The Daily Orange, College of Law Will Use Proctoring Software Despite Bias, Security Concerns:

ProctorTrackSyracuse University’s College of Law will begin using a controversial test proctoring software, despite concerns from students and experts that the software is discriminatory and prone to security breaches.

Most law students learned that the college would be using the software, called Proctortrack, to administer this fall’s final exams in a Nov. 2 email from the registrar. Others heard about the software from their professors, some of whom refuse to use it because of security risks and bias.

Proctortrack, an anti-cheating software, uses remote-monitoring technology to collect audio and video and document students’ web activity as they take exams. The software also scans faces, knuckles and student’s IDs to verify students’ identities.

Verificient Technologies, the New York-based company that developed and licenses Proctortrack, has been criticized by students and technology experts following a series of recent security breaches at other schools and colleges. Rutgers is one of multiple universities that halted exams following a Proctortrack breach, one where hackers masqueraded as company employees to gain access to Verficient’s servers. ...

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November 29, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[447 Downloads]  State Aid: The General Court Decision in Apple, by Stephen Daly (King's College London) & Ruth Mason (Virginia) (reviewed by Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) here)
  2. [304 Downloads]  Federal Tax Procedure (2020 Practitioner Ed.), by John Townsend
  3. [272 Downloads]  Intangibles and the Transfer Pricing Reconstruction Rules: A Case Study of Amazon, by Antony Ting (Sydney)
  4. [190 Downloads]  An Analysis of Vice President Biden’s Economic Agenda: The Long Run Impacts of Its Regulation, Taxes, and Spending, by Timothy Fitzgerald (Texas Tech), Kevin Hassett (Hoover Institution), Cody Kallen (Wisconsin) & Casey Mulligan (Chicago)
  5. [170 Downloads]  Why Is So Much Redistribution In-Kind and Not in Cash? Evidence from a Survey Experiment, by Zachary Liscow (Yale) & Abigail Pershing (J.D. 2020, Yale)

November 29, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

OECD: Taxation And Philanthropy

OECD, Taxation and Philanthropy (2020) (press release):

OECDThis report provides a detailed review of the tax treatment of philanthropic entities and philanthropic giving in 40 OECD member and participating countries. The report first examines the various arguments for and against the provision of preferential tax treatment for philanthropy. It then reviews the tax treatment of philanthropic entities and giving in the 40 participating countries, in both a domestic and cross-border context. Drawing on this analysis, the report then highlights a range of potential tax policy options for countries to consider.

Foreword
Executive Summary
1. Introduction
2. The case for providing tax concessions for philanthropy
3. The tax treatment of philanthropic entities
4. The tax treatment of giving
5. The tax treatment of cross-border philanthropy
6. Conclusions and policy options

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November 28, 2020 in Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Akron's C.J. Peters Is Seventh Law School Dean To Give At Least $100,000 To Students

Press Release:

PetersTo help make an Akron Law degree even more affordable—and to honor the legacy of his late grandfather, a longtime Michigan trial judge—[Akron Dean Christopher J. (C.J.)] Peters has established the Judge Donald T. Anderson Endowed Scholarship for the benefit of Akron Law students. Peters said he hopes its recipients will be inspired, as he has been, by Judge Ander­son’s lifelong dedication to public service and concern for the practical impact of the law, particularly on society’s most vulnerable members.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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November 28, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Czapanskiy: Tax Policy, Structured Settlements, And Factoring

Karen Czapanskiy (Maryland), Tax Policy, Structured Settlements and Factoring: Making Exploitation Easy and Profitable, 93 U. Detroit Mercy L. Rev. 455 (2020):

Secondary sales of streams of income payable under structured settlements of tort claims are such a disfavored transaction that Congress imposed a punitive 40 percent excise tax on them. These “factoring transactions” are disfavored because it is believed that payees are likely to be exploited, to dissipate the lump sum which is paid for the stream of income and to become dependent on taxpayers when payees become indigent as a result. Congress was also persuaded that state courts could keep an eye on the problems, however, so the 40 percent excise tax is excused if the transaction is approved by a state court in a proceeding under a state “Structured Settlement Protection Act” or SSPA.

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November 28, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 27, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshop

Tuesday, December 1: Erin Scharff (Arizona State) will present Revisiting Local Income Taxes virtually at NYU as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Dan Shaviro.

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November 27, 2020 in Colloquia, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Future Of Law Schools: COVID-19, Technology, And Social Justice

Christian Sundquist (Albany), The Future of Law Schools: COVID-19, Technology, and Social Justice, 53 Conn. L. Rev. Online ___ (2020):

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare not only the social and racial inequities in society, but also the pedagogical and access to justice inequities embedded in the traditional legal curriculum. The need to re-envision the future of legal education existed well before the current pandemic, spurred by the shifting nature of legal practice as well as demographic and technological change. This article examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on legal education, and posits that the combined forces of the pandemic, social justice awareness and technological disruption will forever transform the future of both legal education and practice.

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November 27, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

WKRP In Cincinnati Thanksgiving Turkey Drop

NRA Reports Misspending By Executives To IRS

Washington Post, NRA Reports Alleged Misspending by Current and Former Executives to IRS:

NRA Logo (2019)After years of denying allegations of lax financial oversight, the National Rifle Association has made a stunning declaration in a new tax filing: Current and former executives used the nonprofit group’s money for personal benefit and enrichment.

The NRA said in the filing that it continues to review the alleged abuse of funds, as the tax-exempt organization curtails services and runs up multimillion-dollar legal bills. The assertion of impropriety comes four months after the attorney general of New York state filed a lawsuit accusing NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and other top executives of using NRA funds for decades to provide inflated salaries and expense accounts.

The tax return, which The Washington Post obtained from the organization, says the NRA “became aware during 2019 of a significant diversion of its assets.” The 2019 filing states that LaPierre and five former executives received “excess benefits,” a term the IRS uses to describe executives’ enriching themselves at the expense of a nonprofit entity.

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November 26, 2020 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

In High Court Appeal, Ex-Student Alleges Texas Law School's Cheating Scandal Caused His Bad Grades, Dismissal

Texas Lawyer, In High Court Appeal, Ex-Law Student Alleges Texas Law School's Cheating Scandal Caused His Bad Grades, Dismissal:

When justices on the Texas Supreme Court return from Thanksgiving break, one of the first cases they’ll hear asks if an aspiring lawyer can sue for due-process violations because his law school dismissed him for getting poor grades.

But the law student argues there’s more to it, since the case also involves allegations of a cheating scandal where a professor gave students copies of exam questions, details of an investigation by the law school, and claims that the exam fiasco made the plaintiff fail by giving other students an unfair advantage.

The high court previously allowed a law student to claim constitutional violations for his disciplinary dismissal, and this new dispute between former first-year student Ivan Villarreal and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston asks whether the same cause of action is open to a student who got dismissed for academic reasons.

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November 26, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Modern Call For A Renewed Commitment To Charitable Giving

Joey Bloodworth (J.D. 2020, USC), Note, Charity for All: A Modern Call for a Renewed Commitment to Charitable Giving, 93 S. Cal. L. Rev. 273 (2020):

This Note will center on the TCJA’s unpopularity, the charitable contribution deduction, and the adverse effect the TCJA is projected to have on charitable giving. It will conclude that now is an optimal time to expand the charitable contribution deduction. The expansion of the charitable contribution deduction would likely be popular for many of the same reasons that the TCJA is currently unpopular. The proposed expansion will also address some of the problems with charitable giving created or exacerbated by the TCJA. ...

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November 26, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Oei & Osofsky: The Making Of The § 199A Regulations

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) & Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Legislation and Comment: The Making of the § 199A Regulations, 69 Emory L.J. 209 (2019):

In 2017, Congress passed major tax legislation at warp speed. After enactment, it fell to the Treasury Department to write regulations clarifying and implementing the new law. To assure democratic legitimacy in making regulations, administrative law provides that an agency must issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, followed by an opportunity for the public to comment (socalled “notice and comment”). But, after the 2017 tax overhaul, many sophisticated actors did not wait until the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to comment, instead going to the Treasury Department immediately with comments designed to influence the regulations.

In this Article, we examine empirically this phenomenon of post-enactment commenting by studying the making of the Internal Revenue Code Section 199A regulations—some of the most important regulations implementing the 2017 tax reform.

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November 25, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

It Is Time To Eliminate The Federal Corporate Income Tax

Edward Lane (Albany) & L. Randall Wray (UMKC), Is It Time to Eliminate Federal Corporate Income Taxes?:

As the nation is experiencing the need for ever-increasing government expenditures to address COVID-19 disruptions, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, and many other worthy causes, conventional thinking calls for restoring at least a portion corporate taxes eliminated by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, especially from progressive circles. In this working paper, Edward Lane and L. Randall Wray examine who really pays the corporate income tax and argue that it does not serve the purposes most people believe.

AUMKC2

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November 25, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (6)

Law Grad Who Twice Failed Florida Bar Exam Gets Four Years In Prison For Setting Up Fake Law Firm

Tampa Bay Times, Fake Tampa Lawyer Gets Four Years in Prison For Fraud, Identity Theft:

A woman who posed as an attorney even though she never passed the Bar exam, misleading judges and clients and running up bills in the name of a friend, will spend more than four years in prison, a federal judge decided Wednesday.

Roberta Guedes must serve 4 1/2 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Senior U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. also ordered Guedes to undergo mental health treatment and to pay $14,318 in restitution.

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November 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Big Law Avoids ‘Lost Generation’ With Remote First-Year Programs

Bloomberg Law, Big Law Avoids ‘Lost Generation’ with Remote First-Year Programs:

In the past six months, Grace Fernandez graduated from Berkeley Law, took the California bar exam, and started a new job as an associate at Fenwick & West.

She did it all from her childhood bedroom in Phoenix.

“It’s definitely a surreal and unexpected change,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez’s experience isn’t unusual, as Fenwick is one of several Big Law firms to use online communications to bring on their newest batch of associates this fall. Other firms have opted to hold off first-year start dates until early 2021.

That doesn’t mean it’s been easy for human resources departments to integrate first-years, who are often fresh out of law school like Fernandez, into firms’ practices.

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November 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Permits Law Schools To Use Pandemic As Excuse For Failing 75% Within 2 Years Bar Passage Accreditation Standard

At its meeting last Friday, the Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the following accreditation standard changes:

ABA Logo (2016)Law schools are normally required to submit their annual Bar Passage Questionnaires each February. Publication of certain information from the Bar Passage Questionnaires is published a few weeks after the deadline. The 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire is due in February 2021, but changes in the timing and format of many July 2020 Bar Exams, expanded diploma privilege, and limits on the number of graduates who could sit for the bar exam in certain states, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 and recent racial reckonings on minority groups, required the Committee to consider changes in law school reporting for the 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire. As such, the Committee makes the following recommendations to the Council.

  1. Law Schools will complete the 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire in the same manner they have done so for the last several years. There will be two main changes
    a. Law schools must specifically report the number of graduates admitted to practice via diploma privilege.
    b. There will be two bar passage rates reported. One will include just those graduates who took the bar exam and the other will include graduates who took the bar exam plus those that were admitted via diploma privilege.
  2.  Standard 316 will not be suspended.
    a. A Law School that believes certain circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted opportunities for its graduates to sit for the bar exam or its compliance with Standard 316’s two-year bar passage rate will be permitted to share specific information with the Council for the Council’s consideration in determining compliance.
  3. The Managing Director’s Office will have discretion to move the Bar Passage Questionnaire deadline from February to April if the timing of the publication of bar exam results from various states makes it challenging for law schools to collect and accurately report bar passage information by the normal February deadline.4
  4. The Committee also recommends the Council approve the attached Bar Passage
    Questionnaire. This questionnaire incorporates Recommendation #1, and
    Recommendations #2 and #3 can be communicated to law schools by the Managing
    Director’s Office. 

The Council also approved several changes to the teach-out plans of law schools placed on probation:

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November 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

UNC Professor Patricia Bryan Eases Into Retirement

Professor Patricia Bryan Eases Into Retirement:

Bryan UNC 3As Professor Patricia Bryan eases into her retirement, we wanted to look back on her illustrious career.

Bryan joined the Carolina Law faculty in 1982 and serves as the Henry P. Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law. Her teaching and research interests include tax and law and literature. She is the author of Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America’s Heartland (Algonquin 2005, University of Iowa 2007) and the co-editor of Her America: "A Jury of Her Peers" and other Stories, a collection of stories by Susan Glaspell. Bryan has written and spoken extensively about Glaspell’s work. She has also done historical research into several criminal cases from the 19th century and has published articles about them in the Stanford Law Review and the Annals of Iowa. Most recently, she has researched and written about the federal tax exemption and public financing for sports stadiums.

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November 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (0)

Duke Receives An A+ In Handling Coronavirus

Los Angeles Times, Duke University Receives An A+ in Handling Coronavirus:

Duke (2020)Duke University is sometimes referred to as a pretty good knock-off of fancier schools farther north. But while those ivy-clad universities with smart students, prestigious medical schools and big endowments stayed closed this fall, Duke invited its freshmen, sophomores, some upperclassmen and all of its graduate students to its Durham, N.C., campus for largely in-person classes.

Now, it’s schooling those sniffier schools on how to reopen safely.

Starting Aug. 2 and continuing up to this week, when the Duke campus made a pre-planned reversion to online classes for the remainder of the semester, the university implemented a rigorous testing, tracking and surveillance program for more than 10,000 students. And it has carried out, on a grand scale, an innovative scheme — called pooled testing — that can stretch limited testing resources without forfeiting accuracy or resolution.

For Duke’s returning students, the result has been a relatively safe and almost normal return to learning, at a time when other colleges and universities either shuttered their campuses or ignited community outbreaks as they reopened with scant measures in place to detect or isolate infected students. ...

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November 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Time For A Social Solidarity Tax?

Heinz Klug (Wisconsin), Time for a Social Solidarity Tax?:

Covid-19 is transforming the world, but we do not yet know how much. Across the globe the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated social and economic problems. From medical systems to livelihoods, Covid-19 is revealing how inequality impacts death rates, job losses, education, and housing. In many societies, including the United States, it has also exposed how these gross inequalities fall along racial and ethnic lines, with devastating impacts on marginal individuals, poor and minority communities. This article looks back at the comparative historical experience of wealth taxes and capital levies in Europe and Asia to put the present calls for wealth taxes in perspective and to suggest that a Social Solidarity Tax designed with this history as a guide may be necessary to address the coming economic catastrophe.

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November 25, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Faulhaber Presents Excess Returns And The Search For Substantial Activities Virtually Today At NYU

Lilian Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents Lost in Translation: Excess Returns and the Search for Substantial Activities virtually at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Lvf6-200x300Starting in 2010, one international tax reform proposal moved from being a one-page idea in the Obama Treasury’s proposed budget to being one of the OECD’s options for CFC reform to becoming the basis for one of the major international tax reform provisions in the 2017 U.S. tax reform to being considered as part of Pillar Two of the OECD’s current digital tax project. This proposal, for a minimum tax on foreign excess returns, has changed shape with every iteration, and its proponents have justified each version of this differently and defined its various elements differently.

This Article tells the story of the many recent proposals for minimum taxes on foreign excess returns, starting with the Obama Treasury’s brief proposal and ending with the OECD’s current negotiations over digital taxation. This Article highlights the common threads that links all of these rules, and it also shows how differently the drafters of each rule have understood the purpose and design of a minimum tax on foreign excess returns.

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November 24, 2020 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cooper: Rethinking The Estate Planning Curriculum

Jeffrey A. Cooper (Quinnipiac), Rethinking the Estate Planning Curriculum, 46 ACTEC L.J. (2020):

As a result of recent changes in Federal estate tax law, fewer and fewer clients need sophisticated estate tax planning. Many lawyers are thus spending less time acting as estate tax planners and instead deploying different skills and expertise.

In this brief article, I explore the extent to which law schools are rethinking their curricula as a result.

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November 24, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Advice To Law Professors Giving Final Exams During COVID-19

LawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Your Compassionate Final Exam:

Some professors are giving short, timed exams while watching their students to assure that they don’t cheat. That means a LOT can go wrong for some students. The shorter the time window, the greater the chances of problems.  Broader and larger windows (more time to work, more flexibility in the time taking the exam) go a long way to mitigate problems. But even that doesn’t eliminate some of the challenges of taking exams in a pandemic.

Some students do not have spaces in which to work, concentrate or think.  They live with parents, family, and roommates. They may not have access to reliable internet. But yeah, you watch the zoom, prof.

Schools are closing for the Thanksgiving break and afterward in anticipation of a (now certain) COVID-19 spike. Great! But, where does one take that incredibly short term final with certain internet? How does one find child care for those definitive three hours? See Law Students In the Age of Coronavirus. It’s not like these problems haven’t been foreseen for a long while. Amazing that there are still discussions about what a final should look like right now. ...

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November 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Acknowledgments As A Window Into Legal Academia

Jonathan I. Tietz (Michigan) & W. Nicholson Price II (Michigan), Acknowledgments as a Window into Legal Academia, 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. 307 (2020):

Legal scholarship in the United States is an oddity—an institution built on student editorship, a lack of peer review, and a dramatically high proportion of solo authorship. It is often argued that this makes legal scholarship fundamentally different from scholarship in other fields, which is largely peer-reviewed by academics. We use acknowledgments in biographical footnotes from law-review articles to probe the nature of legal knowledge co-production and de facto peer review in legal literature. Using a survey of authors and editors and a textual analysis of approximately thirty thousand law-review articles from 2008 to 2017, we examined the nature of knowledge co-production and peer review in U.S. legal academia.

Our results are consistent with the idea that substantial peer-review-like vetting occurs in the field. We also found evidence that both authors and editors use the information in acknowledgment footnotes as a factor in article submission and selection. Further, the characteristics of acknowledgment footnotes in articles in high-ranking law reviews differ dramatically from those in low-ranking law reviews in ways that are not simply due to differences in article quality.

Michigan 2

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November 24, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)