TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WSJ Plugs TaxProf Blog

Tom Herman gives a nice plug to TaxProf Blog in today's Wall Street Journal:

A POPULAR BLOG assembles tax information for the military.

Continuing a Memorial Day tradition, TaxProf Blog (, a site run by Paul Caron, a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, has assembled links to IRS tax information for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. See his posting last Monday.

Mr. Caron's widely read Blog is important reading for anyone trying to keep up with tax-related news, ranging from court cases and IRS news releases to coverage of tax geeks who appear in strange music videos.

My only quibble:  I have previously taken good natured umbrage at the term "tax geeks" in Tax Myopia, Or Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Tax Lawyers, 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517 (1994):

Tax courses are perceived to be reserved for what in my day used to be called "tax geeks"[Fn.4].

Fn.4:  After I became one, I preferred the less pejorative term "tax jocks." I am unsure, however, whether the term caught on among anyone other than my fellow tax geeks.

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Dear Professor Caron:

I, for one, love the term "tax geek."

Whatever it lacks in charm and machismo, it makes up for in its accuracy.

Those of us for whom the Tax Prof Blog (and, for me, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog) are regular stomping grounds are, in the best sense of the word, geeks. We care intensely about the minutia and exotica of tax law. We laugh at stories of taxpayers who do foolish things or who make outlandish claims.

The rest of the world just find such things boring. They call themselves normal, but they really are just uninitiated and inexperienced in the amazing world of taxes.

Or, maybe, we are just a bit weird.

Kindest regards,

Howard M. Zaritsky

Posted by: Howard M. Zaritsky | May 30, 2007 12:21:43 PM

Concur. The label "tax geek" is a point of pride. What many folks do not understand is that tax law is perhaps the most interdisciplinary of all fields (a point that I do not claim as original thought). Complaints about our huge Internal Revenue Code, and even more massive Treasury Regulations, are well taken but only to a point. The wide range of provisions in our federal tax law are reflective of the diversity of economic production in this Nation, and responsive political judgements by our representative democracy. What's to complain about?

It beats the heck out of the Russian model, for example. "We have determined that you have violated unpublished tax rules, and must be imprisoned immediately and until you confess your guilt."

Posted by: Jake | May 30, 2007 6:46:01 PM

An unhurried sense of time is, in itself, a form of wealth ...

You make even tax subject less taxing! Congratulations ;-)


Posted by: Jozef Imrich | May 30, 2007 10:07:58 PM

"What many folks do not understand is that tax law is perhaps the most interdisciplinary of all fields (a point that I do not claim as original thought)."

The problem is that using the phrase "tax geeks" perpetuates the myth that tax is somehow different from other fields, and is *not* interdisciplinary. "Geeks," after all, are in their own little world, apart from the rest. I personally don't have any problem being called a "tax geek," but I think we'd be better off if tax practitioners were called "lawyers" rather than "geeks."

Posted by: andy | May 31, 2007 12:01:43 AM