Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 3, 2011

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

Law & Society Today's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco (abstracts of the papers are available here: click on "search the preliminary program," and then search by the presenter's name):

State and Local Issues, Charities, and Tax Policy:  In a federal system, the methods of financing state and local governments can differ markedly from the ways in which the federal government is financed. When various levels of government provide tax breaks for specific purposes, those tax breaks can affect different levels of government differently. Papers on this panel will discuss issues related to state and local government finance, with some of the authors discussing how deductions for charitable donations matter for different levels of government.

  • Stephanie McMahon (Cincinnati) (Chair/Discussant)
  • Heather Elliott (Alabama) & Grace Soyon Lee (Alabama), Zoning for Dollars: What Is the True Value of Donated Real Property?
  • David Gamage (UC-Berkeley), The New Fiscal Politics: California's Budget Crises and the Looming U.S. Federal Budget Apocalypse
  • Darryll K Jones (Florida A&M), Is There Theoretical Justification for Payment in Lieu of Taxes?
  • Darien Shanske (UC-Hastings), How the Federal Income Tax Ought to Interact with the State and Local Taxes

Gender, Equity, and Social Security:  Two of the most important issues facing tax policy experts are the effects of the tax system on women, and the financial solvency of the Social Security system. The papers on this panel will discuss various aspects of one or both of those issues, demonstrating the surprising overlap between seemingly disparate policy questions.

  • Kerry Ryan (Saint Louis) (Chair/Discussant)
  • Mary L. Fellows (Minnesota) & Lily Kahng (Seattle), Gender, Race, Wealth, and Tax
  • Heather Field (UC-Hastings), Binding Choices: Tax Elections and Federal/State Conformity
  • Theodore F. Figinski (UC-Irvine), Women and the Social Security Earnings Test
  • Theodore P Seto (Loyola-L.A.), The Role of Marriage in the Internal Revenue Code
  • Michael Waggoner (Colorado), Personal Accounts in Social Security that Liberals As Well As Conservatives Should Support

Administering Tax Justice:  Enforcing any tax regime requires the adoption of various methods designed to encourage citizens to deal honestly with the tax authority. Papers on this panel will discuss a broad range of matters that contribute to the level of citizen compliance with the tax law, including questions of how to take into account behavioral and other approaches to understanding and improving tax compliance.

  • David G Duff (University of British Columbia) (Chair/Discussant)
  • Joshua Blank (NYU), In Defense of Tax Privacy
  • Joseph Cordes (George Washington) & Arene Holen (Technology Policy Institute), Should the Government Fill Out Individual Tax Returns?
  • Sarah Lawsky (UC-Irvine), Accounting for Uncertainty: A New Model of Tax Compliance
  • Susan Morse (UC-Hastings), Tax Compliance under High Penalty Regimes

Social Justice:  Discussions of tax issues are often dominated by questions of efficiency, although that key term is often poorly understood. Because efficiency is often thought to be at odds with equity, the choices available to change inequitable outcomes can be constrained by our understandings of the costs of those choices. Papers on this panel will discuss both theoretical and practical issues surrounding attempts to achieve social justice, especially focusing on policies (such as labor or health care policies) that are designed to address the disadvantages facing particular groups of citizens.

  • Kristin Hickman (Minnesota) (Chair/Discussant)
  • Linda M. Beale (Wayne State), Tax Policy Considerations: Rethinking the Fairness Arguments
  • Tamara Larre (University of Saskatchewan), The Taxation of Migrant Workers under Canada's Income Tax Act
  • Charlene Luke (Florida), A Role for Tax in Supporting Microfinance?
  • Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis), Americans Don't Hate Taxes; They Hate Paying Taxes
  • Richard Winchester (Thomas Jefferson), Taxing Work

Policing the Enforcers:  The tax system is uniquely dependent on a carefully-delineated set of rules and duties guiding various participants in the process: taxpayers, lawyers, the IRS, the Treasury, the Tax Court, and Article 3 courts. The papers in this panel will discuss a number of tensions among various participants within the tax system, and how to apply rules of procedure to constrain any of the participants from exceeding their authority or violate their duties. 

  • Linda M Beale (Wayne State) (Chair/Discussant)
  • Danshera Cords (Albany), Equitable Innocent Spouse: Is There Any Equity?
  • Kristin Hickman (Minnesota), Unpacking the Force of Law
  • Richard Lavoie (Akron), Of Ethics, Statutory Interpretation, and Self-Assessment: The Modern Challenge of Balancing Tax Lawyers' Responsibilities as Gatekeepers and Zealous Advocates
  • Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomington), IRS Opportunism: What Respect Should Courts Accord Rulings and Regulations Issued During Litigation?

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