Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 30, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Daniel Hemel (Chicago) reviews a new paper by Edward Fox (NYU Center for Law, Economics, and Organization), Do Taxes Affect Marriage? Lessons from History.

HemelOne of my favorite teaching exercises in my Introductory Income Taxation class is to go through the New York Times wedding announcements from late December and early January, and to have students identify couples that got married on the “wrong” side of the New Year divide. Some single-earner couples that presumably receive a marriage bonus—e.g., an engineer marrying a grad student—nonetheless wed in early January, though they likely would have been better off accelerating their nuptials to December. Other couples that probably face a marriage penalty—e.g., two associates at the same law firm—wed in late December, though they likely would have been better off waiting a few more weeks. I ask my students, “What were these couples thinking?” The answer that I get is: “They were probably thinking about love and not about tax.”

For those of us who love thinking about tax, this is all somewhat of a puzzle. Do people really make such momentous life decisions without considering the tax implications? Ed Fox seeks to answer that question in a creative new paper. His main finding is that, at least historically, tax incentives have had a quantitatively and statistically significant effect on marriage patterns. While anecdotes from the Times might lead us to believe that couples make marriage choices without considering the tax consequences, Fox’s study suggests that tax incentives do indeed affect the decisions of some couples to say “I do.”

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June 30, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (1)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

GE Should Lead On Tax Reform

GE 2017Boston Globe, We Know This Sounds Crazy, But GE Could Help Fix Our Unfair Tax Code:

Bernie Sanders and others have scolded the company for (legally) paying no taxes. Here’s how the Boston newcomer could emerge a hero.

Don’t worry. This isn’t yet another screed calling you out as the king of all corporate tax dodgers. By now, most people probably have a general understanding that you’ve been both aggressive and effective in reducing what you owe Uncle Sam over the years, though I suspect few appreciate just how effective. If there is more art than science at play at the highest echelons of the tax world, then you, General Electric, are our nation’s corporate Picasso. Just last month, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, or ITEP, reported that, averaged out over the last eight years, you paid no US corporate income taxes, in large part because you received a total federal tax subsidy of $15.4 billion, despite raking in $40 billion in profits during that period. Imagination at work, baby.

I know you dispute those figures, and we’ll get into that later. For now, though, let’s just agree that the members of your best-in-the-business tax team more than earned whatever you’ve paid them in bonuses. ...

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June 30, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Battle Of The Network Stars At Pepperdine: Episode 1

Battle 3Following up on last month's post, Battle Of The Network Stars Returns To Pepperdine: the first of ten episodes aired on ABC last night, hosted by Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore (more here):

In an ode to ABC's Wide World of Sports, 100 TV stars from 14 different network and cable companies will take their athleticism to a new level as they compete — to feel "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" — in the revival of Battle of the Network Stars, based on the '70s and '80s television pop-culture classic, remiering on THURSDAY, JUNE 29 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC. The new Battle of the Network Stars will be a nostalgic throwback to the original series, where TV celebrities blended athleticism with hilarious antics while featuring an array of fan favorites from numerous TV series like Modern FamilyPretty Little LiarsScandalMelrose PlaceBeverly Hills, 90210The GoldbergsHow to Get Away with MurderBuffy the Vampire SlayerThe Incredible HulkThe West WingDallasCHiPsLaw & Order and many more.

The original series from ABC Sports began in 1976 and continued for 13 years. The 10-episode summer event will pit teams of current and classic TV stars from multiple eras and different genres against one another in a variety of athletic games. Viewers can look forward to seeing a fresh take at some of the classic show's sporting events like Tug of War, Archery, Kayak Relay, Obstacle Course and Dunk Tank — all from the site of the original series, the beautiful campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

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June 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

National Taxpayer Advocate Releases 2018 Objectives Report To Congress

NTA 2National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has released her FY 2018 Objectives Report To Congress:

Ms. Olson states that the IRS ran a generally successful filing season. But she says taxpayers who require assistance from the IRS are continuing to face significant challenges obtaining it. While taxpayer services and enforcement activities are both essential for effective tax administration, Ms. Olson says taxpayer services require more emphasis than they are currently receiving. She recommends the IRS expand its outreach and education activities and improve its telephone service and that Congress both provide the IRS with sufficient funding to provide high quality taxpayer service and conduct more oversight to ensure the IRS is spending the funding as intended.

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June 30, 2017 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Erwin Chemerinsky's Farewell: Lessons From Hamilton

ErwinHamiltonOrange County Register op-ed:  A New Adventure and a Heavy Heart, by Erwin Chemerinsky:

Early on Saturday morning, my wife and I will load up our cars and drive from Irvine to begin our new positions, which officially start on that day, at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. My nine years in Orange County and at University of California, Irvine have been wonderful, everything I possibly could have hoped for and more. It sounds cliché, but I will drive away with a heavy heart for all I am leaving behind and very mixed emotions.

Many have asked me why I would leave UCI Law School, having devoted a decade of my life to helping to create it since my appointment as the founding dean in September 2007. From the outset, my expectation was that I would spend 10 years as dean. I already had decided and repeatedly said that next year was to be my last in the role. It is time for the Law School to go through a careful re-examination and I am not the one to lead that process; I am too invested in and identified with what we have done.

I am struck by the parallels to the song One Last Time in Hamilton:

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June 29, 2017 in Advice for Erwin Chemerinsky, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

NY Times:  The False Premise Behind GOP Tax Cuts

New York Times editorial, The False Premise Behind G.O.P. Tax Cuts:

With the Senate effort to upend Obamacare suspended for the Fourth of July holiday, there’s a chance to step back and examine the assumptions behind Republicans’ longstanding objections to the social safety net — as well as the flaws in those assumptions.

From Ronald Reagan’s invocation of a “welfare queen,” to Mitt Romney’s derision of “takers,” to the House and Senate bills to cut taxes for the rich by taking health insurance away from tens of millions of people, the premise of incessant Republican tax cutting is that the system robs the rich to lavish benefits on the poor.

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June 29, 2017 in Tax, Tax Policy in the Trump Administration | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Boston Bruins (And Other Pro Sports Teams) Can Deduct 100% Of Meal Expenses At Away Games

BruinsFollowing up on my previous post, Tax Court Petition: Can Boston Bruins (And Other Pro Sports Teams) Deduct 100% Of Meal Expenses At Away Games; Is Hotel A Team's 'Business Premises'?:  Journal of Accountancy, Boston Bruins Can Deduct Full Cost of Meals for Team’s Away Games:

Pregame meals provided to Boston Bruins players and personnel before away games qualify as a de minimis fringe benefit under Sec. 274(n)(2)(B) and are not subject to the 50% limitation under Sec. 274(n)(1), the Tax Court held (Jacobs, 148 T.C. No. 24 (6/26/17)). The petitioners, Jeremy and Margaret Jacobs, co-own the Boston Bruins National Hockey League (NHL) team through two S corporations. The IRS had disallowed 50% of the Bruins’ deduction for expenses for meals provided to the Bruins’ employees when traveling to away games, which resulted in deficiencies of $45,205 and $39,823 in the Jacobses’ 2009 and 2010 federal income taxes.

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June 29, 2017 in New Cases, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Gans & Blattmachr:  Family Limited Partnerships And Section 2036

Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) & Jonathan G. Blattmachr (Milbank, New York), Family Limited Partnerships and Section 2036: Not Such a Good Fit, 42 ACTEC J. ___ (2017):

The IRS has struggled to close down abusive family limited partnerships. At first unreceptive to IRS arguments, the courts eventually embraced section 2036 as an estate-tax tool for attacking such partnerships. Because the section was not designed to apply to partnerships, difficulties have arisen as the courts have struggled with the fit. In its most recent encounter, the Tax Court in Powell grappled with a fit-related issue that implicates the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Byrum.

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June 29, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Public College President Salaries, 2015-16

Knoll & Mason:  Economic Foundation Of The Dormant Commerce Clause

Michael S. Knoll (Pennsylvania) & Ruth Mason (Virginia), Economic Foundation of the Dormant Commerce Clause, 103 Va. L. Rev. 309 (2016):

Last Term, a sharply divided Supreme Court decided a landmark dormant Commerce Clause case, Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. Wynne represents the Court’s first clear acknowledgement of the economic underpinnings of one of its main doctrinal tools for resolving tax discrimination cases, the internal consistency test. In deciding Wynne, the Court relied on economic analysis we provided. This Essay explains that analysis, why the majority accepted it, why the dissenters’ objections to the majority’s reasoning miss their mark, and what Wynne means for state taxation.

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June 29, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Zelenak:  The Income Tax And Human Body Materials

Lawrence Zelenak (Duke), The Body in Question: The Income Tax and Human Body Materials, 80 Law & Contemp. Probs. 37 (2017):

Part II of this article provides an overview — accompanied by more than a little authorial commentary— of the development (such as it has been) of the income taxation of transactions in human body materials, from the 1950s to the present. Part III situates the property-versus-services issue with respect to the taxation of body materials in the broader context of the differing income tax treatments of income from property and income from services. After explaining why the tax characterization of body materials resists easy resolution, it concludes that the well-established treatment of taxpayer-created assets as property strongly suggests that body materials should also be treated as property. Part IV explores the questions of capital asset status, holding period, and basis that govern the amount and the character of the gain recognized by a taxpayer on the sale of body materials, on the assumption that the materials are classified as property. Part V considers a miscellany of other issues relating to the income taxation of body materials. Finally, Part VI discusses the possible application of other federal taxes — the gift, estate, and self-employment taxes — to transactions in body materials. Part VII briefly concludes.

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June 28, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tenured Prof Refuses To Teach Summer Course Because Under-Enrollment Would Have Cut His Pay 43%

Inside Higher Ed, Professor Cancels Course Over Proposed Pay Cut:

A professor of biology at Youngstown State University canceled a summer course after finding out that the university planned to prorate his salary based on low enrollment, WKBN reported. The professor, Chet Cooper, reportedly said that “it was wrong for me to accept that kind of position given my expertise and my professional position at the university.” Cooper, whose now-canceled microbiology course was to have eight students instead of the required 15, wrote in an email to those enrolled, “The issue is that I adamantly refuse to teach this course for less than full pay. Due to contractual restrictions based upon enrollment, I would have to agree to teach the course for a 43 percent decrease in salary. As any faculty member knows, it is as much effort to teach eight students as it is 15.” ...

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June 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mayer:  Creating A Tax Space For Social Enterprise

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame), Creating a Tax Space for Social Enterprise, in The Cambridge Handbook of Social Enterprise Law (Cambridge University Press 2017) (J. Yockey & B. Means eds.):

While still relatively few in number compared to traditional nonprofit and for-profit organizations, the rise of social enterprises represents a possible disruption of not only existing models of doing business but also areas of law that in many respects have seen little fundamental change for decades. One such area is domestic tax law, where social enterprises currently find themselves subject to the rules of for-profit activities and entities. Here, both scholars and policymakers are beginning to ask whether it is either necessary or desirable to modify existing tax provisions to better accommodate social enterprise: that is, whether to create a distinct tax space for social enterprise.

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June 28, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oxford 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium

OxfordThe 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium concludes today at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.  Daniel Shaviro (NYU) is the chair of today's session, which includes a number of interesting papers, including:

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June 28, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump And Devos Deliver One-Two Punch On Law School Loans

American Lawyer LogoAmerican Lawyer:  Trump and Devos Deliver One-Two Punch on Law School Loans, by Steven J. Harper (Northwestern):

Since 2007, the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) program for federal student loans has been an escape hatch for law graduates and others saddled with overwhelming educational debt. The idea was that a graduate would take a public service job at low pay and reduced monthly loan requirements. After a decade of service, any remaining loan debt was forgiven.

The well-known backstory is that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. They can follow a person to the grave.

There were and still are problems with PSLF, such as the resulting tax on the imputed income from the forgiven loan. And 10 years is a long time to toil in low wage positions. But the country and many recent graduates have been the better for it. ...

For young lawyers hoping that public service loan forgiveness could be an answer to a lifetime of student debt burdens, President Trump has some bad news. Rather than remedy the problems with a program that can provide enormous help to many recent grads and the organizations for which they work, he wants to eliminate it altogether. It’s analogous to his approach to the Affordable Care Act. Fixing something is more difficult than eliminating it altogether. So Trump proposes to eliminate it.

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June 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (18)

ABA Tax Section Publishes New Issue Of Tax Times

ABA Tax Times (2016)The ABA Tax Section has published 36 Tax Times No. 3 (June 2017)

June 28, 2017 in ABA Tax Section, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hoffman:  Law Schools Should Spend Less Time Perseverating On Our Decline And More Time Trumpeting What We Do Well

In response to my post yesterday on Declining Law School Applications And Entering Credentials: Responding With Pivot Pedagogy, Dave Hoffman (Pennsylvania) tweeted:


Here is part of Dave's great 2014 post:  

[L]aw schools (and congregations) seek to evolve without losing some core component of their identity. For synagogues, the question boils down to how – and how much – to welcome non-jews to the pews. Law Schools, similarly, now ask “who do we want to teach.”

Some – like Penn State – increasingly make foreign LLMs a key constituency, rather than a tolerated budgetary crutch. Other schools compete in the increasing crowded online education/certification market for domestic lawyers, or paralegals.  ... [I]t’s fair to ask if law schools are or could be generally good at teaching non-JD students.

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June 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Oxford 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium

OxfordThe 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium continues today at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation with these presentations by U.S. Tax Profs:

Rosanne Altshuler (Rutgers), Shifting the Burden of Taxation from the Corporate to the Personal Level and Getting the Corporate Tax Rate Down to 15 Percent, 69 Nat'l Tax J. 643 (2016) (with Harry Grubert, U.S. Treasury Department)
Discussant:  Edward Kleinbard (USC)

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June 27, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Desai:  The Wisdom of Finance — Discovering Humanity In The World of Risk And Return

HarvardMihir A. Desai  (Harvard), The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return (2017):

This book is not about the latest study that will help you make money in the stock market or that will nudge you into saving more.

And it’s not about the optimal allocation of your retirement assets.

This book is about humanizing finance by bridging the divide between finance and literature, history, philosophy, music, movies, and religion.

This book is about how the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce and the poet Wallace Stevens are insightful guides to the ideas of risk and insurance, and how Lizzie Bennet of Pride and Prejudice and Violet Effingham of Phineas Finn are masterful risk managers. This book looks to the parable of the talents and John Milton for insight on value creation and valuation; to the financing of dowries in Renaissance Florence and the movie Working Girl for insight on mergers; to the epic downfall of the richest man in the American colonies and to the Greek tragedies for insight on bankruptcy and financial distress; and to Jeff Koons’s career and Mr. Stevens of Remains of the Day for insight on the power and peril of leverage.

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June 27, 2017 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

2018 Vault Law Firm Tax Rankings:  Skadden Is #1 For 8th Year In A Row

VaultVault has released its annual ranking of the Top 100 Law Firms, based on prestige as voted on by associates (methodology here). The Top Tax Practices are:



Home City

% Vote



New York



Davis Polk

New York




New York




New York



Baker McKenzie




McDermott Will & Emery




Cleary Gottlieb

New York



Sullivan & Cromwell

New York



Kirkland & Ellis




Caplin & Drysdale




Weil Gotshal

New York



Simpson Thacher

New York



Latham & Watkins

Los Angeles



Mayer Brown




Eversheds Sutherland




Miller & Chevalier




Morrison & Foerster

San Fran.



Sidley Austin




Debevoise & Plimpton

New York



Paul, Weiss

New York


For the eighth year in a row, Skadden is #1. The city rankings are:

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June 27, 2017 in Law Firm Tax Rankings, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

GPA Of Students Whose Parents Receive Text Messages About Their Performance Rises 0.05

ApplePeter Bergman (Columbia) & Todd Rogers (Harvard), Is this Technology Useless? How Seemingly Irrelevant Factors Affect Adoption and Efficacy:

We conduct a field experiment to understand how the strategies organizations use to implement new technologies affect their adoption and efficacy. Specifically, we show that the standard strategy schools use to introduce a text message alert system for parents — online signup — induces negligible adoption. Simplifying the enrollment process by allowing parents to enroll via text messages modestly increases adoption — especially among parents of higher-performing students. Automatically enrolling parents dramatically increases adoption since very few parents opt out. The standard and simplified implementations generate no detectable increases in student performance. However, automatically enrolling parents meaningfully increases GPA and reduces student course failures.

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June 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Raskolnikov:  Probabilistic Compliance

Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia), Probabilistic Compliance, 34 Yale J. Reg. 491 (2017):

Uncertain legal standards are pervasive but understudied. The key theoretical result showing an ambiguous relationship between legal uncertainty and optimal deterrence remains largely undeveloped, and no alternative conceptual approaches to the economic analysis of legal uncertainty have emerged. This Article offers such an alternative by shifting from the well-established and familiar optimal deterrence theory to the new and unfamiliar probabilistic compliance framework. This shift brings the analysis closer to the world of legal practice and yields new theoretical insights. Most importantly, lower uncertainty tends to lead to more compliant positions and greater private gains. In contrast, the market for legal advice tends to reduce compliance over time — a trend that a regulator may counter either by clarifying the law or by reiterating the law’s continuing ambiguity. If detection is uncertain, the probabilistic compliance framework reveals why, contrary to the prevailing view, the standard damages multiplier should be used to counter detection uncertainty but not legal uncertainty.

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June 27, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oxford 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium

OxfordThe 11th Annual Academic Tax Symposium kicks off today at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation with these presentations by U.S. Tax Profs:

John Brooks (Georgetown), The Definitions of Income, 71 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2017)
Discussant:  Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

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June 26, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Declining Law School Applications And Entering Credentials: Responding With Pivot Pedagogy

Laura Padilla (California Western), Whoosh — Declining Law School Applications and Entering Credentials: Responding with Pivot Pedagogy, 3 Int'l J. Arts &and Human. 43 (2017):

Whoosh — that is the sound when the number of law school applications and entering law students and the credentials of those students, decline all at once. This trend has continued for many years, however, given the cyclical nature of law school applications, it will likely reverse eventually and credentials will improve, but not overnight. The first part of the article briefly discusses the decline in law school applicants and applications, including the confluence of perfect storm factors that resulted in more of the crash landing we experienced than a gradual drop. It also details the corresponding drop in entering credentials which accompanied that decline. The article focuses on what we can do as law professors in response to these declines to better equip students for success in law school, the bar examination and practice.

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June 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Rosenzweig Reviews Rozema's Supply Side Incidence Of Consumption Taxes

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Adam Rosenzweig (Washington University), How Pigouvian Taxes Work on Sellers, and Why We Should Care (JOTWELL) (reviewing Kyle Rozema (Northwestern), Supply Side Incidence of Consumption Taxes (2017)):

Empirical testing of the tax laws, and in particular testing the incidence of the tax laws, may sound boring. But virtually any modern public policy goal that could be implemented through tax policy ultimately turns precisely on this question. For example: Should the United States adopt a tax on sugary drinks? Is a high cigarette tax effective in preventing smoking deaths? Would a carbon tax help to reduce global warming? Ultimately, the answers to these questions turns on who, in fact, ends up bearing the burden of these taxes.

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June 26, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Number Of Law School Applicants With 160+LSAT Scores Has Declined Since 2010

Correction:  This post originally contained inaccurate data.  I have deleted the inaccurate data and included corrected charts from my later post, The Quantity And Quality Of Law School Applicants.

Following up on my previous posts (here, here, and here):

Chart 1

Chart 2




June 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer (2013)The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 70, No. 3 (Spring 2017):

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June 26, 2017 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dean Breckinridge Tushingham (Soso State Law School) Named AALS President

AALS (2019)Erik M. Jensen (Case Western), The Breck Trilogy: A Day in the Life of S. Breckinridge Tushingham, Tough on Scholarship, and Dean Breck:

This series of three articles (that's why it's a trilogy, duh-h-h) chronicles the legal-academic career of one S. Breckinridge Tushingham ("Breck" for short). As the trilogy unfolds, Breck works his way up (or maybe it's down) from his first academic position to an established professorship to dean of the South Soybean (Soso) State University law school. In the process of recording his professional history, and thus memorializing it for the ages, Breck provides (probably defamatory) insights into the American legal academy.

Erik M. Jensen (Case Western), (Almost) President Breck:

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June 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN LogoThis week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list, with some reshuffling of the orders of the papers within the Top 5:

  1. [223 Downloads]  Can New York Publish President Trump's State Tax Returns?, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago)
  2. [204 Downloads]  The Rise and Fall of the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax: What Was That All About?, by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  3. [180 Downloads]  A Taxonomy for Tax Loopholes, by Heather Field (UC-Hastings)
  4. [140 Downloads]  Shareholder Wealth Effects of Border Adjustment Taxation, by Fabio B. Gaertner (Wisconsin), Jeffrey L. Hoopes (North Carolina) & Edward L. Maydew (North Carolina)
  5. [139 Downloads]  Why Don't White Supremacists Pay Taxes?, by Eric Franklin Amarante (UNLV)

June 25, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times:  Is Your God Dead?

Is God DeadNew York Times op-ed:  Is Your God Dead?, by George Yancy (Emory):

Is your God dead?

I don’t mean the God of the philosophers or the scholars, but, as Blaise Pascal said, the “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob.” With no disrespect, I hope the question comes as a jolt. And without being outraged or quick to accuse me of “blasphemy,” know, too, that I am a hopeful monotheist. I might even be called a Christian, only I continue, every day of my life, to fail. Friedrich Nietzsche’s observation weighs heavily on me: “There was only one Christian and he died on the cross.” Call me a failed and broken Christian, but a Christian nevertheless.

So, is your God dead? Have you buried God in the majestic, ornamental tombs of your churches, synagogues and mosques? Perhaps prosperity theology, boisterous, formalistic and mechanical prayer rituals, and skillful oratory have hastened the need for a eulogy.

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June 25, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Debt Collectors Urge Taxpayers To Raid 401(k)s, Use Credit Cards To Pay Delinquent Taxes

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book, Outside Collectors for I.R.S. Are Accused of Illegal Practices:

Raid your 401(k). Ask your boss for a loan, load up on your credit cards, or put up your house as collateral by taking out a second mortgage.

Those are some of the financially risky strategies that Pioneer Credit Recovery suggested to people struggling to pay overdue federal tax debt. The company is one of four debt collection agencies hired by the Internal Revenue Service to chase down late payments on 140,000 accounts with balances of up to $50,000.

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June 24, 2017 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nice Twitter Milestone


June 24, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, David Gamage (Indiana) reviews a new article by Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Taxing Capital Appreciation, Tax Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2016.

Gamage (2017)Income and wealth inequality have been rising as issues of national concern.  One would think that these concerns should motivate tax reform proposals designed to address income and wealth inequality.  However, many leading tax law experts believe that the current structure of the U.S. income tax cannot support much higher tax rates at the high end.  As Avi-Yonah and Zelik have persuasively explained, the reason is that we are “trapped” by our realization and capital gains rules.

The realization rule—that gains are not taxed until realized by sale or similar transaction—has long been understood as the “Achilles heel” of the income tax.  The higher the tax rate on capital gains, the more that wealthy taxpayers are incentivized to delay realization of gains, and accelerate realization of losses, while borrowing to the extent that money is needed to fund consumption. Because of these sorts of realization games, economists estimate that the revenue maximizing tax rate on capital gains is probably in the range of between 28% and 32%.  Hiking the capital gains tax rate above this range would thus be expected to decrease revenues.

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June 23, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panel

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panel at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Tax Administration and Tax Compliance (David Elkins (Netanya), Chair/Discussant)

  • Richard Beck (New York Law School), Foreign Information Reporting Initiatives
  • Andy Grewal (Iowa), Some Reservations About Treasury's Reserved Powers
  • Ausher Kofsky (Western New England), Congress Should Empower the U.S. Tax Court with Concurrent Jurisdiction Over the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty of 26 U.S.C. § 6672
  • Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane), The Law of the Leak

June 23, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Death Knell For Charlotte Law School?

Retired U.S. Tax Court Judge Sentenced To 34 Months In Jail For Tax Fraud Committed While She Sat On The Court

TCKFollowing up on my previous posts (links below): Minnesota Lawyer, Former Tax Judge Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud:

Former Minnesota Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa is headed to prison for — wait for it — tax fraud. So is her husband, who received a shorter sentence.

Kroupa, 61, was sentenced to 34 months and Robert Fackler, 63 was sentenced to 24 months. They must pay $457,104 in joint restitution.

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June 23, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Elaine Wilson Wins Faculty Scholarship Award

WilsonWest Virginia Record, Wilson Wins WVU Law's 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award:

West Virginia University College of Law has selected its 2017 Facility Significant Scholarship Award recipient, an in-house honor that recognizes work addressing significant public issues.  

Elaine Wilson, a WVU tax professor and president of the West Virginia Tax Institute, won for her article titled Cooperatives: The First Social Enterprise. It examines the issues of “charitable values and economic benefit within the corporative business model,” the WVU announcement said. She joined the university's faulty in 2012. Her work will be published in DePaul Law Review in the coming months.

“I was surprised, especially because of the talent (here) – there’s a lot of really great scholars who are doing really interesting work and competition is stiff," Wilson told The West Virginia Record.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morse Reviews Johnson's Seminole Rock in Tax Cases

Jotwell (Tax) (2016)Susan Morse (Texas), The Tax Court: “Insubordinate” or “Prescient” on Auer/Seminole Rock Deference? (JOTWELL) (reviewing Steve Johnson (Florida State), Seminole Rock in Tax Cases, Yale J. Reg. Notice & Comment (2016)):

Auer/Seminole Rock or “ASR” deference is a hot topic right now in administrative law. ASR gives agencies deference when agencies interpret their own regulations, such as in litigation briefs or in guidance. If you want to know how ASR deference works in the tax context, and in particular in the Tax Court, read Steve Johnson’s work. This includes his 2013 article and his entry in the Yale Journal of Regulation’s recent online symposium on ASR deference. ...

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June 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top Students Increasingly Are Not Interested In Law School

Correction:  This post originally contained inaccurate data.  I have deleted the inaccurate data and included corrected charts from my later post, The Quantity And Quality Of Law School Applicants.

Following up on my previous posts (here and here):

Indiana Lawyer, Top Students Still Not Interested in a JD:

A few months before law schools around the country begin a new academic year, the number of people applying for admission has slipped, with the greatest decline coming from applicants posting the highest LSAT scores.

The number of applications to law schools has reached 344,358 as of June 9, according to the Law School Admissions Council. That represents a 1.4 percent increase over the applications submitted in 2016 but the number of applicants for the 2017-2018 school year is 53,101, a 0.5 percent decline from last year.

Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law and author of the Tax Prof Blog, crunched the data and found the top performers are turning away from legal education. ...

Chart 1

Chart 2

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Economic Justice and Taxation of Wealth (Lisa Philipps (Osgoode Hall), Chair/Discussant)

  • Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky), Comparative Wealth Transfer Taxation
  • Neil Buchanan (George Washington), Economic Justice and Taxation
  • Montano Cabezas (Georgetown), Migration and Taxation in the Public Imagination
  • Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Progressive Taxation of Income and Wealth

International Aspects of Taxation (Heather Field (UC-Hastings, Chair/Discussant)

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June 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below): News & Observer,  The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte School of Law to Prove It’s Financially Stable:

The Charlotte School of Law has until early August to prove its financial stability or face revocation of its license to operate in North Carolina.

A committee of the UNC Board of Governors, acting on behalf of the full board, voted Wednesday to severely restrict the school’s activities as it seeks to survive long enough to graduate its remaining 100 students.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shanske:  Interpreting State Fiscal Constitutions

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Interpreting State Fiscal Constitutions: A Modest Proposal, 69 Rutgers L. Rev. ___ (2017):

The fiscal constitutions of many states limit the ability of governments to raise taxes. These same constitutions typically do not impose similar limits on the ability of governments to impose a fee, say a building permit fee. But what if a locality chose to levy a gigantic building permit fee and used the proceeds to fund general services? Such a fee would – and should – be considered a “hidden tax” and thus subject to the same limitations as ordinary taxes.

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June 22, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

L&SToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2017 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Mexico City (program here):

Critical Tax Theory (Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky), Chair/Discussant)

  • Leo Martinez (UC-Hastings), U.S. Taxation and Latinos
  • Kerry Ryan (Saint Louis), Hitting Pause on Expanding the Childless Worker EITC
  • Camille Walsh (University of Washington), Taxpayers, Schools, and Race in the Early 20th Century: Separate and Double Taxation

Law & Society Tax Scholarship, Illustrative Examples (Neil Buchanan (George Washington), Chair/Discussant)

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June 21, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wonder Woman And Female Law Professors

Wonder WomanLawProfBlawg, Wonder Woman And Academia:

I enjoyed [the movie] because the first thought in my mind when she entered a room full of men was, “Oh, it’s like she’s joining a law school faculty.” Of course, she wasn’t. But the way that portion of the movie went reminds me of so many job talks.

She turns out to be an expert at languages, a point rejected by the men. The men actually don’t initially believe her, and there seems to be a point where they are flabbergasted that they do not know more than her. That’s like many of the job talks I’ve seen or head described to me, usually ending with the candidate’s demise because “she couldn’t possibly know more than me,” right?

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)