Paul L. Caron
Dean


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Man Mistaken For Uber Driver Charged With Kidnapping, Killing Incoming Drexel Law School 1L

SamanthaNJ.com, Man Mistaken for Uber Driver Charged with Kidnapping, Killing College Student from N.J.:

A 21-year-old New Jersey woman attending college in South Carolina was kidnapped and killed there after mistakenly getting into a stranger’s car that she thought was the Uber ride she had summoned, police announced Saturday evening.

The Columbia, South Carolina police chief provided that and other details in announcing an arrest in the murder of Samantha Josephson of Robbinsville, who went missing early Friday and was found dead later that day. Her father had reported her death on social media early Saturday.

Chief W.H. Holbrook said during a news conference that Stephenson, a student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, had summoned a car from the ride-sharing app and was waiting for it outside a downtown location in Columbia where she had been out with friends sometime before 2 a.m. on Friday.

When a black Chevrolet Impala pulled up, Holbrook said, Josephson got in.

“She simply mistakenly got into this ... car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said during the news conference, which was posted online.

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March 31, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thomas: Misplaced Outrage Over Tax Refunds Was Predictable And Preventable

The Hill op-ed:  Misplaced Outrage Over Tax Refunds Was Predictable and Preventable, by Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina):

The biggest surprise about the recent fallout over lower tax refunds is that anybody in Washington is surprised. People love their tax refunds. Psychologists and economists have been documenting this phenomenon for decades.

For some, a refund helps them save for a major purchase like a car. For others, the refund feels like a windfall that they might spend on a vacation. Still others prefer overpaying their taxes because they dread the uncertainty of a tax bill. ...

The tax reform bill cut taxes for most individuals, so why are some refunds shrinking? The reason is that Treasury changed the withholding tables last year. For many, this meant less withholding and slightly bigger paychecks.

But the increased pay may have been too small for people to notice. Refunds, on the other hand, are highly salient. ...

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March 31, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Commuter Faculty Spouses

Commuter SpousesInside Higher Ed, ‘Commuter Spouses’:

Many academics have partners who are academics, and "two-body issues" complicate many a job search. A new book looks at the impact of these situations on the couples and on society. While many of the couples examined in Commuter Spouses: New Families in a Changing World (Cornell University Press Mar. 15, 2019) are academics, the book explores the issues that arise for others as well.

Danielle Lindemann, assistant professor of sociology at Lehigh University, wrote the book based not only on her research but on her personal experience. She responded via email to questions about the book.

Q: Your author ID says of you, your husband and your "feisty preschooler" that "Currently they all live together." As you note in the acknowledgments, this is a subject you know from personal experience. What has your experience as a "commuter spouse" been like?

A: I lived apart from my husband (part of the time) from 2011 to 2013 while I was doing a postdoc at Vanderbilt in Nashville and he remained in New York. We’re actually not a great case study of commuter marriage, because in many ways we had an ideal setup. We knew we were doing it for a finite period, we were childless at the time, it was a research-oriented postdoc, so there was a lot I could do remotely, and we’re also incredibly privileged in a lot of ways. If you changed just one of those variables, it probably would have been a lot less tolerable. As it was, by the end of the two years, I was more than ready to be done with the commuting. In that last respect, I was similar to the people I interviewed for the book. Most people could find at least one thing they liked about the arrangement, but almost nobody was saying, “This my ideal setup and I want to do it forever.” Everyone I interviewed, except for one person, was either back living with their partners at the time I spoke with them, or planned on resuming cohabitation in the future.

Q: Many academic jobs are in small college towns. How does this influence the academic couple in a commuter relationship?

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March 31, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. [359 Downloads]  A Constitutional Wealth Tax, by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) (reviewed by Hayes Holderness (Richmond) here)
  2. [201 Downloads]  Tax Wars: The Battle over Taxing Global Digital Commerce, by Art Cockfied (Queen's)
  3. [200 Downloads]  Basis of Grantor Trust Assets Before the Grantor's Death, by Jeffrey Pennell (Emory)
  4. [163 Downloads]  The Marriage of Artificial Intelligence and Tax Law: Past, Present, and Future, by Blazej Kuzniacki (Ministry of Finance, Poland)
  5. [147 Downloads]  How The Netherlands Became a Tax Haven for Multinationals, by Jan Vleggeert (Leiden) & Henk Vording (Leiden)

March 31, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times: The Taxman Is (Not) Coming After You

IRS Logo 2New York Times editorial, The Taxman Is (Not) Coming After You:

The federal government is ignoring the easy part of the solution to its fiscal problems — collecting billions of dollars in unpaid taxes.

According to federal prosecutors, the California lawyer Michael Avenatti has not filed a federal income tax return since 2010, and he has not paid federal income taxes since 2008.

This may seem astonishing to the millions of Americans who dutifully file tax returns each year, under the assumption that the government would notice if they didn’t.

But it should not come as a surprise. Congressional Republicans led the charge to sharply reduce funding for the Internal Revenue Service over the past decade, and the agency has warned repeatedly that it has been deprived of the resources necessary to catch tax cheats.

The government has been operating on the honor system — and hoping that no one noticed. ...

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March 30, 2019 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

$26.5 Million Donor Completes Naming Gift Ahead Of Schedule Due To Alabama Law School's Rise In The U.S. News Rankings

Alabama Logo (2018)Following up on my previous post, University Of Alabama Law School Receives $26.5 Million Naming Gift; Donor Hopes For Top 10-15 Ranking:  Crimson White, Law School Donation Fulfilled Ahead of Schedule:

The Hugh F. Culverhouse School of Law at the University of Alabama was recently ranked the eighth highest public law school in U.S. News & World Report’s list, and to celebrate, Hugh F. Culverhouse is fulfilling the last $5 million of his $25 million donation two years ahead of his original four-year schedule.

In September of 2018, the University announced the donation of $25 million from Hugh F. Culverhouse. Culverhouse’s original plan was to make multiple installments toward his pledge over a four-year time period, but after hearing of the law school’s new ranking, he decided to pay off the last $5 million later this year.

“The key is, I work hard,” Culverhouse said. “I’m fortunate enough to make money. I have no desire to make that school wait four to five years to get money if they can get it sooner.” ...

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March 30, 2019 in Law School Rankings | Permalink | Comments (3)

National Tax Association Issues Call For Papers: 112th Annual Conference On Taxation

National Tax Association (2016)The National Tax Association has issued a Call for Papers for its 112th Annual Conference on Taxation in Tampa on November 21-23, 2019:

The 112th Annual Conference on Taxation will cover a broad range of topics including, but not limited to, taxation and tax policies; expenditure policies; government budgeting; intergovernmental fiscal relations; and subnational, national, and international public finance. The conference will focus, as always, on policy-relevant research bearing on taxation and government spending. Submissions from the fields of accounting, economics, law, public policy, and tax administration are encouraged.

You are invited to submit the following: individual papers to be integrated into sessions, proposals for complete sessions of papers, and proposals for panel discussions. The submission deadline is June 1, 2019. Decisions concerning the inclusion of papers and sessions will be announced in July 2019. All presenters, including members of panel discussions, must then register and pay a conference registration fee.

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March 30, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Kim Reviews Residual Profit Allocation By Income

This week, Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) reviews a new work by Michael Devereux (Oxford), Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley), Michael Keen (IMF), Paul Oosterhuis (Skadden), Wolfgang Schön (Max Planck) & John Vella (Oxford), Residual Profit Allocation by Income, a paper of the Oxford International Tax Group, chaired by Michael Devereux (March 2019).

KimThis paper is a draft chapter of a forthcoming book on the taxation of international business profit by the authors to be published by Oxford University Press. The book will study two proposals for international tax reform — one is the destination based cash flow tax, and the second, which is offered in this paper, is a new form of residual profit allocation for transfer pricing analysis.

The authors refer to the new residual profit allocation method as a "Residual Profit Allocation by Income," or RPA-I. It is a category of profit-based methodology that allocates the total profit of a multinational enterprise (MNE) into two parts — the "routine" profit, and the "residual" profit. 

"Routine" profit is the profit a third party would expect to earn for performing a particular set of functions and activities on an outsourcing basis. Such third party does not share in the overall risk of the MNEs and earns no return based on the overall success or failure of the product or business to which its activities relate. Thus, affiliates of MNEs that take limited risk are assigned such routine profit. On the other hand, "residual" profit is an excess return that is associated with the entrepreneurial success or failure of the enterprise. Thus, only entrepreneurial affiliates may participate in the residual profit of the overall enterprise.

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March 29, 2019 in Christine Kim, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Faulhaber Presents Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? Today At Boston College

Faulhaber (2017)Lily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents Competing Over Competition: Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

In 1998, the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development both established bodies intended to curtail harmful tax competition. This Article argues that the past twenty years have shown the challenges inherent in having two separate international bodies working separately on the same project.

This Article outlines the work of both bodies in order to identify the differences between them. These differences include differences in membership, differences in the ways the bodies define harmful tax competition, and differences in the scope of their work, all of which can lead to different outcomes. Concerns about these different outcomes can in turn lead to one body setting the agenda or timetable for the other, despite their different members and concerns.

In an earlier article, I identified the “Luxembourg effect,” by which the involvement of EU Member States in international organizations can leads to the recommendations of these organizations being constrained by EU law, even when many of the organizations’ members are not EU Member States. This Article illustrates a different effect, where EU institutions are shaping the agendas of other organizations and undermining what is being done at an international level.

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March 29, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Narotzki Presents Code Section 304: The Gift That Keeps on Giving Today At Florida

Florida Logo (2017)Doron Narotzki (Akron) presents Code Section 304: The Gift That Keeps on Giving at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

One central focus of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was to encourage U.S. international firms to “bring back earning to the U.S.” In an attempt to achieve this goal, the legislation enacted new Code Section 245A, which provides for a 100% dividend received deduction (DRD) to U.S. corporations for certain foreign-sourced dividend distributions. Code Section 304 requires the reclassification of stock sales between affiliated corporations as dividends. However, for many years, Code Section 304 was not fulfilling the original “antiavoidance” tax policy that was behind its legislation, as is explained in this paper. Currently, the TCJA has created a unique opportunity to utilize Code Section 304 and Code Section 245A via a much more powerful tax-planning tool.

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March 29, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: Trump’s Fed Pick Owes $75,000 In Unpaid Federal Taxes

New York Times, Trump’s Fed Pick Owes $75,000 in Unpaid Federal Taxes:

Stephen Moore, the conservative economist whom President Trump plans to nominate for a seat on the Federal Reserve, owes $75,000 in unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties, according to court documents filed last year.

A lien for $75,328.80 from the 2014 tax year was entered against Mr. Moore at the request of the federal government in January 2018 in Montgomery County, Md., where he resides, the records show. ...

The Guardian and Bloomberg News first reported the tax lien. According to Bloomberg News, Mr. Moore referred questions about the tax lien to his wife, Anne Carey, who said Mr. Moore had inadvertently deducted both alimony and child support payments to his former wife.

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March 29, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Tax Association Hosts 49th Annual Spring Symposium On Certain Uncertainty: Tax Policy In Unsettled Times

National Tax Association (2016)The National Tax Association hosts its 49th Annual Spring Symposium on Certain Uncertainty: Tax Policy in Unsettled Times in Washington, D.C. on May 16-17, 2019:

This year’s conference will examine the pervasive role of uncertainty in the economy and how it affects public policy. We will explore this topic in a plenary session, as well as in sessions that cover unfunded liabilities, international tax reform, modeling practices, alternative revenue sources, state and local taxes, and digital taxation.

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March 29, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Retroactive State Tax Statutes Revisit United States v. Carlton

Michael T. Fatale (Massachusetts Department of Revenue), Connecting the Dot: Retroactive State Tax Statutes Revisit United States v. Carlton, 86 U. Cin. L. Rev. 33 (2018):

This article evaluates recent state cases upholding a retroactive amendment of a tax statute that reversed a judicial interpretation of the predecessor statute. Practitioners have criticized these cases because the seeming length of the statute’s retroactivity has typically been lengthy. The practitioners’ claim has been that the amendments violate the test for due process that applies to a retroactive tax statute, as stated in the Supreme Court case, United States v. Carlton, 512 U.S. 26 (1994). Since Carlton evaluated different circumstances, practitioners also urge that Carlton should be reconsidered.

This article focuses on Dot Foods, Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue, 372 P.3d 747 (Wash. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 2156 (2017), which upheld retroactive legislation that amended a tax statute dating back 27 years.

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March 29, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kamin Presents The Tax Rate Ratchet Today At Duke

Kamin (2018)David Kamin (NYU) presents The Tax Rate Ratchet (with Ari Glogower (Ohio State)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The 2017 tax legislation introduced significant preferences for business income and ushered in a new conversation on tax reform. The legislation cut the corporate rate and introduced the new Section 199A deduction for “pass-through” income. Many commentators criticized the design of the pass-through deduction and the legislation’s generally regressive effects but tacitly accepted or applauded the corporate rate cut as desirable response to international pressures. Then in early 2019, recently elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initiated a separate debate on progressive tax reform, by proposing a 70% top individual rate on taxpayers with the highest incomes. Leading progressive thinkers defended the proposal, arguing that a higher rate in this range would maximize revenues from those at the top of the income distribution and address economic inequality.

This Article bridges these conversations on the 2017 legislation’s new preferences for business income and the future of progressive tax reform,and introduces a theoretical framework for understanding their interaction.

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March 28, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grinberg Presents International Taxation In An Era Of Digital Disruption Today At Oxford

GrinbergItai Grinberg (Georgetown) presents International Taxation in an Era of Digital Disruption: Analyzing the Current Debate at Oxford today (reviewed by Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) here):

The “taxation of the digital economy” is currently at the top of the global international tax policymaking agenda. A core claim some European governments are advancing is that user data or user participation in the digital economy justifies a gross tax on digital receipts, new profit attribution criteria, or a special formulary apportionment factor in a future formulary regime targeted specifically at the “digital economy.” Just a couple years ago the OECD undertook an evaluation of whether the digital economy can (or should) be “ring-fenced” as part of the BEPS project, and concluded that it neither can be nor should be.

Importantly, concluding that there should be no special rules for the digital economy does not resolve the broader question of whether the international tax system requires reform. The practical reality appears to be that all the largest economies have come to agree either that a) there is something wrong with the taxation of the “digital economy,” or b) there is something more fundamentally wrong with the structure of the current international tax system given globalization and technological trends.

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March 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Reviews And The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

HarvardLawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Law Reviews And The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:

It’s time once again to take a look at things in the top 10 law review front. ... Out of the top 10 law journals, 80 percent of the publications in top 10 law reviews for 2018 are written by authors whose alma mater is one of those schools. ... In 2018, Yale Law School J.D. alums account for 25 percent of all T10 articles published.  Harvard accounts for 19 percent. ...

What this does suggest is that, unsurprisingly, the hierarchy perpetuates itself.  As the data suggests, there is some modicum of privilege that arises from being an alum of a highly ranked law school.  One might call it classism in academia.  Even if you decide not to call it that, it’s a combination of unsavory things that give rise to hierarchy.

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March 28, 2019 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Colinvaux: A Vision For Charitable Giving And Reform

Roger Colinvaux (Catholic), Fixing Philanthropy: A Vision for Charitable Giving and Reform, 162 Tax Notes 1007 (Mar. 4, 2019):

The article explains how Congress can advance the goals and values of philanthropy and address the crisis of the charitable sector with a number of legislative initiatives. These include expansion of the charitable giving incentive, reform of in-kind contributions, getting more money to working charities with a payout rule for donor advised funds (DAFs), and changing standards for private foundation transfers to DAFs.

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March 28, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Hidden Costs Of Stressed-Out Faculty And Staff

PaycheckWall Street Journal op-ed:  The Hidden Costs of Stressed-Out Workers, by Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford; author, Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance (2018)):

Over the years, businesses have substantially reduced the risk of workplace injuries and accidents. But the harm to employees from stressful working conditions hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2016 that stress is the leading workplace health problem, ahead of physical inactivity and obesity. It affects both blue- and white-collar jobs, across a wide range of incomes, and is a leading contributor to turnover, absenteeism and productivity losses.

Those indirect costs to companies can be even larger than the direct costs of workers’ compensation and health benefits. Take absenteeism: According to U.K. government figures, more than half of the country’s working days lost to ill health in 2017-2018 were caused by stress, depression or anxiety. Then there is “presenteeism”—employees who, though at work, are not at their physical or psychological best. In a 2016 survey of some 2,000 employees conducted by a unit of the Virgin Group, participants acknowledged being unproductive an average of 57.5 days a year, or nearly a quarter of their work time.

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March 28, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly ranking of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  This ranking includes downloads from two 30- and 35-page papers by 12 tax professors on the new tax legislation that garnered a lot of media attention (including the New York Times and Washington Post) and generated a massive amount of downloads (the papers are the most downloaded tax papers of all-time by over 200%).  See Brian Leiter (Chicago), 11 Tax Profs Blow Up The SSRN Download Rankings. (For some reason, Mitchell Kane (NYU) — the twelfth academic co-author of the two papers — is not included in the SSRN download rankings (although the downloads are included on his individual author page)).  Here is the new list (through March 1, 2019) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

 

 

All-Time

 

Recent

1

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

182,983

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

23,702

2

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

117,556

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

21,322

3

David Gamage (Indiana-Bl.)

113,062

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

17,876

4

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

110,952

David Gamage (Indiana-Bl.)

17,648

5

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

110,874

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 

17,588

6

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)

107,140

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

16,838

7

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

102,619

David Kamin (NYU)

15,561

8

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

99,411

Ari Glogower (Ohio State)

15,512

9

David Kamin (NYU)

99,361

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

15,405

10

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham)

98,660

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

15,229

11

Ari Glogower (Ohio State)

97,315

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 

15,151

12

Michael Simkovic (USC)

42,181

Richard Ainsworth (BU) 3,618

13

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

36,283

Michael Simkovic (USC)

3,184

14

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

35,147

Jacob Goldin (Stanford)

2,850

15

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

30,929

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

2,793

16

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

27,000

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

2,633

17

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

25,502

Kyle Rozema (Chicago)

2,520

18

Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine)

25,269

Joe Bankman (Stanford)

2,506

19

Jim Hines (Michigan)

24,218

Ruth Mason (Virginia)

2,445

20

Gladriel Shobe (BYU)

23,920

Kirk Stark (UCLA)

2,263

21

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

23,286

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

2,154

22

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

23,217

Hugh Ault (Boston College)

1,969

23

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

22,216

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

1,862

24

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

21,829

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indy)

1,791

25

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

21,806

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1,669

Note that this ranking includes full-time tax professors with at least one tax paper on SSRN, and all papers (including non-tax papers) by these tax professors are included in the SSRN data.

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March 28, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Randall Kennedy: Derrick Bell And Me

BKRandall Kennedy (Harvard), Derrick Bell and Me:

This paper describes Professor Derrick Bell’s life in the law, assesses his writings, appraises his struggles at Harvard Law School, and recounts his relationship with a colleague, Randall Kennedy, for whom he was a mentor, friend, and adversary. ...

In the final several months of his life in 2011, I spoke with Derrick twice. The first time I called to tell him that I had heard that he was ill, that I was pulling for him, and that I was grateful for all that he had done for me. He discussed his impending end with aplomb and declared that he felt himself to be supremely lucky in having been able to marry Janet Dewart Bell with whom he had spent years of happy, delightful, and productive companionship.

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March 28, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

WSJ: An Answer To A SALT-y Tax Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

Wall Street Journal Tax Report, An Answer to a SALT-y Tax Problem You Didn’t Know You Had:

The tax overhaul has created many new issues for Americans. One that individuals, tax preparers and industry groups are now wrestling with is how Uncle Sam will tax state-tax refunds given the new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, or SALT.

The Treasury Department hasn’t yet released guidance on this issue, although April 15 is approaching. A spokeswoman said the department is working diligently on the matter.

The good news is that most filers making moves to lower taxes on refunds don’t need to fret, say tax scholars.

“A longstanding legal doctrine means it won’t be hard for most taxpayers subject to the SALT cap to minimize taxes on state refunds,” says Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official now teaching at Columbia University’s law school. ...

According to Mr. Graetz and other scholars, none of the refund is taxable if the total state taxes paid, minus the refund, are $10,000 or more. ...

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March 28, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mayer: Taming The Wild West Of Nonprofit Political Involvement

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame), When Soft Law Meets Hard Politics: Taming the Wild West of Nonprofit Political Involvement, 45 J. Legis. ___ (2019):

Beginning in the 1990s and continuing to today, many of the legal and psychological barriers to nonprofits becoming involved in electoral politics have fallen. At the same time, political divisions have sharpened, causing candidates, political parties, and their supporters to scramble ever more aggressively for any possible edge in winner-take-all political contests. In the face of these developments, many nonprofits have violated the remaining legal rules applicable to their political activity with little fear of negative consequences, especially given vague rules and a paucity of enforcement resources. Such violations include underreporting of political activity in government filings, fly-by-night organizations that exist only for one election cycle in order to avoid penalties, and even organized campaigns that encourage nonprofits to break these rules. The increasingly visible disregard of these rules threatens not only to damage the public reputation of the nonprofit sector as a whole but also to undermine public respect for the rule of law more generally.

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March 27, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gallup's 'Single Most Profound Finding In Its History': 70% Of An Organization's Success Depends On The Quality Of Its Managers

ManagerWall Street Journal op-ed:  One Fix For All That's Wrong: Better Managers, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Five years ago, the Gallup organization embarked on one of the most ambitious deep dives it has ever conducted; an analysis of the future of work based on a decade of input from nearly 2 million employees and more than 300,000 business units. The results confirmed something Gallup had seen before: a company’s productivity depends, to a high degree, on the quality of its managers.

What no one saw coming, however, was the sheer size of that correlation—something Gallup calls “the single most profound, distinct and clarifying finding” in its 80-year history. The study showed that managers didn’t just influence the results their teams achieved, they explained a full 70% of the variance. In other words, if it’s a superior team you’re after, hiring the right manager is nearly three-fourths of the battle. ...

The study’s conclusions, laid out in Gallup’s forthcoming book, It’s the Manager, struck a particular chord with me. I, too, had exhaustively studied teams—although my subjects were the top dynasties in sports. I’d reached a similar conclusion: The overwhelming driver for sustained excellence in sports was another kind of middle manager, the team captain.

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March 27, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Joy Mullane Named Faculty Director Of Villanova Graduate Tax Program

MullaneJoy Mullane Appointed Faculty Director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program:

University announced the appointment of Joy Mullane, Professor of Law, as Faculty Director of its Graduate Tax Program. Mullane has been a member of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law faculty since 2006. In her new role, Mullane will oversee the University’s nationally recognized graduate tax program, which is offered both on-campus and online.

“Joy is a recognized and respected leader and scholar at the Law School, and in the field of taxation,” said Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. “I am so pleased to have Joy at the helm of our program. She is on the cutting edge of the ever-changing field of taxation, and I know she will continue to innovate and grow the program as the industry evolves, as well as in response to the needs of our students.”

Mullane has been instrumental in the growth of the Graduate Tax Program, a cross-disciplinary program for lawyers, accountants and business professionals that is developed and managed by the Law School in conjunction with the Villanova School of Business.

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March 27, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Section 199A: A Magic Dance Through The Labyrinth

Craig W. Benson (Bever Dye, Wichita, KS)), Section 199A: A Magic Dance Through the Labyrinth, 58 Washburn L.J. 187 (2019):

Although frequently pitched to the American people as a leveling agent to keep pass through entities competitive with their C corporation counterparts, section 199A 's twenty-percent deduction is far more restrictive than the simple reduction in the C corporation tax bracket to a flat twenty-one percent rate. Section 199A is a needlessly complex labyrinth filled with ambiguous language that opens the unwary taxpayer to possible missteps and an easier to meet accuracy-related penalty for substantial understatement of tax liability. This article aims to inform small businesses and their advisors on how to navigate the section 199A maze, in a manner that maximizes the deduction for qualified business income and highlights areas of ambiguity, so taxpayers have conscious awareness of such ambiguous areas.

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March 27, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Marian: Is All Corporate Tax Planning Good For Shareholders?

Omri Y. Marian (UC-Irvine), Is All Corporate Tax Planning Good for Shareholders?, 52 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 905 (2018) (reviewed by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) here):

Does corporate tax planning benefit shareholders? The prevalent assumption is that it does, because lower corporate tax burden translates to enhanced shareholder value. In this article, I explain why this common perception is sometimes incorrect in practice. In many cases, successful (and legal) corporate tax planning schemes are not Pareto-optimal: some shareholders may see a net benefit, while others experience a net loss. Moreover, in certain instances it is reasonable to expect that legal corporate tax planning will be Kaldor-Hicks inefficient. Meaning, the financial losses incurred by some shareholders exceed the gains to others.

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March 27, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: Does It Pay (Taxwise) To Get Married?

Wall Street Journal, Does It Pay (Taxwise) to Get Married?:

Among many things, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affected the so-called marriage penalty, which occurs when a couple’s total tax bill rises as a result of getting married and filing their taxes jointly.

WSJ

Under the old tax code, the marriage penalty hit medium- to high-income earners particularly hard. That had to do with differences in the income-tax brackets for married couples vs. individuals. Now, however, those brackets have been adjusted to eliminate those discrepancies—except for taxpayers who are subject to the top 37% marginal rate.

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March 27, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nonprofit AccessLex Institute To Offer Bar Prep Courses At Reduced Cost (At Least $1,000 Less)

AccessLexNonprofit AccessLex Institute to Create Market-Altering Bar Exam Preparation Program:

AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit organization which fosters broad-based access to quality legal education and works to maximize the value and affordability of a law degree, has announced it will offer a superior bar examination preparation program at a price that will rationalize and reset market pricing. With current bar prep programs retailing at two to three times the estimated cost of delivery, this new AccessLex initiative can ultimately save bar exam takers tens of millions of dollars annually.

"For far too long, the leading commercial bar exam preparation companies have leveraged their market positions to exact outsize profits from the tens of thousands of aspiring lawyers who sit for the bar exam every year," said AccessLex President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher P. Chapman. "Now is the time for AccessLex to apply its resources, relationships and reputation to expose and disrupt the oligarchy-esque pricing model that continues to stubbornly exist."

The model for the AccessLex program is simple—commit mission-driven funding to build a superior program and offer it to law students at the operating cost incurred by AccessLex. The program will function like a co-operative, with a transparent pricing structure established at a break-even level and reduced further as cost efficiencies are gained.

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March 27, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pittsburgh Tax Review Call For Papers: Green Tax Solutions

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2017)Pittsburgh Tax Review Call for Papers: Green Tax Solutions:

The Green New Deal announced in early February 2019 responds to the increasing attention being paid to efforts to address the damage both being and to be wrought by climate change. Among other things, that proposal would declare that the federal government has a duty to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers; invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century; and secure for all people of the United States for generations to come clean air and water, climate and community resilience, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment. This ambitious proposal has served to further focus public attention on this pressing issue and has generated discussion of both aspirational and practical steps that can be taken to address climate change.

In the first issue of its 17th volume, the Pittsburgh Tax Review will publish a series of contributions addressing the role that tax law could play in addressing climate change. The Pittsburgh Tax Review has already secured the participation of three distinguished scholars in the area of taxation and the environment: Roberta Mann (University of Oregon), Janet Milne (Vermont Law School), and Tracey Roberts (Samford University). The Pittsburgh Tax Review invites proposals from others for one to two additional contributions of between 8,000 and 10,000 words from scholars, activists, or policy makers interested in exploring the role that the tax laws could play in addressing climate change.

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March 27, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Auten & Splinter Present Using Tax Data To Measure Long-Term Trends In Equality Today At Georgetown

Gerald Auten (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department) & David Splinter (Joint Committee on Taxation) present Income Inequality in the United States: Using Tax Data to Measure Long-term Trends  at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

Using individual tax returns, Piketty and Saez (2003) concluded that the top one percent income share at least doubled since 1960. But these estimates are biased by tax base changes, missing income sources, and major social changes. Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) addressed some of these issues by targeting the distribution of total national income. They concluded that the top one percent share increased by two-thirds since 1960 and doubled since 1980. However, broadening income beyond that reported on tax returns requires specific assumptions to distribute these additional income sources. This paper shows the effects of adjusting for technical tax issues and the sensitivity to alternative assumptions for distributing missing income sources. Our results suggest that recent top income shares are significantly lower and that there has been relatively little change since 1960, though a modest increase since 1980. The most important reason our results differ from Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) is our allocation of underreported income according to detailed IRS audit studies rather than proportional to income reported on tax returns.

Auten 1

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March 26, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hoopes Presents Is Tax Planning Best Done In Private? Today At NYU

HoopesJeffrey Hoopes (North Carolina) presents Is Tax Planning Best Done in Private? at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

We investigate the conventional wisdom that privately-held firms engage in more tax planning than do publicly-held firms. Private firms are believed to face lower nontax costs of tax planning relative to public firms, allowing them to engage in more tax planning. However, empirical evidence of U.S. private firm tax planning is limited, primarily because of difficulty in obtaining private firm data. We make use of detailed administrative data from the Internal Revenue Service, which covers virtually all U.S. public and private firms. Using a variety of tax planning measures, and contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence that private firms engage in more tax planning relative to similar-sized public firms in the same industry.

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March 26, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Online Law School Courses Pass The Test

OnlineABA Journal, If Taught Well, Online Law School Courses Can Pass the Test, Experts Say:

The skills for teaching online law school courses are not unlike those needed for the practice of law. Both require concise writing, well-organized outlines and the ability to speak without appearing that you’re reading from a script, says Ellen Murphy, assistant dean of instructional technologies and design at Wake Forest University School of Law.

And despite the stereotypes about online offerings being low-quality, Murphy says that when the courses are done well, students and professors may have a better connection than they would with in-person classes. With online learning, she adds, “you can’t hide in the back row.”

In August, an ABA accreditation standard regarding distance education was revised, so that law schools can now offer up to one-third of their credits online, including for first-year coursework. Ten of those credits can be for first-year coursework. Previously, unless a law school obtained a variance, no more than 15 credits could be offered through online offerings, and only for students who completed first-year classes.

Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, says many law schools are probably considering online courses or increasing what they already have. Accredited law schools with recent online offerings include Syracuse University College of Law, the University of Dayton School of Law and Southwestern Law School. Also, Mitchell Hamline School of Law has had an online program since 2015. [Pepperdine offers online Master of Legal Studies and Master of Dispute Resolution programs.]

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March 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Notre Dame And Baylor Admit More Legacies Than Harvard and Yale

Bloomberg, Notre Dame and Baylor Admit More Legacies Than Harvard and Yale:

The University of Notre Dame leads top U.S. schools in admitting the most children of alumni -- 22 percent by latest count.

That’s among universities with the 25 biggest endowments as tracked by Bloomberg. Among those outside the top 25, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, led the league in legacies with 32 percent.

Schools slice the data differently. Most call students with alumni family members “legacies.’’ Yale University refers to “legacy affiliation.’’ It said 11 percent of its Class of 2022 falls into that category. Fourteen percent of Princeton University’s student body are children of alums. The University of Southern California calls them “scions’’ — applicants with a parent, grandparent or sibling who graduated from USC. They represent 16 percent of the USC student body.

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March 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Disruptive Philanthropy: Chan-Zuckerberg, The LLC, And The Millionaire Next Door

ChanDana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn), Disruptive Philanthropy: Chan-Zuckerberg, the Limited Liability Company, and the Millionaire Next Door, 70 Fla. L. Rev. 921 (2018):

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced they would give 99% of their net worth to — in their words — “advance[e] human potential and promot[e] equal opportunity.” To make good on this promise, however, they did not set up a traditional nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Instead, they founded the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a for-profit, limited liability company. The bulk of this Article provides the definitive explanation for this seemingly bizarre choice. Most importantly, the philanthropy LLC structure offers donors the flexibility to bolster charitable grantmaking with impact investment and political advocacy, free of the restrictions, penalties, and transparency requirements applied to tax-exempt vehicles. In addition, the LLC form provides donors complete control over the organizations they found, including an ability to reclaim donated assets that is absolutely prohibited in nonprofit forms. With careful planning, all of these advantages can be gained at relatively little tax cost.

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March 26, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Loyola Law School LLX: The Netflix Of Legal Education?

Netflix LoyolaInside Higher Ed, A Law School Ventures Into Executive Ed:

Business schools dominate online executive education, for good reason. But leaders at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles believe they’ve identified a gap in the market: teaching basic legal skills to business professionals.

The law school, part of private nonprofit Loyola Marymount University, is today launching an executive education program called LLX.

Michael Waterstone, Fritz B. Burns Dean of Loyola Law, said the motivation behind the program is to open up legal education to a “wider range of executives and professionals.” ...

While LLX’s mission is ostensibly to make legal knowledge accessible to people without law degrees, the law school still wants to make money. Admissions will be selective, and the six-week courses will cost around $1,000. In addition to online courses, LLX will also provide on-campus courses and is open to teaching bespoke curricula on-site at company locations.

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March 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Assistant Dean For Strategic Initiatives

Pepperdine (2019)With Jim Gash, the law school's Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and External Relations assuming the Pepperdine University Presidency on August 1, we are seeking to hire an Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives:

Law is seeking applications for the full-time position of Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives (“ADSI”). The position reports to the Dean. This position is responsible for casting a vision for the online programs and innovating other sources of new revenue for the law school.

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March 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congressional Research Service: Digital Services Taxes

CRS LogoCongressional Research Service, Digital Services Taxes (DSTs): Policy and Economic Analysis (R45532) (Feb. 25, 2019):

Several countries, primarily in Europe, and the European Commission have proposed or adopted taxes on revenue earned by multinational corporations (MNCs) in certain “digital economy” sectors from activities linked to the user-based activity of their residents. These proposals have generally been labeled as “digital services taxes” (DSTs). For example, beginning in 2019, Spain is imposing a DST of 3% on online advertising, online marketplaces, and data transfer service (i.e., revenue from sales of user activities) within Spain. Only firms with €750 million in worldwide revenue and €3 million in revenues with users in Spain are to be subject to the tax. In 2020, the UK plans to implement a 3% DST that would apply only to businesses whose revenues exceed £25 million per year and groups that generate global revenues from search engines, social media platforms, and online marketplaces in excess of £500 million annually. The UK labels its DST as an “interim” solution until international tax rules are modified to allow countries to tax the profits of foreign MNCs if they have a substantial enough “digital presence” based on local users. The member states of the European Commission are also actively considering such a rule. These policies are being considered and enacted against a backdrop of ongoing, multilateral negotiations among members and nonmembers of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).These negotiations, prompted by discussions of the digital economy, could result in significant changes for the international tax system.

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March 26, 2019 in Congressional News, Gov't Reports, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Blank Presents Simplexity And Legal Calculators Today At Pepperdine

Blank (2018)Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine) presents Simplexity and Legal Calculators (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)) at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Dorothy Brown and Paul Caron and funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

Automated customer service has become one of the primary ways in which consumers find answers to their questions, whether they involve airline reservations, medical insurance coverage or unresponsive home appliances. Federal and state tax authorities have increasingly begun to offer online decision-making tools that provide guidance regarding the tax law to taxpayers. Some online tools, such as the IRS’s “Withholding Calculator,” direct taxpayers to input wage information in order to receive confirmation of whether their tax withholding is adequate. More comprehensive online tools, such as the IRS’s “Interactive Tax Assistant,” ask taxpayers personal questions and then deliver answers on topics ranging from whether the taxpayer is required to file a tax return to whether the taxpayer is entitled to claim certain tax credits to whether a type of income is taxable. These online tools do not just perform mathematical calculations; rather, they attempt to calculate taxpayers’ legal consequences.

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March 25, 2019 in Colloquia, Pepperdine Tax, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Connecting Law Students' Goals To Lawyer Competency

Neil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas), Connecting Prospective Law Students’ Goals to the Competencies that Clients and Legal Employers Need to Achieve More Competent Graduates and Stronger Applicant Pools and Employment Outcomes, 9 St. Mary’s J. Legal Mal. & Ethics ___ (2019):

In changing markets for clients and legal employers, law schools that most effectively connect the goals of prospective and enrolled law students to the competencies that clients and legal employers need will be successful. Over time, a school that creates this type of effective bridge will benefit from a reputation both among legal employers and clients for educating highly effective graduates and among prospective students for helping them achieve their goals. All stakeholders benefit, but for faculty, stronger applicant pools and strong post-graduation employment outcomes in particular contribute greatly to the quality of the students and the school’s ranking and financial stability.

This article is the first to help faculty and staff make use of new data on the goals of undergraduate students considering law school and enrolled law student, the competencies that clients and legal employers want, and the learning outcomes that the law schools are adopting to design a more effective curriculum to help all the stakeholders to reach their goals.

Neil 1

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March 25, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Virginia Tax Review Publishes New Issue

Virginia Tax Review (2016)The Virginia Tax Review has published Vol. 38, No. 2 (Fall 2018):

March 25, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ellen Aprill Reviews Philip Hamburger’s Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) And The Taxation Of Speech

Liberal SuppressionFollowing up on my previous post:  Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Liberal Suppression: Viewing Section 501(C)(3)’S Speech Restrictions In Their Tax Context (reviewing Philip Hamburger (Columbia), Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech (University of Chicago Press 2018)):

Philip Hamburger’s Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech opposes on constitutional grounds the limitation on lobbying and the prohibition of campaign intervention required of charities, including churches, exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. The book is erudite, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. I learned a great deal from it. I also share a number of the author’s concerns. As a tax professor, naturally enough, I see these issues primarily through a tax lens, and this context leads me to draw conclusions regarding section 501(c)(3) quite different from those Hamburger comes to as a constitutional scholar. Yet I also believe that establishing a common understanding of the provision’s place in the Internal Revenue Code is crucial to any critique of it.

Language from Regan v Taxation with Representation (TWR), the 1983 case to which the book often refers, helps frame the contrast between our points of view. Against constitutional challenge, the Supreme Court in TWR upheld the limitation on substantial lobbying for entities exempt under section 501(c)(3) against constitutional challenge. Professor Hamburger’s book, my earlier work, and that of others have extended its reasoning, in particular its reliance on the principle that Congress has no duty to subsidize political activity, to section 501(c)(3)’s prohibition on campaign intervention as well. ...

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March 25, 2019 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lesson From The Tax Court: Nothing Personal

Tax Court (2017)The Tax Code is built on a dichotomy between business and personal.  That is one of the ideas that runs throughout each semester of my basic tax class.  Whether a taxpayer is entitled to deduct an item of expense depends on whether the Code classifies the expense as business or personal.  In one box go expenditures needed to carry on an activity engaged in for profit.  Section 162 allows taxpayers to deduct the money it takes to make money.  In another box go expenditures made for personal consumption.  Section 262 disallows a deduction for such expenses.  One finds the same dichotomy in §165, which permits taxpayers to deduct business losses, but not non-business losses.

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish business from personal.  In life, the difference is not a dichotomy but a continuum with expenditures often made for mixed purposes.  Still, taxpayer activity falls into either the deductible box or the non-deductible box.  There is no in-between.  The expense (or loss) is deductible or it’s not.  Congress helps taxpayers figure out into which box they fall with various statues.  Treasury helps them with various regulations.  And courts help with decisions like two Tax Court decisions from last week. 

Last week the Tax Court issued two opinions that teach lessons about distinguishing business activity from personal activity.  First, Carlos Langston and Pamela Langston v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2019-19 (Judge Nega) presents a really nice twist on the classic problem of how to tell when a taxpayer has converted a personal residence into an income-producing property.  There, the taxpayer's actual rental was not sufficient to convert a property formerly used as a personal residence into a property held for the production of income.  That surprised me.  Second, Edward G. Kurdzeil, Jr. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2019-20 (Judge Holmes) concerns whether a taxpayer’s very expensive plane restoration activity was a business or a hobby.   I will blog Langston this week and Kurdziel next week. 

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March 25, 2019 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure | Permalink | Comments (3)

2020 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2020 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings include the trial advocacy programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 53% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.0 Stetson
2 3.9 Baylor
3 3.8 Temple
4 3.7 Loyola-L.A.
5 3.6 American
5 3.6 Chicago-Kent
7 3.5 Denver
7 3.5 Pacific
9 3.4 Fordham
9 3.4 South Texas
11 3.3 Drexel
11 3.3 Georgetown
11 3.3 Northwestern
11 3.3 NYU
15 3.2 Houston
15 3.2 Loyola-Chicago
15 3.2 Notre Dame
15 3.2 Samford
15 3.2 Suffolk
15 3.2 UC-Berkeley
21 3.1 Georgia
21 3.1 Georgia State
21 3.1 John Marshall (IL)
21 3.1 UC-Hastings
21 3.1 Wake Forest
21 3.1 Washington Univ.
27 3.0 Campbell
27 3.0 Emory
27 3.0 Missouri (Kansas City)
27 3.0 Syracuse
27 3.0 Texas
27 3.0 UC-Davis
27 3.0 Virginia
34 2.9 Akron
34 2.9 Florida
34 2.9 George Washington
34 2.9 Harvard
34 2.9 Hofstra
34 2.9 Howard
34 2.9 Michigan
34 2.9 North Carolina
34 2.9 South Carolina
43 2.8 Alabama
43 2.8 Arizona
43 2.8 Faulkner
43 2.8 Maryland
43 2.8 St. Mary's
43 2.8 Tennessee
43 2.8 Tulane
43 2.8 UCLA
43 2.8 Univ. of Washington
43 2.8 Utah
43 2.8 Vanderbilt
43 2.8 Wisconsin

As I blogged last fall, U.S. News has dramatically changed their ranking of nine law school specialty programs:

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March 25, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: Faster Tax Cuts Could Be Backfiring On Republicans

New York Times, Faster Tax Cuts Could Be Backfiring on Republicans:

When President Trump signed a large package of tax cuts into law in 2017, the Internal Revenue Service moved to make sure the savings showed up quickly in paychecks. Doing so probably lifted consumer spending last year, but it may have hurt Republicans politically, new polling suggests.

Administration officials, it appears, underestimated Americans’ love of tax refunds.

Nearly four in five people say they would rather overpay their federal income taxes and get a refund every spring — effectively making an interest-free loan to the government — than underpay and owe money come tax season, according to a poll for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey.

That preference appears to be influencing how Americans view Mr. Trump’s signature cuts: Among people who have already filed their tax returns, those who said they received a bigger refund this year are far more likely than others to approve of the law.

Poll 2

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March 25, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Incoming Batch Of Law Deans Is More Diverse Than Ever; New Women, Minority Deans Exceed New White Male Deans

National Law Journal, Incoming Batch of Law Deans Is More Diverse Than Ever:

The wave of minority women taking the helm at law schools is gaining momentum.

Two law schools in the past week have named black women as dean. Stetson University College of Law has tapped Michele Alexandre to be its next top administrator—the first African-American to fill that role. On Wednesday, the University of Cincinnati announced that Verna Williams was being elevated from interim dean to full dean. She, too, will be the school’s first black dean. Those appointments add to what is already shaping up to be a diverse crop of incoming deans.

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March 24, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference: People Of Color And The Future Of Democracy

NPOCAmerican University Washington College of Law, 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference: People of Color and the Future of Democracy:

Tax Reform Gone Wrong: The High Cost of Trump Tax Cuts for People of Color:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as #TrumpTaxCuts, made sweeping changes to our tax laws. Far from addressing, fixing, or improving institutional racism in the tax code that financially disadvantages people of color, the new law strengthened some of these provisions and even added new ones. The panel of tax scholars will deconstruct and discuss these changes and suggest how we might move forward.

  • Darrick Hamilton (The New School)
  • Randall Johnson (Mississippi College)
  • Christine Kim (Utah) (moderator)
  • Francine Lipman (UNLV)
  • Goldburn Maynard (Louisville)

Tax Policy and Social Justice
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was advertised as a means to reduce taxes on average for all income groups in both 2018 and 2025. However, the Tax Policy Center issued a statement indicating the TCJA favored tax breaks for businesses over people. Other studies suggest that the TCJA exacerbates longstanding patterns of wealth inequity among individuals, particularly with regard to racial identity. Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, nationally and internationally, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions seems to make an exception for tax policy. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit. When the system provides disproportionate resources to taxpayer of high economic means without commensurate resources to the middle and lower income taxpayers, society continues to experience widening wealth gaps that may have global effects. This panel proposal seeks to offer engaging research and discussion of tax policies and the global economic consequences we face as we continue to allow tax policy to promote and disproportionately serve the few.

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March 24, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)