Thursday, January 30, 2020
Steven Dean (NYU) presents A Constitutional Moment for Cross-Border Taxation at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck and Lawrence Zelenak:
For nearly a century, the taxation of cross-border transactions proved remarkably stable. But in the wake of the financial crisis, the consensus underlying that stability has finally fractured. In the United States, the austerity that followed the great recession prompted calls for tax law changes at or beyond the limits of Congressional authority. The taxation of cross-border transactions finds itself at a similar crossroads, but with fewer signposts. Pivotal questions about the assumptions at the heart of the taxation of cross-border transactions have entered the public discourse. An unprecedented popular focus and extraordinary actions by governments and intergovernmental actors have signaled the start of a constitutional moment for cross-border taxation. A window of opportunity exists for revising the basic law governing cross-border taxation, but a conservative countermobilization works to preserve the status quo.
This article tells the story of this unfolding constitutional moment, revealing why the stakes—implicating not only the substance of cross-border taxation but also its legitimacy and transparency—eclipse those in play in the U.S. debate over a wealth tax.