Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Avi-Yonah Posts Four Tax Papers on SSRN

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) has posted four tax papers on SSRN:

SSRN Logo (2018)A Response to Professor Choi’s Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law:

This response to Professor Choi’s excellent article [Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law, 107 Iowa L. Rev. 1439 (2022)] questions whether the proposals made by the article can solve the tax shelter problem, and argues that a better response is to bolster purposivism with a statutory general anti-abuse rule (GAAR).

What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach of Stanley S. Surrey (with Nir Fishbien (Caplin & Drysdale, New York):

This essay examines the extent of Surrey’s influence on developments in tax law after his death. It argues that his ideas clearly impacted the tax reform of 1986, but can even be seen in later enactments like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and contemporary developments in international taxation. This in turn enables us to get a clearer perspective on what Surrey aimed to achieve and what the goals of these later developments are.

The Historical Origins of the Multilateral Tax Convention (with Eran Lempert (Erdinast, Ben Nathan & Toledano, Tel Aviv, Israel)):

This paper will survey the efforts to create a multilateral tax convention (MTC) from the beginnings of the international tax regime to the present day. The paper’s main contribution is to provide a historical analysis of the (failed) efforts to create a MTC from the beginnings of the ITR until the League of Nations (as contained in Part 1 to this paper). Part 2 of the paper serves to provide a brief modern context to the historical analysis from Part 1, covering why the multilateral instrument (MLI) that was included in BEPS 1.0 is not a true MTC, and secondly points to the BEPS 2.0 effort to develop a true MTC. Part 3 will conclude by discussing under what conditions can a true MTC emerge and what it might look like.

Regressive Taxation and Money Machines: Reconciling a Us VAT with Progessivity:

The United States faces an unsustainable fiscal deficit, which is made worse as interest rates rise and as borrowing from China becomes politically difficult. To resolve this problem either spending must be cut, or revenues need to increase; printing money is not an option, as current inflation rates show. But spending cannot be cut significantly because there is too much political opposition to cutting the entitlements. Therefore, the US needs more revenue, and the only realistic option is to enact a VAT, since the income tax burden on the middle class is already high and not enough revenue can be raised by just taxing the rich. In addition, a VAT can be used to address needed investments by for example adopting universal health insurance, investing in education, and combating climate change. The main objection to a VAT is its regressivity, and alleviating regressivity within the VAT is not easy. Politically, opposition to the VAT among Democrats can be addressed by also increasing income taxation on the rich, as was done by other countries (e.g., Australia) when they adopted the VAT.

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