TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bakija Presents Would A Bigger Government Hurt The Economy? Today At Pennsylvania

HowJon Bakija (Williams College) presents Would a Bigger Government Hurt the Economy?, in How Big Should Our Government Be? (University of California Press 2016) (with Lane Kenworthy (UC-San Diego), Peter Lindert (UC-Davis) & Jeff Madrick (Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, Century Foundation)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

If the United States is going to meet the rising costs of promised government retirement benefits and health care for the elderly while doing more to promote economic security, equality of opportunity, and shared prosperity, it will eventually need to increase taxes. Is this the best solution, or should we scale back government and cut taxes, thereby improving incentives for productive economic activity? This is the fundamental political dilemma of our times. A thoughtful answer ought to depend on many different considerations, but one of the most critical is the long-run economic costs and benefits of larger government and the taxes that go with it. I begin by briefly reviewing some theory that helps to put the debate into perspective. Then I consider evidence on three key empirical questions:

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November 7, 2018 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kysar Presents Unravelling The Tax Treaty Today At Michigan

Kysar (2018)Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) presents Unravelling the Tax Treaty at Michigan today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

Coordination among nations over the taxation of international transactions rests on a network of some 2,000 bilateral double tax treaties. The double tax treaty is, in many ways, the roots of the international system of taxation. That system, however, is in upheaval in the face of globalization, technological advances, taxpayer abuse, and shifting political tides. In the academic literature, however, scrutiny of tax treaties is largely confined to the albeit important question of whether tax treaties are beneficial for developing countries. Surprisingly little consideration has been paid to whether developed countries, like the United States, should continue to sign tax treaties with one another, and no formal revenue or economic analyses of the treaties has been undertaken by the United States government. In fact, little evidence or theory exists to support entrance into tax treaties by the United States, and examination of investment flows indicates the treaties likely lose significant U.S. revenues. Additionally, they enable taxpayer abuse, stagnate domestic policy, and thwart reforms of the antiquated international tax system. These consequences are particularly problematic for the United States. Other nations, after all, have been able to supplement their revenues and pursue destination-based taxation through treaty-friendly VATs.

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November 7, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crawford Presents Tax Talk And Reproductive Technology Today At Chicago

Crawford (2018)Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) presents Tax Talk and Reproductive Technology, 98 B.U. L. Rev. ___ (2018), at Chicago as part of its Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender Workshop Series:

The tax system both reacts to and helps create attitudes about the value of certain behaviors and choices. This Article makes three principal claims — one empirical, one normative, and one interpretative.

The Article demonstrates empirically that a representative sample of fertility clinics in the United States do not make publicly available information about the tax consequences of compensated human egg transfers — commonly called egg “donation.” The United States Tax Court recently decided in a case of first impression, Perez v. Commissioner, that a compensated egg transferor must report as income any amount she receives for her eggs. Although the Tax Court missed an opportunity to clarify further complex questions about the tax consequences of transfers of human bodily materials, the basic holding of Perez was clear.

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November 7, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Goldin Presents Ironing Out The Tax Law Today At San Diego

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Ironing Out the Tax Law (with Edward Fox (Michigan)) at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer: 

The law is full of sharp lines, where small changes in one’s circumstances lead to significant changes in legal treatment. In many cases, a sharp line can be smoothed out — or “ironed” — by replacing it with a sliding scale. Under a sliding scale, small changes in one’s circumstances lead to small changes in legal treatment. In this paper, we study the policy choice between sharp lines and sliding scales in the tax law, focusing particularly on concerns related to efficiency, complexity, and administration. Sliding scales are common for tax provisions that depend on income, but relatively uncommon for provisions that depend on non-income factors.

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November 6, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hayashi Presents Countercyclical Tax Bases Today At Boston College

HayashiAndrew Hayashi (Virginia) presents Countercyclical Tax Bases at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

Tax scholarship has tended to focus on the efficiency properties of different tax bases under assumptions about the macroeconomy that only sometimes hold, and has paid relatively little attention to how those bases operate in recessions. I show how different tax bases interact with household credit constraints and adjustment costs to either stabilize or aggravate economic shocks. I argue that the choice of the local tax base should consider the effect that the base has on the resilience of the economy by stabilizing government spending and household consumption expenditures.

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November 6, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kleven Presents The EITC And The Extensive Margin Today At UC-Berkeley

KlevinHenrik J. Kleven (Princeton) presents The EITC and the Extensive Margin: A Reappraisal at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

This paper reconsiders the impact of the EITC on the extensive margin of labor supply, combining evidence from all EITC reforms at the federal and state level in the United States. Starting from long-run evidence, I show that the labor supply of women who are eligible and ineligible for the EITC have evolved in a strikingly similar fashion over half a century, except for a unique period in the late 1990s. During this period, single women with children dramatically increased labor supply at the extensive margin, closing the entire gap between women with and without children. These patterns suggest that the only place for finding potential EITC effects is the 1993-expansion of the program. However, studying the 1993-reform is complicated due to the confounding effects of the strong economy, welfare reform and — potentially — changing social norms in the 1990s. Based on an event study analysis of the 1993-reform, it is argued that the data is consistent with no effect of the EITC. 

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November 5, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kleiman Presents Tax Limits And Public Control Today At Loyola-L.A.

KleimanAriel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego) presents Tax Limits and Public Control at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt: 

Local governments are severely restricted in their ability to raise tax revenue, in part by state-level statutes that place caps on local tax rates and revenue. Many attribute the proliferation of these local tax limitations to entrenched antitax sentiment among U.S. taxpayers. This antitax narrative is attractive for its simplicity and explanatory power. It provides a clear mandate for those enacting tax limiting laws as well as a simple fiscal rubric for those evaluating the success of such limits—namely, lower taxes equals success. However, the explanatory power of the antitax narrative is limited. Perhaps most notably, it fails to explain why voters regularly approve tax increases, even in places with strict tax limitations. Using the lens of the 1970s Tax Revolt, this Article complicates the traditional antitax narrative surrounding tax limitations, offering evidence that voters also supported tax limits in order to increase public control and oversight of local government fiscal decisions.

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November 5, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ring Presents Tax Law And The Future of Work Today At Northwestern

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Tax and the Future of Work (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)) at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In December 2017, Congress passed major tax reform, including new § 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. This new provision grants independent contractors and other passthrough taxpayers—but not employees or corporations—a potential deduction equal to 20% of their qualified business income. This deduction will affect tens of millions of taxpayers and may be a significant boon to those eligible. Critics argue that the deduction may cause a large-scale workplace shift in favor of independent contractor jobs, as workers seek to take the new deduction. Such a shift could cause workers who leave traditional employment to lose important employee protections and benefits, leaving them more vulnerable.

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November 1, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cui Presents The Digital Service Tax Today At Pennsylvania

Cui (2018)Wei Cui (British Columbia) presents Arguments in Defense of the Digital Service Tax at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

Do digital platforms, operated by multinational companies, give rise to new profit tax bases? Do they support new claims to, or new desirable international allocations of, taxing rights with respect to MNC profits? Within the last year, these questions have been forcefully raised by bold proposals advanced by the European Commission (EC) and the UK government. Reactions among both practitioners and academics to the EC and UK proposals have been predominantly negative. In this paper, I abstract from the EC and the UK’s particular policy formulations and canvas broader economic efficiency arguments that may be constructed to support a digital service tax (DST). I show that there is a variety of plausible arguments in favor of a DST: dismissive criticisms directed against it miss some of its most basic and obvious rationales. Rather than whether such a tax has any adequate justification, a topic worthier of discussion is what might be the best design of such a tax—which depends on how its expected welfare effects, including its incidence and resulting distortions, vary according to design.

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October 31, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Kleiman Presents Tax Limits And Public Control Today At UC-Hastings

KleimanAriel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego) presents Tax Limits and Public Control at UC-Hastings today as part of its Tax Concentration Speaker Series:

Local governments are severely restricted in their ability to raise tax revenue, in part by state-level statutes that place caps on local tax rates and revenue. Many attribute the proliferation of these local tax limitations to entrenched antitax sentiment among U.S. taxpayers. This antitax narrative is attractive for its simplicity and explanatory power. It provides a clear mandate for those enacting tax limiting laws as well as a simple fiscal rubric for those evaluating the success of such limits—namely, lower taxes equals success. However, the explanatory power of the antitax narrative is limited. Perhaps most notably, it fails to explain why voters regularly approve tax increases, even in places with strict tax limitations. Using the lens of the 1970s Tax Revolt, this Article complicates the traditional antitax narrative surrounding tax limitations, offering evidence that voters also supported tax limits in order to increase public control and oversight of local government fiscal decisions.

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October 30, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Brooks Presents The Curious Case Of Student Debt Today At Loyola-L.A.

Brooks (John)John Brooks (Georgetown) presents The Curious Case of Student Debt at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt: 

Student loans have become an issue of major political, economic, legal, and personal importance. Outstanding loans now exceed $1.5 trillion per year, and grow at a rate of $100 billion a year, exceeding credit card debt and auto loans. But student loans differ from the other kinds of debt in profound ways. The federal government make 90% of all loans, and all borrowers can opt in to programs where they can pay only as a percentage of their income and have the possibility of future loan forgiveness. These and other features of student loans reveal that student loans have evolved over time to become something much more akin to a tax-funded grant program, merely masquerading as debt.

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October 29, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Glogower Presents A Constitutional Wealth Tax Today At UC-Irvine

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio State) A Constitutional Wealth Tax at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Josh Blank, Vic Fleischer, and Omri Marian:

A wealth tax could address rising inequality and more accurately tailor the tax system to taxpayers’ economic differences. These reasons to tax wealth may not matter, however, if a wealth tax is unconstitutional. This Article considers the possibilities for the design of a constitutional wealth tax. In particular, this Article argues that, if the Supreme Court were to find a traditional tax on wealth is foreclosed under the Constitution, Congress could instead tax wealth indirectly, by adjusting a taxpayer’s income tax liability on account of her wealth. This Article describes three methods for making this adjustment (collectively, “Wealth Integration” methods): A taxpayer’s wealth could affect her base of taxable income (the “Base Method”), the applicable rate schedule (the “Rate Method”) or the availability of credits against tax (the “Credit Method”).

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October 29, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Glogower Presents A Constitutional Wealth Tax Today At Pennsylvania

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio State) A Constitutional Wealth Tax at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

A wealth tax could address rising inequality and more accurately tailor the tax system to taxpayers’ economic differences. These reasons to tax wealth may not matter, however, if a wealth tax is unconstitutional. This Article considers the possibilities for the design of a constitutional wealth tax. In particular, this Article argues that, if the Supreme Court were to find a traditional tax on wealth is foreclosed under the Constitution, Congress could instead tax wealth indirectly, by adjusting a taxpayer’s income tax liability on account of her wealth. This Article describes three methods for making this adjustment (collectively, “Wealth Integration” methods): A taxpayer’s wealth could affect her base of taxable income (the “Base Method”), the applicable rate schedule (the “Rate Method”) or the availability of credits against tax (the “Credit Method”).

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October 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shaviro Presents The New Non-Territorial U.S. International Tax System Today At Michigan

Shaviro (2018)Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU) presents The New Non-Territorial U.S. International Tax System, Part 1, 160 Tax Notes 57 (July 2, 2018), and Part 2, 160 Tax Notes 171 (July 9, 2018) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here), at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

These papers, published in Tax Notes, examine and analyze the three main international provisions in the 2017 tax act. Part 1 of this report discusses how one could more crisply, comprehensively, and accurately conceptualize international tax policy than through the outdated and unhelpful language of “worldwide versus territorial.” It also explores the reasons for several key margins’ normative ambiguity, which include the tension between what I call unilateral and strategic approaches to international tax policymaking. Only the latter involves considering how a given country’s international tax policy choices might subsequently affect other countries’ behavior. Thus, for example, engaging in tax competition is not inherently strategic in my sense of the term. Indeed, tax competition fails to be strategic if it involves overlooking how one’s own tax law changes might affect what other countries later do. Unfortunately, although all sophisticated actors in international tax policy should consider the strategic aspect, it tends to make the underlying policy choices even harder to parse confidently. Strategic interactions are often unpredictable, and even more so when they involve government actors who are subject to the vagaries of domestic politics.

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October 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Londoño-Vélez Presents Can Wealth Taxation Work In Developing Countries? Today At UC-Berkeley

Londono-VelezJuliana Londoño-Vélez (Ph.D. Candidate, UC-Berkeley) presents Can Wealth Taxation Work in Developing Countries? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Colombia at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

Many countries are considering using wealth taxes to curb rising wealth inequality but face direct enforcement challenges due to the threat of capital flight to tax havens. However, little empirical evidence exists documenting evasion responses to wealth taxation, and all recent studies have focused on the developed world. Using administrative tax records from Colombia and focusing on tax reforms that introduce large variation in exposure to wealth taxes from year-to-year, we document large elasticities of reported wealth to the net-of-tax rate. These imply substantial revenue losses to the government. Importantly, the evidence strongly suggests that these elasticities are driven by evasion— not real— responses to wealth taxes.

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October 22, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stark Presents The Power Not To Tax: State Responses To TCJA 2017 Today At Loyola-L.A.

Stark (2018)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents The Power Not to Tax: State Responses to TCJA 2017 at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt: 

One of the most controversial provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is the new limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes Under that provision, for tax years 2018 to 2025, individual taxpayers may deduct only $10,000 in state and local taxes paid. This change in the law represents a significant increase in the after-tax cost of funding state and local public goods, particularly in those states where voters have demanded service levels requiring higher tax burdens. Perhaps not surprisingly, lawmakers representing these states have not responded favorably to these new limits. Following the enactment of TCJA, New York and several other states began considering legislation aimed at restoring the ability of their residents to fund state and local public services on a tax-favored basis.

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October 22, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Kysar Presents Unravelling The Tax Treaty At Northwestern

Kysar (2018)Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) presented Unravelling the Tax Treaty at Northwestern on Thursday as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

Coordination among nations over the taxation of international transactions rests on a network of some 2,000 bilateral double tax treaties. The double tax treaty is, in many ways, the roots of the international system of taxation. That system, however, is in upheaval in the face of globalization, technological advances, taxpayer abuse, and shifting political tides. In the academic literature, however, scrutiny of tax treaties is largely confined to the albeit important question of whether tax treaties are beneficial for developing countries. Surprisingly little consideration has been paid to whether developed countries, like the United States, should continue to sign tax treaties with one another, and no formal revenue or economic analyses of the treaties has been undertaken by the United States government. In fact, little evidence or theory exists to support entrance into tax treaties by the United States, and examination of investment flows indicates the treaties likely lose significant U.S. revenues. Additionally, they enable taxpayer abuse, stagnate domestic policy, and thwart reforms of the antiquated international tax system. These consequences are particularly problematic for the United States. Other nations, after all, have been able to supplement their revenues and pursue destination-based taxation through treaty-friendly VATs.

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October 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Gale Presents Fiscal Therapy Today At Pennsylvania

GaleWilliam G. Gale (Brookings Institution) presents Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future (Oxford University Press 2019) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

Keeping the economy strong will require addressing two distinct but related problems. Steadily rising federal debt makes it harder to grow our economy, boost our living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain our role as a global leader. At the same time, we have let critical investments lag and left many people behind even as overall prosperity has grown.

In Fiscal Therapy, William Gale, a leading authority on how federal tax and budget policy affects the economy, provides a trenchant discussion of the challenges posed by the imbalances between spending and revenue. America is facing a gradual decline as debt accumulates and delay raises the costs of action. But there is hope: fiscal responsibility aligns with both conservative and liberal goals and citizens of all stripes can support the notion of making life better for our children and grandchildren.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Elkins Presents The Merits Of Tax Competition Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Merits of Tax Competition in a Globalized Economy today at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

Since the turn of the current century, leading transnational organizations and academic scholarship have identified tax competition among countries as one of the scourges of the international tax regime. Both the EU and the OECD have warned that tax competition erodes the tax bases of Member States and impedes their ability to provide essential services. Commentators have argued that unrestrained competition is driving tax rates on mobile sources of income to (or close to) zero, a process that jeopardizes the very existence of the welfare state, exacerbates problems of global poverty, and deprives developing countries of funds that they desperately need in order to improve their physical infrastructure and human capital. Tax competition is also said to misallocate economic resources by driving investment to where the tax rate is lowest rather than to where the return on investment is highest.

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October 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Brockmeyer Presents Taxation, Information, And Withholding Today At UC-Berkeley

BrockmeyerAnne Brockmeyer (World Bank) presents Taxation, Information, and Withholding: Evidence from Costa Rica (with Marco Hernandez (World Bank)) at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

This paper studies the compliance effect of tax withholding on firms, which is commonly used in developing countries. While a growing literature argues that third-party reporting of tax liabilities is a key mechanism for ensuring tax compliance, and a reason why tax capacity grows along the development path, the literature has ignored the fact that third-party reporting is often associated with tax withholding. Withholding is irrelevant if the tax withheld is fully credited against a taxpayer’s liability, but can increase compliance in the presence of costly reclaim, low salience of enforcement or extensive margin compliance gaps.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pomerleau Presents Indexing Capital Gains To Inflation Today At UC-Irvine

PomerleauKyle Pomerleau (Tax Foundation) presents Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation: Is It Worth It? at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration have reintroduced the idea of adjusting the basis of capital gains to inflation. Proponents of capital gains indexing argue that taxing individuals for an increase in the price level is unfair. They also argue that indexing capital gains would unlock capital, which would result in significant economic growth. It is true that indexing capital gains to inflation would increase the incentive to invest and results in a slight boost to the size of the economy. However, the effect would be much smaller than proponents argue. At the same time, it would reduce revenue and make the tax code slightly less progressive.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Glogower Presents A Constitutional Wealth Tax Today At Loyola-L.A.

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio States) A Constitutional Wealth Tax at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

A wealth tax could address rising inequality and more accurately tailor the tax system to taxpayers’ economic differences. These reasons to tax wealth may not matter, however, if a wealth tax is unconstitutional. This Article considers the possibilities for the design of a constitutional wealth tax. In particular, this Article argues that, if the Supreme Court were to find a traditional tax on wealth is foreclosed under the Constitution, Congress could instead tax wealth indirectly, by adjusting a taxpayer’s income tax liability on account of her wealth. This Article describes three methods for making this adjustment (collectively, “Wealth Integration” methods): A taxpayer’s wealth could affect her base of taxable income (the “Base Method”), the applicable rate schedule (the “Rate Method”) or the availability of credits against tax (the “Credit Method”).

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Manhire Presents An Alternative Approach To Tax Gap Analysis Today In London

Manhire (2018)Jack Manhire (Texas A&M) presents Constraints on IRS Control: An Alternative Approach to Tax Gap Analysis, 12 Int’l J. L. & Pol. Sci. ___ (2018) at the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology’s 20th International Conference on Tax Law and Regulations today in London, England.

A tax authority wants to take actions it knows will foster the greatest degree of voluntary taxpayer compliance to reduce the "tax gap." This paper suggests that even if a tax authority could attain a state of complete knowledge, there are constraints on whether and to what extent such actions would result in reducing the macro-level tax gap. These limits are not merely a consequence of finite agency resources. They are inherent in the system itself. To show that this is one possible interpretation of the tax gap data, the paper formulates known results in a different way by analyzing tax compliance as a population with a single covariate. This leads to a standard use of the logistic map to analyze the dynamics of non-compliance growth or decay over a sequence of periods.

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October 15, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dexter Presents The Burgeoning Role Of Rigorous Formative Assessments Today In Tokyo

Dexter (2018)Bobby Dexter (Chapman) presents Beyond the Laptop Ban: The Burgeoning Role of Rigorous Formative Assessments at the Asian Conference on Education today in Tokyo:

We live in constantly-evolving learning environments that are perpetually fraught with actual and potential distractors in the form of messages, notifications, and the varied temptations of the information superhighway. Achieving meaningful and sustained student focus is an uphill battle. Attempts to compel concentration by restricting the use of electronic devices may achieve enhanced classroom focus, but there are no promises. Students routinely defy edicts (remaining “connected” in some way), and technology may be a critical or highly desirable tool with respect to the larger pedagogical effort. Moreover, without pre-emptive interruption management by the student, considerable distraction potential looms in every non-classroom learning venue (e.g., libraries, residences, transit vehicles, airports, etc.).

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October 13, 2018 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fleming Presents Real Worldwide V. Territorial Taxation After The TCJA In Vienna

FlemingJ. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (BYU) presents An Early Look at Real Worldwide v. Territorial Taxation After the TCJA today at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of the Vienna University of Economics and Business:

In the run up to enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) one of the principal U.S. tax policy issues was how foreign source active business income of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) should be taxed by the United States if the system of deferring U.S. tax on active income of a foreign subsidiary was ended. Should active foreign income be taxed under a territorial or exemption system—i.e. bear no residual U.S. tax—or should it be subjected to real worldwide taxation—i.e. current taxation at regular U.S. rates coupled with a credit for foreign income tax paid limited to the U.S. tax on the foreign-source income as measured for U.S. tax purposes.

The opposing sides were not without common ground. Both agreed that the existing U.S. system for taxing the foreign-source active-business income of U.S. MNEs was bad because it generally did not impose U.S. tax until the active income of foreign subsidiaries was repatriated, either through dividends or by sale of subsidiary stock at a price reflecting accumulated foreign-source income.

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October 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rosenberg Presents The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act And Investment Incentives Today At Penn

RosenbergJoseph Rosenberg (Tax Policy Center) presents The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Investment Incentives at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

This paper estimates the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on incentives to invest in the US as measured by the marginal effective tax rate (METR)—a summary measure of the total federal tax burden on a hypothetical break-even investment. In the near term (2018 law), the TCJA reduces the overall marginal effective tax rate (METR) on new investments from 17 percent to 13 percent, a 4.1 percent increase in the aftertax return. In the longer-term (2027 law), the METR decreases from 19 percent to 17 percent, a 1.5 percent increase in the after-tax return.

October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tillotson Presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer And The Rise Of Canadian Democracy Today At Toronto

Give and TakeShirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University) presents Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy (University of British Columbia Press at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Can a book about tax history be a page-turner? You wouldn’t think so. But Give and Take is full of surprises. A Canadian millionaire who embraced the new federal income tax in 1917. A socialist hero, J.S. Woodsworth, who deplored the burden of big government. Most surprising of all, Give and Take reveals that taxes deliver something more than armies and schools. They build democracy.

Tillotson launches her story with the 1917 war income tax, takes us through the tumultuous tax fights of the interwar years, proceeds to the remaking of income taxation in the 1940s and onwards, and finishes by offering a fresh angle on the fierce conflicts surrounding tax reform in the 1960s.

Taxes show us the power of the state, and Canadians often resisted that power, disproving the myth that we have all been good loyalists. But Give and Take is neither a simple tale of tax rebels nor a tirade against the taxman. Canadians also made real contributions to democracy when they taxed wisely and paid willingly.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zolt Presents Tax Treaties And Developing Countries Post-BEPS Today At Michigan

Zolt (2014)Eric M. Zolt (UCLA) presents Tax Treaties and Developing Countries: A Better Deal Post-BEPS? at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

Developing countries face tough choices about whether to enter into bilateral tax treaties with developed countries. Several benefits flow from entering into tax treaties. These include increased foreign direct and portfolio investments that may result if tax treaties reduce double taxation, create greater tax certainty for investors, and provide for a dispute resolution mechanism for tax controversies. But there are real costs for developing countries in entering into tax treaties with developed countries. Treaty provisions invariably result in developing countries yielding taxing rights with respect to economic activity taking place in their country.

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October 10, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Davis Presents Elective Egg Freezing And The Limits Of The Medical Expense Deduction At Kentucky

DavisTessa R. Davis (South Carolina) presented Freezing the Future: Elective Egg Freezing and the Limits of the Medical Expense Deduction, 106 Ky. L. Rev. ___ (2019), last Friday at Kentucky as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) allows a deduction for unreimbursed expenses for medical care. To qualify as medical care, an individual’s outlay must meet the statutory definition of “medical care” set forth in § 213. Specifically, an outlay must be for care that is either for “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” Many costs raise few interpretive challenges. When an individual receives chemotherapy, for example, the costs tied to that care clearly satisfy the disease prong of §213. But as medicine advances, emerging technologies test the breadth of the Code’s concept of medical care. 

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October 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elkins Presents The Myth Of Corporate Tax Residence Today In Singapore

Elkins (2018)David Elkins (Netanya) presents The Myth of Corporate Tax Residence today at the at the Singapore Management University - Tax Academy Centre for Excellence in Taxation:

The issue of corporate residence has recently attracted a great deal of attention in both the popular press and in academic discourse, primarily because of the phenomenon of corporate inversions. The consensus among commentators is that the root of the problem is a flawed definition of corporate residence, and they have therefore proposed replacing the current definition, which relies upon place of incorporation, with another that relies upon control and management, home office, customer base, source of income, or the residence of shareholders.

The thesis of this article is that the concept of tax residence is inapplicable to corporations. Residence in tax law delineates the boundaries of distributive justice, and whereas corporations cannot be parties to a scheme of distributive justice, corporate residence is a misnomer. The incongruity of corporate residence along with the fact that residence is a fundamental concept in international taxation is one reason that the current international tax regime has proven unviable.

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October 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Gergen Presents A Securities Tax And The Taxation Of Global Capital Today At Northwestern

Gergen (2017)Mark Gergen (UC-Berkeley) presents A Securities Tax and the Problems of Taxing Global Capital at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In an earlier paper I proposed a new approach to taxing capital owned by U.S. households and nonprofits. The heart of the new approach is a flat annual tax on the market value of publicly traded securities with a rate of around .8 percent (80 basis points) that is remitted by the issuer. A security issuer gets a credit for publicly traded securities it holds so that wealth that is represented by a string of publicly traded securities is taxed once. For example, a mutual fund remits the tax based on the market or redemption value of interests in the fund and gets a credit based on the market value of publicly traded securities it holds.

Income producing capital that is not subject to the securities tax, such as an interest in a closely held business or in a private equity fund, is covered by a complementary tax with the same rate as the securities tax.

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October 4, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Clausing Presents Profit Shifting Before And After The TCJA Today At Pennsylvania

Clausing (2017)Kimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Profit Shifting Before and After the TCJA at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

In recent years, estimates of profit shifting by multinational companies have indicated substantial revenue costs to the U.S. government, likely in excess of $100 billion per year. The TCJA has changed the climate for profit shifting in several important ways: the lower U.S. corporate rate should lower the incentive to shift profits away from the United States, the adoption of a territorial tax system should raise the incentive to shift profits abroad, and several novel base protection measures, in particular the GILTI and BEAT provisions, are aimed directly at profit shifting. This paper evaluates these changes, discussing their likely effect on the magnitude of profit shifting.

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October 3, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ring Presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift Today At Loyola-L.A.

Ring (2017)Diane Ring (Boston College) presents Tax Law’s Workplace Shift (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

In December 2017, Congress passed major tax reform, including new § 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. This new provision grants independent contractors and other passthrough taxpayers—but not employees or corporations—a potential deduction equal to 20% of their qualified business income. This deduction will affect tens of millions of taxpayers and may be a significant boon to those eligible. Critics argue that the deduction may cause a large-scale workplace shift in favor of independent contractor jobs, as workers seek to take the new deduction. Such a shift could cause workers who leave traditional employment to lose important employee protections and benefits, leaving them more vulnerable.

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October 1, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Barry Presents The Transition (Under-) Tax Today At Toronto

Barry (2017)Jordan Barry (San Diego) presents The Transition (Under-) Tax at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

One of the most significant effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) was shifting the United States from a worldwide tax system to a territorial one: Before the TCJA, U.S. corporations were subject to tax on all of the income they earned, regardless of where they earned it; after the TCJA, U.S. corporations generally will not have to pay U.S. federal income tax on profits earned outside of the United States. The TCJA coupled this permanent shift with a one-time transition tax (the “Transition Tax”). The Transition Tax taxes the trillions of dollars of income that U.S. corporations earned outside of the United States, but which had not yet been subjected to U.S. tax, at a rate of either 8% or 15.5%, depending on how the income was invested. There is much to criticize about the Transition Tax.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Michigan

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prisinzano Presents The Penn Wharton Budget Model: Informing The Tax Policy Debate Today At Pennsylvania

PrisinzanoRichard Prisinzano (Pennsylvania) presents The Penn Wharton Budget Model: Informing the Tax Policy Debate at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Michael Knoll, Chris Sanchirico, and Reed Shuldiner:

The speaker will discuss how the Penn Wharton Budget Model works and how it has been applied to recent tax policy issues. He has provided a series of short readings for the presentation:

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stark Presents The Power Not To Tax: State Responses To TCJA 2017 Today At San Diego

Stark (2018)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents The Power Not to Tax: State Responses to TCJA 2017 at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer: 

One of the most controversial provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is the new limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes Under that provision, for tax years 2018 to 2025, individual taxpayers may deduct only $10,000 in state and local taxes paid. This change in the law represents a significant increase in the after-tax cost of funding state and local public goods, particularly in those states where voters have demanded service levels requiring higher tax burdens. Perhaps not surprisingly, lawmakers representing these states have not responded favorably to these new limits. Following the enactment of TCJA, New York and several other states began considering legislation aimed at restoring the ability of their residents to fund state and local public services on a tax-favored basis.

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September 26, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Drumbl Presents Improving Tax Credits for the Working Poor Today At Boston College

Drumbl (2018)Michelle Drumbl (Washington & Lee) presents Improving Tax Credits for the Working Poor (Cambridge University Press 2019) at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

The United States introduced the earned income tax credit (EITC) in 1975. The EITC is the most significant earnings-based refundable credit available in the Internal Revenue Code (Code).  The United States is the oldest example of a country using its domestic revenue system to deliver and administer social welfare benefits to lower-income individuals or families.  This approach is no longer unique to the United States: other countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Canada, Australia, and Sweden have experimented with or incorporated analogous credits into their tax systems.  These other countries imported the concept from the United States. Might the U.S. be able to improve upon the administration of its EITC by importing the experiences and lessons learned in other countries?

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September 25, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Clausing Presents Profit Shifting Before And After The TCJA Today At UC-Irvine

Clausing (2017)Kimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Profit Shifting Before and After the TCJA at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

In recent years, estimates of profit shifting by multinational companies have indicated substantial revenue costs to the U.S. government, likely in excess of $100 billion per year. The TCJA has changed the climate for profit shifting in several important ways: the lower U.S. corporate rate should lower the incentive to shift profits away from the United States, the adoption of a territorial tax system should raise the incentive to shift profits abroad, and several novel base protection measures, in particular the GILTI and BEAT provisions, are aimed directly at profit shifting. This paper evaluates these changes, discussing their likely effect on the magnitude of profit shifting.

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September 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fennel Presents Money Matters Today At Loyola-L.A.

Fennell (2015)Lee Anne Fennel (Chicago) presents Money Matters at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

This chapter from my forthcoming book, Slices and Lumps: Configuring Choice in Law, Markets, and Life (University of Chicago Press 2019), examines questions of lumpiness and granularity that arise in household budgeting and public finance contexts. People often have difficulty assembling the lumps of cash required to pay for indivisible goods like cars or down payments on homes. These difficulties can explain preferences that might otherwise seem puzzling, such as for lump sums rather than fragmented payment streams of higher present value. Seeming anomalies like the prevalence of income tax refunds and lottery play can be explained by the desire for lumpy consumption that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to finance. At the same time, better segmentation can help households achieve their goals, as studies showing the power of partitioning savings suggest.

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September 24, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Viswanathan Presents A Worker-Centric Model For Sharing Economy Providers Today At Northwestern

Viswanathan (2017)Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) presents A Worker-Centric Model for Sharing Economy Providers at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

In light of ambiguities in the December 2017 tax legislation, this Article integrates tax, corporate, employment, and labor law to propose how sharing economy workers—and rideshare drivers in particular—might optimally structure their working lives. These workers already face challenging questions about employment conditions, collective bargaining, and their classification as employees or independent contractors. The new tax legislation has only created more questions about how this growing class of income earners should most efficiently structure their working arrangements for tax purposes.

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September 20, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Loyola-L.A.

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Ellen Aprill and Katie Pratt:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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September 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guillot Presents Who Paid The 75% Tax On Millionaires? Today At UC-Berkeley

GuillotMalka Guillot (Ph.D. 2018, Paris School of Economics) presents Who Paid the 75% Tax on Millionaires? Optimization of Salary Incomes and Incidence in France at UC-Berkeley today as part of its Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Seminar Series:

Using several administrative datasets, I study the impact of temporary tax on top wage income earners, implemented for 2013 and 2014 only and known as the "75% tax above 1m euro''. The tax is nominally paid by the firms. The tax base is gross annual salary income above one million euros and the top marginal tax rate on wage earners increased from 64% to 74% because of the tax. About 400 employers paid the tax each year and about 1000 employees were concerned. I document that the tax was largely borne by employers, who paid 80% of the tax.

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September 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hemel Presents Beyond The Marriage Tax Trilemma Today At Northwestern

Hemel (2018)Daniel Hemel (Chicago) presents Beyond the Marriage Tax Trilemma at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Workshop Series hosted by Sarah Lawsky:

For decades, the famous “marriage tax trilemma” has played a central role in discussions of the tax treatment of the family unit. The “trilemma” refers to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a tax system that imposes the same tax liability across all married couples with the same income (couples neutrality), neither encourages nor penalizes marriage (marriage neutrality), and taxes higher income individuals at higher rates (progressivity). Numerous articles have proposed responses to the trilemma that choose two of the legs over a third or that seek to split the difference among the competing neutrality norms that the trilemma casts as desirable. Most casebooks, meanwhile, use the trilemma to introduce students to the policy debate over the taxation of marriage and the household.

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September 13, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mehrotra Presents A Comparative History Of U.S. Resistance To The VAT Today At Boston College

Mehrotra (2017)Ajay K. Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation & Northwestern) presents The VAT Laggard: A Comparative History of U.S. Resistance to the Value-added Tax at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

This project explores how and why the United States has historically rejected national consumption taxes. Nearly all developed countries, and many in the developing world, have some type of a national consumption tax, frequently in the form of a value-added tax (VAT). The United States is an exception. This project focuses on the fundamental question: why no VAT in the United States? To address this overall research question, this project explores three key historical periods.

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September 13, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Goldin Presents Complexity And Take-up Of The Earned Income Tax Credit Today At Michigan

Goldin (2017)Jacob Goldin (Stanford) presents Complexity and Take-up of the Earned Income Tax Credit (reviewed by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) here) at Michigan as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah

Millions of low-income Americans fail to claim tax benefits for which they are eligible, possibly because the rules governing the benefits are extraordinarily complex. I consider efforts to increase tax benefit take-up in light of this complexity. A key fact is that the vast majority of tax filers today prepare their taxes with assisted preparation methods (APMs) like software or professional assistance. APMs eliminate some – but not all – of the barriers to claiming tax benefits for which one is eligible. With respect to claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), I argue that most of the relevant complexity is the type that is eliminated by APMs. Consequently, efforts to increase EITC take-up should focus on inducing EITC-eligible individuals to file a tax return using an APM. In contrast, efforts aimed at increasing awareness of the credit (of the type widely employed by governments and nonprofits today) are less likely to be successful, except to the extent they themselves induce an increase in tax filing. Reforms that appear unrelated to a tax benefit may dramatically affect the benefit’s take-up by altering incentives to file a return.

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September 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Stark Presents State Charitable Tax Expenditures Before And After The TCJA Today At Minnesota

Stark (2014)Kirk Stark (UCLA) presents State Charitable Tax Expenditures Before and After the TCJA at Minnesota as part of its  Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Many states have long provided 100% tax credits for gifts to certain state-designated transferees, while other states recently have enacted similar but less generous credits for gifts to state-established funds. Both types of credits raise the question whether a donor may claim a full charitable contribution deduction for such gifts or instead must reduce the deduction amount by the value of the state tax savings arising from the gift. If a full deduction can be claimed despite the state tax savings, as the IRS has long allowed, then donors can effectively convert nondeductible taxes to deductible gifts.

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September 12, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Brunson Presents God And The IRS At UC-Irvine

BrunsonSam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) presented God and the IRS: Accommodating Religious Practice in the Tax Law (Cambridge University Press 2018) yesterday at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series:

Seventy-five percent of Americans claim religious affiliation, which can impact their taxpaying responsibilities. In this illuminating book, Samuel D. Brunson describes the many problems and breakdowns that can occur when tax meets religion in the United States, and shows how the US government has too often responded to these issues in an unprincipled, ad hoc manner. God and the IRSoffers a better framework to understand tax and religion. It should be read by scholars of religion and the law, policymakers, and individuals interested in understanding the implications of taxation on their religious practices.

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September 11, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lederman Presents Information Matters In Tax Enforcement At Miami

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presented Information Matters in Tax Enforcement (with Joseph Dugan) at Miami on Thursday as part of its Faculty Speaker Series:

Most legal and economics scholars recognize that the government needs information about taxpayers’ transactions in order to determine whether their reporting is honest, and that third-party reporting helps the government obtain that information. Yet, a recent paper by Professor Wei Cui [Taxation Without Information: The Institutional Foundations of Modern Tax Collection] asserts that “modern governments can practice ‘taxation without information.’” Cui’s argument rests on two premises: (1) “giving governments effective access to taxpayer information through third parties does not explain the success of modern tax administration” because, he argues, other important taxes, such as the value added tax (VAT), do not involve information reporting; and (2) modern tax administration succeeds because business firms are “sites of social cooperation under the rule of law,” fostering compliance. As this Essay argues, the literature demonstrates that Cui is wrong on both points.

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September 8, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Hatfield Presents Cybersecurity And Tax Reform Today In England

HatfieldMichael (2017)Michael Hatfield (U. Washington) presents Cybersecurity and Tax Reform, 93 Ind. L.J. ___ (2018) (reviewed by Diane Ring (Boston College) here), at the 27th Tax Research Network Conference today at the University of Birmingham, England:

The IRS collects information on more Americans and handles more money than any other agency. The cybersecurity risks are high. This Article takes seriously both the challenges and the agency's limitations in solving those problems through technological advances. This Article describes the cybersecurity problem as a legal problem for Congress to address rather than merely a digital problem for IRS technicians. By legislation, Congress defines what information is tax relevant, and then the IRS digitally collects, stores, and process the information. Over the years, without any regard for information security, Congress has designed a tax system that requires the IRS to collect more information than it can now protect. But there is ample flexibility for Congress to reform tax law to decrease the information held by the IRS and increase the likelihood the IRS can defend it. This Article explores specific ways in which the tax laws and its administration could be changed to simplify the information needs of the IRS, making its information system both a less appealing and a more defensible cyberattack target. In short, if the tax law were simpler in specific ways, the information technology needs at the IRS would be simpler, and adequate cybersecurity for it would be easier.

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September 3, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)