Paul L. Caron
Dean




Friday, May 6, 2022

Bearer-Friend Presents Colorblind Tax Enforcement Today At Leeds

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar) presents Colorblind Tax Enforcement, 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. ___ (2022), at Leeds today, co-hosted by the Centre for Business Law and Practice and the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (register here).

Bearer-Friend (2021)The United States Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has repeatedly taken the position that, because the IRS does not ask taxpayers to identify their race or ethnicity on submitted tax returns, IRS enforcement actions are not affected by taxpayers' race or ethnicity. This claim, which I call “colorblind tax enforcement,” has been made by multiple IRS Commissioners serving in multiple Administrations (both Democratic and Republican). This claim has been made to members of Congress and to members of the press.

In this article, I refute the IRS position that racial bias cannot occur under current IRS practices. I do so by identifying the conditions under which race and ethnicity could determine tax enforcement outcomes under three separate models of racial bias: racial animus, implicit bias, and transmitted bias. I then demonstrate how such conditions can be present across seven distinct tax enforcement settings regardless of whether IRS asks about race or ethnicity. The IRS enforcement settings analyzed include summonses, civil penalty assessments, collection due process hearings, innocent spouse relief, and DOJ referrals.

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May 6, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 29, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshop

Next Week's Tax Workshops - twitter

Friday, May 6: Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar) presents Colorblind Tax Enforcement, 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. ___ (2022), at Leeds today, co-hosted with the Centre for Business Law and Practice and the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. If you would like to attend, please register here

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April 29, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Stantcheva Presents Wealth And Taxation In The United States Today At The OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks

Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard; Google Scholar) presents Wealth and Taxation in the United States (with Sacha Dray (London School of Economics) & Camille Landais (London School of Economics)) today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

StantchevaWe study the history and geography of wealth accumulation in the US, using newly collected historical property tax records since the early 1800s. The property tax in the US was a comprehensive tax on all kinds of properties (real estate, personal property, and financial wealth), making it one of the first “wealth taxes.” Our new data allows us to reconstruct wealth series at the city, county, and state levels over time and to study the effects of property taxes on property values, migration, and investment. We first document the long-term evolution of household wealth in the US since the early 1800s, offering new fine-grained and high-frequency estimates of household wealth over a long period of time. The US had significantly lower wealth than Europe and only caught up with Europe after WW1, despite GDP per capita having been larger than that of France or the UK since the late 1870s. Second, we study the spatial allocation of wealth in the US over the long run. The geography of wealth is highly persistent and factors related to geography and demographics correlate strongly with wealth at the city, county, and state levels.

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April 21, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinThursday, April 21: Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard; Google Scholar) will present Wealth and Taxation in the United States (with Sacha Dray (London School of Economics) & Camille Landais (London School of Economics)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks. This event does not require registration.

Friday, April 22: Abdoulaye Ndiaye (NYU; Google Scholar) will present Redistribution with Performance Pay (with Pawel Doligalski (Bristol; Google Scholar) & Nicolas Werquin (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Google Scholar) as part of the Florida Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Hasen

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April 16, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Mann & Adams-Schoen Present Targeting Plastics Pollution With Taxes Today At Oregon

Roberta Mann (Oregon) & Sarah Adams-Schoen (Oregon) present Targeting Plastics Pollution with Taxes at Oregon today as part of its Oregon Law Perspectives Series (register here): 

Mann-adams-schoenBy 2050, the weight of plastic pollution in the ocean is projected to exceed the weight of the fish. What can we do about this? Professors Roberta Mann (Tax) and Sarah Adams-Schoen (Environmental Law) will discuss marine plastic pollution—the extent of the problem, the inadequacy of current approaches, and possible tax solutions. 

These experts in their field will examine the possibilities of properly designed environmental taxation to serve as an efficient, effective solution to the plastics pollution problem.

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April 14, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 8, 2022

Polsky Presents Fixing The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion Today At Florida

Gregg Polsky (Georgia; Google Scholar) presents Fixing The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion (with Ethan Yale (Virginia; Google Scholar)) at Florida today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Hasen:

Gregg-polskyIn 1993, Congress enacted a new tax break, the qualified small business stock (QSBS) exclusion, intended to benefit small businesses.  As originally enacted, the QSBS exclusion allowed shareholders of C corporations that operated small businesses to exempt up to 50 percent of their gains when they sell their shares.  For roughly the first fifteen years of its existence, however, the QSBS exclusion was of relatively modest benefit, at best, to investors.  From 2009 to 2015, the exclusion percentage was repeatedly temporarily increased to 100 percent but because the increases were scheduled to quickly expire, the QSBS exclusion was unlikely to have significantly altered investment decisions.  Eventually, on December 19, 2015, Congress permanently increased the exclusion percentage to 100 percent.

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April 8, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Barry Presents Tax And The Boundaries Of The Firm Today At Duke

Jordan Barry (USC) presents Tax and the Boundaries of the Firm (with Victor Fleischer (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Duke Law (2022We analyze how income taxes distort firms’ decisions regarding what to produce themselves ("make") or purchase from others ("buy") along a number of dimensions. Many of these provisions expand the boundary of the firm; others contract it. Importantly, the expansions and contractions generally operate on different points, and thus do not offset each other, making each distortion problematic.

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April 7, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Fineman Presents Cracking The Foundational Myths: Independence, Autonomy, And Self-Sufficiency Today At The Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs

Martha Fineman (Emory; Google Scholar) presents Cracking the Foundational Myths: Independence, Autonomy, and Self-Sufficiency in Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society (Cornell 2005) today at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason. 

Martha-finemanFeminist legal theorists can legitimately complain that most mainstream work fails to take into account institutions of intimacy, such as the family. Discussions that focus on the market typically treat the family as separate, governed by an independent set of expectations and rules. When theoretical focus is turned to the nature of actions of the state, the family (if it is considered at all) is cast as a separate autonomous institutions. Theorists who focus on the individual seem to deny the family any potential relevance or theoretical significance.

This reliance on the 'assumed family' distorts analysis and policy. In economic and other important public policy discussions, we focus on the appropriate relationship between the market and state, with the family relegated to the 'private' sphere. Discussions proceed as though the policies that are designed to affect these institutions in the public sphere have only few implications for the unexamined private family.

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April 7, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Escajeda Presents Technology Law: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance Today At Boston College

Hilary Escajeda (Mississippi College; Google Scholar) presents Technology Justice: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop hosted by Hugh Ault, Ray Madoff, Shuyi Oei, Diane Ring, Steve Shay, and James Repetti. 

EscajedaAs artificial intelligence and robotic technologies accelerate economic transformation, outdated property and tax laws will increasingly fail American workers with ordinary skills that perform routine job functions. Because technology may render millions of workers redundant, U.S. policymakers must make significant social, economic, and legal structural changes to (1) improve the lives of average workers, (2) support the economy, and (3) maintain political stability.

Inspired by Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice, this twenty-first century Pamphlet argues that “Technology Justice” requires that humans benefit from the cognitive endowment naturally created by our ancestors’ minds. Specifically, this Pamphlet asserts that our collective and cumulative cognitive inheritance constitutes valuable property—an asset class—that should be taxed for the benefit of all.

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April 7, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Dagan Presents Unbundled Tax Sovereignty: Refining The Challenges Today At Toronto

Tsilly Dagan (Oxford; Google Scholar) presents Unbundled Tax Sovereignty: Refining the Challenges at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Tsilly-daganTax sovereignty under globalization is at risk of unraveling. This is not only–as is often argued—because international organizations or other states exert external power on sovereign states. It is also the very process of fragmentation of state sovereignty that undermines its own foundations. The main claim of this lecture is that globalization is increasingly altering the interaction between states and their constituents. The choices and flexibility it offers (some) taxpayers threaten to transform taxpayers from equal members of a political community entitled to a bundle of public goods and services into consumers of public goods and services offered à-la-carte. Such a transition, this lecture contends, undermines the basis for states’ sovereignty. It is therefore argued that, in order to ensure the continued legitimacy of their sovereignty, states should reconfigure their social contracts with their constituents.

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April 6, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Wednesday, April 6: Tsilly Dagan (Oxford; Google Scholar) will present Unbundled Tax Sovereignty: Refining the Challenges as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Robert Lines.

Thursday, April 7:  Martha Fineman (Emory; Google Scholar) will present Cracking the Foundational Myths: Independence, Autonomy, and Self-Sufficiency in Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society (Cornell 2005) as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason.

Thursday, April 7: Jordan Barry (USC) will present Tax and the Boundaries of the Firm (with Victor Fleischer (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak.

Thursday, April 7: Hilary Escajeda (Mississippi College; Google Scholar) will present Technology Law: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance as part of the Boston College Tax Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact James Repetti.

Friday, April 8: Gregg Polsky (Georgia; Google Scholar) will present Fixing The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion (with Ethan Yale (Virginia; Google Scholar)) as part of the Florida Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Hasen.

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April 2, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 1, 2022

Faulhaber Presents Pillar Two's Substance-Based Income Exclusion Today At Florida

UF

Lilian Faulhaber (Georgetown; Google Scholar) presents Pillar Two's Substance-Based Income Exclusion: The Culmination of Years of International Tax Developments at Florida today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Hasen:

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April 1, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Gamage Presents Taxation And The Constitution, Reconsidered Today At San Diego

David Gamage (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) presents Taxation and the Constitution, Reconsidered (with John R. Brooks (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Miranda Fleischer:

Gamage-david (1)Our current income tax is unable to address growing concentrations of financial wealth and resulting economic inequality. But reforms to address these problems—such as a wealth tax or an income tax on unrealized capital gains—are stymied by fears of unconstitutionality. The basic claim is that wealth taxes and similar reforms are “direct taxes” under the Apportionment Clauses of the Constitution, and since apportionment is not feasible, these taxes are impossible. But this claim is wrong.

This Article shows that there is in fact a long history of federal taxes similar to wealth taxes—both apportioned and uniform—and a well-developed constitutional tax jurisprudence to go along with that history. This jurisprudence has laid mostly dormant during the past century-plus of the income tax era, but a reconsideration of taxation and the Constitution shows that we now have multiple viable paths for taxing extreme concentrations of wealth.

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March 31, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Sugin Presents Reinventing Law School, Financial Structure: Public Benefit, Private Finance Today At Duke

Linda Sugin (Fordham; Google Scholar) presents Reinventing Law School, Financial Structure: Public Benefit, Private Finance at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Sugin_Linda_Portrait_2127_smChapters 1 and 2 argued that the world needs compassionate and committed lawyers, and presented a vision for law schools that would prepare students to become leaders in a just, equal, and sustainable world. Chapter 3 focused inward and argued that law schools have not adjusted their methods or goals to accommodate today’s students and the challenges they face in the profession. This chapter continues with an introspective look at the financing of legal education. It argues that the current system for financing legal education is wholly unsuited to the institutional role that law schools must fulfill.

March 31, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Schaffa Presents The International Equity Case For A Wealth Tax Today At Florida State

Daniel Schaffa (Richmond) presents The International Equity Case for a Wealth Tax at Florida State today as part of its Law and Business Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

Schaffa-danny-secondaryIntergenerational equity is commonly set aside in favor of other policy objectives, perhaps because of the extreme challenges inherent in adopting and applying an intergenerational equity normative framework. Even when there is a near consensus that the choices of today will have substantial costs in the future, these costs are often downplayed or disregarded. This Article asks whether there are measures that might offer redress to a generation for the costs imposed on it by its predecessors and finds that a one-time wealth tax is a promising option. Although its analysis applies more generally, this Article focuses on the widely understood intergenerational consequences of unsustainable deficits. While there is little evidence to suggest that the U.S. government’s current debt is near a crisis level, there is widespread concern about the pace at which the debt is growing. Eventually the rate at which the U.S. borrows must slow. When this happens, the government is likely to raise taxes, and the taxpayers affected will bear the burden of their predecessors’ deficit spending. 

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March 30, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, March 28, 2022

Titus Presents Global Minimum Tax: A Death Knell For African Country Tax Policies? Today At Brooklyn

Afton Titus (Cape Town; Google Scholar) presents Global Minimum Corporate Tax: A Death Knell for African Country Tax Policies? at Brooklyn today as part of its Colloquium on International Economic Law hosted by Steven Dean and Julian Arato:

Afton-titusThe idea that a global minimum corporate income tax rate should be introduced has been publicized with great fanfare. Not as widely publicized is the fact that this, along with the other provisions of Pillar Two, has negative implications for the corporate income tax policies currently implemented in African countries. Moreover, Pillar Two may also affect the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. In setting out these implications, this paper argues that a more nuanced approach to global harmful tax competition should be followed in the practice of inter-nation equity. This approach is as follows: all countries should cooperate to stop virtual tax competition. Moreover, all developed countries should cease both virtual and real tax competition while developing countries continue to engage in real tax competition – provided that their tax incentives meet certain criteria. Should a developing country not adhere to such criteria, the exemption for that country would fall away. This paper further argues that African countries are already demonstrating that the fears that such an approach elicits are unfounded. The time is opportune for African countries to push for meaningful reform in tax that would result in fairer outcomes for all developing countries.

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March 28, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Escajeda Presents Technology Justice: Taxation Of Our Collective And Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance Today At Oregon

Hilary Escajeda (Mississippi College; Google Scholar) presents Technology Justice: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance at Oregon today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Roberta Mann:

EscajedaAs artificial intelligence and robotic technologies accelerate economic transformation, outdated property and tax laws will increasingly fail American workers with ordinary skills that perform routine job functions. Because technology may render millions of workers redundant, U.S. policymakers must make significant social, economic, and legal structural changes to (1) improve the lives of average workers, (2) support the economy, and (3) maintain political stability.

Inspired by Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice, this twenty-first century Pamphlet argues that “Technology Justice” requires that humans benefit from the cognitive endowment naturally created by our ancestors’ minds. Specifically, this Pamphlet asserts that our collective and cumulative cognitive inheritance constitutes valuable property—an asset class—that should be taxed for the benefit of all.

Continue reading

March 28, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 25, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Monday, March 28: Afton Titus (Cape Town; Google Scholar) will present Global Minimum Corporate Tax: A Death Knell for African Country Tax Policies? as part of the Brooklyn Colloquium on International Economic Law. If you would like to attend, please contact Steven Dean.

Monday, March 28: Hilary Escajeda (Mississippi; Google Scholar) will present Technology Justice: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance as part of the Oregon Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Roberta Mann

Monday, March 30: Daniel Schaffa (Richmond) will present The International Equity Case for a Wealth Tax as part of the Florida State Law and Business Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn

Thursday, March 31: David Gamage (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) will present Taxation and the Constitution, Reconsidered (with John R. Brooks (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) as part of the San Diego Tax Law Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please register here

Thursday, March 31: Linda Sugin (Fordham; Google Scholar) will present Reinventing Law School, Financial Structure: Public Benefit, Private Finance as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Friday, April 1: Lilian Faulhaber (Georgetown; Google Scholar) will present Pillar Two’s Substance-Based Income Exclusion: The Culmination of Years of International Tax Developments as part of the Florida Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Hasen.

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March 25, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Choi Presents Beyond Purposivism In Tax Law Today At Duke

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law  (video) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak: 

Jonathan-choiConventional wisdom holds that purposivist theories of statutory interpretation solve the problem of tax shelters, because shelters comply with the text but not the purpose of tax statutes. But the predominant form of purposivism in tax scholarship, which combines specific statutory purposes with general structural principles of tax law, cannot separate shelters from ordinary tax planning. Although tax shelters claim benefits that exceed specific purposes and do not align with objective general principles, so do some widely accepted tax strategies.

This Article therefore proposes a new framework to go beyond purposivism in tax law, complementing purposivist techniques with pragmatism or doctrinalism. Pragmatism applies explicit policy judgments when statutory purposes run out; doctrinalism applies rules, like canons of construction, that provide determinate answers when statutory purpose is ambiguous. Pragmatism generally leads to better results in any particular case, while doctrinalism provides taxpayers certainty in planning legitimate transactions.

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March 24, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wallace Presents Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation Today At Boston College

Clinton Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) presents Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop hosted by Jim Repetti, Hugh Ault, Ray Madoff, Diane Ring, Steve Shay & Shu-Yi Oei:

Wallace_clinton (1)Recently, as democracies around the world have faltered, legal scholars in fields as diverse as election law, labor law and freedom of expression have turned to taxation as a tool for repairing and sustaining democracy. But there is a significant gap between tax theory and democratic theory that has left tax law scholars ill-equipped to respond to these calls for help. Tax scholars evaluating and designing tax policies generally focus on the normative criteria of efficiency, equity and administrability, with little regard for normative democratic theory that focuses on the conditions that shape a democratic community and can help it to flourish.

This paper offers an account of democracy as a central consideration in taxation in a democratic system of government. I introduce a set of democracy criteria, which would join efficiency, equity and administrability as a normative framework for evaluating the design of any tax system or tax policy change. The democracy criteria asks: does a change in tax rules strengthen or undermine democratic governance? This paper draws on democratic theory to identify connective tissues where taxation might enhance democratic decision making and democratic accountability.

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March 24, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Simkovic Presents Pigouvian Contracts Today At Duke

Mike Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) presents Pigouvian Contracts (with Meirav Furth-Matzkin (UCLA)) at Duke today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series: 

Michael-simkovic-2020Pigouvian taxes are often used to limit environmental externalities such as pollution. We argue that consumer contracts generate externalities by overwhelming consumers’ attention. Depleting each consumer’s attention harms consumers collectively because lower comprehension levels enable sellers to adopt less efficient and more one-sided terms. We propose to tax sellers in proportion to the costs that comprehending their contracts would impose on consumers. This would force sellers to internalize these costs and incentivize them to invest in contract simplification and forego strategic obfuscation. As a result, the costs to consumers of comprehending would decrease, and comprehension rates would rise. To further penalize inefficient contracts while reducing the tax burden on efficient contracts, we propose subsidizing consumer comprehension and information sharing efforts. Inefficient contracts would thereby be strongly disincentivized.

Conclusion
Many legal scholars, regulators, elected officials, and consumer advocates have noted consumers’ limited ability to comprehend standard form contracts. Some have suggested ways of reducing comprehension costs to consumers. However, to the best of our knowledge, we are the first to propose and formally model Pigouvian taxation of contracts and subsidization of consumer comprehension.

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March 23, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Blank & Osofsky Present The Inequity Of Informal Guidance Today At UC-Irvine

Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) and Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar) present The Inequity of Informal Guidance, 75 Vand. L. Rev. __ (2022) (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholarhere), at UC-Irvine today as part of its Intellectual Life Workshop Series:

OsofskyThe co-existence of formal and informal law is a hallmark feature of the U.S. tax system. Congress and the Treasury enact formal law, such as statutes and regulations, while the Internal Revenue Service offers the public informal explanations and summaries, such as taxpayer publications, website frequently asked questions, virtual assistants, and other types of taxpayer guidance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS increased its use of informal law to help taxpayers understand complex emergency relief rules implemented through the tax system.

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March 23, 2022 in Colloquia, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Gilens Presents Testing Theories Of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, And Average Citizens At The Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs

Martin Gilens (UCLA) presented Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (with Benjamin Page (Northwestern; Google Scholar)) yesterday at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason.

Martin-gilensEach of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.

A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

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March 19, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 18, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Wednesday, March 23: Mike Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) will present Pigouvian Contracts (with Meirav Furth-Matzkin (UCLA)) as part of the Duke Faculty Workshops. If you would like to attend, please contact Rachel Greeson.

Thursday, March 24: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law (video) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Thursday, March 24: Clinton G. Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) will present Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation as part of the Boston College Tax Policy Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

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March 18, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Kahn Presents Taxing Tort Damages: Do Juries Care? Today At Duke

Jeffrey Kahn (Florida State) presents Taxing Tort Damages: Do Juries Care? (with John Lopatka (Penn State-University Park)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak: 

Jeffrey-kahnA taxpayer may exclude from her income any compensatory damages received on account of a physical injury. While the exclusion has narrowed in scope since its inception, the general rule of nontaxation for compensatory damages has existed in the United States tax system since 1919. Despite this rule already celebrating its 100th birthday, there is still no consensus on the tax policy justification for the exclusion of compensatory damages. Whether there is a policy justification or not, the current rule of exclusion raises another issue: should juries be informed about this tax treatment when determining the appropriate amount of damages. Again, despite this related issue being as old as the exclusion itself, there is no uniform resolution in state courts. A majority of states prohibit any tax jury instruction, but several states allow courts to inform juries that awards are not subject to taxation. The Supreme Court also sanctioned the use of a tax exclusion instruction in Federal Employee Liability Act cases.

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March 17, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Olbert Presents Real Effects Of Private Country-By-Country Disclosure Today At The OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks

Marcel Olbert (London Business School; Google Scholar) presents Real Effects of Private Country-by-Country Disclosure (with Lisa De Simone (Texas; Google Scholar)) today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

Olbert 3We investigate the effects of mandatory private Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) to European tax authorities on multinational firms’ capital and labor investments as well as their organizational structures. We exploit the threshold-based application of this 2016 disclosure rule to conduct difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity tests. We document increases in capital and labor expenditures in Europe, but these effects are more pronounced in countries with preferential tax regimes. Cross-sectional tests and analysis using consolidated financial data provide evidence consistent with multinational firms reallocating capital across Europe to mitigate increased tax enforcement risk, as well as with CbCR hindering capital investment efficiency. 

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March 17, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Scharff Presents Fake News And The Tax Law Today At Toronto

Erin Scharff (Arizona State) presents Fake News and the Tax Law at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop

Erin-scharffThe public misunderstands many aspects of the tax system. For example, people frequently misunderstand how marginal tax rates work, misperceive their own average tax rates, and believe they benefit from tax deductions for which they are ineligible.  Such confusion is understandable given the complexity of our income tax system. 

Unfortunately, a significant body of research suggests these misconceptions shape voter preferences about tax policy which, in turn, impact the policies themselves.  That people are easily confused by false tax information is nothing new. However, with the rise of social media platforms, the speed at which misinformation campaigns can move to shape public opinion is far faster now. The past five years have seen a dramatic shift in the landscape of false information, and scholars in a variety of disciplines, from law to psychology to journalism, have explored the increasing influence of fake news. 

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March 16, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Osofsky & Blank Present The Inequity Of Informal Guidance Today At George Washington

Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar) and Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) present The Inequity of Informal Guidance, 75 Vand. L. Rev. __(2022) (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholarhere), at George Washington today as part of its Faculty Colloquium.

Ososfky-blankThe co-existence of formal and informal law is a hallmark feature of the U.S. tax system. Congress and the Treasury enact formal law, such as statutes and regulations, while the Internal Revenue Service offers the public informal explanations and summaries, such as taxpayer publications, website frequently asked questions, virtual assistants, and other types of taxpayer guidance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS increased its use of informal law to help taxpayers understand complex emergency relief rules implemented through the tax system.

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March 16, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 11, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Wednesday, March 16: Erin Scharff (Arizona State) will present Fake News and the Tax Law as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Robert Lines

Thursday, March 17: Jeffrey Kahn (Florida State) will present Taxing Tort Damages: Do Juries Care? (with John Lopatka (Penn State-University Park)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Thursday, March 17: Marcel Olbert (London Business School; Google Scholar) will present Real Effects of Private Country-by-Country Disclosure (with Lisa De Simone (Texas; Google Scholar)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown). There is no need to register for this event.

Friday, March 18: Martin Gilens (UCLA) will present Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (with Benjamin Page (Northwestern; Google Scholar)) as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs. If you would like to attend, register here.

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March 11, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Kleiman Presents Whose Child Is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules In Safety Net Programs Today At Toronto

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) presents Whose Child Is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules In Safety Net Programs, 131 Yale L. J. ___ (2022) (with Jacob Goldin (Stanford; Google Scholar)), at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Ariel_Jurow_KleimanTo address the staggering problem of child poverty in the United States, policymakers distribute a host of safety net and transfer programs designed to support children and families. All of these programs require rules to determine how benefits are distributed. Among the more important of these are “child-claiming” rules. These rules determine which adults can receive benefits for which children, driving how well a program helps recipients and satisfies societal goals.

This Article critically assesses the design of child-claiming rules for safety net programs, using as case studies the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. It considers how best to design child-claiming rules to achieve specific program goals, the foremost of which is supporting children’s well-being. This analysis illustrates that no single rule regime dominates. 

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March 9, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Kim Presents Taxing Digital Platforms At Maryland

Christine Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) presented Taxing Digital Platforms (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) at Maryland yesterday as part of its Discussion Series: The Digitalization of America: Emerging Issues in an America:

Christine-kimTax systems have been struggling to adapt to the digitalization of the economy. At the center of the struggles is taxing digital platforms, such as Google or Facebook. These immensely profitable firms have a business model that gives away "free" services, such as searching the web. The service is not really free; it is paid for by having the users watch ads and tender data. Traditional tax systems are not designed to tax such barter transactions, leaving a gap in taxation.

One response, pioneered in Europe, has been the creation of a wholly new tax to target digital platforms: The Digital Services Tax (DST). Though controversial, ten states have entertained imposing a DST, and Maryland actually did so. Maryland’s tax was immediately challenged, with the strongest argument against the tax being that it is preempted by the Internet Tax Freedom Act. There is considerable consensus that Maryland’s tax is in serious trouble. We contend that this consensus is wrong and that states should not abandon a promising solution to a set of pressing problems. 

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March 9, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, March 7, 2022

Infanti Presents Tax And Racism: Slavery, Immigrant Exclusion, And The Holocaust Today At Oregon

Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh; Google Scholar) presents Tax and Racism: Slavery, Immigrant Exclusion, and the Holocaust at Oregon today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Roberta Mann:

InfantiTaxes are often called a “necessary evil.” Some go further and liken taxation to legalized theft from—or, more provocatively, to the enslavement of—taxpayers. All this rhetoric about the evils of taxation naturally undermines support for the good that taxation can do when it distributes fairly the burden of creating the societal structures that make possible our individual and collective flourishing. More distressingly, however, this rhetoric ignores—and thus diminishes—the ways in which taxation actually can be woven into broader tapestries of societal oppression of subordinated groups. Tax and Racism redirects attention away from inflamed rhetoric about tax theft and tax slavery by examining a series of historical examples that demonstrate how taxation has been used for truly evil ends—namely, to advance racist projects that resulted in actual theft and slavery and even the destruction of human lives.

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March 7, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 4, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - twitterMonday, March 7: Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh; Google Scholar) will present Tax and Racism: Slavery, Immigrant Exclusion, and the Holocaust as part of the Oregon Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Roberta Mann.

Wednesday, March 9: Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) will present Whose Child Is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules In Safety Net Programs, 131 Yale L. J. ___ (2022) (with Jacob Goldin (Stanford; Google Scholar)), as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Robert Lines.

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March 4, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Kleiman Presents Impoverishment By Taxation Today At Duke

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) presents Impoverishment by Taxation, 170 U. Pa. L. Rev. __ (2022), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Ariel_Jurow_KleimanViewed in the aggregate, the U.S. fiscal system is progressive, reduces inequality, and cuts poverty. The system improves on market outcomes by transferring income from rich to poor. Yet this bird’s eye view rings hollow on the ground, where millions of low-income taxpayers across the United States are made poor or poorer by paying their state and federal taxes. In truth, while the U.S. fiscal system may be broadly equalizing and poverty reducing, for many struggling households, it is impoverishing.

This Article offers a new way to measure taxation of low-income households in the United States, presenting a concept called fiscal impoverishment. Taxpayers are fiscally impoverished when they are made poor or poorer by paying state and federal taxes, after accounting for the offsetting cash or near-cash public benefits they receive. Distinct from the aggregate and anonymous measures by which we typically assess our tax and transfer system, fiscal impoverishment is dynamic and individualized. It highlights individual human dignity and implicates the economic responsibilities of the state vis-à-vis low-income taxpayers.

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March 3, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Speck Presents Transforming Tax Expenditures Today At Toronto

Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) presents Transforming Tax Expenditures at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop:

Sloan-speckSince the 1960s, reformers have advocated the repeal of tax expenditures—disguised government spending through preferences in the Internal Revenue Code. And yet, tax expenditures persist, impairing federal tax receipts by more than $1.3 trillion annually. This Article introduces a novel mechanism for tax expenditure reform. If statutory repeal proves impossible, lawmakers can achieve a similar de facto result through a strategy of anti-repeal. By radically expanding a tax expenditure’s scope, then adjusting progressive income tax rates to account for revenue loss and distributional considerations, lawmakers can effectively eliminate tax expenditures from the tax base and integrate them into the rate structure—a process this Article defines as “base-rate transformation.”

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March 2, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, February 28, 2022

Lederman Presents Best Practices in Tax Rulings Transparency Today At Oregon

Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) presents Best Practices in Tax Rulings Transparency (reviewed by Blaine Saito (Northeastern; Google Scholar) here) at Oregon today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Roberta Mann:

Lederman-leandraTax rulings reflect agreement by a tax administration to a particular tax treatment of a planned transaction. They provide certainty to taxpayers and the government, lowering costs on both sides. Such rulings are therefore used by many countries. Yet, secrecy that is followed by leaks and criticism is a recurring aspect of these rulings. Perhaps most well known in this regard is the 2014 LuxLeaks scandal. LuxLeaks revealed numerous tax rulings issued by the European country of Luxembourg containing what the press sometimes termed “sweetheart deals” between the Luxembourg tax authority and multinational companies. The United States has also experienced embarrassing revelations in the tax rulings context, such as during the period before it began disclosing anonymized versions of letter rulings.

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February 28, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, February 25, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Monday, February 28: Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) will present Best Practices in Tax Rulings Transparency (reviewed by Blaine Saito (Northeastern; Google Scholar) here) as part of the Oregon Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Roberta Mann.

Wednesday, March 2: Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) will present Transforming Tax Expenditures as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Robert Lines

Thursday, March 3: Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) will present Impoverishment by Taxation, 170 U. Pa. L. Rev. __ (2022), as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak.

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February 25, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Brown Presents Tax Incentives And Sub-Saharan Africa Today At Florida

Karen B. Brown (George Washington) presents Tax Incentives and Sub-Saharan Africa, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 995 (2021), at Florida today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Hasen:

KarenBrown-03FINALThe OECD’s Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) project has taken a powerful and welcome look at many of the tax avoidance strategies that proliferate in a world where multinational enterprises are in the business of exploiting gaps in the tax laws of different countries to minimize their ultimate tax bills. The focus on international consensus and prescriptions for reform has not been an unqualified good for the nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, which find themselves in the position of reacting to standards and taking on compliance burdens set without sufficient consideration of their special circumstances. Because the path for the BEPS project was chosen before receiving meaningful input from these nations, the initiatives offer little support for revenue-raising strategies for Sub-Saharan Africa and require an administrative infrastructure currently beyond the capacity of many nations in the region. 

With an eye toward integrating achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2030) (SDGs) with the BEPS project, this article urges three reforms:

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February 25, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wallace Presents Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation Today At San Diego

Clinton Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) presents Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation today at San Diego as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Miranda Fleischer:

Wallace_clinton (1)Recently, as democracies around the world have faltered, legal scholars in fields as diverse as election law, labor law and freedom of expression have turned to taxation as a tool for repairing and sustaining democracy. But there is a significant gap between tax theory and democratic theory that has left tax law scholars ill-equipped to respond to these calls for help. Tax scholars evaluating and designing tax policies generally focus on the normative criteria of efficiency, equity and administrability, with little regard for normative democratic theory that focuses on the conditions that shape a democratic community and can help it to flourish.

This Essay offers an account of democracy as a central consideration in taxation in a democratic system of government. I introduce a set of democracy criteria, which would join efficiency, equity and administrability as a normative framework for evaluating the design of any tax system or tax policy change. The democracy criteria asks: does a change in tax rules strengthen or undermine democratic governance? This Essay draws on democratic theory to identify connective tissues where taxation might enhance democratic decision making and democratic accountability.

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February 25, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Kim Presents Taxing Digital Platforms Today At Duke

Christine Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) presents Taxing Digital Platforms (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Christine-kimTax systems have been struggling to adapt to the digitalization of the economy. At the center of the struggles is taxing digital platforms, such as Google or Facebook. These immensely profitable firms have a business model that gives away "free" services, such as searching the web. The service is not really free; it is paid for by having the users watch ads and tender data. Traditional tax systems are not designed to tax such barter transactions, leaving a gap in taxation.

One response, pioneered in Europe, has been the creation of a wholly new tax to target digital platforms: The Digital Services Tax (DST). Though controversial, ten states have entertained imposing a DST, and Maryland actually did so. Maryland’s tax was immediately challenged, with the strongest argument against the tax being that it is preempted by the Internet Tax Freedom Act. There is considerable consensus that Maryland’s tax is in serious trouble. We contend that this consensus is wrong and that states should not abandon a promising solution to a set of pressing problems.

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February 24, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Choi Presents Beyond Purposivism In Tax Law Today At Boston College

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents Beyond Purposivism In Tax Law at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Collaborative hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring & Shu-Yi Oei:

Jonathan-choiConventional wisdom holds that purposivist theories of statutory interpretation solve the problem of tax shelters, because shelters comply with the text but not the purpose of tax statutes. But the predominant form of purposivism in tax scholarship, which combines specific statutory purposes with general structural principles of tax law, cannot separate shelters from ordinary tax planning. Although tax shelters claim benefits that exceed specific purposes and do not align with objective general principles, so do some widely accepted tax strategies.

This Article therefore proposes a new framework to go beyond purposivism in tax law, complementing purposivist techniques with pragmatism or doctrinalism. Pragmatism applies explicit policy judgments when statutory purposes run out; doctrinalism applies rules, like canons of construction, that provide determinate answers when statutory purpose is ambiguous. Pragmatism generally leads to better results in any particular case, while doctrinalism provides taxpayers certainty in planning legitimate transactions.

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February 24, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Holderness Presents Taxing Remote Income Under A Forgiving Constitution Today At Northeastern

Hayes R. Holderness (Richmond) presents Taxing Remote Income under a Forgiving Constitution at Northeastern today as part of its Faculty Colloquia Series hosted by Claudia Haupt:

Holderness-hayes-secondaryThe surge in remote work arrangements brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic threatens serious disruptions to state tax systems. Billions of dollars in tax collections are at stake as traditional tax rules for sourcing income among the states based on the physical location of the worker result in large amounts of income shifting from states of employers to states of workers’ residences. Faced with these new remote working conditions, some states have revised their tax rules by looking to the location of the employer to source a worker’s income, drawing the ire of other states as the multistate tax balance becomes disrupted. One state, New Hampshire, even sued a state that had changed its rules, Massachusetts, in the Supreme Court, alleging that Massachusetts had committed grave constitutional violations and infringed on New Hampshire’s sovereignty.

This Article provides a robust defense of states like Massachusetts that seek to change their tax rules for sourcing individual income to adapt for the coming age of remote work.

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February 23, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, February 21, 2022

Brown Delivers Lecture On The Making Of 'The Whiteness Of Wealth' Today At Cincinnati

UC News, Systemic Racism and Its Impact on Federal Tax Policy Is Topic of Upcoming Law Lecture:

Brown (2023)Dorothy A. Brown, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law, examines how federal tax policy disadvantages Black Americans in her latest book The Whiteness of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans – And How We Can Fix It. In her upcoming lecture “The Making of The Whiteness of Wealth: How Institutions Shape Academic Thought,” Professor Brown will discuss her research and the process leading to its results. This event, the 2022 Robert S. Marx lecture, will be held at 12:15 p.m., Monday, Feb. 21, via Zoom.

About the Lecture
Professor Brown’s decades of research looking at the role of systemic racism in federal tax policy ultimately found that when Black and White Americans engage in the same behavior, tax law benefits White Americans while disadvantaging Black Americans. The underlying research received varying types of institutional support. The different types of support led to an evolving research agenda that ultimately resulted in the publication of The Whiteness of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans – And How We Can Fix It.

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February 21, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Lipman Presents How To Design An Antiracist State And Local Tax System Today At Oregon

Francine Lipman (UNLV; Google Scholar) presents How to Design an Antiracist State and Local Tax System at Oregon today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Roberta Mann:

Lipman (2021)Even before the first ship of enslaved people from Africa landed in the British colony of Virginia in 1619 through 250 years of slavery and beyond racist policies in institutions, systems, structures, practices, and laws have ensured inequality for people of color. These racist policies include every imaginable variant of injustice from slavery to lynching to segregation to economic injustices including those delivered through tax systems today. Although facially color-blind, tax systems have long empowered the explosion of white wealth and undermined wealth accumulation for Black families and communities of color. State and local tax systems, especially in the South, have deeply rooted racist fiscal policies including Jim Crow laws that continue to bolster and sustain racial inequality today. These injustices have become even more obvious during the global pandemic.

As Americans struggle with COVID and its aftermath, racial inequality has become even more salient. People of color have suffered higher rates of unemployment, impoverishment, infection, and death from COVID.5 Moreover, scientists, economists, engineers, and doctors agree that racism, not race is the cause of this disproportionate impact. As we struggle to battle COVID 19 and rebuild from its devastation, federal, state, and local governments have used many tools including tax systems. In 2021, the federal government together with twenty- nine states and the District of Columbia enacted significant tax cuts, with nearly all states either cutting individual income tax rates and many governments, including the US Treasury, meaningfully delivering expanded tax credits.

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February 21, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, February 18, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Monday, February 21: Dorothy Brown (Emory) will present The Making of The Whiteness of Wealth: How Institutions Shape Academic Thought as the Cincinnati Robert S. Marx Lecture. If you would like to attend, register here.

Monday, February 21: Francine Lipman (UNLV; Google Scholar) will present How to Design an Antiracist State and Local Tax System as part of the Oregon Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Roberta Mann

Wednesday, February 23: Hayes R. Holderness (Richmond) will present Taxing Remote Income under a Forgiving Constitution as part of the Northeastern Faculty Colloquia Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Claudia Haupt

Thursday, February 24: Christine Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) will present Taxing Digital Platforms (with Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Thursday, February 24: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law as part of the Boston College Tax Policy Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti

Friday, February 25: Clinton Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) will present The Democracy Criterion for Taxation as part of the San Diego Tax Law Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Miranda Fleischer.

Friday, February 25: Karen B. Brown (George Washington) will present Tax Incentives and Sub-Saharan Africa, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 995 (2021) as part of the Florida Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Hasen.

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February 18, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Shobe Presents Subsidizing Economic Segregation Through The State And Local Tax Deduction Today At Duke

Gladriel Shobe (BYU; Google Scholar) presents Subsidizing Economic Segregation Through the State and Local Tax Deduction, 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 539 (2020), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Gladriel shobeEconomic segregation has increased over the past half-century. The trend of rich localities getting richer while poor localities get poorer is particularly concerning because it limits upward mobility and perpetuates intergenerational income inequality. This Article makes the novel argument that the state and local tax deduction subsidizes economic segregation. It arrives at that conclusion by showing that the “local tax deduction” provides a greater subsidy, per capita, for wealthy, economically segregated localities because only those localities have a critical mass of wealthy taxpayers who claim the deduction. This allows wealthy localities, but not poor localities, to provide services at a cost less than face value to their residents.

This Article argues that the deduction’s subsidy for wealthy localities rewards and likely contributes to economic segregation because it provides an incentive for the wealthy to segregate into wealthy, subsidized localities over less segregated and less subsidized localities. This Article’s analysis and arguments are particularly relevant in light of recent controversy surrounding the state and local tax deduction, including the new $10,000 limit on the deduction, efforts to circumvent this limitation, and congressional proposals to reform it.

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February 17, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Kane Presents The Use And Abuse Of Location-Specific Rents Today At The OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks

Mitchell Kane (NYU) presents The Use and Abuse of Location-Specific Rents (with  Adam Kern (Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.)) today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

Mitchell_Kane_photo_verticalA central question in international tax law is how best to allocate taxing rights across countries. Most scholars and many policymakers agree that the current international tax regime is broken, and they are considering ambitious new reforms. An ideal conceptual basis for allocating taxing rights across states would (i) enable countries to raise large amounts of revenue; (ii) allowthem to do this efficiently; and (iii) allocate rights fairly. This concept would be the holy grail of international taxation.

Many tax scholars believe that they have found the grail. They say that every country ought to have the right to tax its location-specific rents. Roughly, a location-specific rent is an economic rent that is tied to a particular location. It is a return to a factor of production that exceeds what that factor’s owner requires in order to deploy that factor in its current location, a return that could not have been earned elsewhere. Location-specific rents likely exist in large quantities. Moreover, since taxes imposed on location-specific rents tend not to cause taxpayers to shift their activities, they are efficient. Finally, since location-specific rents can only be earned in one location, it strikes many scholars as fair for each location to be able to tax its own location-specific rents. The rents that are specific to any given location, so it is thought, represent an unambiguous, exclusive contribution of that society to global economic activity.

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February 17, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Kisska-Schulze Presents Taxing Sports Today At Florida State

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Clemson) presents Taxing Sports, 71 Am. U. L. Rev. 845 (2022) (with John T. Holden (Oklahoma State; Google Scholar)), at Florida State today as part of its Law and Business Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

Kisska-schulzeSports are no longer mere games. In today’s money-driven culture, they have cultivated into a lucrative business enterprise where everyone—whether professional or amateur; owner or player; coach or spectator—stands to make significant money. Modern sports have also morphed into a landscape encompassing both the traditional athletic events and the more novel esports and daily fantasy sports (DFS) arenas. Across all these physical, digital, and biological spheres, sports revenues are being measured in terms of billions. It thus stands to reason why taxes have become a progressively critical discussion point within U.S. professional and collegiate sports, the video gaming world, and the newly legalized sports gambling industry. This Article is the first to provide a holistic and modern analysis of the impact of U.S. tax law across the contemporary business of sports and explore a more universal approach to the varying tax issues affecting numerous relevant stakeholders, including franchises, business ventures, universities, athletes, individuals, and federal and state taxing jurisdictions.

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February 16, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, February 14, 2022

Dean & Brakman Reiser Present For-Profit Philanthropy Today At Oregon

Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) present For-Profit Philanthropy (Oxford University Press 2022) at Oregon today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Roberta Mann:

Dean-brakmanreiserPractices, players, and norms native to the business sector are migrating into philanthropy, muddying the distinction between commerce and charity and eliding the regulatory framework designed to keep them separate. Philanthropies organized as limited liability companies (LLCs) like the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), donor-advised funds sponsored by investment company giants like the $35 billion Fidelity Charitable, and strategic corporate philanthropy programs that align charitable giving by multinationals as diverse as Citigroup, Google, and General Motors to their business objectives illustrate the tremendous change underway. Their for-profit philanthropy rejects the longstanding divide regulation has maintained between business and charitable activities. For-profit philanthropy represents a threat the scale of which has, until now, gone unrecognized.

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February 14, 2022 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, February 11, 2022

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax WorkshopsMonday, February 14: Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) will present For-Profit Philanthropy (Oxford University Press 2022) as part of the Oregon Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Roberta Mann.

Thursday, February 17: Mitchell Kane (NYU) will present The Use and Abuse of Location-Specific Rents (with  Adam Kern (Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks. There is no need to register for this event.

Thursday, February 17: Gladriel Shobe (BYU; Google Scholar) will present Subsidizing Economic Segregation Through the State and Local Tax Deduction, 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 539 (2020), as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak.

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February 11, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink