Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Call For Papers: Indiana/Leeds Summer Zoom Tax Workshop Series

From Leandra Lederman:

2021-indiana-leeds-graphic-2This summer, the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and the University of  Leeds School of Law will run the Indiana/Leeds Summer Tax Workshop Series again. Like last summer, Dr. Leopoldo Parada and I will host it. It will meet online via Zoom on Fridays from 11:30am-1pm Eastern time (4:30-6pm British Summer Time), starting May 28, 2021. We expect to invite a couple of speakers and select the remainder from a call for papers.

The Call for Papers opens today and will close on May 14, 2021 at midnight British Summer Time (7pm Eastern Daylight Time). If you are interested in presenting in the Workshop, please send the following before then to both llederma@indiana.edu and L.Parada@leeds.ac.uk, with “Indiana/Leeds Workshop submission” in the subject line of your email:

Continue reading

May 11, 2021 in Colloquia, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Hemel Presents Regulation And Redistribution With Lives In The Balance Virtually Today At Penn State

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Penn State-University Park today as part of its Faculty Works in Progress Series:

Hemel_daniel (1)A central question in law and economics is whether non-tax legal rules should be designed solely to maximize efficiency or whether they also should account for concerns about the distribution of income. This question takes on particular importance in the context of cost-benefit analysis. Federal agencies apply cost-benefit analysis when writing regulations that generate multibillion dollar impacts on the US economy and profound effects on millions of Americans’ lives. In the past, agency cost-benefit analyses typically have ignored the income-distributive consequences of those regulations. That may soon change: On his first day in office, President Biden instructed his Office of Management and Budget to propose procedures for incorporating distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis, thus bringing renewed relevance to a long-running law-and-economics debate.

This article explores what it might mean in practice for agencies to incorporate distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis.

Continue reading

April 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Blank Presents Automated Legal Guidance Virtually Today At Queen Mary

Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) presents Automated Legal Guidance (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar)), 106 Cornell L. Rev. 179 (2020), virtually at the Institute of Tax Law at the Centre for Commercial Law at Queen Mary University of London School of Law today hosted by Bernard Scheider and Christiana HJI Panayi:

Blank520Through online tools, virtual assistants, and other technology, governments increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to help the public understand and apply the law. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, encourages taxpayers to seek answers regarding various tax credits and deductions through its online “Interactive Tax Assistant.” The U.S. Army directs individuals with questions about enlistment to its virtual guide, “Sgt. Star.” And the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suggests that potential green card holders and citizens speak with its interactive chatbot, “Emma.” Through such automated legal guidance, the government seeks to provide advice to the public at a fraction of the cost of employing human beings to perform these same tasks.

This Article offers one of the first critiques of these new systems of artificial intelligence.

Continue reading

April 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 23, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshop

Thursday, April 29: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Penn State-University Park as part of its Faculty Works in Progress Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Dean Hari M. Osofsky.

Continue reading

April 23, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Horwitz Presents Endowment Restrictions And Crises Virtually Today At Duke

Jill Horwitz (UCLA) will present No, Really, The Endowment is Not For Us: Endowment Restrictions and Crises virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Horwitz-jill-e1515199687598-wpcf_232x350The pandemic has caused enormous suffering, and charities have not been spared.  They have faced extreme revenue loss, reduced programs, laid off staff, and closed their doors. Yet in the midst of this devastating crisis, there is a lot of money sitting in endowments, and it is largely unavailable to alleviate harms to charities, charitable beneficiaries, and employees.  Moreover, charities regulators across the country have provided guidance reminding charities that legal constraints still apply, both with respect to restrictions mandating that assets must be held for investment as in the case of endowment funds and other kinds of specific restrictions on spending. Restrictions on charitable assets are meant to be observed, even during a crisis, even during a pandemic.  Do these rather inflexible restrictions make sense?  Even during a pandemic?  This article answers that question, largely in the affirmative. It engages decades of scholarly debate regarding the justification for adhering to restrictions in general, with particular attention to endowment restrictions, and uses crises as a stress-test of the law.  It considers the wisdom of changing rules in the midst of crises. In a discussion of waste it concludes that, with the possible exception of extreme cases, both practical evidence and theory point towards maintaining restrictions.  It re-examines traditional arguments for allowing donors to restrict the use of donations as applied in the context of emergencies.  

Continue reading

April 22, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Maynard Presents Business Meals Or Bust Virtually Today At Indiana

Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Indiana University, Kelley School of Business; Google Scholar) presents Business Meals or Bust virtually at Indiana University, Maurer School of Law today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series  hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Gomayn-768The three-martini lunch deduction, as it has often been called, has a long, boondoggle-filled history. The deduction for business meals was an important enough Republican prerogative that it was at the center of last-minute stimulus negotiations that resulted in a second recovery bill in December 2020. Yet, the 100 percent deduction was almost universally panned by economists and tax policy experts. This essay argues that the passage of the deduction is an example of dogmatic, ideology driven policymaking that relies on the human need for stories to make sense of the world. 

Continue reading

April 22, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Blank & Osofsky Present Automated Legal Guidance Virtually Today At Minnesota

Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) and Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar) present Automated Legal Guidance, 106 Cornell L. Rev. 179 (2020), virtually at Minnesota today as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Blank and osofskyThrough online tools, virtual assistants, and other technology, governments increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to help the public understand and apply the law. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, encourages taxpayers to seek answers regarding various tax credits and deductions through its online “Interactive Tax Assistant.” The U.S. Army directs individuals with questions about enlistment to its virtual guide, “Sgt. Star.” And the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suggests that potential green card holders and citizens speak with its interactive chatbot, “Emma.” Through such automated legal guidance, the government seeks to provide advice to the public at a fraction of the cost of employing human beings to perform these same tasks

Continue reading

April 21, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Mehrotra Presents The Rise And Fall Of The 1970's VAT Virtually Today At Boston College

Ajay Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) presents Nixon's VAT: The Rise and Fall of the 1970's National Value-Added Tax to Fund Education virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

Graphic-MehrotraAjay_v2016-08-31Nearly 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 a glaring exception. Although the United States has numerous subnational consumption taxes, generally in the form of state and local sales taxes, our country has regularly rejected national consumption taxes.  This paper — which is part of a larger comparative-historical project exploring the question: “why no VAT in the U.S.?” — examines the rise and fall of a 1970s national VAT proposal aimed at funding education. During 1969 and the early 1970s, the Richard M. Nixon presidential administration considered several VAT proposals and eventually recommended the adoption of a national VAT to fund education.  While the education VAT had significant support among tax experts, policymakers, and social activists, it was eventually defeated in Congress.

Continue reading

April 21, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 16, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Wednesday, April 21: Ajay Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) will present Nixon's VAT: The Rise and Fall of the 1970's National Value-Added Tax to Fund Education virtually at Boston College as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

Wednesday, April 21: Josh Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) and Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar) will present Automated Legal Guidance virtually at Minnesota as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Kristin Hickman.

Thursday, April 22: Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Indiana; Google Scholar) will present Business Meals or Bust virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Thursday, April 22: Jill Horwitz (UCLA) will present No, Really, The Endowment is Not For Us: Endowment Restrictions and Crises virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Continue reading

April 16, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Gilson Presents Value Creation By Business Lawyers: Legal Skills And Asset Pricing Virtually Today At Oxford-Virginia

Ronald J. Gilson (Columbia; Google Scholar) presents Value Creation by Business Lawyers: Legal Skills and Asset Pricing, 94 Yale L.J. 239 (1984), virtually at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series today hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason:

Ronald_gilsonWhat do business lawyers really do? Embarrassingly enough, at a time when lawyers are criticized with increasing frequency as nonproductive actors in the economy, there seems to be no coherent answer. That is not, of course, to say that answers have not been offered; there are a number of familiar responses that we have all heard or, what is worse, that we have all offered at one time or another without really thinking very hard about them. The problem is that, for surprisingly similar reasons, none of them is very helpful. Clients have their own, often quite uncharitable, view of what business lawyers do. In an extreme version, business lawyers are perceived as evil sorcerers who use their special skills and professional magic to relieve clients of their possessions. Kurt Vonnegut makes the point in an amusing way. A law student is told by his favorite professor that, to get ahead in the practice of law, "a lawyer should be looking for situations where large amounts of money are about to change hands." Though this advice is hardly different from standard professional suggestions about how to build a practice, the reasons offered for the advice lay bare a quite different view of the business lawyer's function:

Continue reading

April 16, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Lawsky Presents Teaching Algorithms And Algorithms For Teaching Virtually At Utah

Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar) presented Teaching Algorithms and Algorithms for Teaching, 24 Fla. Tax. Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Utah yesterday as part of its Faculty Workshop Series hosted by Young Ran (Christine) Kim:

Graphic-LawskySarahB_v2016-08-04This article focuses on what it calls the “algorithm method,” a common method used to teach tax classes that presents students with unambiguous problems that guide students through complex statutes and regulations. The article describes a novel teaching tool created by the author: a website that randomly generates tax problems with objectively correct answers; multiple choice answers that reflect common errors that students make; and explanations for each answer that either respond to the underlying error or give a full explanation of the correct answer. 

Continue reading

April 16, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hemel Presents Law And The New Dynamic Public Finance Virtually Today At Duke

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Law and the New Dynamic Public Finance virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Hemel_danielThe “new dynamic public finance” literature has generated important insights for the design of tax systems and social insurance programs in recent years. But with few exceptions, legal scholars in tax and related fields have yet to engage with the dynamic public finance literature. That lack of engagement is unfortunate, both because insights from dynamic public finance can enrich legal analysis and because lessons from law can inform dynamic public finance research. 

This essay explores the potential for cross-pollination between law and the new dynamic public finance. It addresses the design of age-dependent labor income taxes, capital taxation, the taxation of intergenerational wealth transfers, and constitutional aspects of tax law. Three themes emerge. First, the dynamic public finance literature highlights circumstances in which tax interventions and legal technologies can be complementary. In these cases, the dynamic public finance literature may motivate legal scholars to refocus attention on decades-old doctrinal challenges.

Continue reading

April 15, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Christians Presents The Case For A Sustainable Excess Profits Tax Virtually Today At Indiana

Allison Christians (McGill; Google Scholar) presents The Case for a Sustainable Excess Profits Tax (with Tarcisio Diniz Magalhaes (Antwerp)) virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Allison_christians_2019 (1)Taxes designed to counter unsustainable behaviours that lead to environmental destruction are usually styled as surtaxes on purchase prices. It makes more sense to locate the source of the profits derived from such behaviours and tax them in order to internalize the environmental costs that are currently externalized to current and future societies. Since profit extracted by externalizing environmental risks constitutes economic rent, it could be taxed at high rates without creating inefficiencies. We propose a method for doing so in the form of a “sustainable excess profits tax”—a SEP tax. The tax base of a SEP tax can be constructed by using life cycle analysis methods to identify the portion of corporate profit that is attributable to the externalized environmental costs of production and distribution at all stages of supply chains.

Continue reading

April 15, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Blank Presents Presidential Tax Transparency Virtually Today At Stockholm University

Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) presents Presidential Tax Transparency, 40 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Stockholm University today hosted by Roger Persson Österman and Jérôme Monsenego:

Blank520Whether the public should have access to the tax returns of the President of the United States, and those who seek the office, is the focus of acute attention and debate. President Donald Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns throughout his campaigns and presidency has fueled multiple legislative public disclosure proposals. In March 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation as part of the For the People Act of 2021 that would require Presidents, Vice Presidents, and nominees to publicly disclose several years of their tax returns through the Federal Election Commission. Dozens of state legislatures have considered similar requirements for candidates who seek to appear on state primary and general election ballots. Proponents of these measures argue that public disclosure of tax returns could expose conflicts of interest, reveal the President’s and candidates’ annual tax liability and tax rates, and, most importantly, enable the public to observe whether the President or candidates have engaged in tax evasion, pursued tax shelters and other tax avoidance, and participated in audits or tax controversies with the IRS.

Continue reading

April 15, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, April 12, 2021

Alstott Delivers Pugh Lecture Today At San Diego On Child Care Reform After The Pandemic

Anne Alstott (Yale) delivers the annual Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law & Policy at San Diego today on Child Care Reform After the Pandemic: Towards a Public Option:

Alstott_anne_ala23-2017

This lecture will build on the work that Ganesh Sitaraman (Vanderbilt) and I do in our book, The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality (Harvard University Press 2019), to make four points:

First, child care should not be understood as a private responsibility, one to be met by market purchases by individual parents. Instead, we should frame child care as an important public investment – as we do in the case of public education and public utilities.

Second, we should recognize that the economics of child care doom the market model to failure: by treating child care as a consumer product, like Doritos or air freshener, we guarantee the trifecta of high cost, low quality, and poor working conditions. And tax-based subsidies cannot effectively cure these defects.

Third, there are existing models for a public option in child care, and many states, localities, and nonprofits have begun to take measures that we could extend. A public option has been proved to provide affordable care, verifiable quality, and sound working conditions.

Fourth, a public option will help us weather a future pandemic or public emergency, for reasons of high quality and public accountability.

Previous Richard Crawford Pugh Lectures on Tax Law & Policy:

Continue reading

April 12, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 9, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Monday, April 12: Anne Alstott (Yale) will deliver the annual Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law & Policy at San Diego on Child Care Reform After the Pandemic: Towards a Public Option. If you would like to attend, please contact San Diego Law Events.

Thursday, April 15: Allison Christians (McGill; Google Scholar) will present The Case for a Sustainable Excess Profits Tax (with Tarcisio Diniz Magalhaes (Antwerp)) virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Thursday, April 15: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Law and the New Dynamic Public Finance virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Friday, April 16: Ronald J. Gilson (Columbia; Google Scholar) will present Value Creation by Business Lawyers: Legal Skills and Asset Pricing (with Michael S. Knoll (Penn) commentating) virtually at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan or Ruth Mason.

Continue reading

April 9, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hemel Presents Regulation And Redistribution With Lives In The Balance Virtually Today At Toronto

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. ___ (2021), virtually at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Hemel_danielA central question in law and economics is whether non-tax legal rules should be designed solely to maximize efficiency or whether they also should account for concerns about the distribution of income. This question takes on particular importance in the context of cost-benefit analysis. Federal agencies apply cost-benefit analysis when writing regulations that generate multibillion dollar impacts on the US economy and profound effects on millions of Americans’ lives. In the past, agency cost-benefit analyses typically have ignored the income-distributive consequences of those regulations. That may soon change: On his first day in office, President Biden instructed his Office of Management and Budget to propose procedures for incorporating distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis, thus bringing renewed relevance to a long-running law-and-economics debate.

This article explores what it might mean in practice for agencies to incorporate distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis.

Continue reading

April 7, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Shay Presents Applying Section 265 To Address An Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy Virtually Today At Boston College

Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) presents Applying Section 265 to Address an Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

ProfileImage.img (2)This article considers whether gross income offset by deductions whose sole object is to exempt foreign income from U.S. tax (exemptive deductions), is a class of income wholly exempt from taxes for purposes of the deduction disallowance rule of Section 265(a)(1). The better analysis of the statute and regulation is that deductions (other than an exemptive deduction) allocable to income offset by an exemptive deduction are subject to disallowance under existing Code Section 265(a)(1). Allowing a U.S. shareholder deductions for expenses allocable to foreign income offset by an exemptive deduction would be an opaque subsidy for foreign investment. If permitted, the subsidy would advantage multinational over domestic businesses, shareholders over workers, and high income and foreign investors over other taxpayers.

Continue reading

April 7, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hickman Presents OIRA Review Of Tax Regulatory Actions Virtually Today At Florida State

Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents An Overlooked Dimension to OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Actions, 105 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes (2021), virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

Kristin-hickman-webIn April 2018, the Treasury Department and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement reversing an exemption and providing for the first time that significant tax regulatory actions would be subject to OIRA review under Executive Order 12866.  The transition to the Biden administration has raised questions whether the Memorandum of Agreement should be reversed and most tax rules and regulations again exempted from OIRA review.  Critiques of OIRA review in the tax context generally focus on disagreements over whether the benefit-cost analysis required by Executive Order 12866 is useful or should rely on different methodological assumptions.  This essay emphasizes instead the symbiotic relationship between OIRA review, benefit-cost analysis, and compliance with Administrative Procedure Act procedure and process requirements.  

Continue reading

April 6, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Buchanan Presents Social Security Is Fair to All Generations Virtually Today At Duke

Neil Buchanan (Florida; Google Scholar) presents Social Security is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger Americans virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Buchanan_Neil_500x500The Social Security system has come under attack for having illegitimately transferred wealth from younger generations to the Baby Boom generation. This attack is unfounded, because it fails to understand how the system was altered in order to force the Baby Boomers to finance their own benefits in retirement. Any challenges that Social Security now faces are not caused by the pay-as-you-go structure of the system but by Baby Boomers’ other policy errors, especially the emergence of extreme economic inequality since 1980. 

Continue reading

April 6, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, April 2, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, April 6: Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present An Overlooked Dimension to OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Actions virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Tuesday, April 6: Neil Buchanan (Florida; Google Scholar) will present Social Security is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger Americans virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Wednesday, April 7: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance virtually at Toronto as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Angeliki Zacharakis.

Wednesday, April 7: Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) will present Applying Section 265 to Address an Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy virtually at Boston College as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

Continue reading

April 2, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Galle & Shay Present Admin Law And The Crisis Of Tax Administration Virtually Today At Indiana

Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar) & Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) present Admin Law and the Crisis of Tax Administration virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Galle shayEven as the modern IRS is struggling to do its job,  guardrails around adopting tax rules have been evolving to make IRS action slower, costlier, more sclerotic. As administrative law scholars have long recognized, procedural rules favor the status quo over new rules. In the case of the IRS, they favor existing rules over updated or revised rules and non-enforcement over enforcement.  For most tax administration, we argue, this bias is more dramatic, and more damaging, than in regulatory areas where the public has some recourse when an agency is silent. These effects are sometimes called a bias in favor of “inaction.” 

When translated to tax, the law’s bias towards inaction becomes a tilt against revenue and against the poor.

Continue reading

April 1, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Grewal Presents Allocating Deductions To Tax-Exempt Income Virtually Today At Florida State

Andy Grewal (Iowa) presents Tax 202: Properly Allocating Deductions to Tax-Exempt Income virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn: 

2020_Grewal_Andy_Faculty (3)Through the CARES Act, Congress established a generous Paycheck Protection Program. Under that program, recipients would get loans which could easily qualify for tax-free forgiveness. As an added bonus, taxpayers would enjoy tax deductions when they spent the amounts they borrowed.

Or so it seemed. After the IRS issued a notice denying deductions PPP expenses, Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin personally reviewed the matter and decided that the IRS’s position followed from “Tax 101.” Congress eventually stepped in and offered a narrow statutory clarification: PPP expenses would be deductible.

Unfortunately, Congress did not go far enough. The IRS, with the blessing of some courts, has long used an aggressive interpretation of Section 265(a) to improperly allocate deductions to tax-exempt income, and thereby deny them.

Continue reading

March 30, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, March 29, 2021

Mann Presents Targeting Plastics Pollution With Taxes Virtually Today At Boston College

Roberta Mann (Oregon) presents Targeting Plastics Pollution with Taxes virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

MannPlastic pollution is a matter of increasing global concern.  In 2015, a report by McKinsey & Company stated that “the amount of unmanaged plastic waste entering the ocean has reached crisis levels.” Assuming a constant level of fish stocks, the weight of plastic pollution in the ocean in 2050 is projected to exceed the weight of the fish. The concern reaches all levels of government from the local to the national.  Solutions include plastic bag bans, taxes or fees on single-use plastics, incentives for reusable bags, and incentives for recycling.  Recycling has become a particular issue since early 2018, when China announced it would stop accepting imported plastic waste. Plastics pollution creates significant environmental externalities, such as harm to natural systems, greenhouse gas emissions from production and after-use incineration, and human health impacts from endocrine disrupters released when plastics degrade. Environmental taxation should be an efficient solution to the plastics pollution problem, if properly designed. 

Continue reading

March 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Field Presents Itemization After The TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined Tax Simplification Virtually Today At Florida

Heather Field (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar) presents Itemization After the TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined the Goal of Simplifying the Individual Income Tax virtually at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series hosted by Charlene Luke:

FieldAlmost 30 million fewer federal income tax returns with itemized deductions were filed for the 2018 tax year than were filed for 2017.  On the surface, that suggests that the TCJA’s itemization-related changes—specifically, the increase to the standard deduction and limits on itemized deductions—simplified the individual income tax system.  A closer look at the data, however, tells a more complex story.  Specifically, this Article uses federal and state individual income tax filing data from the 2017 and 2018 tax years to demonstrate that the TCJA’s impact on itemization rates varied from state to state depending, among other things, on whether the state obligated its taxpayers to make the same tax election (i.e., to itemize or take the standard deduction) for state purposes as the taxpayer made for federal purposes. 

Continue reading

March 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 26, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Monday, March 29: Roberta Mann (Oregon) will present Targeting Plastics Pollution with Taxes virtually at Boston College as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

Monday, March 29: Heather Field (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar) will present Itemization After The TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined Tax Simplification virtually at Florida as part of its Tax Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Charlene Luke.

Tuesday, March 30: Andy Grewal (Iowa) will present Tax 202: Properly Allocating Deductions to Tax-Exempt Income virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Thursday, April 1: Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar) & Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) will present Admin Law and the Crisis of Tax Administration virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Continue reading

March 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hickman Presents OIRA Review Of Tax Regulatory Activities  Virtually Today At Duke

Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Activities virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Kristin-hickman-webIn April 2018, the Treasury Department and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement reversing an exemption and providing for the first time that significant tax regulatory actions would be subject to OIRA review under Executive Order 12866. The transition to the Biden administration has raised questions whether the Memorandum of Agreement should be reversed and most tax rules and regulations again exempted from OIRA review. Critiques of OIRA review in the tax context generally focus on disagreements over whether the benefit-cost analysis required by Executive Order 12866 is useful or should rely on different methodological assumptions. This essay emphasizes instead the symbiotic relationship between OIRA review, benefit-cost analysis, and compliance with Administrative Procedure Act procedure and process requirements. 

Continue reading

March 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Li Presents Creating A Global Tax Regime With The OECD Pillar One Blueprint  Virtually Today At British Columbia

Jinyan Li (Osgoode Hall) presents Legal Challenges in Creating a Global Tax Regime with OECD Pillar One Blueprint virtually at British Columbia today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Wei Cui:

6a00d8341c4eab53ef026bdec1f1d4200c-300wi (2)Like the Internet connecting the computers of the world, a global tax regime created with the OECD Pillar One Blueprint seeks to integrate and standardize national corporate taxes in respect of automated digital services and consumer facing businesses of large corporations. In this article, the author considers the various legal challenges of creating such a regime.

Conclusion
The Pillar One Blueprint offers tremendous insights on the political aspirations and technical innovations of those involved. In this article, the author seeks to contribute to the debates about Pillar One by highlighting some general legal challenges that are animated from underlying political, fiscal and economic concerns at a national level. Since Pillar One requires a legal basis for implementation because the Inclusive Framework has no legal authority to address tax base creation or allocation matters, legal obstacles at national levels will likely determine the fate of reaching a global consensus.

Continue reading

March 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Tahk Presents Spillover Tax Precedent Virtually At Cornell

Susannah Camic Tahk (Wisconsin; Google Scholar) presented Spillover Tax Precedent virtually last Friday at Cornell as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

SusannahtahkWe know that pro se litigants often lose. However, we know almost nothing about the circumstances in which they win. One such circumstance, this Article finds, is when they can take advantage of favorable precedent. This Article calls those favorable precedents for pro se litigants “spillover precedents.” Spillover precedents are cases with redistributive downward ripple effects that subsequently benefit pro se litigants. This Article is the first to examine the potential redistributive effects of precedent. To focus the inquiry, the Article carried out an empirical study of Tax Court cases from 2015-2019 in which pro se litigants won. This analysis revealed the major role of spillover precedent. The Article details how pro se taxpayers use spillover precedent, describing major examples and identifying patterns in them. 

Continue reading

March 24, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Kim Presents Taxing Teleworkers Virtually Today At Florida State

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) presents Taxing Teleworkers virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn: 

Image (1)Since COVID-19 has forced many governments to restrict travel and impose quarantine requirements, telework has become a way of life. The shift towards teleworking is raising tax concerns for workers who work for employers located in another state than where they live. Most source states where these employers are located could not have taxed income of out-of-state teleworkers under the pre-pandemic tax rules. However, several source states have unilaterally and virtually extended their source taxation nexus on these teleworkers, resulting in unwarranted double taxation—once by the residence state and again by the source state. At this time, there is no uniform guideline by state or federal governments.

Recently, New Hampshire asked the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its original jurisdiction challenging Massachusetts’ telecommuting taxes of nonresident teleworkers. Tax scholars believe this case will be one of the most significant tax decisions in recent years. New Jersey also opposes New York’s long-standing telecommuting taxes under the “convenience of the employer” rule. This Article examines the constitutional challenges of maintaining pre-pandemic work arrangements for tax purposes, arguing that a source state’s extraterritorial assertion to tax nonresident teleworkers’ income likely violates the Dormant Commerce and Due Process Clauses.

Continue reading

March 23, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 19, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, March 23: Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar) will present Taxing Teleworkers virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Thursday, March 25: Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Activities virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Friday, March 26: Jinyan Li (Osgoode) will present Legal Challenges in Creating a Global Tax Regime with OECD Pillar One Blueprint virtually at British Columbia as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Wei Cui.

Continue reading

March 19, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Pistor Presents The Code of Capital  Virtually Today At Oxford-Virginia

Katharina Pistor (Columbia) presents Chapter 6 (A Code for the Globe) of The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality (Princeton University Press 2019) virtually at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series today hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason:

Code of Capital 3Capital is the defining feature of modern economies, yet most people have no idea where it actually comes from. What is it, exactly, that transforms mere wealth into an asset that automatically creates more wealth? The Code of Capital explains how capital is created behind closed doors in the offices of private attorneys, and why this little-known fact is one of the biggest reasons for the widening wealth gap between the holders of capital and everybody else.

In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital—and lawyers are the keepers of the code. Pistor describes how they pick and choose among different legal systems and legal devices for the ones that best serve their clients’ needs, and how techniques that were first perfected centuries ago to code landholdings as capital are being used today to code stocks, bonds, ideas, and even expectations—assets that exist only in law.

Continue reading

March 19, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tedds Presents Reforms For A More Just Society  Virtually Today At British Columbia

Lindsay Tedds (Calgary; Google Scholar) presents Covering All the Basics: Reforms for a More Just Society (with David A. Green (British Columbia; Google Scholar) & Jonathan Rhys Kesselman (Simon Fraser)) virtually at British Columbia today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Wei Cui:

Lindsaytedds2016On July 3, 2018, the Government of British Columbia announced the creation of an expert committee to “test the feasibility of a basic income in BC and help find ways to make life better for British Columbians.” The expert committee followed a two year consultation process on poverty reduction in BC, legislative poverty reduction targets, and a poverty reduction strategy. Our approach to our task was two-pronged: to undertake a public outreach process, and to co-ordinate a comprehensive research agenda related to basic income in the context of the B.C. income and social support system. Our research program consists of over 40 research papers commissioned from over 40 Canadian researchers located at universities and institutes across Canada plus a few located abroad. On January 28, 2021 our final report and all input material was made public. Dr. Tedds will join us to walk through the work of the panel, its findings, and its main recommendations.

Executive Summary

Continue reading

March 19, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Wilking Presents Who Bears The Cost Of A Change In Remittance Policy?: Evidence From Amazon's Voluntary Collection Agreements Virtually Today At Indiana

Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) presents Who Bears the Cost of a Change in Remittance Policy?: Evidence from Amazon's Voluntary Collection Agreements virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Eleanor Wilking 450x515 reduced (1)The South Dakota vs. Wayfair (2019) Supreme Court decision changed a long-standing difference in the way U.S. sales tax administrations treated online and brick-and-mortar commerce. Online retailers now have to remit sales taxes in most states. Despite the attention this decision received, we know little about how shifting the responsibility to remit from the consumer to the retailer will affect the tax system. Using states’ staggered adoption of Voluntary Collection Agreements (VCAs) which committed large online retailers to remit taxes prior to the Wayfair decision, we find that the increase in compliance resulting from these arrangements was almost fully passed-through to consumers via higher tax-inclusive prices. Consumers also reduced their online expenditures. However, we do not find strong evidence of an impact on the elasticity of the tax base. 

Continue reading

March 18, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Repetti Presents Equity And Efficiency In A Progressive Income Tax Virtually Today At Duke

Jim Repetti (Boston College; Google Scholar) presents Appropriate Roles for Equity and Efficiency in a Progressive Individual Income Tax, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 522 (2020), virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

ProfileImage.img (1)Increased focus on economic efficiency in formulating tax policy, at the expense of achieving equity, has resulted in decreased rate progressivity in our individual income tax. This decrease has exacerbated inequality.

There are several explanations for the intense focus on efficiency and reduced emphasis on equity. Predictions of efficiency gains from low individual income tax rates appear more certain than equity gains from progressive tax rates. Efficiency gains seem measurable, while equity gains appear intangible and unquantifiable. In addition, distributive justice, which underlies and shapes tax equity, exists in many abstract forms, some of which may not require progressive tax rates.

This Article argues, however, that the emphasis on efficiency is misplaced. Inequality imposes measurable costs on the health, social well-being, and intergenerational mobility of our citizens, as well as on our democratic process. This is corroborated by significant empirical analysis.

Continue reading

March 18, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Liscow Presents The Psychology Of Taxing Capital Income Virtually Today In California

Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar) presents The Psychology of Taxing Capital Income: Evidence from a Survey Experiment on the Realization Rule (with Edward Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar)) virtually in California today as part of the San Diego-Davis-Hastings Tax Law Speaker Series:

Liscow_zachary-webThe realization rule is central to income tax law, but often decreases the efficiency, equity, and simplicity of the system. Given these problems, it is surprising that we do not have a good explanation for why the rule exists for liquid assets. Scholars have long speculated about the role of the public’s views here, but little is known empirically about them. We conduct the first survey experiment to understand the psychology of taxing gains on unsold assets.

We have three main findings. First, respondents strongly prefer to wait to tax gains until sale: 75% to 25%. This lack of support persists and seems strengthened when looking across a variety of other policy framings. But the flip side is that there is surprisingly strong support for taxing assets at sale or transfer, including death, in places where current law excludes gains. Second, views barely change when participants are randomly given videos explaining the pros and cons of taxing before sale, though the pro and con treatments have large effects individually.

Continue reading

March 17, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Singer Presents The Due Diligence Defence For Director’s Liability In Tax Law Virtually Today At Toronto

Samuel Singer (Ottawa; Google Scholar) presents Critically Analyzing the “Reasonably Prudent Person”: The Due Diligence Defence for Director’s Liability in Tax Law (with Morena Cheng (Blake, Cassels & Graydon, Calgary)) virtually at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Samuel_singer_photo_for_websiteIn Canadian tax law, directors who face liability for corporate debts may invoke the due diligence defence. A successful defence must demonstrate that the director exercised the degree of care, diligence, and skill that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in comparable circumstances. Following the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Peoples Department Stores Inc. (Trustee of) v Peoples, the Federal Court of Appeal in Buckingham v The Queen held that the due diligence defence is an objective standard. This article critically analyzes the reasonably prudent person test in tax law after Buckingham. It argues that while the objective standard is presented as a neutral test, the degree of care, diligence, and skill that corporate directors can exercise is significantly influenced by their socioeconomic conditions and personal circumstances. The article draws on a case law review to demonstrate the ongoing and sometimes inconsistent consideration of the personal and socioeconomic circumstances of a director. Directors may experience differential treatment depending on which comparable circumstances the courts consider when applying the reasonably prudent standard. 

Continue reading

March 17, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Field Presents Itemization After The TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined Tax Simplification Virtually Today At Florida State

Heather Field (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar) presents Itemization After the TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined the Goal of Simplifying the Individual Income Tax virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

FieldAlmost 30 million fewer federal income tax returns with itemized deductions were filed for the 2018 tax year than were filed for 2017.  On the surface, that suggests that the TCJA’s itemization-related changes—specifically, the increase to the standard deduction and limits on itemized deductions—simplified the individual income tax system.  A closer look at the data, however, tells a more complex story.  Specifically, this Article uses federal and state individual income tax filing data from the 2017 and 2018 tax years to demonstrate that the TCJA’s impact on itemization rates varied from state to state depending, among other things, on whether the state obligated its taxpayers to make the same tax election (i.e., to itemize or take the standard deduction) for state purposes as the taxpayer made for federal purposes. 

Drawing on insights from the data analysis, this Article argues that (1) the TCJA’s itemization-related changes did not result in nearly as much simplification for individual taxpayers as the federal itemization data alone would suggest, (2) state income tax laws complicated federal tax administration by causing some taxpayers to continue to itemize for federal purposes post-TCJA even though their federal itemized deductions were less than the federal standard deduction, and (3) the TCJA’s itemization-related changes (to federal tax law) complicated tax administration for some state tax authorities, even in states with income tax laws that largely conform to federal income tax laws.

Continue reading

March 16, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 12, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, March 16: Heather Field (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar) will present Itemization After the TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined the Goal of Simplifying the Individual Income Tax virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Wednesday, March 17: Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar) will present The Psychology of Taxing Capital Income: Evidence from a Survey Experiment on the Realization Rule (with Edward Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar)) virtually in California as part of the San Diego-Davis-Hastings Tax Law Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact San Diego Law Events.

Wednesday, March 17: Samuel Singer (Ottawa; Google Scholar) will present Critically Analyzing the “Reasonably Prudent Person”: The Due Diligence Defence for Director’s Liability in Tax Law (with Morena Cheng (Blake, Cassels & Graydon, Calgary)) virtually at Toronto as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Angeliki Zacharakis.

Thursday, March 18: Jim Repetti (Boston College; Google Scholar) will present Appropriate Roles for Equity and Efficiency in a Progressive Individual Income Tax virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Thursday, March 18: Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) will present Who Bears the Cost of a Change in Remittance Policy?: Evidence from Amazon's Voluntary Collection Agreements virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Friday, March 19: Katharina Pistor (Columbia) will present Chapter 6 of The Code of Capital virtually at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan or Ruth Mason.

Friday, March 19: Lindsay Tedds (Calgary; Google Scholar) will present Covering All the Basics; Reforms for a More Just Society (with David A. Green (British Columbia; Google Scholar) & Jonathan Rhys Kesselman (Simon Fraser)) virtually at British Columbia as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Wei Cui.

Continue reading

March 12, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Lennard Presents The Role Of The United Nations In Tax Norm Shaping Virtually Today At British Columbia

Michael Lennard (Chief, International Tax Cooperation and Trade, Financing for Development Office, United Nations) presents The Role of the United Nations in Tax Norm Shaping virtually at British Columbia today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Wei Cui:

LennardMr. Lennard will speak on the United Nations’ support for developing countries in their engagement with international tax policy issues. The talk will specifically address the topic of digital taxation, including the pros and cons and multilateral treaties, bilateral treaties (including the proposed UN Model Convention Article 12B), and unilateral actions, and ways for the international community to move forward. Mr. Lennard will also comment on other developments at the UN, including the recent Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel Report.

Continue reading

March 12, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Simkovic Presents Work Hours And Income Tax Cuts Virtually Today At Duke

Michael Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) presents Work Hours and Income Tax Cuts: Evidence From Federal-State Tax Interactions (with Eric Allen (UC-Riverside; Google Scholar)) virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Michael-simkovic-2020We investigate how income tax reductions affect work hours. Our empirical strategy relies on the fact that, in states where taxpayers can deduct federal tax payments from state taxable income, federal tax changes are dampened. We study 2003 tax reforms (JGTRRA) that dramatically reduced federal tax rates on dividends and capital gains, and moderately reduced rates on ordinary income. Diff-in-Diff analysis indicates that work hours decreased most among high income and wealthy taxpayers who were most directly affected by the tax reductions. The decrease in hours was larger for residents of states in which the effective tax reductions were larger. Conversely, we find possible evidence that larger ordinary income tax rate reductions in the 1980s, accompanied by effective tax increases on capital gains, had the opposite effect and induced an increase in work hours. These results suggest that the effect of tax reductions may depend on the type of income targeted.

Continue reading

March 11, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Li Presents Creating A Global Tax Regime With The OECD Pillar One Blueprint Virtually Today At Toronto

Jinyan Li (Osgoode Hall) presents The Legal Challenges of Creating a Global Tax Regime with the OECD Pillar One Blueprint virtually at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Jinyan-LI_NEWSROOMLike the Internet connecting the computers of the world, a global tax regime created with the OECD Pillar One Blueprint seeks to integrate and standardize national corporate taxes in respect of automated digital services and consumer facing businesses of large corporations. In this article, the author considers the various legal challenges of creating such a regime.

Conclusion
The Pillar One Blueprint offers tremendous insights on the political aspirations and technical innovations of those involved. In this article, the author seeks to contribute to the debates about Pillar One by highlighting some general legal challenges that are animated from underlying political, fiscal and economic concerns at a national level. Since Pillar One requires a legal basis for implementation because the Inclusive Framework has no legal authority to address tax base creation or allocation matters, legal obstacles at national levels will likely determine the fate of reaching a global consensus.

Continue reading

March 10, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Johnson Presents Federal Tax Ethics Rules And State Malpractice Litigation Virtually Today At Florida State

Steve Johnson (Florida State) presents Federal Tax Ethics Rules and State Malpractice Litigation virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

JohnsonIn addition to rules of professional responsibility applicable to the practice of law generally, some legal specialties have complementary ethical rules or guidelines tailored to the area’s unique aspects. In tax law, important additional rules include regulations promulgated by the Department of the Treasury to govern practice before the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax malpractice suits against tax advisors have multiplied in recent decades. As a result, incompetent or dishonest tax advisors risk incurring liability for malpractice damages as well as being disciplined under bar or government rules.

This raises the question whether the Treasury/IRS professional responsibility regulations should be doctrinally connected to the governing standard of care in tax malpractice litigation. That is, should proof that one of the regulations has been violated be considered evidence – whether rebuttable or irrebuttable – that the malpractice standard of care was not satisfied?

Continue reading

March 9, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 5, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, March 9: Steve Johnson (Florida State) will present Federal Tax Ethics Rules and State Malpractice Litigation virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series . If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Wednesday, March 10: Jinyan Li (Osgoode Hall) will present The Legal Challenges of Creating a Global Tax Regime with the OECD Pillar One Blueprint virtually at Toronto as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Angeliki Zacharakis.

Thursday, March 11: Michael Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) will present Income Taxes and Work Hours virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Friday, March 12: Michael Lennard (Chief of International Tax Cooperation and Trade in the Financing for Development Office of the United Nations) will present The Role of the United Nations in Tax Norm Shaping virtually at British Columbia as part of its Tax Law and Policy Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Wei Cui.

Continue reading

March 5, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Taite Presents Making Tax Policy Great Again Virtually Today At Florida

Phyllis Taite (Florida A&M) presents Making Tax Policy Great Again: America You’ve Been Trumped virtually at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 7.32.19 AMIn December 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) claiming it as the largest tax cuts in history. While the proponents of the TCJA claim this legislation provides tax breaks that benefit everyone, there are economic consequences that disproportionately benefit the wealthy to the detriment of the masses. Tax policy should benefit the majority of Americans, not just the elite. If we truly want to make tax policy great again, then we should go back to the very beginning when the tax base was primarily the responsibility of the wealthiest Americans.

An effective way to facilitate this shift in tax responsibility is to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for taxpayers with household incomes above $100,000 for a single household and $200,000 for a married household, indexed for inflation. Further, the estate system should eliminate I.R.C. § 1014 stepped-up basis provisions, reduce both estate and gift tax exemptions amounts and separate the estate and gift exemption amounts.

Continue reading

March 5, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Wilking Presents Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence From U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements Virtually Today At Duke

Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) presents Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence from U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements (with Yeliz Kacamak (Boğaziçi University; Google Scholar) & Tejaswi Velayudhan (Ohio State; Google Scholar)) virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Eleanor Wilking 450x515 reducedThe South Dakota vs. Wayfair (2018) Supreme Court decision changed a long-standing difference in the way U.S. sales tax administrations treated online and brick-and-mortar commerce. Online retailers now have to remit sales taxes just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts in most states. Despite the attention this decision received, we know little about how shifting the responsibility to remit will affect the tax system.

Using states’ staggered adoption of Voluntary Collection Agreements (VCAs) which committed large online retailers to remit taxes prior to the Wayfair decision, we find that the increase in compliance resulting from these arrangements was almost fully passed-through to consumers via higher tax-inclusive prices. Consumers also reduced their online expenditures. However, we do not find strong evidence of an impact on the elasticity of the tax base.

Continue reading

March 4, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Avi-Yonah Presents A New Corporate Tax Virtually Today At Indiana

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) presents A New Corporate Tax, 168 Tax Notes Fed. 653 (July 27, 2020), virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Avi-Yonah (2021)This article will argue that we should tax corporations for the same reason we originally adopted the corporate tax in 1909: to limit the power and regulate the behavior of our largest corporations, which are monopolies or quasi-monopolies that dominate their respective fields and drive their competitors out of business (the best example being Big Tech — that is, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft). But if that is the reason to have a corporate tax, it should have a different structure from the current flat corporate tax of 21 percent. Instead, the tax should be set at zero for normal returns by allowing the expensing of physical capital, but at a sharply progressive rate for supernormal returns (rents).

Conclusion
This article has sought to develop a new corporate tax that is appropriate for targeting rents earned by large, monopolistic, or quasimonopolistic enterprises like Big Tech. Its main recommendations are that normal corporate returns be functionally exempt by allowing permanent expensing for capital expenditures, but that supernormal returns be taxable progressively (up to 80 percent above $10 billion in profit) and on a broad base that (a) includes foreign subsidiaries, (b) disallows current R&D and interest deductions, and (c) limits deductions for stock-based compensation to value on date of grant.

Continue reading

March 4, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Sanchirico Presents Why The Optimal Tax Rate On Capital Is Zero … Or Very High Virtually Today At Oxford

Chris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania; Google Scholar) presents Why the Optimal Long-Run Tax Rate on Capital is Zero…or Very High: The Missing Explanation virtually at Oxford's Centre for Business Taxation today:

CsanchirJudd’s (1985) finding that the optimal long-run rate of tax on capital is zero—even if equity is an important social objective—has exerted substantial influence in academic and policy circles over the last quarter century [Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model]. Only very recently has it become clear that Judd’s zero-tax result rests on an implicitly adopted assumption about how savings responds to taxation. Working within the very same model structure, Straub and Werning (2020) demonstrate that the optimal long-term tax rate is positive and potentially large under an alternative equally plausible assumption. This paper attempts to fill a remaining gap in the literature by providing a clear explanation of what is driving results in both variants of Judd’s original model [Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited]. 

Continue reading

March 3, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Cauble Presents Questions The IRS Will Not Answer Virtually Today At Florida State

Emily Cauble (DePaul) presents Questions the IRS Will Not Answer virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

CaubleWhen a taxpayer plans to undertake a transaction and its tax consequences are unclear, the taxpayer can request a letter ruling from the IRS. The IRS issues numerous letter rulings each year. In 2020, for instance, the IRS issued 777 letter rulings. The IRS refrains from issuing letter rulings on certain topics. At the beginning of each year, the IRS publishes an updated list of the topics on which it will not rule. Many of the topics on which it will not rule arise in areas of tax law governed by standards where the tax outcome depends heavily on each transaction’s specific facts. This pattern is consistent with the IRS’s stated position that it ordinarily does not rule in certain areas because of the factual nature of the matter involved.

This Article suggests that a policy against ruling on fact-specific topics sacrifices an opportunity to rule on many of the very topics for which a letter ruling could be particularly useful. Because the fact-specific nature of a topic makes it ill-suited for generally applicable guidance, such a topic is a particularly good candidate for a letter ruling.

Continue reading

March 2, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, February 26, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Thursday, March 4: Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) will present Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence from U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements (with Yeliz Kacamak (Boğaziçi University; Google Scholar) and Tejaswi Velayudhan (Ohio State; Google Scholar)) virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Thursday, March 4: Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) will present A New Corporate Tax virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Continue reading

February 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink