Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Kleiman Presents Nonmarket Fees Today At Ohio State

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego) presents Nonmarket Fees at Ohio State today as part of its Summer Workshop Series:

Kleiman (2018)The public finance literature tells us that user fees will introduce market-like efficiency to public good provision. Meanwhile, criminal justice scholars note that criminal justice fees have run amok, causing crippling debt, undermining reentry efforts, and implicating civil rights and constitutional concerns. How can we reconcile these two literatures? This Article argues that it is precisely because criminal justice fees diverge from a traditional market-like structure that they have become so problematic. Specifically, because criminal defendants cannot consider the fee amount in their consumption of criminal justice services, consumer demand imposes no downward pressure on fee levels. The fees are thus allowed to balloon largely unfettered by the market-like restraints that apply to other fees. Absent market-like restraints, monopolistic agencies are free to pursue maximum fee revenue by increasing the fee level or the amount of services provided. Meanwhile, courts have diluted judicial fee requirements to accommodate increasingly creative user fee structures. These unbounded, nonmarket fees undermine agencies’ political legitimacy, lead to inefficient misallocation of public goods and services, cause exploitation of politically powerless groups, and impose significant human cost. The Article finishes by describing other fees that exhibit the same flawed structure, and by suggesting reforms to nonmarket fees.

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July 24, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax Analysts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Shobe Presents The Substance Over Form Doctrine And The Up-C At The IRS

Gladriel Shobe (BYU) presented The Substance Over Form Doctrine and the Up-C, 38 Va. Tax Rev. 249 (2018), to the Passthrough and Special Industries Group in the IRS Chief Counsel's Office on Friday in Washington, D.C.:

Shobe (2018)The Up-C is an increasingly popular form of IPO that generates significant tax benefits as compared to a traditional IPO. These tax benefits, which are the driving force behind the Up-C, have generally gone uncontested and are achieved by taking a form over substance approach to the Up-C for tax purposes. Governmental officials had never directly addressed the Up-C until recently when the SEC issued an interpretive letter (the Up-C Letter) condoning a substance over form approach to the Up-C for purposes of SEC Rule 144. As a result of the Up-C Letter, owners in an Up-C get the best of both worlds by inconsistently taking a form over substance approach for tax purposes and a substance over form approach for securities law purposes.

This Article analyzes whether this disparate treatment of the Up-C is justified from either a technical or policy perspective.

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July 22, 2019 in Colloquia, IRS News, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Grinberg Presents Corporate Profit Reallocation In An Uncertain Environment Today At Oxford

GrinbergItai Grinberg (Georgetown) presents Stabilizing 'Pillar One': Corporate Profit Reallocation in an Uncertain Environment at the annual summer conference on Taxing the Digitalised Economy: Closing in on Reform (program) today at the Centre for Business Taxation at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford:

This paper is about how the world reestablishes international tax order.

The paper focuses on the OECD’s work on profit reallocation and asks whether this multilateral effort can be successful in stabilizing the international tax system. The analysis centers on the current leading concepts for reallocating profit among jurisdictions under what is known as “Pillar One” of the OECD work programme. To analyze whether any Pillar One concept can be turned into a stable multilateral regime, it is necessary to specify certain elements of what a proposal to reallocate profits might entail. Accordingly, this paper sets out two strawman proposals. One strawman uses a “market intangibles” concept that explicitly separates routine and residual returns. The other strawman might be described, in current OECD parlance, as a “distribution-based” approach.

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July 5, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Columbia Hosts Tax Workshop

Columbia (2017)Columbia Tax Workshop:

Brian Galle (Georgetown, Law), The Tax Exemption for Charitable Property: An Empirical Assessment
Discussant: François Gérard (Columbia, Economics)

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University, Law), Theories of Tax Deductions: Income Measurement Versus Efficiency
Discussant: Michael Doran (Virginia, Law)

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham, Law), Unraveling the Tax Treaty
Discussant: Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama, Law)

Zach Liscow (Yale, Law), Toward Democratic Law and Economics: Moral Commitments & Inequality
Discussant: Jake Brooks (Georgetown, Law)

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May 24, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lederman Presents The Fraud Triangle And Tax Evasion Today At The University Of Lisbon

Lederman (2018)Leandra Lederman (Indiana) presents The Fraud Triangle and Tax Evasion today at the University of Lisbon:

The “fraud triangle” is the preeminent framework for analyzing fraud in the accounting literature. It is a theory of why some people commit fraud, developed out of studies of individuals, including inmates convicted of criminal trust violations. The three components of the fraud triangle are generally considered to be (1) an incentive or pressure (usually financial), (2) opportunity, and (3) rationalization. There is a separate, extensive legal literature on tax compliance and evasion. Yet the fraud triangle is largely absent from this legal literature, although tax evasion is a type of fraud. This article rectifies that oversight, analyzing how the fraud triangle—and its expanded version, the “fraud diamond”—can inform the legal literature on tax compliance. The article argues that the fraud triangle can provide a frame that brings together distinct tax compliance theories discussed in the legal literature, the traditional economic (deterrence) model and behavioral theories focusing on such things as social norms or tax morale.

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May 24, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cui Presents A Conceptual Defense Of The Digital Services Tax Today At NYU

Cui (2018)Wei Cui (British Columbia) presents The Digital Services Tax: A Conceptual Defense (reviewed by Kim Brooks (Schulich School of Laws, Dalhousie University) and Ruth Mason (Virginia)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Since 2018, the UK government, the European Commission, and several European national governments have advanced bold proposals for a new “digital services tax” (DST), with the aim of capturing profits earned by multinationals that reflect value contributed by users of digital platforms. I offer a novel set of arguments in support of the DST, which appeal to both efficiency and fairness considerations. In particular, the DST would allow location-specific rent (LSR) earned by digital platforms to be captured by the countries in which such rent arises. I argue that platform LSR is often hidden from view under the traditional international income taxation paradigm, due to that paradigm’s focus on physical presence, source of payment, and profit allocation among related entities. Moreover, that paradigm ignores a basic intuition about how rent accruing to mobile intangible assets should be assigned: when the deployment of a technology is non-rival with respect to multiple locations, it is both efficient and fair to assign any rent earned from the technology’s deployment with respect to a given location to that location.

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April 30, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Ventry Presents Free File: A Story of Agency Capture Today At Georgetown

VentryDennis J. Ventry, Jr. (UC-Davis) presents Free File: A Story of Agency Capture at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

The IRS Free File program and the Free File Alliance (FFA) harm taxpayers. Meanwhile, the IRS refuses to conduct any meaningful oversight over the program or FFA companies, thereby failing to protect taxpayers and exacerbating an already abusive program.Worse, Congress wants to make Free File a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code, obligating the IRS to partner in perpetuity with FFA companies and their abusive tactics. ...

Each year, I encourage my tax students to use Free File to file their federal income taxes. (I also encourage them to use CalFile, California’s truly freee-filing web-based software, for their California income tax returns and to avoid being upsold state filing services from FFA companies.) I also warn them about the upselling and forced arbitration and likely impermissible use and disclosure of their tax return information. Armed with this knowledge, they become savvy consumers of FFA companies’ purportedly free products. Also armed with this knowledge, they can report back and chronicle the abuses of the system, which they have done for years. This year was no exception. ...

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April 23, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei Presents The Making Of The § 199A Regs Today At San Diego

Oei (2018)Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) presents Beyond Notice-and-Comment: The Making of the § 199A Regulations (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)) at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speakers Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer:

Congress passes a highly transformative but hastily drafted legal reform. Who comments in the regulatory process, when, and what are the implications? In this Article, we study these questions by examining how the regulatory process has unfolded in the case of § 199A, one of the central provisions from the monumental 2017 tax reform.

We document the comments that went into making the § 199A regulations from the time of legislative enactment through the hearing on the proposed regulations. We show that many comments were made before the proposed regulations were issued and the official administrative law notice-and-comment period had even opened. We examine how Treasury explicitly considered these comments in the proposed regulations. And we explore how these comments and other engagements—which were not wholly transparent to the public—shaped the proposed regulations and the subsequent conversation in the actual notice-and-comment period. We also investigate the role of indirect public dialogue and comments received after the official close of the notice-and-comment period.

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April 23, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Greene Presents A Theory Of Poverty: Legal Immobility Today At NYU

GreeneSara Sternberg Greene (Duke) presents A Theory of Poverty: Legal Immobility, 96 Wash. U. L. Rev. 753 (2019), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

The puzzle of why the cycle of poverty persists and upward socioeconomic mobility is so difficult has long captivated scholars and the public alike. Yet with all of the attention that has been paid to poverty, the crucial role of the law, particularly state and local law, in perpetuating poverty is largely ignored. This Article offers a new theory of poverty, one that introduces the concept of legal immobility. Legal immobility considers the cumulative effects of state and local laws as a mechanism through which poverty is perpetuated and upward socioeconomic mobility is stunted. The Article provides an initial description and normative account of this undertheorized aspect of our laws and argues that in order to fully understand poverty, a more complete understanding of the relationship between law and poverty is needed.

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April 23, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Morse Presents GILTI: The Cooperative Potential Of A Unilateral Minimum Tax Today At Pepperdine

Morse (2018)Susan C. Morse (Texas) presents GILTI: The Cooperative Potential of a Unilateral Minimum Tax at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Dorothy Brown and Paul Caron and funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

Could the U.S. tax on global intangible low-taxed income, or GILTI, end the game of international tax competition? The GILTI tax is a unilateral minimum tax enacted as part as 2017 tax statute known as the TCJA. There is a long-shot possibility that it might save the global corporate tax. A robust global corporate tax in turn could support innovative new policy options such as the use of corporate tax revenue to further international social justice goals. The stakes are high. Is there any chance that GILTI could do it? ...

This paper proceeds as follows. Part I compares the GILTI tax to the U.S. deferral regime that preceded it, and describes the cooperative potential of the U.S. international corporate tax law after the 2017 Act. Part II explains the details of GILTI structure, which works as advertised if international tax systems conform with respect to timing, rate and base. Part III explains that taxpayers will attempt to disrupt the convergence of timing, rate and base. Tax administrators, in turn, will face the question of whether, and how, to pursue the possibility of harmonizing corporate tax systems in light of the tools offered by the U.S. international corporate tax law after the 2017 Act.

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April 22, 2019 in Colloquia, Pepperdine Tax, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Wilking Presents Shifting Tax Remittance Obligation From Rentors To Airbnb Increases Rental Prices Today At Georgetown

WilkingEleanor Wilking (NYU) presents Tax Incidence with Heterogeneous Firm Evasion: Evidence from Airbnb Remittance Agreements at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

How does assignment of the remittance obligation affect consumption tax incidence? In classical tax theory, the responsibility of transferring tax revenue has no effect on which party bears the economic burden of a consumption tax. I explore this prediction in the context of agreements between city governments and a large digital platform firm that shifted the obligation to remit hotel taxes from independent rentors to the platform firm itself. Using variation in the location and timing of such agreements, I estimate their effect on rental prices. My results indicate that shifting the remittance obligation to the platform increases after-tax prices, suggesting that consumers bear a greater share of the tax burden when the remittance obligation is shifted to a party with fewer evasion opportunities.

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April 16, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Manoli Presents Taxpayer Responses To EITC Correspondence AuditsToday At NYU

ManoliDayanand Manoli (Texas) presents Tax Enforcement and Tax Policy: Evidence on Taxpayer Responses to EITC Correspondence Audits at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Each year, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends notices to selected taxpayers who claim Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) benefits to request additional documentation to verify those claims. This paper uses administrative tax data to examine the impacts of these correspondence audits on taxpayer behavior. The quasi-experimental research design compares randomly-selected audited taxpayers to taxpayers with similar risk scores who were not selected for a correspondence audit. The results indicate that, in the years following an audit, there are decreases in the likelihoods of claiming EITC benefits and filing returns. Taxpayers with self-employment income at the time of audit appear likely to increase wage employment following a correspondence audit, while taxpayers with wage income at the time of audit appear likely to decrease labor force participation following disallowance of EITC benefits.

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April 16, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mason Presents The Tax Subsidy War At Fordham

Mason (2019)Ruth Mason (Virginia) presented The Tax Subsidy War, 69 Am. U. L. Rev. ___ (2019) (reviewed by Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) here) at Fordham on Thursday as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

In August 2016, the European Union dropped a bombshell: it would require Ireland to collect more than $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple under the Europe’s anti-subsidy rules. Europe’s tax investigations responded to suspicions that certain EU countries colluded with large U.S. multinationals to help the companies avoid other states’ taxes. Europe’s bold moves against U.S. companies provoked sharp rebukes from the United States, including threats to impose retaliatory taxes and claims that Europe abrogated tax treaties with the United States. 

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April 13, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Kamin Presents The Tax Rate Ratchet Today At Boston College

Kamin (2018)David Kamin (NYU) presents The Tax Rate Ratchet (with Ari Glogower (Ohio State)) at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

The 2017 tax legislation introduced significant preferences for business income and ushered in a new conversation on tax reform. The legislation cut the corporate rate and introduced the new Section 199A deduction for “pass-through” income. Many commentators criticized the design of the pass-through deduction and the legislation’s generally regressive effects but tacitly accepted or applauded the corporate rate cut as desirable response to international pressures. Then in early 2019, recently elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initiated a separate debate on progressive tax reform, by proposing a 70% top individual rate on taxpayers with the highest incomes. Leading progressive thinkers defended the proposal, arguing that a higher rate in this range would maximize revenues from those at the top of the income distribution and address economic inequality.

This Article bridges these conversations on the 2017 legislation’s new preferences for business income and the future of progressive tax reform,and introduces a theoretical framework for understanding their interaction.

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April 12, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thorndike Presents The Organized Tax Bar And The Dilemmas Of Professional Responsibility Today At Duke

ThorndikeJoseph Thorndike (Tax Analysts) presents 'Who Speaks for Tax Equity and Tax Fairness?' The Emergence of the Organized Tax Bar and the Dilemmas of Professional Responsibility, 81 Law & Contemp. Probs. 203 (2018) (with Ajay Mehrotra (Northwestern; American Bar Foundation)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

During the first six decades of the 20th century, lawyers in the United States grappled with their role in stewarding the nation’s tax system. As 19th century tariffs gave way to 20th century income taxes, legal professionals found themselves at the center of a complex and momentous transformation of the American state and its fiscal underpinnings. In the early 20th century, a subset of these legal professionals came to view themselves principally as “tax lawyers,” a previously unknown category within the legal profession. This process of self-identification also involved a certain amount of organizational creativity, and during the first four decades of the century, tax lawyers organized a series of ad hoc groups within the broader American Bar Association (ABA).

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April 11, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clausing Presents The Progressive Case For Free Trade, Immigration, And Global Capital Today At Loyola-L.A.

OpenKimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Open: he Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital (Harvard University Press 2019) today at Loyola-L.A. as part of a panel discussion with Jeffrey Atik, Kathleen Kim, Katie Pratt, and Ted Seto:

With the winds of trade war blowing as they have not done in decades, and Left and Right flirting with protectionism, a leading economist forcefully shows how a free and open economy is still the best way to advance the interests of working Americans.

Globalization has a bad name. Critics on the left have long attacked it for exploiting the poor and undermining labor. Today, the Right challenges globalization for tilting the field against advanced economies. Kimberly Clausing faces down the critics from both sides, demonstrating in this vivid and compelling account that open economies are a force for good, not least in helping the most vulnerable.

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April 11, 2019 in Book Club, Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Blank Presents Simplexity And Legal Calculators Today At Utah

Blank (2018)Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine) presents Simplexity and Legal Calculators (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)) at Utah today as part of its faculty workshop series hosted by Young Ran (Christine) Kim:

Automated customer service has become one of the primary ways in which consumers find answers to their questions, whether they involve airline reservations, medical insurance coverage or unresponsive home appliances. Federal and state tax authorities have increasingly begun to offer online decision-making tools that provide guidance regarding the tax law to taxpayers. Some online tools, such as the IRS’s “Withholding Calculator,” direct taxpayers to input wage information in order to receive confirmation of whether their tax withholding is adequate. More comprehensive online tools, such as the IRS’s “Interactive Tax Assistant,” ask taxpayers personal questions and then deliver answers on topics ranging from whether the taxpayer is required to file a tax return to whether the taxpayer is entitled to claim certain tax credits to whether a type of income is taxable. These online tools do not just perform mathematical calculations; rather, they attempt to calculate taxpayers’ legal consequences.

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April 10, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Bank Presents Manufacturing Tax Populism Today At NYU

Bank (2016)Steven Bank (UCLA) presents Manufacturing Tax Populism: Revisiting the 1962 Campaign Against Dividend and Interest Withholding at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

This paper, part of a broader book project on tax avoidance and evasion in the middle of the twentieth century, explores President John F. Kennedy’s proposal in 1962 to require withholding for taxes on dividends and interest. Kennedy was concerned about the shortfall between dividends and interest paid and reported, which had grown to about $3.3 billion. By extending the withholding requirement, Kennedy hoped to close what was considered one of the “major tax-escape routes for the upper-income brackets.”

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April 9, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gordon Presents Fiscal Democracy In The States: How Much Spending Is On Autopilot? Today At Georgetown

GordonTracy Gordon (Tax Policy Center) presents Fiscal Democracy in the States: How Much Spending is on Autopilot? at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

State governors and lawmakers frequently complain about Medicaid, pensions, and debt service crowding out other budget priorities. Academic researchers, credit rating agencies, and journalists have also taken note of this phenomenon. However, few analysts have sought to define state budget pre-commitments more broadly and measure how past choices may be constraining current decisions.

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April 9, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pratt Presents Making Tax Expenditures Work Today At San Diego

Pratt (2017)Katherine Pratt (Loyola-L.A.) presents Making Tax Expenditures Work at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speakers Series hosted by Jordan Barry and Miranda Perry Fleischer:

Federal Tax Expenditure reform is needed now more than ever. Repeated attempts to reform Tax Expenditures have accomplished little, however, in the last three decades. Enacting a federal partial-replacement Value Added Tax (VAT), such as the Graetz Competitive Tax Plan, could provide a catalyst for Tax Expenditure reform. The Tax Expenditure literature, including the literature on the institutional design of Tax Expenditures, assumes mass filing of federal income tax returns. The elimination of 120 million Form 1040s upends this background assumption and prompts reconsideration of the institutional design of Tax Expenditures.

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April 9, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Kysar Presents Unravelling The Tax Treaty Today At Pepperdine

Kysar (2018)Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) presents Unravelling the Tax Treaty, 103 Minn. L. Rev. ___ (2019), at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Dorothy Brown and Paul Caron and funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

Coordination among nations over the taxation of international transactions rests on a network of some 2,000 bilateral double tax treaties. The double tax treaty is, in many ways, the roots of the international system of taxation. That system, however, is in upheaval in the face of globalization, technological advances, taxpayer abuse, and shifting political tides. In the academic literature, however, scrutiny of tax treaties is largely confined to the albeit important question of whether tax treaties are beneficial for developing countries. Surprisingly little consideration has been paid to whether developed countries, like the United States, should continue to sign tax treaties with one another, and no formal revenue or economic analyses of the treaties has been undertaken by the United States government. In fact, little evidence or theory exists to support entrance into tax treaties by the United States, and examination of investment flows indicates the treaties may even lose U.S. revenues. Problematically, the treaties also thwart reforms of the antiquated and broken international tax system. The trajectory of the recent U.S. tax legislation illustrates this phenomenon.

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April 8, 2019 in Colloquia, Pepperdine Tax, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Satterthwaite Presents Toward a Signaling Account Of Voluntary VAT Registration At Florida

Satterthwaite (2019)Emily Satterthwaite (Toronto) presented Toward a Signaling Account of Voluntary Value-Added Tax Registration at Florida yesterday as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

In most jurisdictions, “small suppliers” (typically defined as businesses with annual turnover less than a specified “registration threshold”) are not required to register for, collect, or remit value-added tax (“VAT”). Registration thresholds typically are coupled with another VAT design feature: exempt small suppliers are offered the option to register. Existing studies have shown that, due to the ability to offer and claim credits for VAT paid on inputs, a small supplier’s likelihood of voluntarily registering grows stronger as it becomes more embedded in formal, VAT-registered supply chains. Recently, however, a novel explanation for voluntary VAT registration has surfaced: small supplier entrepreneurs may view voluntary registration as a way to secure reputational advantages. This paper explores the conceptual underpinnings of such an explanation for voluntary VAT registration through the lens of the costly signaling model (Spence 1973).

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April 6, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Brunson Presents Donor-Advised Funds And The Deferral of Charity Today At Indiana

BrunsonSam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) presents “I’d Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a [Tax Deduction] Today”: Donor-Advised Funds and the Deferral of Charity at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Gamage:

While donor-advised funds have existed, in some form, since the 1930s,116 Congress did not explicitly mention them in the tax law until 2006. Although a significant percentage of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 dealt with tax-exempt organizations, creating the private foundation regime, it allowed donor-advised funds to slip through the cracks. As a result, donor-advised funds managed slip between regimes, enjoying the more-generous treatment available to public charities while acting in many ways like private foundations.

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April 4, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Avi-Yonah Presents Bridging The Red-Blue Divide: A Proposal For U.S. Regional Tax Relief Today At Duke

Avi-YonahReuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) presents Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: A Proposal for U.S. Regional Tax Relief (with Orli Avi-Yonah (Catholic Social Services, Washtenaw County), Nir Fishbien (S.J.D. 2019, Michigan) & Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2019, Michigan) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Most large federal countries have explicit ways to reduce the economic disparities between more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize their spending capacity. While the overall impact of the federal tax and transfer system may be to shift revenues from richer to poorer states, this is not acknowledged and to the extent it is discussed in the literature it is generally condemned as unfair to the states that send more revenues to Washington than they get back in federal transfer payments. Nor is it politically likely that the US will adopt a formal fiscal equalization mechanism.

This paper proceeds from the normative position that the increasing gap between the richer and poorer areas of the US is a problem that requires federal intervention and that the federal tax system can play a role in that intervention.

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April 4, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Marian Presents The Making Of International Tax Law: Empirical Evidence From Natural Language Processing Today At NYU

Marian (2016)Omri Marian (UC-Irvine) presents The Making of International Tax Law: Empirical Evidence from Natural Language Processing (with Elliott Ash (ETH Zurich)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

We offer the first attempt at empirically testing the level of transnational consensus on the legal language controlling international tax matters. We also investigate the institutional framework of such consensus-building. We build a dataset of 4,052 bilateral income tax treaties, as well as 16 model tax treaties published by the United Nations (UN), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United States. We use natural language processing to perform pair-wise comparison of all treaties in effect at any given year. We identify clear trends of convergence of legal language in bilateral tax treaties since the 1960s, particularly on the taxation of cross-border business income.

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April 2, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Galle Presents How To Save Unemployment Insurance Today At Georgetown

Galle (2019)Brian Galle (Georgetown) presents How to Save Unemployment Insurance, 50 Ariz. St. L.J. 1009 (2018), at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

Unemployment insurance is almost universally recognized as one of a government’s best tools for fighting recessions, as well as an important source of relief for working-class families suffering temporary hardship. Unfortunately, as commentators and Congress have recognized, the U.S. system of financing its unemployment insurance program is seriously dysfunctional. Reform proposals, however, do not fully diagnose the causes of current failures. In particular, other commentators neglect the role of fiscal myopia in state officials’ failures to save for future UI needs. For instance, reformers mostly propose offering rewards or penalties that will take effect far in the future. These incentives have only small effects on myopic officials.

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April 2, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Avi-Yonah Presents Bridging The Red-Blue Divide: A Proposal For U.S. Regional Tax Relief At Florida

Avi-YonahReuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) presented Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: A Proposal for U.S. Regional Tax Relief (with Orli Avi-Yonah (Catholic Social Services, Washtenaw County), Nir Fishbien (S.J.D. 2019, Michigan) & Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2019, Michigan) at Florida yesterday as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

Most large federal countries have explicit ways to reduce the economic disparities between more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize their spending capacity. While the overall impact of the federal tax and transfer system may be to shift revenues from richer to poorer states, this is not acknowledged and to the extent it is discussed in the literature it is generally condemned as unfair to the states that send more revenues to Washington than they get back in federal transfer payments. Nor is it politically likely that the US will adopt a formal fiscal equalization mechanism.

This paper proceeds from the normative position that the increasing gap between the richer and poorer areas of the US is a problem that requires federal intervention and that the federal tax system can play a role in that intervention.

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April 2, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Faulhaber Presents Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? Today At Boston College

Faulhaber (2017)Lily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents Competing Over Competition: Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

In 1998, the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development both established bodies intended to curtail harmful tax competition. This Article argues that the past twenty years have shown the challenges inherent in having two separate international bodies working separately on the same project.

This Article outlines the work of both bodies in order to identify the differences between them. These differences include differences in membership, differences in the ways the bodies define harmful tax competition, and differences in the scope of their work, all of which can lead to different outcomes. Concerns about these different outcomes can in turn lead to one body setting the agenda or timetable for the other, despite their different members and concerns.

In an earlier article, I identified the “Luxembourg effect,” by which the involvement of EU Member States in international organizations can leads to the recommendations of these organizations being constrained by EU law, even when many of the organizations’ members are not EU Member States. This Article illustrates a different effect, where EU institutions are shaping the agendas of other organizations and undermining what is being done at an international level.

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March 29, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Narotzki Presents Code Section 304: The Gift That Keeps on Giving Today At Florida

Florida Logo (2017)Doron Narotzki (Akron) presents Code Section 304: The Gift That Keeps on Giving at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

One central focus of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was to encourage U.S. international firms to “bring back earning to the U.S.” In an attempt to achieve this goal, the legislation enacted new Code Section 245A, which provides for a 100% dividend received deduction (DRD) to U.S. corporations for certain foreign-sourced dividend distributions. Code Section 304 requires the reclassification of stock sales between affiliated corporations as dividends. However, for many years, Code Section 304 was not fulfilling the original “antiavoidance” tax policy that was behind its legislation, as is explained in this paper. Currently, the TCJA has created a unique opportunity to utilize Code Section 304 and Code Section 245A via a much more powerful tax-planning tool.

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March 29, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kamin Presents The Tax Rate Ratchet Today At Duke

Kamin (2018)David Kamin (NYU) presents The Tax Rate Ratchet (with Ari Glogower (Ohio State)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The 2017 tax legislation introduced significant preferences for business income and ushered in a new conversation on tax reform. The legislation cut the corporate rate and introduced the new Section 199A deduction for “pass-through” income. Many commentators criticized the design of the pass-through deduction and the legislation’s generally regressive effects but tacitly accepted or applauded the corporate rate cut as desirable response to international pressures. Then in early 2019, recently elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initiated a separate debate on progressive tax reform, by proposing a 70% top individual rate on taxpayers with the highest incomes. Leading progressive thinkers defended the proposal, arguing that a higher rate in this range would maximize revenues from those at the top of the income distribution and address economic inequality.

This Article bridges these conversations on the 2017 legislation’s new preferences for business income and the future of progressive tax reform,and introduces a theoretical framework for understanding their interaction.

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March 28, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Auten & Splinter Present Using Tax Data To Measure Long-Term Trends In Equality Today At Georgetown

Gerald Auten (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department) & David Splinter (Joint Committee on Taxation) present Income Inequality in the United States: Using Tax Data to Measure Long-term Trends  at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

Using individual tax returns, Piketty and Saez (2003) concluded that the top one percent income share at least doubled since 1960. But these estimates are biased by tax base changes, missing income sources, and major social changes. Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) addressed some of these issues by targeting the distribution of total national income. They concluded that the top one percent share increased by two-thirds since 1960 and doubled since 1980. However, broadening income beyond that reported on tax returns requires specific assumptions to distribute these additional income sources. This paper shows the effects of adjusting for technical tax issues and the sensitivity to alternative assumptions for distributing missing income sources. Our results suggest that recent top income shares are significantly lower and that there has been relatively little change since 1960, though a modest increase since 1980. The most important reason our results differ from Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) is our allocation of underreported income according to detailed IRS audit studies rather than proportional to income reported on tax returns.

Auten 1

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March 26, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hoopes Presents Is Tax Planning Best Done In Private? Today At NYU

HoopesJeffrey Hoopes (North Carolina) presents Is Tax Planning Best Done in Private? at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

We investigate the conventional wisdom that privately-held firms engage in more tax planning than do publicly-held firms. Private firms are believed to face lower nontax costs of tax planning relative to public firms, allowing them to engage in more tax planning. However, empirical evidence of U.S. private firm tax planning is limited, primarily because of difficulty in obtaining private firm data. We make use of detailed administrative data from the Internal Revenue Service, which covers virtually all U.S. public and private firms. Using a variety of tax planning measures, and contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence that private firms engage in more tax planning relative to similar-sized public firms in the same industry.

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March 26, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Blank Presents Simplexity And Legal Calculators Today At Pepperdine

Blank (2018)Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine) presents Simplexity and Legal Calculators (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)) at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Dorothy Brown and Paul Caron and funded in part by a generous gift from Scott Racine:

Automated customer service has become one of the primary ways in which consumers find answers to their questions, whether they involve airline reservations, medical insurance coverage or unresponsive home appliances. Federal and state tax authorities have increasingly begun to offer online decision-making tools that provide guidance regarding the tax law to taxpayers. Some online tools, such as the IRS’s “Withholding Calculator,” direct taxpayers to input wage information in order to receive confirmation of whether their tax withholding is adequate. More comprehensive online tools, such as the IRS’s “Interactive Tax Assistant,” ask taxpayers personal questions and then deliver answers on topics ranging from whether the taxpayer is required to file a tax return to whether the taxpayer is entitled to claim certain tax credits to whether a type of income is taxable. These online tools do not just perform mathematical calculations; rather, they attempt to calculate taxpayers’ legal consequences.

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March 25, 2019 in Colloquia, Pepperdine Tax, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Thomas Presents The Modern Case For Withholding Today At Florida

Thomas (2017)Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents The Modern Case for Withholding, 53 U.C. Davis L. Rev. ___ (2019), at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series:

Who is responsible for paying taxes to the government? Currently, the answer depends on one’s employment status. Employees enjoy the luxury of not having to think about tax remittance during the year because their employers withhold taxes from their paychecks. Non-employees, on the other hand, face a much more onerous system. They must keep track of and budget for taxes during the year, make quarterly remittances to the IRS, and may face penalties for failing to do so. Although this regime has been in place for many decades, there are several reasons why reform may be in order.  

First, the independent contractor workforce is expanding, propelled in large part by the growth of the gig economy. This means an increasing number of taxpayers are earning income outside of employment that is not captured by withholding. Second, the rise of the Internet and other advances in technology has made withholding by third parties more efficient and less costly than was historically the case. Finally, advances in the social sciences have shed new light on why many taxpayers appear to prefer withholding and why it may serve to enhance overall welfare. 

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March 22, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Trier Delivers Lecture On Entity Taxation In The 2017 Tax Act At Temple

TrierDana Trier (Davis Polk) delivered the 2019 Frank & Rose Fogel Lecture at Temple yesterday on Entity Taxation in the 2017 Legislation: Process and Policy:

The 2017 tax legislation was shaped not only by the policy objectives that animated it but also by the unusual process that produced it. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in the U.S. Treasury, Mr. Trier participated in the production of that legislation and will offer his thoughts on the forces that shaped the tax law that we have today, focusing on specific provisions, such as the so-called “pass-through deduction” that has dramatically changed the taxation of some personal service income. Mr. Trier has now returned to private practice and is Counsel at Davis Polk and Wardwell in New York City.

March 22, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fox Presents Sharp Lines And Sliding Scales In Tax Law Today At Duke

FoxEdward Fox (Michigan) presents Sharp Lines And Sliding Scales In Tax Law (with Jacob Goldin (Stanford)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

The law is full of sharp lines, where small changes in one’s circumstances lead to significant changes in legal treatment. In many cases, a sharp line can be smoothed out by replacing it with a sliding scale. Under a sliding scale, small changes in one’s circumstances lead to small changes in legal treatment. In this paper, we study the policy choice between sharp lines and sliding scales in tax law, focusing particularly on concerns related to efficiency, complexity, and administration. Sharp lines are dominant in tax law, especially for classifications that depend on factors other income. We argue that this dominance is unwarranted; sliding scales are often feasible in practice and better serve a variety of tax policy goals. We illustrate our claims with examples drawn from diverse areas of tax law.

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March 21, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Faulhaber Presents Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? Today At Indiana

Faulhaber (2017)Lily Faulhaber (Georgetown) presents Competing Over Competition: Who Decides What Tax Practices Are Harmful? at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by David Gamage:

In 1998, the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development both established bodies intended to curtail harmful tax competition. This Article argues that the past twenty years have shown the challenges inherent in having two separate international bodies working separately on the same project.

This Article outlines the work of both bodies in order to identify the differences between them. These differences include differences in membership, differences in the ways the bodies define harmful tax competition, and differences in the scope of their work, all of which can lead to different outcomes. Concerns about these different outcomes can in turn lead to one body setting the agenda or timetable for the other, despite their different members and concerns.

In an earlier article, I identified the “Luxembourg effect,” by which the involvement of EU Member States in international organizations can leads to the recommendations of these organizations being constrained by EU law, even when many of the organizations’ members are not EU Member States. This Article illustrates a different effect, where EU institutions are shaping the agendas of other organizations and undermining what is being done at an international level.

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March 21, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wilking Presents Shifting Tax Remittance Obligation From Rentors To Airbnb Increases Rental Prices Today At UCLA

WilkingEleanor Wilking (NYU) presents Tax Incidence with Heterogeneous Firm Evasion: Evidence from Airbnb Remittance Agreements at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh:

How does assignment of the remittance obligation affect consumption tax incidence? In classical tax theory, the responsibility of transferring tax revenue has no effect on which party bears the economic burden of a consumption tax. I explore this prediction in the context of agreements between city governments and a large digital platform firm that shifted the obligation to remit hotel taxes from independent rentors to the platform firm itself. Using variation in the location and timing of such agreements, I estimate their effect on rental prices. My results indicate that shifting the remittance obligation to the platform increases after-tax prices, suggesting that consumers bear a greater share of the tax burden when the remittance obligation is shifted to a party with fewer evasion opportunities.

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March 20, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Glogower Presents The Tax Rate Ratchet Today At Georgetown

Glogower (2016)Ari Glogower (Ohio State) presents The Tax Rate Ratchet (with David Kamin (NYU)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

The 2017 tax legislation introduced significant preferences for business income and ushered in a new conversation on tax reform. The legislation cut the corporate rate and introduced the new Section 199A deduction for “pass-through” income. Many commentators criticized the design of the pass-through deduction and the legislation’s generally regressive effects but tacitly accepted or applauded the corporate rate cut as desirable response to international pressures. Then in early 2019, recently elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initiated a separate debate on progressive tax reform, by proposing a 70% top individual rate on taxpayers with the highest incomes. Leading progressive thinkers defended the proposal, arguing that a higher rate in this range would maximize revenues from those at the top of the income distribution and address economic inequality.

This Article bridges these conversations on the 2017 legislation’s new preferences for business income and the future of progressive tax reform,and introduces a theoretical framework for understanding their interaction.

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March 19, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Yin Presents Stanley Surrey And The Tax Legislative Process Today At Boston College

Yin (2015)George Yin (Virginia) presents Who Speaks for Tax Equity and Tax Fairness: Stanley Surrey and the Tax Legislative Process at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu-Yi Oei:

This article examines and assesses Stanley Surrey’s view of the federal tax legislative process. One of the most influential tax professionals of the twentieth century, Surrey is likely best known for his advocacy of specific tax policy ideas. But Surrey saw legislation as the prime route for adoption of most of his ideas, and he thus focused and provided many commentaries on the tax legislative process. He drew on extensive experience with the process, serving two lengthy terms (almost 20 years) in the Treasury Department, and remaining closely involved with it throughout his academic years.

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March 15, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Holderness Presents Navigating 21st Century Tax Jurisdiction Today At Temple

Holderness (2017)Hayes Holderness (Richmond) presents Navigating 21st Century Tax Jurisdiction at Temple today as part of its Faculty Colloquium Series:

Hailed as a massive victory for the states, the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair brought dated state tax jurisdiction standards into the twenty-first century, freeing the states to tax internet vendors. However, the decision left the larger state tax jurisdiction doctrine undertheorized and at a crossroads: should the doctrine concern itself only with notice and fairness issues akin to those found in the due process personal jurisdiction realm, or should it also concern itself with protecting interstate commerce from undue state tax burdens?

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March 14, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Grewal Presents The President's Tax Returns Today At UCLA

Grewal (2019)Andy Grewal (Iowa) presents The President's Tax Returns at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Jason Oh:

For around 40 years, U.S. Presidents and major-party Presidential candidates have publicly released their personal income tax returns. However, during the last election cycle, candidate Donald Trump broke from this recent tradition and did not disclose them. This nondisclosure ultimately did not imperil his candidacy, and he became the 45th President of the United States.

But calls for the President’s tax returns have continued. Many Democratic legislators believe that the President’s tax returns could contain important information related to his apparent conflicts of interest and his foreign connections. However, for the last two years, the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives declined to pursue those returns.

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March 13, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mehrotra Presents T.S. Adams And The Beginning Of The Value-Added Tax Today At Toronto

Mehrotra (2017)Ajay Mehotra (American Bar Foundation; Northwestern) presents Economic Expertise, Democratic Constraints, and the Historical Irony of U.S. Tax Policy: Thomas S. Adams and the Beginnings of the Value-Added Tax at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

When one examines how modern nation-states generate public revenue, the United States quickly emerges as a striking outlier compared to other advanced industrialized countries. Even a cursory review of statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that the United States is out of step with the rest of the developed world in the amount, and the way, it raises tax revenue. One reason for this apparent American tax exceptionalism is the absence of a U.S. national consumption tax. Whereas nearly all other OECD countries have a national consumption tax, frequently in the form of a value-added tax (VAT), the United States remains one of the few countries without a consumption tax at the federal level. This project explores how and why the United States has historically rejected national consumption taxes.

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

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March 13, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Homonoff Presents Program Recertification Costs: Evidence From SNAP Today At NYU

HomonoffTatiana Homonoff (NYU) presents Program Recertification Costs: Evidence from SNAP at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

We document low rates of recertification for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) which we attribute to procedural issues associated with the recertification process. We find that current recipients — who must complete a recertification interview by the end of their recertification month — are 19 percent less likely to recertify when assigned an interview date at the end rather than at the beginning of the month. The results persist when conditioning on eligibility and are larger for long-term recipients and households with children, suggesting hassle costs associated with later interview dates worsen targeting efficiency both in terms of eligibility and need.

Conclusion. In this paper, we demonstrate that administrative burden associated with the SNAP recertification process leads to significantly lower rates of recertification success. Cases that are randomly assigned to initial interview dates at the beginning of the recertification month are 19 percent more likely to recertify than cases assigned to interviews at the end of the month. Our estimates are unchanged when conditioning on likely eligibility for the program. Such large differences in recertification success are particularly surprising given the ease with which cases may reschedule their assigned date. We find that the vast majority of the cases who fail recertification as a result of interview assignment successfully reapply for the program within the 90 days post-recertification, though we also find a small but significant effect of interview assignment on the likelihood of remaining off the program for over 90 days despite maintained eligibility. Additionally, the decrease in administrative costs associated with cases that churn more than offset the increase in costs of increased benefit distribution for these cases. While current federal law requires that SNAP recipients must complete a caseworker interview to recertify, the scheduling and timing of these interviews is at the discretion of the counties meaning that our suggested policy could be implemented without a waiver or a regulation change.

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March 12, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Clausing Presents The Progressive Case For Free Trade, Immigration, And Global Capital Today At NYU

OpenKimberly Clausing (Reed College) presents Open: he Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital (Harvard University Press 2019) today at NYUTimothy Noah (Politico) is the moderator and Dan Shaviro (NYU) is the commentator.

With the winds of trade war blowing as they have not done in decades, and Left and Right flirting with protectionism, a leading economist forcefully shows how a free and open economy is still the best way to advance the interests of working Americans.

Globalization has a bad name. Critics on the left have long attacked it for exploiting the poor and undermining labor. Today, the Right challenges globalization for tilting the field against advanced economies. Kimberly Clausing faces down the critics from both sides, demonstrating in this vivid and compelling account that open economies are a force for good, not least in helping the most vulnerable.

A leading authority on corporate taxation and an advocate of a more equal economy, Clausing agrees that Americans, especially those with middle and lower incomes, face stark economic challenges. But these problems do not require us to retreat from the global economy. On the contrary, she shows, an open economy overwhelmingly helps. International trade makes countries richer, raises living standards, benefits consumers, and brings nations together. Global capital mobility helps both borrowers and lenders. International business improves efficiency and fosters innovation. And immigration remains one of America’s greatest strengths, as newcomers play an essential role in economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Closing the door to the benefits of an open economy would cause untold damage. Instead, Clausing outlines a progressive agenda to manage globalization more effectively, presenting strategies to equip workers for a modern economy, improve tax policy, and establish a better partnership between labor and the business community.

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March 11, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Osofsky Presents Beyond Notice-And-Comment: The Making Of The § 199A Regs Today At Duke

Osofsky (2019)Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina) presents Legislation and Comment: The Making of the Section 199A Regulations (with Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) )at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Congress passes a highly transformative but hastily drafted legal reform. Who comments in the regulatory process, when, and what are the implications? In this Article, we study these questions by examining how the regulatory process has unfolded in the case of § 199A, one of the central provisions from the monumental 2017 tax reform.

We document the comments that went into making the § 199A regulations from the time of legislative enactment through the hearing on the proposed regulations. We show that many comments were made before the proposed regulations were issued and the official administrative law notice-and-comment period had even opened. We examine how Treasury explicitly considered these comments in the proposed regulations. And we explore how these comments and other engagements—which were not wholly transparent to the public—shaped the proposed regulations and the subsequent conversation in the actual notice-and-comment period. We also investigate the role of indirect public dialogue and comments received after the official close of the notice-and-comment period.

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March 7, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morse Presents Government-To-Robot Enforcement At Utah

Morse (2018)Susan Morse (Texas) presents Government-to-Robot Enforcement, 2019 U. Ill. L. Rev. ___ (reviewed by Orly Mazur (SMU) here), at Utah yesterday as part of its Howard H. Rolapp Distinguished Visiting Scholar program:

Automated legal systems occupy a central place in the administration of most regulatory regimes. Examples include TurboTax, wage and hour software, and self-driving cars. These systems produce results which invite examination and adjudication on a centralized, ex post basis. This is revolutionary. It means that the content of law, which technically applies to individual regulated parties, is determined centrally by interactions between the government and firms that make automated legal systems. I call this trend government-to-robot enforcement.

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March 7, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Blouin Presents The Location, Composition, And Investment Implications Of Permanently Reinvested Earnings Today At UCLA

Blouin (2018)Jennifer Blouin (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania) presents The Location, Composition, and Investment Implications of Permanently Reinvested Earnings (with Linda Krull (Oregon) & Leslie Robinson (Dartmouth) at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Jason Oh:

This study estimates the location, composition, and investment implications of permanently reinvested earnings (PRE) reported in U.S. multinational corporations’ (MNCs) consolidated financial statements. Our first set of analyses suggest that firms’ PRE designations are motivated by both financial reporting incentives (i.e., tax expense deferral) and investment opportunities. Our second set of analyses find that domestic investment by MNCs with PRE is less responsive to domestic investment opportunities and more sensitive to domestic cash flow than firms without PRE, consistent with PRE indicating internal capital market frictions. We conclude that financial statement users could benefit from enhanced disclosures about foreign operations.

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March 6, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Hillier & Waerzeggers Present The Platform For Tax Collaboration: Offshore Indirect Transfers Today At Georgetown

IMF LogoChristophe Waerzeggers (IMF) & Cory Hillier (IMF) present The Platform for Collaboration on Tax: The Taxation of Offshore Indirect Transfers—A Toolkit at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Lilian Faulhaber:

The tax treatment of ‘offshore indirect transfers’ (OITs)—in essence, the sale of an entity owning an asset located in one country by a resident of another—has emerged as a significant issue in many developing countries. It has been identified in IMF technical assistance work and scoping by the OECD, but was not covered by the G20-OECD project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). In relation to the extractive industries, OITs are also the subject of work at the UN.

The country in which the underlying asset is located may wish to tax gains realized on such transfers—as is currently the case for direct transfers of immovable assets. Such treatment might reasonably be applied to a wider class of assets, to include more those generating location specific rents—returns that exceed the minimum required by investors and which are not available in other jurisdictions. This might include, for instance, telecom licenses and other rights issued by government. The report also recognizes, however, that gains on OITs may be attributable in part to value added by the owners and managers of such assets, and that some countries may choose not to tax gains on OITs.

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March 5, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reinhold Presents Does The Section 107 Parsonage Allowance Violate The Establishment Clause? Today At NYU

ReinholdRichard Reinhold (Chair, Tax Department, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, New York) presents Does the Parsonage Exemption in Internal Revenue Code Section 107 Violate the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment? at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Internal Revenue Code sec. 107(1) has long exempted from inclusion in income the rental value of a minister's church-provided home, or “parsonage” (with parallel relief being available as regards all religious denominations). A later amendment confirms availability of the exemption for amounts paid to defray ministers' costs for separately-acquired housing. See IRC sec. 107(2). Last year, a District Court in Wisconsin held the exemption for reimbursed parsonage allowances to represent a violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . ."). Gaylor v. Mnuchin, 278 F. Supp. 3d 1081 (D.WI 2017). The case was appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and that court's decision is expected imminently.

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March 5, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)