Paul L. Caron
Dean




Sunday, June 13, 2021

Kim Kardashian Fails California Baby Bar Exam For A Second Time; Her Score Dropped From 474 To 463 (560 Is Passing)

Following up on my previous post, Kim Kardashian Failed California Baby Bar Exam; Her 474 Score Was 'Extremely Close' To 560 Passing Score:  New York Post Page Six, Kim Kardashian Failed the ‘Baby Bar’ For Second Time:

Will the third time be the charm?

Kim Kardashian revealed that she has again failed the “baby bar” exam, during Thursday night’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” finale.

“I failed! F–k! I failed,” the 40-year-old, who is going to law school online, told her lawyers on the phone about her second attempt at the test. “This is really annoying.”

The mom of four said her score was “pretty much the same thing … [but] a little bit worse” than the first time she took it and failed.

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June 13, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Dorothy Brown On The ProPublica Tax Report, Racial Justice, And The Gig Economy

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[558 Downloads]  Ten Truths About Tax Havens — Inclusion And The ‘Liberia’ Problem, by Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Attiya Waris (Nairobi)
  2. [475 Downloads]  International Effective Minimum Taxation — Analysis of GloBE (Pillar Two), by Joachim Englisch (University of Muenster)
  3. [276 Downloads]  The Allocation of Taxing Rights under Pillar One of the OECD Proposal, by Aitor Navarro (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Google Scholar)
  4. [269 Downloads]  International Tax Law and its Influence on National Tax Systems, by Craig Elliffe (University of Auckland; Google Scholar)
  5. [249 Downloads]  Can Blockchain Revolutionize Tax Administration?, by Orly Mazur (SMU; Google Scholar) (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) here)

June 13, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, June 12, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

BigLaw First Year Associate Pay Rises To $200,000 $205,000

NY Times: How Long Should It Take To Give Away Millions?

New York Times, How Long Should It Take to Give Away Millions?:

Immorality 3The billionaires, former government officials and academics gathered in a Manhattan conference room to brainstorm solutions to a problem they had all been working on from various angles: how best to update the laws governing philanthropy, most of which were half a century old.

Over sandwiches, sketching their ideas out on whiteboards, they discussed donor-advised funds, a kind of financial way station that allows givers to claim all the tax benefits of donations upfront while leaving the money parked with large firms like Fidelity Charitable or Schwab Charitable or with large community foundations like the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Today, one out of every eight dollars bound for charities in the United States is channeled into a donor-advised fund.

The participants wanted, among other reforms, to ensure that money stashed in donor-advised funds, which had already earned those donors significant tax savings, ended up in the hands of working charities more quickly. But there was a general recognition in the room that movement would be slow and incremental, if it happened at all.

That was January 2020.

On Wednesday, the effort will make its way to Congress, where Senators Angus King of Maine and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa are introducing legislation to attempt a version of what the group outlined in that first brainstorming session: a way of ensuring that money promised to charity more quickly gets to the people who need it.

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June 12, 2021 in Book Club, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Applications From International Students Are Up 43%

Following up on my previous post, New International College Enrollments Plummet 43% Due To COVID-19 (Nov. 18, 2020):  Institute of International Education, COVID-19 Snapshot Survey Series: Preparing for the Future: The Path Forward for International Educational Exchange:

Applications and Enrollment of New International Students in Fall 2021
U.S. higher education institutions are motivated to reinvigorate student mobility after significant declines in 2020. Approximately 43% of responding institutions indicated an increase in their application numbers from 2020. This is in stark contrast to this time last year, when only 22% indicated growth. As of May 2020, over half (52%) of the reporting colleges and universities noted decreases in application numbers, whereas only 38% indicated a decline as of 2021. The remaining institutions noted similar numbers compared to last year. There were some differences by institutional type. For example, more than half of reporting doctoral universities (59%) noted an expected increase in applications. Conversely, most associate’s colleges (58%) reported declining applications.

International Students

Chronicle of Higher Education, After Deep Drops, International Applications Rebound, Survey Finds:

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June 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Cravath 'On Tax' Podcast: Kiran Sheffrin

The latest Cravath 'On Tax' Podcast features senior tax attorney Kiran Sheffrin:

Cravath on TaxKiran Sheffrin is a senior attorney in Cravath’s Tax Department. In this episode of On Tax, she talks to Cravath partner and colleague Len Teti about how she has always wanted to be a lawyer; the opportunities she pursued while a student at Brooklyn Law School (and how Rebecca Kysar mentored her); and how she has embraced her role as a mentor, guiding junior associates much in the same way that she was brought up at the Firm.

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June 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Friday, June 11, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Roberts Reviews New Papers By Hackney And Peck

This week, Tracey Roberts (Cumberland; Google Scholar) reviews new works by Allison Peck (West Virginia) Standard Oil, Consolidation Coal, and the Roots of the Resource Curse in West Virginia, 124 W. Va. L. Rev. ___ (2021); and Philip Hackney (Pittsburgh), Dark Money Darker? IRS Shutters Collection of Donor Data, 25 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2021).

Roberts (2020)In Standard Oil, Consolidation Coal, and the Roots of the Resource Curse in West Virginia, Allison Peck recounts the early 20th Century efforts of Morgantown, West Virginia lawyer, George C. Baker, to pave a pathway for the state to tax its coal, oil, and gas resources. Industrialists initially delayed legislative reform by persuading the legislature to employ a time-honored tactic: setting up a commission to study the matter. Imagine their surprise and chagrin when the commission proposed that the state, in stark need of revenues, issue licenses for extraction and tax the licenses based on volume of production. The commission described the tax as merely sufficient to offset the state’s costs from extraction activities: mine inspections (West Virginia’s safety laws were the nation’s weakest), miner’s hospitals (miners were frequently injured and died from mine collapse, explosions, and fires), the decline in value and harm to the land resulting from extraction activities, and deployment of state militia and national guard to put down civil unrest as miners sought to unionize and strike (a prescient consideration, given the scope of West Virginia’s mine wars from 1912-21). Despite this setback, the industrialists defeated the commission’s proposed bill in a special session of the legislature.

 

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June 11, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshop

Titus PresentsTax Policy For Developing Countries Today At The Indiana/Leeds Summer Zoom Tax Workshop Series

Afton Titus (Cape Town; Google Scholar) presents Tax Policy for the Future of Developing Countries: The Synergies Between Covid-19 and Automation virtually today as part of the Indiana/Leeds Summer Zoom Tax Workshop Series hosted by Leandra Lederman (Indiana) and Leopoldo Parada (Leeds):

TitusThe COVID-19 global pandemic has devastated economies around the world – an impact which is miniscule compared to the toll it has taken on human lives. Daring to see that something good may come from this tragedy, this paper argues that there are clear synergies to be drawn between the health measures required as a consequence of the global pandemic and the opportunities offered by automation and digital technologies. It is further argued that the tax policies adopted to check the impact of COVID-19 may be adapted to better harness the
potential prospect of improved productivity that automation offers.

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June 11, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Alstott Discusses Building A Law And Political Economy Framework: Beyond The 20th-Century Synthesis Virtually Today At The Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series

Anne Alstott (Yale) provides commentary on Jedediah Britton-Purdy (Columbia), David Singh Grewal (UC-Berkeley), Amy Kapczynski (Yale) & Sabeel K. Rahman (Brooklyn), Building a Law-and-Political-Economy Framework: Beyond the Twentieth-Century Synthesis, 129 Yale L.J. 1784 (2020), virtually today at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason. Here is the abstract of the article:

Alstott_anne_ala23-2017We live in a time of interrelated crises. Economic inequality and precarity, and crises of democracy, climate change, and more raise significant challenges for legal scholarship and thought. “Neoliberal” premises undergird many fields of law and have helped authorize policies and practices that reaffirm the inequities of the current era. In particular, market efficiency, neutrality, and formal equality have rendered key kinds of power invisible, and generated a skepticism of democratic politics. The result of these presumptions is what we call the Twentieth-Century Synthesis: a pervasive view of law that encases “the market” from claims of justice and conceals it from analyses of power.

This Feature offers a framework for identifying and critiquing the Twentieth-Century Synthesis. This is also a framework for a new “law-and-political-economy approach” to legal scholarship. We hope to help amplify and catalyze scholarship and pedagogy that place themes of power, equality, and democracy at the center of legal scholarship.

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June 11, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

ABA Tax Section Women's Tax Forum Hosts Zoom Tea Today With Angela Spencer-James

The ABA Tax Section Women In Tax Forum is hosting a Zoom Tea today with Angela Spencer-James (C-Suite Advisor, Global DEI Leader, and former EY Partner/Principal) at 4:30 PM ET:

ABAYou're invited to join the next Women in Tax Forum Zoom Tea! Take a 45-minute tea break with us as we chat on Zoom video with leading women tax lawyers from a variety of fields who share stories of success and struggle as we explore individual paths to professional and personal fulfillment.

We're thrilled to announce Angela Spencer-James is joining us in June! Angela is a senior business executive with a track record of success in leadership roles directing client and internal firm initiatives. Angela recently capped a 27-year career with EY (1991-1993, 1997-2020), including as Partner for more than 16 years using her technical tax expertise advising clients. As a Principal and leader in U.S. Federal Tax Consulting, she was also responsible for creating a successful tax business platform, including all aspects of general management, marketing, sales, product development, employee management, and P&L management.

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June 11, 2021 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Morse: The Quasi-Global GILTI Tax

Susan C. Morse (Texas), The Quasi-Global GILTI Tax, 18 Pitt. Tax Rev. 1 (2021):

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2021)The U.S. minimum tax on global intangible low-taxed income, or GILTI, suggests a broad way of thinking about the corporate income tax. GILTI is not confined to a narrow view of a corporate tax as a national tax. Instead it rests on a global, or at least quasi-global, foundation. A foreign tax credit mechanism allows other jurisdictions to collect tax on GILTI, instead of only allowing GILTI taxes to support the U.S.fisc. Also, Treasury guidance has narrowed U.S. claims to GILTI tax revenue. As both of these features suggest, the function of the GILTI corporate tax is not limited to collecting U.S. tax revenue. Instead, GILTI is set up to support goals such as regulation, redistribution and efficiency on a global as well as national scale.

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June 10, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

We Ran The Treasury Department. This Is How To Fix Tax Evasion.

New York Times op-ed:  We Ran the Treasury Department. This Is How to Fix Tax Evasion., by Timothy Geithner, Jacob Lew, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin & Lawrence Summers:

The five of us served as Treasury secretary under three presidents, both Republican and Democrat, representing 17 years of experience at the helm of the department. While we are not in agreement on many areas of tax policy, we believe in the importance of strengthening the tax system to do more to collect legally owed but uncollected taxes — which, left unaddressed, could total $7 trillion over the next decade. We are convinced by the strength of our experiences that more can be done to pursue evasion in the ways outlined by President Biden’s recent proposal to increase the resources and information available to the I.R.S.

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June 10, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Eyes Wide Shut: Using Accreditation Regulation To Address The 'Pass-the-Harasser' Problem In Higher Education

Susan Saab Fortney (Texas A&M; Google Scholar) & Theresa Morris (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), Eyes Wide Shut: Using Accreditation Regulation to Address the 'Pass-the-Harasser' Problem in Higher Education, 109 Cal. L. Rev. Online ___ (2021):

The #MeToo Movement cast a spotlight on sexual harassment in various sectors, including higher education. Studies reveal alarming percentages of students reporting that they have been sexually harassed by faculty and administrators. Despite annually devoting hundreds of millions of dollars to addressing sexual harassment and misconduct, nationwide university officials largely take an ostrich approach when hiring faculty and administrators with little or no scrutiny related to their past misconduct. Critics use the term “pass the harasser” or more pejoratively, “pass the trash” to capture the role that institutions play in allowing individuals to change institutions without the new employer learning about the employee’s prior sexual misconduct. This essay examines how and why the pass-the-harasser phenomenon arises and persists in postsecondary institutions, as well as recent changes two university systems and one state have made to deal with the problem. Although these efforts are commendable, experts recognize that the “pass-the-harasser” problem requires concerted action by institutions across the country. 

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Undergraduate Enrollment Plummets 727,000 (4.9%); Graduate Enrollment Rises 124,000 (4.6%)

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Spring 2021 Enrollment Estimates:

Higher education enrollment fell to new lows this spring, showing the persistent impact of COVID-19 related disruptions. Overall spring enrollment fell to 16.9 million from 17.5 million, marking a one-year decline of 3.5 percent or 603,000 students, seven times worse than the decline a year earlier. Undergraduate students accounted for all of the decline, with a 4.9 percent drop or 727,000 students. In contrast, graduate enrollment jumped by 4.6 percent, adding more than 124,000 students.

Chronicle of Higher Education, Spring Enrollment’s Final Count Is In. Colleges Lost 600,000 Students.:

Chronicle Undergrad v Grad

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Racial Disparities Persist In California Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 72%, Asian: 66%, Hispanic: 61%, Black: 31%

The Recorder, In New Bar Exam Data, Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist:

Black and Hispanic law school graduates saw marked year-over-year improvements in pass rates on California’s February 2021 bar exam, according to statistics released Wednesday by the state bar.

Thirty-five percent of African American test-takers who sat for the exam for the first time in February passed, up from 17.6% the previous year. The percentage of Hispanic test-takers who passed rose from 25.2% to 45.4%. The overall pass rate for first time test-takers was 53.1%

Despite the improved pass rates, a significant disparity still persists between white test-takers and applicants of color. Almost 69% of white test-takers who sat for the exam for the first time taking the test for the first time passed. [Pass rates for first-time test-takers from California ABA-accredited Law Schools were: White: 72.4%, Asian: 66.0%, Hispanic: 60.9%, and Black: 30.8%.]

CA Bar

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Iowa Seeks To Hire Entry-Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

The University of Iowa College of Law Associate Professor or Professor:

Iowa (2021)Position Description:  The University of Iowa College of Law anticipates hiring multiple entry-level or lateral faculty members in areas including tax, constitutional law, and a variety of other specialties. Iowa Law provides the ideal setting for professional growth as a law teacher and legal scholar. As a small school within a Big Ten university, we offer an environment that values community and civility, maximizes collaboration, and encourages exploration across legal fields. As a result, Iowa Law produces graduates who are grounded, collegial, and effective leaders. Iowa Law students learn how to work together and communicate clearly with one another—crucial skills in the legal profession. And as part of a world-class research university, our students and faculty can partner with experts across campus in fields as varied as engineering, the liberal arts, health care, and more—a significant advantage in preparing for legal issues that cross fields of expertise and global borders. For questions, please contact Faculty Appointments Committee.

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

ABA Approves Florida Coastal's Teach-Out Plan; Classes To End After Summer Term; Students Will Transfer To Or Attend Other Law Schools

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice of Executive Committee Decision: Florida Coastal School of Law Teach-Out Plan (June 2021):

Florida Coastal (2017)At a meeting on June 1, 2021, the Executive Committee of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Executive Committee”) considered the Teach-Out Plan submitted by the Florida Coastal School of Law (the “Law School”). After careful review of the Law School’s submission, the Executive Committee approved the revised teach-out plan filed on May 28, 2021.

The Law School’s accreditation will continue until July 1, 2023, for the limited purpose of allowing the Law School to receive credits from currently enrolled students earned as transient students at other ABA-approved law schools and to issue the Law School’s J.D. degree to such students who meet the Law School’s graduation requirements. The Law School shall not admit any students. The Law School will not offer any credit-bearing courses beyond the summer 2021 term.

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

House Holds Hearing Today On Minding The Tax Gap: Improving Tax Administration For The 21st Century

The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing today at 12:00 ET on Minding The Tax Gap: Improving Tax Administration For The 21st Century (livestream):

  • House LogoSteven Dean (Brooklyn) (testimony:  "In my testimony today, I will explain why a race-blind approach to tax enforcement produces bad tax policy. I will use three very different examples to show why leaving race out of the equation fails to prevent bias and how destructive that bias can be for everyone. Ignoring race doesn’t solve problems, it creates them. You have already heard from ProPublica that the ten most heavily audited counties in the United States are Black and poor. I will tell you how we can do better.")
  • Janet Holtzblatt (Tax Policy Center) (testimony)
  • Mark Mazur (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury Department) (testimony)

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June 10, 2021 in Congressional News, IRS News, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sarkar: Tax Law's Migration

Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis), Tax Law's Migration, 63 BC L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Tax law has long left poor foreigners in precarity. Despite the Supreme Court striking down nineteenth-century state laws taxing migrants upon entry, the tax system has nonetheless determined who deserved a place, and what sort of place, within our borders. That tradition continues when the tax system’s emergency relief deprives otherwise needy noncitizens, giving migrants a lesser place.

This Article sheds light on this phenomenon—“tax law’s migration”—engaging two underappreciated connections between immigration and tax law.

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June 9, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Dorothy Brown And David Cay Johnston Discuss Yesterday's ProPublica's Report On The Tax Secrets Of The .001%

Return To Campus Means Return To In-Person Faculty Meetings ... And That's A Good Thing

Chronicle of Higher Education, Come Back, Face-to-Face Faculty Meetings: All Is Forgiven!:

Before the pandemic, we used to laugh at the old saw that academic politics were so petty, and occasionally vicious, because comparatively little was at stake. Now we are not so sure. During the past year, some aspects of faculty life have been lost that — despite their admittedly comedic potential — are actually important. One of those things: the oft-maligned, face-to-face faculty meeting.

Academe relies on different sorts of faculty meetings. Most common is the departmental meeting, where faculty peers steer the direction of their field (“In what new area should we hire?”), decide governance matters (“Who should be the next chair?”), and make curricular decisions (“Should we redesign the capstone course?”). Some institutions hold meetings of their entire faculty — the town-hall model — to deal with governance issues or report on the state of the campus. Still others rely on an elected representative or faculty-senate model.

A year of remote connections — via Zoom or other digital substitutes — has forced us to admit that we miss all of the face-to-face versions of those gatherings. And here’s why:

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Federal District Court Rejects Linda Mullenix's Retaliation Claim Against University Of Texas Law School; Sex Discrimination And Equal Pay Act Claims Remain

Following up on my previous posts:

Texas Lawyer, UT Law Professor Can Continue Sex-Discrimination Suit, But Loses on Retaliation Claims:

A female law professor can keep suing The University of Texas at Austin for sex discrimination and allegedly paying her less than male colleagues, but Linda Mullenix has for the second time lost her arguments that she faced unlawful retaliation.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed Mullenix’s claim that the university retaliated after the professor said it violated the Equal Pay Act. In an order on Monday, the judge ruled Mullenix did not show enough facts for the court to infer plausibly that the university retaliated against her under the EPA.

Mullenix v. University of Texas, No. 1:19-CV-1203 (W.D. TX June 7, 2021):

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tax Policy Center Hosts A Virtual Conference Today On The Effects Of The Biden Corporate Tax Proposals

TPC

The Tax Policy Center hosts a virtual conference on What Are the Effects of the Biden Administration’s Corporate Tax Proposals? today at 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT (registration): 

The Biden administration is proposing significant increases in corporate taxes to finance investments in infrastructure and other priorities. Proposed reforms include a global minimum tax on book income and other changes intended to limit US multinational companies’ abilities to reduce US taxes by shifting investments and reported profits to low-tax foreign countries. To promote a competitive global landscape, the administration is concurrently working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to recommend its members adopt similar changes.

Join the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the University of North Carolina Tax Center for a virtual event, during which accounting, law, and economics experts will address the following questions:

  • How would a tax on corporate book income work, and would it be effective in preventing profitable corporations from avoiding US income tax?
  • What are the adverse effects of taxing corporate book income? Are there better ways to limit corporate tax preferences and reduce tax avoidance?
  • How would President Biden’s corporate tax plans affect investment in the United States and US economic growth? Are there lessons we can learn from the corporate response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?
  • How would President Biden’s proposals affect the competitiveness of US resident corporations, and can international agreement on a minimum tax be effective in limiting harmful tax competition?
  • What other desirable reforms to business taxation weren’t included in the administration’s proposals?

Keynote Address

  • Jared Bernstein (U.S. Council of Economic Advisors)

Panel #1: Should There Be a Tax on Corporate Book Income?

  • Dhammika Dharmapala (Chicago)
  • Michelle Hanlon (MIT)
  • Natasha Sarin (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Treasury Department)
  • Jeff Hoopes (University of North Carolina Tax Center) (moderator)

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June 9, 2021 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

8 Of 16 Standalone Law Schools Join National Association Of Standalone Graduate Schools

Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'Powerful, Collective Voice': Independent Law Schools, Standalone Graduate Schools Team Up to Build Lobbying Muscle:

NAGS STARThe new Association of Standalone Graduate Schools counts eight of the 16 independent American Bar Association-accredited law schools as inaugural members.

Law schools have faced no shortage of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but independent law campuses—those not attached to larger universities—have dealt with an additional hurdle: it has been more difficult for them to secure government relief funds.

That funding struggle lead to the formation of the first-ever coalition of independent graduate schools, unveiled this week. The National Association of Standalone Graduate Schools aims to improve federal funding for institutions that are not attached to undergraduate programs, streamline regulations at the state level, and serve as a hub of strategy and shared innovation across institutions.

The association was spearheaded by New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell and counts eight law schools among the inaugural 11 members. The other law school members are the University of California Hastings College of the Law, Brooklyn Law School, South Texas College of Law Houston, California Western School of Law, Appalachian School of Law, New England Law Boston and Vermont Law School. The three non-law school members are the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Relay Graduate School of Education and the Erikson Institute, a Chicago graduate program that focuses on early childhood education. Organizers said they expect the roster of member institutions to expand in the coming months. ...

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-Irvine Law Review 10th Anniversary Edition

Tenth Anniversary Special Edition, 10 UC Irvine L. Rev. 315-496 (2020):

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Meet The Authors Today On Zoom: From The Texas Cotton Fields To The U.S. Tax Court

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

ProPublica: America's Richest People Pay Little To Nothing In Federal Income Taxes

ProPublica, The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax:

ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

Taken together, it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year. ...

To capture the financial reality of the richest Americans, ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period.

We’re going to call this their true tax rate.

The results are stark. According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.

ProPublica 2

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June 8, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Mason: State Aid Enforcement After Amazon

Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar), State Aid Enforcement After Amazon, 171 Tax Notes Fed. 1395 (May 31, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)This article provides a detailed summary of the General Court of the European Union’s judgment in Amazon and analyzes what it means for the future of state aid.

For more, see:

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June 8, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle: The Best Of Times (For Law Schools), The Worst Of Times (For Applicants)

Following up on last week's post, 90% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 96% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands:  Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting), A Look Into The Most Difficult Law School Admissions Cycle We have Ever Seen:

This isn't a full post-mortem on the 2020-2021 application cycle, because it's not over yet. But we're at the point when we can start to get a feeling for what happened this year. Obviously the main story is the increase in applicants and applications, and the results of that increase.

More than any year in recent history, this cycle has seen a huge increase in applicants. As of June 4, 2021, there are 17.6% more applicants than there were on that same date last year, which comes out to an additional 10,205 applicants.

That increase is notable on its own, but what has made this cycle even more chaotic is the tremendous and disproportionate increase in applicants in higher-scoring LSAT ranges. ...

Spivey 1

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Formation Without Identity: Avoiding A Wrong Turn In The Professionalism Movement

Eli Wald (Denver), Formation Without Identity: Avoiding a Wrong Turn in the Professionalism Movement, 89 UMKC L. Rev. 685 (2021):

Critics calling for a law school reform agenda centered around integrating skills and formation of professional identity into the mainstream of legal education may have their day. External pressures, including increasingly competitive practice realities, heightened client sophistication, new technologies, rising stratification within the profession, and attorney under- and unemployment are opening the door for policy entrepreneurs to begin the process of reforming legal education.

At this defining moment of its existence, however, the professionalism movement grounded in the 2007 Carnegie report titled Educating Lawyers is at risk of making a mistake that may thwart its compelling agenda. Rather than base their identity formation schema on the actual professional identity of lawyers, Educating Lawyers and its advocates have accepted the abstract professional identity rhetoric of the organized bar as the basis of their model. This abstract rhetoric, impressive and well-rehearsed as it may be, is divorced from the actual identities of lawyers and therefore cannot adequately ground the identity formation of law students.

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

AALS Annual Meeting Call For Papers: New Voices In Taxation

Call For Papers: New Voices in Taxation Panel (AALS Section on Taxation / 2022 Annual Meeting):

AALS Annual Meeting (2022)The AALS Section on Taxation is pleased to announce the following Call for Papers. Selected papers will be presented at a works-in-progress session at the 2022 AALS Annual Meeting from January 5 through 9. This program will provide panelists the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from senior colleagues in the field. Note: The 2022 AALS Annual Meeting will be fully virtual.

Eligibility: Scholars teaching at AALS member schools or non-member fee-paid schools with seven or fewer years of full-time teaching experience as of the submission deadline are eligible to submit papers. (Non-tenure track teaching fellowships count for this deadline.). For co-authored papers, all authors must satisfy the eligibility criteria. While we welcome submissions from previous panelists, we will give a preference to scholars whose work has not been selected for a previous new voices panel.

Due date: 5 p.m. PDT, Friday, August 13, 2021.

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June 8, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

NY Times: Gripped By ‘Dinner Party-gate,’ Yale Law School Confronts A Venomous Divide

New York Times, Gripped by ‘Dinner Party-gate,’ Yale Law Confronts a Venomous Divide:

Yale University LogoA dispute centering on the celebrity professor Amy Chua exposes a culture pitting student against student, professor against professor.

On March 26, a group of students at Yale Law School approached the dean’s office with an unusual accusation: Amy Chua, one of the school’s most popular but polarizing professors, had been hosting drunken dinner parties with students, and possibly federal judges, during the pandemic.

Ms. Chua, who rose to fame when she wrote “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” is known for mentoring students from marginalized communities and helping would-be lawyers get coveted judicial clerkships. But she also has a reputation for unfiltered, boundary-pushing behavior, and in 2019 agreed not to drink or socialize with students outside of class. Her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, also a law professor, is virtually persona non grata on campus, having been suspended from teaching for two years after an investigation into accusations that he had committed sexual misconduct.

The dinner parties, the students said, appeared to violate Ms. Chua’s no-socializing agreement, and were evidence that she was unfit to teach a “small group” — a class of 15 or so first-year students that is a hallmark of the Yale legal education, and to which she had recently been assigned — in the fall. “We believe that it is unsafe to give Professor Chua (and her husband) such access to and control over first-year students,” an officer of Yale Law Women, a student group, wrote to the dean, Heather K. Gerken.

The students provided what they said was proof of the dinners, in the form of a dossier featuring secretly screen-shotted text messages between a second-year student and two friends who had attended. That touched off a cascading series of events leading to Ms. Chua’s removal from the small-group roster.

Ms. Chua says she did nothing wrong, and it is unclear exactly what rule she actually broke. But after more than two dozen interviews with students, professors and administrators — including three students who say they went to her house to seek advice during a punishing semester — possibly the only sure thing in the murky saga is this: There is no hard proof that Ms. Chua is guilty of what she was originally accused of doing. According to three students involved, there were no dinner parties and no judges; instead, she had students over on a handful of afternoons, in groups of two or three, mostly so they could seek her advice. ...

It may appear to be a simple matter, one professor losing one course, but nothing is simple when it comes to Ms. Chua, who seems perpetually swathed in a cloud of controversy and confusion. “Dinner party-gate,” as Ms. Chua wryly calls it, has turned into a major headache for the school. ...

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Inside The Master's Gates: Resources And Tools To Dismantle Racism And Sexism In Higher Education

Susan Ayres (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), Inside the Master's Gates: Resources and Tools to Dismantle Racism and Sexism in Higher Education, 21 J.L. Soc'y 20 (2021):

The spring of 2020 saw waves of protest as police killed people of color. After George Floyd’s death, protests erupted in over 140 cities. The systemic racism exhibited by these killings has been uncontrollable, hopeless, and endless. Our country is facing a national crisis. In response to the police killings, businesses, schools, and communities held diversity workshops across the nation, and businesses and organizations posted antiracism statements. Legislators and City Councils introduced bills and orders to defund police and to limit qualified immunity. As schools prepared for the fall semester, teachers considered ways to incorporate antiracism materials into the curriculum. Drawing on the storytelling movement of Critical Race Theory, this Article discusses tools law professors can use to explore these issues in a safer and more egalitarian classroom setting, including counter-stories, such as those compiled in Claire Millikin’s “Substance of Fire: Gender and Race in the College Classroom.” 

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Liability Insurance: A Reply to Professor Utz

Jeffrey H. Kahn (Florida State), Liability Insurance: A Reply to Professor Utz, 171 Tax Notes Fed. 473 (Apr. 19, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)In this article, I continue my debate with Professor Stephen Utz over the tax treatment of liability insurance, arguing that there are policy justifications for the current tax treatment of liability insurance payments. ... I previously published an article arguing that insurance proceeds payable under a policy insuring a specified tax treatment (tax insurance) are excluded from gross income [Hedging the IRS — A Policy Justification for Excluding Liability and Insurance Proceeds, 26 Yale J. Reg. 1 (2009)]. That piece led to an interesting back and forth between myself (Justifying the Exclusion of Insurance, 125 Tax Notes 1216 (Dec. 14, 2009); The Tax Treatment of Liability Insurance Coverage, 163 Tax Notes 1381 (May 27, 2019)) and Professor Utz (Designating the Tax Treatment of Litigation-Related Costs, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. 533 (2018); How Insurance Recoveries Are Taxed Under the IRC, 169 Tax Notes Fed. 941 (Nov. 9, 2020)) on the tax treatment of liability insurance proceeds.

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June 8, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, June 7, 2021

Hackney: Dark Money Darker? IRS Shutters Collection of Donor Data

Philip Hackney (Pittsburgh), Dark Money Darker? IRS Shutters Collection of Donor Data, 25 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2021):

Florida Tax Review (2019)The IRS ended a long-time practice of requiring most nonprofits to disclose substantial donor names and addresses on the nonprofit annual tax return. It is largely seen as a battle over campaign finance rather than tax enforcement. Two of the nonprofits involved, social welfare organizations and business leagues, are referred to as “dark money” organizations because they allow individuals to influence elections while maintaining donor anonymity. Many in the campaign finance community are concerned that this change means wealthy donors can avoid campaign finance laws and have no reason to fear being discovered. In this Article, I focus on whether the information is needed for the enforcement of the tax law and/or to support ancillary legal goals. I contend the IRS ought to collect this substantial donor information as it did for over 79 years. Though the collection of donor information may not be essential for groups such as social clubs, fraternities and sororities, and mutual ditch companies, the collection of this information non-publicly by the IRS is important in both enforcing tax-exempt requirements and in enforcing the tax law generally. Tax law prohibits the distribution of earnings from a nonprofit to those who control the organization. Substantial donors are classic suspects for seeking such improper receipts through their control. Thus, the information is key to IRS auditors. Considering the deficient budget of the IRS to ensure a properly enforced Code, the failure to collect that information puts the IRS in a disadvantaged position.

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June 7, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Johnson: A Fair Income Tax On The Trillion-Dollar Behemoths (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, And Google)

Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), A Fair Income Tax on the Trillion-Dollar Behemoths (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, And Google), 171 Tax Notes Fed. 1199 (May 24, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)Johnson argues that $6 trillion can be raised by requiring Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to capitalize intangible investments that have value beyond the end of the tax year and by reversing into income the companies' prior deductions that are inconsistent with that value.

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June 7, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Silver & Green: Technocapital@BigLaw.com

Carole Silver (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Bruce A. Green (Fordham; Google Scholar), Technocapital@BigLaw.com, 18 Nw. J. L. & Tech. 265 (2021):

The transformative potential of technology in legal practice is well recognized. But wholly apart from how law firms actually use technology is the question of what law firms say about how they use and relate to technology—in particular, how law firms communicate whether technology matters and has value in what they do. In the past, firms in the BigLaw category, especially at the top echelon, have grounded their reputations on the credentials and achievements of their lawyers. In this paper, we explore whether elite law firms use technology similarly by describing it as an additional tool of inter-firm competition—a sort of “technocapital” that wields power in the war for clients, talent, and reputation generally. Based on an in-depth review of the websites of fifty-one nationally recognized and highly ranked law firms, the article analyzes differences in how firms use tech as a means of promoting themselves.

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: ACLU Faces Identity Crisis As Progressive Causes Trump Historic Commitment To The First Amendment

New York Times, Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis:

ACLU LogoAn organization that has defended the First Amendment rights of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan is split by an internal debate over whether supporting progressive causes is more important.

It was supposed to be the celebration of a grand career, as the American Civil Liberties Union presented a prestigious award to the longtime lawyer David Goldberger. He had argued one of its most famous cases, defending the free speech rights of Nazis in the 1970s to march in Skokie, Ill., home to many Holocaust survivors.

Mr. Goldberger, now 79, adored the A.C.L.U. But at his celebratory luncheon in 2017, he listened to one speaker after another and felt a growing unease.

A law professor argued that the free speech rights of the far right were not worthy of defense by the A.C.L.U. and that Black people experienced offensive speech far more viscerally than white allies. In the hallway outside, an A.C.L.U. official argued it was perfectly legitimate for his lawyers to decline to defend hate speech.

Mr. Goldberger, a Jew who defended the free speech of those whose views he found repugnant, felt profoundly discouraged.

“I got the sense it was more important for A.C.L.U. staff to identify with clients and progressive causes than to stand on principle,” he said in a recent interview. “Liberals are leaving the First Amendment behind.”

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: The Perils of Stipulations

Camp (2017)Tax Court procedure marches to a different beat from other federal courts.  For example, when a taxpayer files a Petition contesting a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) the taxpayer cannot voluntarily dismiss the case the way litigants can do in federal district court.  See Lesson From The Tax Court: The Hotel California Rule, TaxProf Blog (Nov. 12, 2018).  And it is not just pro se litigants who get tripped up, which is to be expected despite the heroic guidance given by the Tax Court on its webpage.  Experienced practitioners sometimes goof this up as well.

The recent case of Donald Bailey and Sandra M. Bailey v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-55 (May 10, 2021) (Judge Pugh), teaches an important lesson about the crucial role of stipulations in the Tax Court’s decisional process: litigants must have a firm grasp of their case very early, or risk stipulating themselves into defeat as the taxpayers did in this case.  Details below the fold.

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June 7, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 2021 Bar Exams Will Be Online in 29 Jurisdictions; NCBE To Remove Online Option Beginning With February 2022 Exam

NCBE Anticipates Return to In-Person Testing for February 2022 Bar Exam:

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced today that February 2022 bar exam materials will be made available to jurisdictions for in-person testing only, unless restrictions by a public health authority prohibit a jurisdiction from administering the February exam in person.

NCBE is the not-for-profit corporation that develops the licensing tests used by most US jurisdictions for attorney admissions. In the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021, NCBE made bar exam materials available to jurisdictions for both in-person and remote exam administrations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam had been administered by each jurisdiction in person, in a secure, proctored testing environment. The July 2021 bar exam is expected to be the last that includes a remote testing option; 29 jurisdictions plan to administer that exam remotely, while 24 will administer it in person.

NCBE, July 2021 Bar Exam Status by Jurisdiction:

NCBE Map

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

It's Year Two of Pandemic Law Firm Summer Associate Programs. Here's How Things Are Shaping Up.

Karen Sloan & Zack Needles (Law.com), It's Year Two of Pandemic Law Firm Summer Associate Programs. Here's How Things Are Shaping Up.:

This week’s Legal Speak features Law.com Legal Education Editor Karen Sloan’s conversation with Yih-Hsien Shen, Associate Director of J.D. Advising at Harvard Law School, about how law firms are adapting their summer associate programs during the pandemic and what lessons they learned from last summer.

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Leiter Questions ABA's Proposed Accreditation Standards Relating To Racism, Bias Training

Following up on my previous posts:

Brian Leiter (Chicago), Call by ABA For Comments on Significant Proposed Changes to Standards Pertaining to "Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunity" and "Curriculum":

As a threshold matter, the ABA should have to explain why the existing standards were not more than adequate, especially since some of the proposed changes will impose substantial costs on schools and seem ill-supported by evidence.

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June 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

G-7 Countries Agree On New Rules For Taxing Multinational Companies, Including 15% Minimum Tax

G7 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors Communiqué (June 5, 2021):

G7Shaping a Safe and Prosperous Future for All
16. We strongly support the efforts underway through the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework to address the tax challenges arising from globalisation and the digitalisation of the economy and to adopt a global minimum tax. We commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights, with market countries awarded taxing rights on at least 20% of profit exceeding a 10% margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises. We will provide for appropriate coordination between the application of the new international tax rules and the removal of all Digital Services Taxes, and other relevant similar measures, on all companies. We also commit to a global minimum tax of at least 15% on a country by country basis. We agree on the importance of progressing agreement in parallel on both Pillars and look forward to reaching an agreement at the July meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

G7 Finance Ministers Agree [On] Historic Global Tax Agreement:

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June 6, 2021 | Permalink

Pepperdine Student Graduation Speakers Movingly Describe Life As A Law Student During COVID-19

Zachary Carstens (J.D. 2021, Pepperdine):

Luke Manzo (J.D. 2020, Pepperdine):

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June 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink