Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, November 30, 2021

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly ranking of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  Here is the new list (through November 1, 2021) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

    All-Time     Recent
1 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)  203,642 1 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) 8,180
2 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 123,837 2 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 4,706
3 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 123,137 3 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 4,658
4 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 122,232 4 David Kamin (NYU) 4,211
5 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 120,170 5 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 4,184
6 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 113,104 6 Kim Clausing (UCLA)     3,944
7 David Kamin (NYU) 110,865 7 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 3,346
8 Cliff Fleming (BYU)    106,579 8 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 3,129
9 Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) 103,426 9 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 2,682
10 Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 102,517 10 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 2,632
11 Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 101,869 11 Zachary Liscow (Yale) 2,524
12 Michael Simkovic (USC) 46,038 12 Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indy)   2,390
13 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 45,841 13 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)  2,288
14 Paul Caron (Pepperdine) 38,834 14 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 2,264
15 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 35,870 15 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 2,179
16 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 33,587 16 Yariv Brauner (Florida) 2,152
17 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 29,420 17 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 2,005
18 Ed Kleinbard (USC) 28,191 18 Hugh Ault (Boston College) 1,848
19 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 27,859 19 Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 1,772
20 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 27,335 20 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 1,759
21 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 27,066 21 Gregg Polsky (Georgia) 1,522
22 Jim Hines (Michigan) 26,180 22 Francine Lipman (UNLV) 1,481
23 Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.) 25,257 22 Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)  1,457
24 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 24,954 24 Michael Simkovic (USC) 1,416
25 Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.) 24,841 25 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 1,398

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November 30, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Avi-Yonah: A Different Way to Tax Stock Buybacks

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), A Different Way to Tax Stock Buybacks, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 1107 (Nov. 22, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)In this article, Avi-Yonah reviews the Build Back Better Act, which would impose a 1 percent excise tax on corporate stock buybacks. He argues that while the measure is an effective way to raise revenue from high-income taxpayers, it will not address the main tax problem with buybacks: the tax exemption for foreign shareholders, which Congress should reconsider.

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November 30, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, November 29, 2021

Salib: The Pigouvian Constitution

Peter N. Salib (Houston; Google Scholar), The Pigouvian Constitution, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1081 (2021): 

How can lawmakers reduce the skyrocketing rate of gun deaths in the United States? How can they stymie the spread of viral fake news stories designed to undermine our elections? Certain constitutionally protected activities—like owning a gun or speaking online—can generate social harms. Yet when lawmakers enact regulations to reduce those harms, they are regularly struck down as unconstitutional. Indeed, the very laws designed to most aggressively reduce social harms—like total criminal bans—are the least likely to be upheld. As a result, regulators appear stuck with an unpleasant choice—regulate constitutionally or effectively, but not both.

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November 29, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Who Is An IRS Employee's Immediate Supervisor For §6751 Penalty Approval?

Camp (2021)Today’s lesson involves yet more litigation over IRS compliance with the penalty approval process required by the formerly toothless §6751(b)(1).  In Sand Investment Co., LLC, et al. v. Commissioner, 157 T.C. No. 11 (Nov. 23, 2021) (Judge Lauber), the Tax Court continues teaching us the scope and operation §6751(b), a series of lessons it started back in 2017 when its decision in Graev v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. 485 (2017), gave the statute sharp teeth.  Among other requirements, the statute says approval must come from an IRS employee's “immediate supervisor.”  In today’s case, the IRS employee who proposed a bunch of penalties had two supervisors but only one definitely signed timely.  Judge Lauber finds that function trumps form in identifying which of the two supervisors was the right one to approve the proposed penalties.  This is a short lesson, and also one that will may be rendered moot.  Legislation passed by the House and now before the Senate de-fangs §6751(b).  Details below the fold.

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November 29, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

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) [296 Downloads]  The Tax Gap's Many Shades of Gray, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar), Janet Holtzblatt (Tax Policy Center) & Steve Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)
  2. [210 Downloads]  The 2021 Compromise, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) (reviewed by Charlotte Crane (Northwestern; Google Scholar) here)
  3. [194 Downloads]  Implementing an International Effective Minimum Tax in the EU, by Joachim Englisch (Münster) & Johannes Becker (Münster; Google Scholar)
  4. [188 Downloads]  Colorblind Tax Enforcement, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [169 Downloads]  Slicing the Shadow: A Proposal for Updating U.S. International Taxation, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar)

November 28, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Friday, November 26, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax WorkshopsTuesday, November 30: Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) will present For-Profit Philanthropy as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday, November 30: Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley; Google Scholar) will present Tax Policy Design With Low Interest Rates as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro

Wednesday, December 1: Victor Fleischer (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) will present Tax Policy - Legislative Updates on behalf of the UC-Irvine Graduate Tax Program. If you would like to attend, please contact taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

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

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Avi-Yonah Posts Three New International Tax Papers On SSRN

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar), Slicing the Shadow: A Proposal for Updating U.S. International Taxation:

This article advances a proposal for market-based formulary apportionment.

Gucci Gulch Redux: The Problems of Wyden Proposal:

This paper addresses the problems of Sen Wyden’s international tax reform proposal.

The New International Tax Regime:

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November 25, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Rosenbloom & Shaheen: Toulouse — No Treaty-Based Credit?

H. David Rosenbloom (Caplin & Drysdale; NYU) & Fadi Shaheen (Rutgers; Google Scholar), Toulouse: No Treaty-Based Credit?, 104 Tax Notes Int'l 417 (Oct. 25, 2021):

Tax Notes Int'lThis article maintains that the U.S. Tax Court’s decision in Toulouse [v. Commissioner, 157 T.C. No. 4 (2021)]— that U.S. tax treaties with France and Italy do not provide a treaty-based foreign tax credit against the net investment income tax — is mistaken.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Kim: Taxing Teleworkers

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar), Taxing Teleworkers, 55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. __ (2021):

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

Recently, New Hampshire, supported by fourteen other states, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its original jurisdiction challenging Massachusetts’ telecommuting taxes of nonresident teleworkers. Tax commentators believed this case would be one of the most significant tax decisions in recent years, but the Supreme Court declined to hear it. New Jersey also opposes New York’s long-standing telecommuting taxes under the “convenience of the employer” rule. This Article examines the constitutional challenges of maintaining pre-pandemic work arrangements for tax purposes, arguing that a source state’s extraterritorial assertion to tax nonresident teleworkers’ income likely violates the Dormant Commerce and Due Process Clauses. Also, this Article finds the Supreme Court’s decision not to exercise original jurisdiction dissatisfying in light of the substantial increase in remote work.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Table Of U.S. Law School Mission Statements (2019 & 2021); 58 Schools Lack Explicit Mission Statements

Frances Tung (American Bar Foundation) & Elizabeth Mertz (Wisconsin; Google Scholar), Table of U.S. Law School Mission Statements, 2019 & 2021:

This Table continues a data-sharing effort begun by Irene Scharf and Vanessa Merton in 2016, as part of their research on U.S. law schools’ mission statements. They had been inspired, in part, by Jerome Organ’s earlier work on this topic in 2010. Scharf and Merton made their 2016 data publicly available on the University of Massachusetts website; we are following in their footsteps by sharing the results of our own efforts, undertaken in 2019 and 2021, on SSRN and on the American Bar Foundation webpage. In the spirit of open access and collegial cooperation within our scholarly community, we invite readers to send corrections to us c/o ftung@abfn.org. This is part of a larger project on law school education funded by the American Bar Foundation and directed by Elizabeth Mertz. 

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November 24, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Lederman: Best Practices In Tax Rulings Transparency

Leandra Lederman (Indiana; Google Scholar), Best Practices in Tax Rulings Transparency:

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

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Renewed Need For Guidance Addressing Partnership 754 Election Revocations

Dion S. Toledo (J.D. 2020, UC-Irvine), Note, The Renewed Need for Guidance Addressing Partnership 754 Election Revocations, 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 999 (2020):

UC Irvine Law ReviewThe section 754 election of the Internal Revenue Code allows partnerships to make basis adjustments to avoid potentials for double taxation that can arise following transfers of partnership interests and distributions of partnership property. Once made, a 754 election applies to all future tax years and is revocable only with the consent of the Internal Revenue Service (Service). One subsection of the Treasury Regulations addresses when the Service might approve or deny a partnership’s request to revoke a 754 election. Despite the process contemplated in this regulation, until recently, partnerships could default out of a 754 election without Service approval through a technical termination. The lack of recorded application of the regulation implies that partnerships have largely not needed to rely on—and the Service has not needed to apply—the 754 election revocation regulation.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Herzfeld Presents Taxes Are Not Binary: The Unfortunate Consequences Of Splitting Taxes Into Arbitrary Categories Today At NYU

Mindy Herzfeld (Florida) presents Taxes Are Not Binary: The Unfortunate Consequences of Splitting Taxes Into Arbitrary Categories at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Daniel Shaviro:

HerzfeldBinary categorization of a “tax” into one of two alternative categories has important substantive implications in a number of disciplines, including constitutional law, tax law, accounting, and trade. Constitutional references to direct tax have been important through American history, factoring into the legality of various new types of taxes and now raising their head again in the context of current debates over the wealth tax. The binary separation of taxes into two categories of direct and indirect taxes also has important consequences in the trade area, as trade agreements generally categorize border adjusted direct taxes as export subsidies but generally bless border adjusted indirect taxes. A separate binary distinction exists between the definition of income and non-income tax. Within the U.S. federal income tax law, the split of a tax into an income or non-income tax has important consequences for creditability of foreign taxes, with large implications for companies’ bottom lines.  In the accounting world, the consequences of treatment of an income tax or non-income tax are relevant for financial statement purposes – the latter is classified in a separate line item in the income statement, while the former is “above the line” and lumped into gross income.

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

Jenoff: Big Law Dreams

Pam Jenoff (Rutgers), Big Law Dreams, 13 Fla. A & M U. L. Rev. 183 (2018):

Upon graduation, law students continue to seek positions with large law firms in record numbers. Graduates are drawn to Big Law for the purported pluses of high compensation; interesting work; extensive training and resources; mobility and prestige. However, a closer examination of the present-day realities reveals that these beliefs may be outdated, overstated, or simply incorrect. Students who make their career choices based on such premises may find themselves trapped in ill-fitting and unsatisfying positions. Moreover, an unyielding focus on Big Law based on faulty assumptions may have costs and consequences for legal education and the provision of legal services. This essay focuses on the factors contributing to the law student’s unrelenting drive toward Big Law. It examines the underlying assumptions built into that drive and whether they are valid. It explores the cost to graduates, the profession and society if students follow these assumptions and pursue a career in Big Law without careful thought and reflection. 

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November 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Call For Articles: The Tax Lawyer

ABA Tax Lawyer (2021)The Tax Lawyer is currently accepting submissions for its 2022 Spring and Summer issues. Submit your work by early December to be considered for the Spring issue.

Why publish in The Tax Lawyer?

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November 23, 2021 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, November 22, 2021

Hemel & Weisbach: The Behavioral Elasticity Of Tax Revenue

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) & David Weisbach (Chicago; Google Scholar), The Behavioral Elasticity of Tax Revenue, 13 J. Legal Analysis 381 (2021):

This article presents a measure of the efficiency consequences of changes to tax policies that inform a wide range of tax law debates. Building upon recent extensions to the “elasticity of taxable income” concept, we clarify the relationship among revenue effects, administrative costs, and compliance costs. The resulting measure—the behavioral elasticity of tax revenue (BETR)—captures the change in total resources resulting from marginal changes in tax rates, the tax base, or tax enforcement. We illustrate the BETR’s utility through a series of case studies.

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November 22, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Hemel: Make The Expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent With This One Easy Trick

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar), Make the Expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent With This One Easy Trick:

Here's how Democrats can significantly reduce child poverty over the long term.

The Build Back Better Act—which passed the House by a 220-213 vote on Friday—makes important changes to the child tax credit. It extends the $3000-per-child credit ($3600 for children under age 6) through 2022. And it makes the credit fully refundable on a permanent basis. By one estimate, these changes will reduce child poverty by more than 40 percent within a single year.

Unfortunately, the $3000 credit (or $3600 for young children) won’t last long. In 2023, the credit amount will fall back to $2000 per child. And starting in 2026, due to a sunset provision in the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the credit will fall to $1000 per child. Ideally, congressional Democrats would have agreed to make the entire child tax credit expansion permanent. They could have offset the cost by taxing unrealized gains at death, eliminating the passthrough-deduction giveaway, and raising the corporate income tax rate to somewhere in the mid- to high-20s. Alas, some Democrats decided that they would rather let millions of children languish in poverty than enact common-sense revenue-raising tax reforms.

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November 22, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: How To Mess Up Your Checkbook IRA

Camp (2021)The idea that freedom means control over your own destiny s arguably the most defining characteristic of American culture.  It is most certainly the basis on which various companies promote “checkbook IRAs.”  If you Google that term you will find a gaggle of companies urging people to take full control of their retirement funds, to free themselves from restrictive IRA custodians. The companies promote structures that purport to allow taxpayers maximum freedom over their investment decisions.  Freedom equals control. 

In Andrew McNulty and Donna McNulty v. Commissioner, 157 T.C. No. 10 (Nov. 18, 2021)(Judge Goeke) we learn that too much control messes up a checkbook IRA.  There, Mr. and Ms. McNulty created a checkbook IRA, funded it with transfers from their other retirement accounts, and then used the money to buy gold coins which they stored in their home.  The Tax Court said that last bit—storing the physical coins in their home—was too much control and thus the receipt of the coins was a taxable distribution to them.  While the taxpayers crossed the line in this case, it may not be altogether clear where that line is.  How far can a taxpayer go before they mess up their checkbook IRA?  Let’s see what we can learn.  Details below the fold.

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November 22, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Church Taxes And The Original Understanding Of The Establishment Clause

Mark Storslee (Penn State; Google Scholar), Church Taxes and the Original Understanding of the Establishment Clause, 169 U. Pa. L. Rev. 111 (2021):

Penn Law ReviewSince the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education, it has been widely assumed that the Establishment Clause forbids government from ‘aiding’ or subsidizing religious activity, especially religious schools. This Article suggests that this reading of the Establishment Clause rests on a misunderstanding of Founding-era history, especially the history surrounding church taxes. Contrary to popular belief, the decisive argument against those taxes was not an unqualified assertion that subsidizing religion was prohibited. Rather, the crucial argument was that church taxes were a coerced religious observance: a government-mandated sacrifice to God, a tithe.

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November 21, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

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) [284 Downloads]  The Tax Gap's Many Shades of Gray, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar), Janet Holtzblatt (Tax Policy Center) & Steve Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)
  2. [209 Downloads]  The 2021 Compromise, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) (reviewed by Charlotte Crane (Northwestern; Google Scholar) here)
  3. [188 Downloads]  Implementing an International Effective Minimum Tax in the EU, by Joachim Englisch (Münster) & Johannes Becker (Münster; Google Scholar)
  4. [177 Downloads]  Colorblind Tax Enforcement, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [165 Downloads]  Prepaid Death, by Victoria Haneman (Creighton; Google Scholar)

November 21, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Friday, November 19, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Speck Reviews Automated Government For Vulnerable Citizens — Intermediating Rights

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) reviews a new paper by Sofia Ranchordás (University of Groningen) & Luisa Scarcella (University of Antwerp), Automated Government for Vulnerable Citizens: Intermediating Rights, 30 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. ___ (2021).

Sloan-speckIn Automated Government for Vulnerable Citizens, Sofia Ranchordás and Luisa Scarcella survey the landscape of digital governmental services, concluding that, while these automated mechanisms may enhance convenience and efficiency for some, they inflict differential effects on vulnerable populations and often entrench existing disparities. Prominent in the authors’ analysis (and in governments’ digital transitions) is tax compliance: in particular, electronic return preparation and algorithmic enforcement. Ranchordás and Scarcella conclude by offering various prescriptions to ameliorate the digital revolution’s disproportionate harms and promote humanity—literal and metaphorical—in public administration.

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November 19, 2021 in Scholarship, Sloan Speck, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshop

Next Week's Tax Workshops - twitterTuesday, November 23: Mindy Herzfeld (Florida) will present Taxes Are Not Binary: The Unfortunate Consequences of Splitting Taxes Into Arbitrary Categories as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro.

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

NTA 114th Annual Conference On Taxation

NTA 2

Highlights of this week's National Tax Association 114th Annual Conference on Taxation (full program here):

Wednesday:

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November 19, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Aprill Presents Federal Charities: Blurring The Line Between Public And Private Today At Indiana

Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) presents Federal Charities: Blurring the Line between Public and Private at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Aprill-Ellen-faculty-profile-2000pxThe standard view of the relationship between nonprofits and government assumes that the two are separate and distinct. In the late 1990’s, for example, Professor Evelyn Brody wrote an influential paper conceptualizing government and charity as competing sovereigns. Similarly, the introduction to the 2017 essay collection Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict acknowledges that sometimes governments "set up nonprofit corporations to carry out some public programs."  It points to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as an example, but implies such a choice seldom occurs. The collection’s first essay, authored by Young and Casey, conveys the common understanding of the relationship: Supplementary, Complementary, or Adversarial? Nonprofit-Government Relations. In the supplementary model, nonprofits fulfil demand for public goods that the government does not, with an inverse relationship between private and government expenditure. In the complementary model, nonprofits partner with government, which often finances them to deliver public goods. If adversarial to government, nonprofits seek to change governmental policy, some urging increased and some decreased governmental operations. But none of these characterizations allow for entities that exhibit characteristics of both government and charity.

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

Lipman: State And Local Tax Takeaways Redux

Francine Lipman (UNLV; Google Scholar), State and Local Tax Takeaways Redux, 101 Tax Notes State 683 (2021):

Tax-notes-stateOn average, current household incomes are less equal after state and local taxes are imposed than before. Wealthy families pay a significantly lower percentage of their income in state and local taxes on average than low- and middle- income households. Regressive state and local taxes not only erase the progress of federal tax policies that redistribute income, but in some cases they reverse progressivity — causing the most vulnerable families to pay a higher percentage of their income in aggregate taxes than affluent households.

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November 18, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

A Letter To Students On The Meaning Of Work And Professional Formation

Benjamin C. Carpenter (St. Thomas), A Letter to Students on the Meaning of Work and Professional Formation, 17 U. St. Thomas L.J. ___ (2021):

The law is a wonderful profession—one that provides opportunities for individuals to make a formative difference in people’s lives, to work with talented colleagues and against skilled opponents, to earn the respect of others, and to make a generous income while doing so. However, it is also the profession with the highest rates of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression among its members—particularly for attorneys within their first ten years of practice. While the rewards of practicing law can be great, so too can be the demands and, at times, the costs. Finding one’s place within the profession while navigating the challenges is a difficult process for all lawyers. In particular, how will one respond when their professional choices or actions challenge their deeply held (but perhaps previously untested) views of themself? Ultimately, how does one reconcile who they are as a lawyer with who they are as a person? We all search for meaning in our work. We all struggle with the tension between maximizing comfort and maximizing impact. We all struggle to reconcile our various roles—as an advocate, colleague, mentor, parent, spouse, child, and friend.

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November 18, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Zelinsky: Expand The Taxation Of Educational And Other Charitable Endowments

Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo), Expand the Taxation of Educational and Other Charitable Endowments, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 799 (Nov. 8, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)In this article, Zelinsky argues that section 4968, which imposes an annual tax on the investment income of some college and university endowments, should remain in the tax code as a revenue measure and a harbinger of a world in which all charitable endowments pay annual tax on their investment incomes.

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November 18, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Contractual And Tax Implications Of The Phantom Of The Opera

Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln IV (Groningen; Google Scholar), The Contractual and Tax Implications of The Phantom of the Opera, Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. Blog:

PhantomThe substantive story of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra) is largely about contract analysis and whether the managers and “the phantom” have had a “meeting of the minds”—consensus ad idem.

The question is whether the Phantom and the Managers reached a “meeting of the minds” or manifested mutual assent in their contractual remedies.

In short, the plot surrounds new managerial team—Armand Moncharmin and Firmin Richard—at the Palais Garnier have refused to abide by the former managerial team’s contract with the Phantom as successors in kind.

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November 18, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Choi Presents Beyond Purposivism In Tax Law Today At UC-Irvine

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

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

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

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

Soled: Congress Should Codify The IRS’s Voluntary Disclosure Program

Jay A. Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar), The IRS’s Voluntary Disclosure Program: Need for Codification, 37 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 957 (2021):

For more than a century, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has had a voluntary disclosure program in place. Its purpose is to coax into tax compliance those wayward taxpayers who have committed criminal acts or have been remiss in fulfilling their civic tax-filing obligations. Historically, the voluntary disclosure program has had to strike a difficult balance between being attractive enough to entice tax scofflaws to participate and not being too attractive lest ordinary taxpayers feel that their compliance efforts were for naught.

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November 17, 2021 in IRS News, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Reducing Debt And Increasing Access To The Profession: An Empirical Study Of Graduate Debt At U.S. Law Schools

Scott F. Norberg (Florida Int'l; Google Scholar) & Stephanie J. Garcia (Florida Int'l), Reducing Debt and Increasing Access to the Profession: An Empirical Study of Graduate Debt at U.S. Law Schools: 69 J. Legal Educ. 710 (2021):

Legal education in the United States is in crisis because it is so costly and the number of law school graduates has consistently exceeded the number of entry-level law jobs by a wide margin, while starting salaries are low in comparison to student loan debt for most graduates. This article contributes to the work of addressing the current challenges by reporting the results of an empirical study of the nature and scope of law graduate debt across U.S. law schools.

FIU1

We focus on findings in two areas. First, the data indicate that the legal education system places a greater financial burden on minority and women students than on non-Hispanic white male students. The cost of attendance, average amount borrowed, percentage of the class that borrowed, and percentage of students paying full tuition are all higher at schools with lower LSAT/UGPA medians and larger percentages of minority and women graduates. Moreover, these schools also report weaker employment outcomes for their graduates.

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Makings Of A Culturally Savvy Lawyer: Novel Approaches For Teaching And Assessing Cross-Cultural Skills In Law School

Shahrokh Falati (New York Law School; Google Scholar), The Makings of a Culturally Savvy Lawyer: Novel Approaches For Teaching and Assessing Cross-Cultural Skills in Law School, 49 J.L. & Educ. 627 (2020):

All 205 American Bar Association-accredited Law schools in the U.S. must now define learning outcomes for their credit-bearing Juris Doctorate (JD) courses, and publish them. There is a developing trend for law schools to formulate and include learning outcomes that go beyond the minimal requirements. One emerging learning outcome that is presently adopted by about a quarter of all U.S. law schools relates to teaching and assessing cultural competency as a JD learning outcome. In this Article, I focus on this JD student learning outcome and develop three key points. First, I highlight and discuss why cultural awareness and inter-cultural skills is an increasingly critical skill set for all law students. Second, I review the various stages of cultural competency, highlight the barriers to acquiring a more nuanced cross-cultural skill set, and discuss habits that can foster law students’ cross-cultural skills development. 

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Avi-Yonah: The Case For Reviving The Corporate AMT

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), The Case for Reviving the Corporate AMT, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 795 (Nov. 8, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)In this article, Avi-Yonah examines the bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee member Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to revive the corporate alternative minimum tax as a 15 percent tax on corporate book income, and he argues that it is a sensible way to address some problems of the corporate tax system.

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November 17, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Extending Leiter-Sisk Citation Counts To Interdisciplinary Scholarship

J. B. Ruhl, Michael P. Vandenbergh & Sarah Dunaway (Vanderbilt), Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals, 69 J. Legal Educ. 772 (2020):

This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall.

IDR Final

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Boz Among The Radicals: Charles Dickens And Tax Reform

Stephen Utz (Connecticut), Boz Among the Radicals: Charles Dickens and Tax Reform, 2 British Tax Rev. 221 (2021):

Taxes on consumption items necessary for subsistence burdened the British middle and workings classes heavily throughout the early nineteenth century. The Weekly True Sun urged the Whig government to replace the window tax, not with a house tax, but with an income tax, and urged taxpayers to refuse to pay the window tax. Charles Dickens transcribed the seditious libel trial of the True Sun editors when he was very young and later remembered the Whig indecision on tax policy in a strongly negative editorial of his own. This article describes how Dickens played a prominent role in tax reform that followed.

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November 17, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Goodman & Whitten Present Automating The 1040 Today At Georgetown

Lucas Goodman (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department) & Andrew Whitten (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department; Google Scholar) present Automating the 1040: How Accurately and for Whom Can We Prepopulate Individual Income Tax Returns? at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Goodman-whittenTo make tax filing more efficient and to redistribute the filing burden, some commentators have proposed having the IRS pre-populate tax returns for individuals. We evaluate this hypothetical policy using a large, nationally representative sample of returns filed for tax year 2019. Between 40 and 50 percent of returns could be accurately pre-populated using information returns and the prior year return. 

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

Back To The Future: Marriage And Divorce Under The 2017 Tax Act

Mark W. Cochran (St. Mary's), Back to the Future: Marriage and Divorce under the 2017 Tax Act, 51 St. Mary's L.J. 1 (2019):

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the 2017 Tax Act) significantly altered the federal tax consequences of marriage and divorce by mostly eliminating the so-called "marriage penalty" from the individual income tax rates and abolishing the deduction for alimony payments. These changes represent the latest congressional tinkering with issues that have persisted since the earliest days of the modem income tax, turning back the clock with regard to taxation for both married and divorced couples. For the first time, since the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, the rate brackets for married taxpayers filing joint returns are twice as wide as the brackets applicable to unmarried taxpayers. For the first time since 1942, alimony payments are not deductible by the payor and not includable in the recipient's gross income.6 The significance of these changes can best be appreciated by examining their historical context, and this article will undertake that examination

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November 16, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Alexander: The Assault On American Democracy And The Path Forward

Mark C. Alexander (Villanova), Introduction: Beyond Imagination? in Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection (West 2022), a book co-written by 14 law school deans:

Throughout our nation’s complex history, the rule of law and our carefully balanced constitutional system has allowed the nation to confront and successfully navigate many unique existential threats. One of the most significant threats in modern times, growing for many years from the propagation of politically polarizing and destructive disinformation, was realized on January 6, 2021.

In the United States, we have long prided ourselves on the peaceful transfer of power after elections. Every four years we hold a presidential election, resulting in a winner. Dissenting voices may object, but the winner is accepted, and the loser moves on. Truth matters, and perhaps more here, in the context of free and fair elections, than in any other. This is the American way. Anything less should be beyond our imagination.

The ongoing legitimacy of our nation’s republic requires us all to engage. As we law school deans train the next generation of lawyer-leaders, we must take stock and double down on the rule of law. This work will not be easy. Fourteen of us have collaborated on this work, writing from our perspectives as legal scholars, as deans of our institutions, and as individuals who have been engaged in leadership in various ways.

This book is not a partisan undertaking. Our cause is the rule of law; our loyalty is to the Constitution of the United States. We support the American people, not one candidate, elected official, or individual. We have attempted to strike a balance and draw some lines. We want to challenge you, the reader, and we sincerely hope that our work contributes to exposing the problems that allowed us to suffer collectively on January 6, and then to promote healing. We speak for ourselves, not for our institutions. We hope we are speaking up for many people and speaking to our entire society about what once was and should always have been beyond imagination, but which no longer is.

Mark C. Alexander (Villanova), The Assault on American Democracy and the Path Forward in Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection (West 2022), a book co-written by 14 law school deans:

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Sociolegal Research, The Law School Survey Of Student Engagement, And Studying Diversity In Judicial Clerkships

Shih-Chun Steven Chien (American Bar Foundation; Google Scholar), Ajay K. Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Xiangnong Wang (J.D. 2020, Yale), Sociolegal Research, the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, and Studying Diversity in Judicial Clerkships, 69 J. Legal Educ. 530 (2020):

This article highlights how long-term empirical and interdisciplinary research projects can benefit from use of Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) data. After identifying and explaining how and why LSSSE data is invaluable for scholars studying legal education and the legal profession, the paper describes how empirical and interdisciplinary, sociolegal research at the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and elsewhere has used LSSSE data. Finally, this paper leverages LSSSE evidence to explore law student career preferences and expectations about judicial clerkships.

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Morriss: Forward Down The Road To Serfdom — International Tax Law As A Means Of Central Planning

Andrew P. Morriss (Texas A&M, George Mason), Forward Down the Road to Serfdom: International Tax Law as a Means of Central Planning:

Friedrich Hayek’s 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, warned of the dangers to a free society from central planning. Efforts by the rich country clubs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) to impose new international tax rules through a variety of initiatives aimed at increasing their share of global tax revenues, are leading us further down the road Hayek warned against. These initiatives move us from a world in which the complicated tax issues raised by cross-border transactions and entities is resolved through a complex web of bilateral tax treaties to one in which tax administrations, following OECD- and EU-drafted rules will increasingly intervene in internal organizational decisions of businesses by making the tax consequences independent of the actual organization.

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November 16, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Is Sunlight The Best Disinfectant? Reassessing BEPS Action 5’s Tax Ruling Transparency

Patrick Hasson (J.D. 2021, Penn), Comment, Is Sunlight the Best Disinfectant? Reassessing BEPS Action 5’s Tax Ruling Transparency, 169 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1545 (2021):

Penn Law ReviewThe OECD’s BEPS Project was a major attempt to harmonize tax principles across jurisdictions and prevent tax-motivated artificial profit shifting. One portion of the BEPS Project is Action 5’s tax ruling transparency framework. High-profile instances of tax avoidance, such as LuxLeaks and the Apple/Ireland state aid case, have only elucidated the extent to which tax authorities can use rulings to facilitate tax avoidance. However, it should not be expected that Action 5’s tax ruling transparency will materially curb the use of rulings to aid tax avoidance.

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November 16, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, November 15, 2021

Stantcheva Presents Social Position And Fairness Views Today At Loyola-L.A.

Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard; Google Scholar) presents Social Position and Fairness Views (with Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg (Copenhagen) & Claus Kreiner (Copenhagen; Google Scholar)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

StantchevaWe link survey data on Danish people’s perceived income position and views of inequality within various reference groups to administrative records on their reference groups, income histories, and life events. For all reference groups, people exhibit center bias, whereby lower-ranked respondents in a group tend to place themselves higher because they think others’ incomes are lower, while higher-ranked respondents place themselves lower. People view inequalities within co-workers and education group as most unfair, but underestimate inequality most exactly within these groups. Perceived fairness of inequalities is strongly related to current position, moves with shocks like unemployment or promotions, and changes when experimentally showing people their actual positions.

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

Incentivizing Wills Through Tax

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-McKinney), Incentivizing Wills Through Tax:

There have been recent calls to loosen will formalities in order to allow more people to execute wills, the importance of which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reduction of necessary will formalities can be successful in expanding the use of wills, as can potential tax incentives for creation of wills, such as a tax credit. However, there are numerous advantages to using tax to initiate change, as considered in this Article.

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November 15, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue

The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 69, No. 3 (Spring 2020):

Journal of Legal Education (2020)Get In Good Trouble: A Collection of Essays by Millennial Law Scholars

Other Articles

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November 15, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Not Every Decision Comes With An Opinion

Camp (2021)Once a taxpayer petitions the Tax Court to contest a Notice of Deficiency (NOD), the Tax Court will issue a decision in the case.  The taxpayer has no option to nonsuit the case like plaintiffs can do in state courts or in federal district courts.  It’s what I call the Hotel California rule: the taxpayer might check out (e.g. by abandoning the case), but can never leave (the Court's decision will issue).  For details, see Lesson From The Tax Court: The Hotel California Rule, TaxProf Blog (Nov. 12, 2018).

Today we learn that even though the Tax Court will issue a decision, it may not issue an opinion.  More, we learn why that is so.  In Paul Puglisi & Ann Marie Puglisi, et. al., v. Commissioner (4796-20, 4799-20, 4826-20, 13487-20, 13488-20, 13489-20) (Nov. 5, 2021) (Judge Gustafson), the IRS conceded all of a proposed deficiency (except for a small part that the taxpayers had conceded).  It asked the Court to enter decisions in favor of the taxpayers.  The taxpayers objected!  They wanted more than a victory.  They wanted fries with that: an opinion to go with the decision.  Judge Gustafson decided to accept the IRS concession and enter a decision for the taxpayers without an accompanying opinion on the merits.  In a 17-page Order he teaches us that while the Tax Court has the discretion to issue an opinion even when the IRS concedes a case, it will do so only under extraordinary circumstances.  Details below the fold.

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November 15, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is quite a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and new papers debuting on the list at #4 and #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [256 Downloads]  The Tax Gap's Many Shades of Gray, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar), Janet Holtzblatt (Tax Policy Center) & Steve Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)
  2. [251 Downloads]  Closing Gaps in the Estate and Gift Tax Base, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Robert Lord (Americans for Tax Fairness)
  3. [198 Downloads]  The 2021 Compromise, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) (reviewed by Charlotte Crane (Northwestern; Google Scholar) here)
  4. [175 Downloads]  Implementing an International Effective Minimum Tax in the EU, by Joachim Englisch (Münster) & Johannes Becker (Münster; Google Scholar)
  5. [161 Downloads]  Colorblind Tax Enforcement, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)

November 14, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Abortion And Corporate Tax Avoidance

Kam C. Chan (Western Kentucky; Google Scholar), Jiaxin Wang (Zhongnan), Zhi Wang (Southwestern; Google Scholar) & Chao Yan (Zhongnan; Google Scholar), Is Reverence for Life Reverence for Rule? Abortion Rate and Corporate Tax Avoidance in China:

Despite the momentum of research on the impact of informal institutions on corporate behavior in recent years, few studies probe the effect of an “awe culture” on corporate behavior. Thus, this study explores the economic consequences of the awe culture. It proxies awe culture with regionally induced abortion rates and examines its influence on corporate tax avoidance in China. We document that higher induced abortion rates associate with a higher degree of corporate tax avoidance, confirming that “reverence for life is reverence for rules.”

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November 13, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, November 12, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Eyal-Cohen Reviews Pratt's Learning To Live Without Form 1040

This week, Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama; Google Scholar) reviews Katherine Pratt (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar), Learning to Live Without Form 1040, 75 Tax Law. __ (2022).

Mirit-Cohen (2018)

From its inception, our federal revenue system has been based on income rather than consumption. Over the year, there have been numerous failed academic and practical proposals to switch to a consumption tax base, mainly for the latter’s promise for greater simplicity and administrability. Accordingly, we came to accept the fact that our system is so deeply ingrained in the concept of income that the transformation to a consumption tax base (such as the VAT and GST prominent in other countries) has become purely theoretical at this point.

Nonetheless, this Article is not another academic exercise. Pratt points out that the switch to consumption tax is extremely relevant today (and even more than ever) in light of the growing inequity gap and erosion of anti-poverty programs. With the diminished share of corporate tax revenues and multinational tax transfers, fulfilment of the growing need for alternative sources of revenues lies with Federal consumption taxes. 

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November 12, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinMonday, November 15: Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard; Google Scholar) will present Social Position and Fairness Views (with Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg (Copenhagen) & Claus Kreiner (Copenhagen; Google Scholar)) as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Tuesday, November 16: Lucas Goodman (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department) & Andrew Whitten (Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Treasury Department; Google Scholar) will present Automating the 1040: How Accurately and for Whom Can We Prepopulate Individual Income Tax Returns? as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle

Wednesday, November 17: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law as part of the UC-Irvine Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

Thursday, November 18: Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) will present Federal Charities: Blurring the Line between Public and Private as part of the Indiana Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

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

Shaviro Presents Tax Law, Inequality, And Redistribution Today At Florida

Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU) presents Tax Law, Inequality, and Redistribution: Recent and Possible Future Developments virtually at Florida today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Hasen:

Shaviro (2015)The current age of inequality is also an age of extensive tax and related public economics scholarship about inequality. Three prominent aspects of recent research especially stand out. The first concerns empirical measurement of economic inequality, as it has changed over time. The second concerns different mechanisms for taxing the rich, such as through the taxation of income, wealth, consumption, or gratuitous transfers. The third concerns new uses of the tax system to address poverty.

Each of these research areas can, should, and undoubtedly will continue to develop. I will suggest, however, that two further sets of issues raised by inequality demand greater attention than they have heretofore received. The first is normative inquiry regarding why, when, how, and to what extent inequality matters, moving beyond the economic literature’s often predominant focus on declining marginal utility. The second is better connecting the analysis of purely economic inequality to that of its other dimensions, such as racial and ethnic inequality. In both areas, given tax law’s institutional focus, a key aim should be to offer policymakers potentially usable guidance, by suggesting what practical implications a particular normative view (and/or particular empirical findings) might have

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