Paul L. Caron
Dean





Friday, March 1, 2024

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Speck Reviews Compliance And Anti-Abuse Reform To Tax The Rich By Fox, Liscow & Soled

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar)reviews new works by Edward G. Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar), No More Tax-Free Lunch for Billionaires: Closing the Borrowing Loophole, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 647 (Jan. 22, 2024), and Jay A. Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar), The Gift Tax and the Tax Gap, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 1047 (Feb. 5, 2024).

Sloan-speck

In the literature on taxing high-income and high-wealth individuals, loophole-closing and compliance loom large in enforcing equity across the tax system. And, under the Biden Administration, Congress and Treasury have given significant attention to enforcement and anti-avoidance initiatives aimed at the highest earners. In recent articles, Ed Fox and Zach Liscow detail the contours and stakes of closing the “borrowing loophole” for taxpayers with ultra-high net worth, and Jay Soled proposes enhanced information reporting—and associated penalties—for gifts to close the tax gap with respect to the federal gift tax. Taken together, these articles raise important questions about, first, which taxpayers matter when we talk about taxing the rich, and, second, how we should think about the intersections between tax compliance and anti-avoidance efforts, especially in the context of “simple reform measures” (Soled, 1047) that target current infirmities.

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March 1, 2024 in Scholarship, Sloan Speck, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinTuesday, March 5: Katie Genadek (Colorado-Boulder; Google Scholar) will present Newly-Available Individual-Level U.S. Tax Data from 1969-1994 (with J. Trent Alexander (Michigan; Google Scholar), David Bleckley (Michigan), Jonathan Fisher (Washington Center for Equitable Growth; Google Scholar), Susan Hautaniemi Leonard (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Aristotle Magganas (UCLA)) as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli

Wednesday, March 6: Emily Satterthwaite (Georgetown; Google Scholar) will present Taxing Nannies (with Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar), Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Ben Alarie

Thursday, March 7: David Schizer (Columbia) will present Wealth Taxes Under the Constitution: An Originalist Analysis (with Steven Calabresi (Northwestern)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Larry Zelenak

Thursday, March 7: Hayes Holderness (Richmond) will present The Erosion of State Tax Consensus in (Quad) Graphics as part of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance. If you would like to attend, please contact Kirk Stark and Jason Oh

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March 1, 2024 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Zhang Presents Fiscal Citizenship And Taxpayer Privacy Today At Indiana

Alex Zhang (Emory; Google Scholar) presents Fiscal Citizenship and Taxpayer Privacy at Indiana today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Alex zhangInequality has reached record levels, and the public shares a common belief that the ultra-rich—while accumulating enormous capital—have not borne their fair share of tax burdens.  In response, commentators have called for transparency in the tax records of the wealthy and the powerful.  The most dramatic illustration was Trump’s tax returns.   The bitter fight ended with the House Ways and Means Committee obtaining those returns—under the quiet blessing of the Supreme Court—and releasing them to the public.  Less dramatic, but far more consequential, was the leak of ultra-wealthy taxpayers’ records to ProPublica in 2021.  Those records revealed that the richest Americans exploited loopholes and tax doctrine to reduce, often to zero, their income-tax liability.  The leak prompted lawsuits and congressional investigations over what some see as a major breach of the statutory guarantee of tax privacy. 

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March 1, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Field Presents Tax Enforcement By The Private Sector: Deputizing Tax Insurers Today At Duke

Heather Field (UC-San Francisco; Google Scholar) presents Tax Enforcement by the Private Sector: Deputizing Tax Insurers, 99 Ind. L. J. ___ (2024), at San Diego today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Larry Zelenak:

Heather-fieldThe IRS is outgunned when trying to ensure compliance by large corporations and other sophisticated taxpayers. The private sector can help. Private sector actors, such as financial institutions, employers, and whistleblowers, have been valuable allies in the IRS’s efforts to improve compliance and enforcement. This Article argues for using another, largely overlooked, private sector party—tax insurers—to expand the IRS’s enforcement abilities. Tax insurers insure sophisticated taxpayers’ uncertain tax positions (e.g., the tax-free treatment of a corporate spinoff or tax credits critical to a renewable energy project). For a premium, a tax insurer agrees to pay any additional taxes owed with interest and penalties (up to the policy limit) if an insured tax position is successfully challenged by a tax authority. The tax insurance industry has grown dramatically since the mid-2010s, but scholars and policymakers pay little attention to its enforcement-enhancing potential. 

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February 29, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Schaffa Presents The Regressivity Of Complexity Today At UCLA

Daniel Schaffa (Richmond; Google Scholar) presents The Regressivity of Complexity at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh: 

Daniel schaffaThis article argues that complexity in the tax system is regressive. The claim, in essence, is that complexity disproportionally creates burdens for those of lesser means and opportunities for those of greater means. Increases in complexity, thus, generally speaking, result in outcomes relatively less favorable for those of lesser means and relatively more favorable for those of greater means.

Intuitive as some may find this claim, it is not a standard conclusion in the tax complexity literature. It faces two related difficulties. The first is a series of counterclaims, including most notably that many of the features of the tax system that add progressivity also add complexity. The second difficulty is that there is no consensus definition of tax complexity, nor an accepted framework with which to analyze tax complexity, making definitive, general claims about tax complexity elusive.

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February 29, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Brooks & Gamage: The Original Meaning Of The Sixteenth Amendment

John R. Brooks (Fordham; Google Scholar) & David Gamage (Missouri-Columbia; Google Scholar), The Original Meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment, 102 Wash. U. L. Rev. ___ (2024):

Washington university law reviewThe Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution enshrines Congress’s “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.” Challenges to the exercise of that power have typically turned on whether the thing being taxed is “income” or not. In the most recent example, the 2023 Supreme Court case of Moore v. United States, taxpayers have argued that the Sixteenth Amendment only authorizes taxation of realized income—this is, that gain from appreciated property can only be taxed as “income” when there has been a sale or conversion of that property.

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February 29, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Raskolnikov Presents Law For The Rich At Cardozo

Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia) presented Law for the Rich, 109 Minn. L. Rev. ___ (2024), at Cardozo yesterday as part of its Faculty Workshop Series: 

Alex raskolnikovWith top incomes and wealth reaching historic highs, scholars and politicians have proposed new taxes and novel legal rules aimed at reversing the emergence of the new Gilded Age. Yet while new taxes target the rich directly by imposing greater burdens only on those with incomes or wealth above multi-million-dollar thresholds, none of the proposed legal reforms do anything of the sort. There appears to be no interest in changing property law, corporate law, antitrust law, or labor law, among others, to have special, more burdensome rules applicable only to the rich. This Essay asks: Why not? Why shy away from a separate law for the rich if one supports both progressive taxation and distributionally-informed legal rules in general?

This puzzle, it turns out, is surprisingly difficult to solve. Neither political philosophy nor economic analysis nor practical design considerations offer a plausible answer. Looking for clues outside of legal theory suggests that a separate law for the rich would be widely viewed as unfair because it imposes burdens that are obvious, highly concentrated, and possibly contrary to one of the fundamental elements of law itself. 

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February 29, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Clarke Presents Income Inequality and the Corporate Sector Today At Northwestern

Conor Clarke (Washington University; Google Scholar) presents Income Inequality and the Corporate Sector (with Wojciech Kopczuk (Columbia; Google Scholar)) at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium hosted by Ari Glogower:

Conor clarkeIn recent decades, scholars have turned to tax data to study the distribution of United States income and wealth. In more recent years, the focus has expanded from information that appears on individual income tax returns to a broader set of data. This shift partly reflects the observation that what appears on individual tax returns is only a subset of “national income” — a subset that is subject to change as laws and incentives change. But the use of both individual tax data and national accounts data has been controversial, and one important piece of this controversy is the role of corporate income and the corporate sector. We provide a framework for thinking about the historical and conceptual relationship between income, inequality, and the corporate sector. We make several contributions. First, we assemble a variety of previously unused data to study the corporate sector and corporate income over the long run. Second, we survey and highlight the importance of long-run sectoral and legal changes — including some that have gone unappreciated in the last thirty years, such as the rise and fall of the so-called General Utilities doctrine — to the allocation of income between the individual and corporate sector and the study of inequality. 

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February 28, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Mehrotra Presents The Rise And Fall Of The 1970s National Value-Added Tax To Fund Education Today At Toronto

Ajay K. Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) presents Nixon’s VAT: Lawyers, Economists, and the Rise and Fall of the 1970s National Value-Added Tax to Fund Education at Tornoto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop hosted by Ben Alarie:

Ajay mehrotraConclusion
It is well-known by now that income and wealth inequalities have been soaring for the past half-century across the globe. Although some developing countries have seen a decrease in poverty and a rising middle class during that period, much of the world has experienced dramatic increases in within-country economic disparities. In the United States, the growing concentration of wealth has been particularly pronounced, especially at the top end of the socioeconomic spectrum. While the details of this increase have been debated recently by experts, most agree that both income and wealth inequality have increased significantly.

One prominent obstacle to addressing U.S. inequality has been the fractured nature of the modern American fiscal and social welfare state. The combination of a highly salient federal system of direct and progressive taxation and a more shrouded social welfare state has led to a unique type of political cognitive dissonance that, in turn, has helped perpetuate the myth of the “overtaxed” American—a myth that has been exploited by anti-statist politicians and lawmakers for decades.

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February 28, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Gómez: Taxation’s Limits

Luís Calderón Gómez (Cardozo; Google Scholar), Taxation’s Limits, 119 Nw. U. L. Rev. __ (2024):

Northwestern Law Review (2022)Countless pages have been devoted to the question of why should everyone pay tax, yet its obverse has gone largely unnoticed: why should some people and organizations not pay tax? Our tax system exempts from ordinary income taxation a wide and diverse array of people and organizations engaged in significant economic activity—from parents providing childcare services for their family, to consular activities and charities operating animal shelters—seemingly without a convincing explanation. Perhaps as a result of the dizzying diversity of activities that have been exempted from tax, scholars and policymakers have eluded comprehensively or coherently justifying our exemption regimes.

This Article develops a novel normative theory that rationalizes and justifies our current tax exemption regime. Rather than conceiving exemptions as subsidies or individual deviations from a normative base explainable by ordinary politics, the Article argues that exemptions are best understood as mapping the “limits” of tax. These limits are neither arbitrary nor merely a collection of individual subsidies to favored activities; rather, they are best seen as being reflective of deeper collective socio-political judgments about the scope of the State and the public sphere.

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February 28, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Brown Presents A Survey And Critique Of International Tax Governance Reform Today At Georgetown

Karen B. Brown (George Washington) presents A Survey and Critique of International Tax Governance Reform at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli: 

KarenBrowncroppedThe most far-reaching international tax reform proposal in nearly one hundred years unfolded under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) largely without input from the non-OECD nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. That area, hard hit by the multiple calamities of covid-19 and other devastating diseases, climate change, inflation engendered by wars waged inside and outside its confines, has been designated as key to the survival of the remainder of the world. The prospect of the future progression of tax reform without meaningful initial input from the Sub-Saharan region is untenable. A truly inclusive global tax governance will restore legitimacy and integrity to reform efforts.

February 27, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Call For Papers: 115th Annual Society Of Legal Scholars Conference

Society of legal scholars annual conference
Call for Papers for the Tax Section of the 115th Annual Society of Legal Scholars Conference (Sept. 3-5, 2024): 

The theme of the conference is “Learning from Others: Lessons for Legal Scholars?”
As scholars, we interact with others – students; fellow academics; legal practitioners; the wider public – and the 2024 conference will reflect on the gains we can achieve from such interaction in a global academic environment. The conference will examine this theme in two ways. First, as scholars attending the SLS conference, we benefit greatly from meeting colleagues from different backgrounds and disciplines and, notably, from other legal jurisdictions (both within and outside the common law world). What can we gain from taking an international or comparative perspective to our work? To what extent do different perspectives, such as socio-legal, interdisciplinary or historical viewpoints, assist our research? Secondly, one of the significant elements of the conference is the inclusion of papers from both junior and senior scholars. What lessons can we gain from each other, both in terms of mentoring and in recognising the need to promote the interests of early career legal scholars and offering support for those entering the academy? No scholar is an island. The SLS provides a positive inclusive environment for legal academics at whatever stage of their career to engage with each other and learn valuable lessons from a diverse and inclusive community of legal scholars. Doctoral students are very welcome and are encouraged to submit papers for consideration in the Subject Sections Programme.

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February 27, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, February 26, 2024

Hemel: Capital Taxation In The Middle Of History

Daniel J. Hemel (NYU; Google Scholar), Capital Taxation in the Middle of History, 99 N.Y.U. L. Rev. __ (2024):

Nyu-law-reviewOptimal tax theory—the branch of public economics that focuses on the design of welfare-maximizing tax systems—has produced two especially stark results regarding the ideal treatment of capital. First, Anthony Atkinson and Joseph Stiglitz concluded in a seminal 1976 article that the optimal capital tax is zero and that all revenue should be raised from taxes on labor income. Four years later, Stanley Fischer analyzed a model similar to Atkinson and Stiglitz’s and concluded that the welfare-maximizing system would tax only capital—not labor—and would potentially tax capital at a rate as high as 100 percent. 

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February 26, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Top Five New Tax Papers

This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list.

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[643 Downloads]  The Myths and Truths of Extraterritorial Taxation, by Laura Snyder (President, Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation (SEAT); Board of Directors, Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO))
  2. [335 Downloads]  Pillar 2: QDMTT or Safe Harbour Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax (SHDMTT)?, by Joachim Englisch (Münster)
  3. [284 Downloads]  No More Tax-Free Lunch for Billionaires: Closing the Borrowing Loophole, by Edward Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar)
  4. [233 Downloads]  Paying for Reparations: How to Capitalize a Multi-Trillion Reparations Fund, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [205 Downloads]  AI and the Future of Tax Avoidance, by Benjamin Alarie (Toronto; Google Scholar)

February 25, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Soled: The Gift Tax And The Tax Gap

Jay A. Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar), The Gift Tax and the Tax Gap, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 1047 (Feb. 5, 2024):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)There is ample evidence that the nation’s gift tax revenue is ravaged by taxpayer noncompliance, thereby enlarging the overall federal tax gap. In a nutshell, taxpayers often make gifts that exceed the gift tax annual exclusion, yet they fail to report this information to the IRS, and the agency lacks the resources and ability to identify those derelictions. The result is that the nation’s coffers suffer.

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February 24, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, February 23, 2024

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Saito Reviews Dagan’s Tax and Globalization: Toward a New Social Contract

This week, Blaine Saito (Ohio State; Google Scholar) reviews a new work by Tsilly Dagan (Oxford; Google Scholar), Tax and Globalization: Toward a New Social Contract

Blaine saito

Political theory has often struggled in trying to determine what justice requires across the borders of nation-states. In her piece Tax and Globalization: Toward a New Social Contract, Tsilly Dagan addresses these thorny issues in the context of taxation. In doing so, she shows that one of the great difficulties that tax, and indeed all areas of law, face under globalization, is to ensure that people’s liberties to leave political communities are balanced carefully with the needs of justice for those who are not so mobile. In doing so, she provides a framework for us to think about what justice and social contract theories demand in a globalized world.

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February 23, 2024 in Blaine Saito, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinTuesday, February 27: Karen B. Brown (George Washington) will present A Survey and Critique of International Tax Governance Reform as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli

Wednesday, February 28: Conor Clarke (Washington University; Google Scholar) will present Income Inequality and the Corporate Sector (with Wojciech Kopczuk (Columbia; Google Scholar)) as part of the Northwestern Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Ari Glogower

Wednesday, February 28: Ajay K. Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) will present Nixon’s VAT: Lawyers, Economists, and the Rise and Fall of the 1970s National Value-Added Tax to Fund Education as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Ben Alarie

Thursday, February 29: Heather Field (UC-San Francisco; Google Scholar) will present Tax Enforcement by the Private Sector: Deputizing Tax Insurers, 99 Ind. L. J. ___ (2024), as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Larry Zelenak

Thursday, February 29: Daniel Schaffa (Richmond; Google Scholar) will present The Regressivity of Complexity as part of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance. If you would like to attend, please contact Kirk Stark and Jason Oh

Friday, March 1: Alex Zhang (Emory; Google Scholar) will present Fiscal Citizenship and Taxpayer Privacy as part of the Indiana Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman

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February 23, 2024 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Mansour Presents Building Tax Capacity In Developing Countries Today At UCLA

Mario Mansour (IMF) presents Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries (with Juan Carlos Benitez (IMF; Google Scholar), Miguel Pecho (IMF) & Charles Vellutini (IMF; Google Scholar)) at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh: 

Mario mansourTax capacity—the policy, institutional, and technical capabilities to collect tax revenue—is part of a deeper process of state building that is essential for achieving the sustainable development goals. This Staff Discussion Note shows that developing countries have made some progress in revenue mobilization during the past decades, but that much more is needed. It finds that a staggering 9 percentage-point increase in the tax- to-GDP ratio is feasible through a combination of tax system reform and institutional capacity building. Achieving this calls for a holistic and institution-based approach that focuses on improving policy, administration, and legal implementation of core taxes. The note offers practical lessons and guidance, based on IMF capacity-building experience in this area.

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February 22, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thomas: Tax And The Myth Of The Family Farm

Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina; Google Scholar), Tax and the Myth of the Family Farm, 110 Iowa L. Rev. __ (2024):

Iowa law reviewWith income and wealth inequality at historically high levels, policymakers have looked to the tax system as a potential road to reform. Specifically, new taxes on wealth or inheritances could raise much needed revenue and reduce intergenerational wealth disparities. Yet looming behind recent proposals to strengthen the progressivity of the tax system is the specter of taxing family farms out of existence. 

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February 22, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Generative AI For Tax: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Benjamin Alarie (Osler Chair in Business Law, University of Toronto; CEO, Blue J Legal),), Generative AI for Tax: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 1069 (Feb. 5, 2024):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)This article canvases the highlights of what has been going on with generative AI over this past year. It outlines the main developments ushered in by the large technology players for the development and commercialization of AI in 2023 and then, more importantly for the purposes of tax professionals, offers a quick rundown of some of the principal developments in the world of tax law specifically for generative AI in 2023, particularly regarding tax analysis. It then forecasts what lies ahead for generative AI in tax in 2024.

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February 22, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Call For Presentations: UC-Irvine Symposium On Moore And The Future Of The Realization Doctrine

Call for Presentations: The Moore Case and the Future of the Realization Doctrine:

UCI Law (2022)The Graduate Tax Program at the University of California, Irvine School of Law will host its 6th Annual UCI Law - Taylor Nelson Amitrano LLP Tax Symposium on April 18, 2024. The theme this year is The Moore Case and the Future of the Realization Doctrine.

We are interested in submissions for proposed presentations on potential effects of the Moore case on the realization doctrine, as well as any topics relating to the realization doctrine as they pertain to issues such as constitutional design, legal alternatives, behavioral effects, societal effects and disparities, tax planning, and political discourse.

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February 21, 2024 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Brunson: A New Johnson Amendment—Subsidy, Core Political Speech, And Tax-Exempt Organizations

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago; Google Scholar), A New Johnson Amendment: Subsidy, Core Political Speech, and Tax-Exempt Organizations:

Seven decades ago, Congress enacted the so-called Johnson Amendment. This provision of tax law forbids tax-exempt public charities from endorsing or opposing candidates for office. Under the plain language of the tax law, an organization that violates the Johnson Amendment does not qualify as tax-exempt.

The legislative history underlying the Johnson Amendment is sparse, and it provides few clues as to Congress’s reason for enacting it. In the ensuing years, though, it has become clear that Congress does not want to subsidize campaigning activities, and this has become the most convincing justification for the Johnson Amendment. However, the design of the current Johnson Amendment goes further than merely refusing to subsidize: it entirely prevents public charities from engaging in campaigning speech.

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February 21, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Sarin, Summers, Goldberg & Samuels: Tax Reform Project — Seeking Experts’ Ideas For A Better Tax Code

Natasha Sarin (Yale), Lawrence Summers (Harvard), Fred Goldberg, Jr. (Skadden) & Leslie B. Samuels (Cleary Gottlieb), Tax Reform Project: Seeking Experts’ Ideas for a Better Tax Code, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 1027 (Feb. 5, 2024): 

Tax Reform ProjectIn this article, the authors announce the Tax Reform Project and invite tax experts to submit their ideas for improving the tax system to the project’s website for inclusion in a “practitioners’ green book” that will aid the development of tax policy in Washington. ...

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February 21, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Zelenak: The Income Tax, The Constitution, And The Unrealized Importance Of Helvering v. Griffiths

Lawrence Zelenak (Duke; Google Scholar), The Income Tax, the Constitution, and the Unrealized Importance of Helvering v. Griffiths, 43 Va. Tax Rev. 257 (2023):

Virginia tax reviewThe Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Moore v. United States, for the purpose of deciding whether the realization doctrine remains a constitutional limitation on Congress's ability to impose an unapportioned income tax, as the Court held in its famous 1920 decision in Eisner v. Macomber. Although it is natural to look to 1920 and Macomber as the cause of today's uncertain scope of the congressional power to tax income, what did not happen in the Court's 1943 decision in Helvering v. Griffiths is as significant as what did happen in 1920. The presence of Moore on the Court's docket today depends on Macomber's wildly improbable survival in 1943. That survival was the product of a perfect storm of unlikely circumstances.

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February 20, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

GPT Gets Its First Law School B+ Grades

Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland; Google Scholar), Patricia Campbell (Maryland), Donald G. Gifford (Maryland), Guha Krishnamurthi (Maryland; Google Scholar), Robert V. Percival (Maryland), Jeff Sovern (Maryland; Google Scholar), Maureen Sweeney (Maryland), Donald B. Tobin (Maryland; Google Scholar) & Liza Vertinsky (Maryland; Google Scholar), GPT Gets Its First Law School B-pluses

In November 2023, OpenAI released GPT-4-turbo. We had it take our Fall 2023 law school final exams and graded it on the same curve as students. We find an improvement from GPT-4’s performance on spring 2023 finals, where the highest grade was a B. This semester GPT-4-turbo got three B+’s, in Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, and Torts; a B in Contracts; B-’s in Constitutional Law, Corporate Tax, and the Intellectual Property Law Survey course; a C+ in Immigration Law; and a D in Election Law. The mean and median improved from GPT-4’s performance the prior semester.

Chat MD

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February 20, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Call For International Tax Papers: Akron Law Review

Call for Papers

Akron Law ReviewThe Master of Taxation Program at the University of Akron College of Business will host on May 2nd the Akron Conference on International Tax and is proud to invite submissions from tax scholars to present and discuss articles and essays addressing any international tax issues, however we are especially interested in one or more of the following topics or related topics:

  • International Tax Dispute Resolution
  • International Tax Policy
  • Tax Treaties
  • International Tax of Human Capital
  • Fairness in International Taxation
  • Pillar I and Pillar II

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February 20, 2024 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, February 19, 2024

Kim Presents Taxing The Metaverse Today At Pepperdine

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) presents Taxing the Metaverse, 112 Geo. L.J. ___ (2024), at Pepperdine today as part of its Faculty Workshop hosted by Deanna Newton:

Christine KimThe buzz surrounding the Metaverse has been growing steadily for the past couple of years, but the tax implications of this novel ecosystem remain fuzzy to most tax scholars. Such uncertainty is concerning, given the potential and momentum of this emerging technology. Although the Metaverse evolved from online video games focused only on user consumption, it now allows users to produce income and accumulate wealth entirely within the Metaverse. Current law seems to defer taxation of such until a realization or cash-out event. This paper challenges this approach.

This paper offers novel arguments justifying Metaverse taxation. Because economic activity within the Metaverse satisfies the Haig-Simons and Glenshaw Glass definitions of income, its exclusion will create a tax haven. Tax policy can also play an essential role in regulating the virtual economy. Furthermore, this emerging technology allows policymakers to modernize the tax system. 

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February 19, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Sarkar Presents Internal Revenue's External Borders Today At San Diego

Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis; Google Scholar) presents Internal Revenue's External Borders, 112 Calif. L. Rev __ (2024) (reviewed by Blaine Saito (Ohio State; Google Scholar) here), at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series hosted by Miranda Fleischer: 

Shayak sarkarThe mandate of tax agencies seems clear: to secure revenue for the government and ensure taxpayer compliance. Yet for decades, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has regularly facilitated violent immigration enforcement. Scholars and the public have paid significant attention to the state and local policing of immigration law. But the role of tax bureaucrats as generals—no mere foot soldiers—has largely been overlooked.

This Article corrects that oversight. Building on emerging critiques of the tax system, I first describe tax-agency leadership in immigration raids, holding the dry mechanics of agency procedures against stark examples of IRS complicity in civil rights violations. I then raise several concerns about tax-agency involvement in immigration enforcement. After describing the tax-law origins of immigration raids’ constitutional exceptionalism, I assess residual constraints on tax-agency involvement: taxpayer privacy, regulatory suppression, and civil rights liability.

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February 19, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Sunday, February 18, 2024

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 new papers debuting on the list at #3 and #5.

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[641 Downloads]  The Myths and Truths of Extraterritorial Taxation, by Laura Snyder (President, Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation (SEAT); Board of Directors, Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO))
  2. [323 Downloads]  Pillar 2: QDMTT or Safe Harbour Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax (SHDMTT)?, by Joachim Englisch (Münster)
  3. [254 Downloads]  No More Tax-Free Lunch for Billionaires: Closing the Borrowing Loophole, by Edward Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar)
  4. [226 Downloads]  Paying for Reparations: How to Capitalize a Multi-Trillion Reparations Fund, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [181 Downloads]  AI and the Future of Tax Avoidance, by Benjamin Alarie (Toronto; Google Scholar)

February 18, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Avi-Yonah Posts Three Tax Papers On SSRN

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar), Pillar 2 and the United States: What’s Next, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 1269 (Jan. 29, 2024):

In this installment of Reflections With Reuven Avi-Yonah, Avi-Yonah examines what’s next for the United States and U.S. multinationals as pillar 2 becomes a reality.

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar), Could Moore Have Been Mooted?, 112 Tax Notes Int'l 1752 (Dec. 18, 2023):

In this article, Avi-Yonah argues that the government could have prevented Moore from going before the Supreme Court by issuing the Moores a refund for the contested amount before they applied for certiorari.

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Ariel Siman (Michigan), Taxation and Corporate Governance:

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February 17, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, February 16, 2024

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Taxing Nannies By Kleiman, Sarkar & Satterthwaite

This week, Michelle Layser (San Diego; Google Scholar) reviews Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola), Shayak Sarkar (UC Davis) & Emily Satterthwaite (Georgetown), Taxing Nannies

Michelle-layser

Nannies play an important role in the childcare system, helping many moderate-to-high income women pursue careers in fields like business, medicine, law, and politics. Research on the tax behavior of parent-hirers of nannies has raised significant concerns about noncompliance, and it would be easy to conclude that most nannies (and the parents they work for) prefer to keep their payments “under the table.” A new study by Professors Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Shayak Sarkar, and Emily Satterthwaite suggests that the tax reporting preferences of nannies and their employers are considerably more nuanced. While many nannies do prefer to receive pay under the table, others prefer formal employee status. The authors argue that understanding these preferences—and the reasons behind them—is key to crafting effective and equitable nanny tax reforms.

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February 16, 2024 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Monday, February 19: Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) will present Taxing the Metaverse as part of the Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Deanna Newton

Monday, February 19: Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis; Google Scholar) will present Internal Revenue's External Borders as part of the San Diego Tax Law Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Miranda Fleischer

Thursday, February 22: Mario Mansour (IMF) will present Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries (with Juan Carlos Benitez (IMF; Google Scholar), Miguel Pecho (IMF) & Charles Vellutini (IMF; Google Scholar)) as part of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance. If you would like to attend, please contact Kirk Stark and Jason Oh

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February 16, 2024 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Kim Presents Taxing The Metaverse Today At Indiana

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) presents Taxing the Metaverse, 112 Geo. L.J. ___ (2024), at Indiana-Maurer today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Christine KimThe buzz surrounding the Metaverse has been growing steadily for the past couple of years, but the tax implications of this novel ecosystem remain fuzzy to most tax scholars. Such uncertainty is concerning, given the potential and momentum of this emerging technology. Although the Metaverse evolved from online video games focused only on user consumption, it now allows users to produce income and accumulate wealth entirely within the Metaverse. Current law seems to defer taxation of such until a realization or cash-out event. This paper challenges this approach.

This paper offers novel arguments justifying Metaverse taxation. Because economic activity within the Metaverse satisfies the Haig-Simons and Glenshaw Glass definitions of income, its exclusion will create a tax haven. Tax policy can also play an essential role in regulating the virtual economy. Furthermore, this emerging technology allows policymakers to modernize the tax system. 

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February 16, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Bearer-Friend Presents How To Capitalize A Multi-Trillion Reparations Fund At Leiden

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar) presented Paying For Reparations: How To Capitalize A Multi-Trillion Reparations Fund, 67 How. L.J. __ (2024) (reviewed by Blaine Saito (Ohio State; Google Scholar) here) at Leiden University yesterday: 

Bearer-Friend (2021)This Article proposes a novel approach to capitalizing a reparations fund worth trillions of dollars. Under the proposal, publicly-traded firms on U.S. exchanges would be required to remit shares of corporate equity to a reparations trust fund in lieu of cash tax payments. Under the terms of this proposal, our federal government could successfully capitalize a multi-trillion reparations fund in less than a year.

The primary contribution of this Article is to offer a unique financing structure for reparations—a national effort expected by all estimates to require trillions of dollars. The Article describes the features of the in-kind tax proposal, the myriad design choices that would be necessary to ensure effective implementation, and its analogs in the private sector for capitalizing a fund. The Article also evaluates the limitations of an in-kind tax proposal, ultimately concluding that in-kind remittance remains preferable to other tax policy options.

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February 16, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Gale Presents Racial Aspects Of The Federal Income Tax Today At UCLA

William G. Gale (Brookings; Google Scholar) presents Racial Aspects of the Federal Income Tax (with Oliver Hall (Brookings) & John Sabelhaus (Brookings; Michigan; Google Scholar)) at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh:

William galeAlthough it does not explicitly discriminate on the basis of race, the federal income tax can still generate racially disparate outcomes, because factors that affect tax liability may be correlated with race. In this paper, we explore how the federal income tax differentially affects Black and white tax units. We use data from eight waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances, a public-use triennial household survey that contains information on race, demographics, income, and wealth. We split the household data into tax units and apply the result to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s TAXSIM model to calculate tax liabilities. To measure household resources consistently over time and robustly with respect to tax law changes, and to analyze the racial implications of tax preferences, we develop a new income concept, “expanded income” (EI), which creates a very broad measure of household income by adding untaxed cash and non-cash income components to adjusted gross income (AGI). We obtain several results: White tax filing units have higher average income and thus face higher average tax rates. But even after controlling for income, white units are more likely to file as married, less likely to file as head of household, and have a greater share of their income in the form of capital income, which is often tax-preferred.

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February 15, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Schmalbeck Presents Form Over Substance In Wealth Taxation Today At Duke

Richard L. Schmalbeck (Duke) presents Substance Over Form In Transfer Tax Adjudication, 55 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 609 (2022) (with Jay Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar)), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Larry Zelenak:

Richard schmalbeckThe elevated exemption level under the federal transfer tax system (now in excess of $24 million for a married couple) has opened up new and abusive tax-avoidance opportunities. In many areas of the tax law, the substance over form doctrine historically has been effective in controlling such abuses; however, for a myriad of reasons, transfer tax jurisprudence has been marred by the reluctance of courts to embrace this doctrine. In this analysis, we urge reconsideration of that posture.

Conclusion
For over a century, the nation has relied upon its transfer tax regime as a source of revenue and mitigation of wealth concentrations. However, its ability to fulfill its historic missions has been hampered by the fact that the judiciary has been reluctant to apply the substance over form doctrine to challenge a wide range of transfer taxmitigation schemes. The consequences of the judiciary’s inaction have been severe: utilization of these techniques significantly narrows the transfer tax base, enabling billions of dollars of wealth to pass free of transfer tax and allowing wealth concentrations to abound.

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February 15, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

2023 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2024 Competition

The winner of the International Fiscal Association's 2023 International Tax Student Writing Competition is: 

International fiscal associationTakato Masuda (NYU), The Controversy over the Tax Treaty Compatibility of the UTPR

Faculty Sponsor: Mitchell Kane

Some commentators have argued that the UTPR would conflict with existing tax treaties. This argument now appears in the U.S. political context as well. In reality, however, a critical mass of jurisdictions other than the U.S. is firmly preparing to implement the UTPR. Apparently, criticism against UTPR was not widely accepted in the end. How could this happen? This paper examines the critical arguments against the UTPR.

In Chapter II, this paper examines the tax treaty provisions that potentially conflict with the UTPR in the following order: the business profit provision and saving clause, the PE attributable profit provision (arm’s length principle), the ownership non-discrimination clause, and the PE non-discrimination clause. The section that follows presents issues regarding applicable treaties. The last section of that chapter introduces findings from prior research that the UTPR is not a covered tax under the treaty. Chapter III discusses Japanese case law regarding the business profit provision to reinforce the arguments made in the preceding chapter. Chapter IV is the conclusion.

2024 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition

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February 15, 2024 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Sarin Presents The Coming Fiscal Cliff: A Blueprint For Tax Reform In 2025 Today At Northwestern

Natasha Sarin (Yale; Google Scholar) presents The Coming Fiscal Cliff: A Blueprint for Tax Reform in 2025 (with Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar)) at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium hosted by Ari Glogower:

Natasha-sarinAt the end of 2025, almost all of the individual, estate, and pass-through provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will expire. This looming expiration creates an important opportunity to improve tax policy along multiple dimensions at the same time that TCJA provisions are evaluated for possible extension. In this paper, we suggest four key principles to guide tax policy choices in 2025: first, reforms should raise revenue on net, improving fiscal sustainability; second, reforms should respond to persistent inequalities by increasing the progressivity of the tax code; third, reforms should work to reduce tax-based inefficiencies in the code, and finally, reforms should address global collective action problems such as climate change and tax competition. Using these principles as a guide, we then evaluate possible TCJA extensions and consider a menu of revenue-raising reforms that together have the potential to raise about $3.5 trillion over the coming decade, while improving the progressivity and efficiency of the tax system.

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February 14, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Clausing Presents Capital Taxation And Market Power Today At UC-Irvine

Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar) presents Capital Taxation and Market Power at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Natascha Fastabend:

Kim-clausingIn recent decades, market power has increased substantially, according to multiple measures that describe industry concentration, mark-ups, and business profitability. While market power can generate benefits, it also raises vexing policy concerns, including the potential for adverse effects on labor markets, income inequality, and the dynamism of market competition. The concept of market power also has implications for how we conceptualize capital income, making it important to distinguish between normal and above-normal returns to capital. The tax system taxes both types of returns to capital, but often imperfectly and incompletely. 

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February 14, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Burke: How Abusive Was Tribune Media’s Disguised Sale?

Karen C. Burke (Florida), How Abusive Was Tribune Media’s Disguised Sale?, 182 Tax Notes Fed. 855 (Jan. 29, 2024):

In 2009 Tribune Media Co. deliberately structured the disposition of its controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs (the Cubs transaction) to fit within the debt-financed exception to the partnership disguised sale rules. The linchpin of the Cubs transaction was Tribune’s guarantee of the partnership’s senior debt. Had Tribune disposed of the Cubs assets in an outright sale, it would have recognized significant gain. In 2016 the government assessed a deficiency, claiming that Tribune’s guarantee should be disregarded because the likelihood of payment was too remote. In 2021 the Tax Court held that Tribune had entered into a bona fide guarantee and “the fact that having to fulfill the guarantee is remote is not sufficient to disregard it.”

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February 14, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Bruckner Presents The Small Business Tax Literacy Project: Keys To Unlocking Small Business Capital & Compliance Today At Georgetown

Caroline Bruckner (American-Kogod; Google Scholar) presents AI and the Modern Tax Agency: Adopting and Deploying AI to Improve Tax Administration (with Collin Coil (American-Kogod)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli:

Caroline brucknerThe use of Artificial intelligence (AI) was  the biggest technology trend of 2023, prompting significant news coverage, business developments, and regulatory changes. Although AI tools have been adopted rapidly by millions of users, governments have been slower to develop AI capabilities.   More specifically, tax agencies have shown recent interest in using AI as part of their modernization plans, hoping that the technology will enhance the taxpayer experience and facilitate operations. However, deploying AI to improve tax administration comes alongside risks, including bias, unethical usage, lack of transparency, and potential breaches of taxpayer privacy.

To address challenges and opportunities for using AI to support efficient and effective tax administration, the IBM Center for the Business of Government and the American University Kogod Tax Policy Center (KTPC) recently convened a roundtable discussion that included tax agency leaders and experts from the U.S. and around the world.  Roundtable participants focused on opportunities and challenges of using AI in tax administration to improve taxpayer experience, streamline processes, and address tax compliance and enforcement. While discussing AI’s potential to facilitate tax agency functions and interactions with taxpayers, discussants also explored related ethical and governance questions.

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February 13, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Graetz: The Power to Destroy: How The Antitax Movement Hijacked America

Michael J. Graetz (Columbia), The Power to Destroy: How the Antitax Movement Hijacked America (Feb. 13, 2024 Princeton University Press):

Graetz 2The postwar United States enjoyed large, widely distributed economic rewards—and most Americans accepted that taxes were a reasonable price to pay for living in a society of shared prosperity. Then in 1978 California enacted Proposition 13, a property tax cap that Ronald Reagan hailed as a “second American Revolution,” setting off an antitax, antigovernment wave that has transformed American politics and economic policy. In The Power to Destroy, Michael Graetz tells the story of the antitax movement and how it holds America hostage—undermining the nation’s ability to meet basic needs and fix critical problems.

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that the power to tax entails “the power to destroy.” But The Power to Destroy argues that tax opponents now wield this destructive power. Attacking the IRS, protecting tax loopholes, and pushing tax cuts from Reagan to Donald Trump, the antitax movement is threatening the nation’s social safety net, increasing inequality, ballooning the national debt, and sapping America’s financial strength. The book chronicles how the movement originated as a fringe enterprise promoted by zealous outsiders using false economic claims and thinly veiled racist rhetoric, and how—abetted by conservative media and Grover Norquist’s “taxpayer protection pledge”—it evolved into a mainstream political force.

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February 13, 2024 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Check-the-Box Regulations After Pillar Two

Carol Wang (Joint Committee on Taxation), Check-the-Box Regulations After Pillar Two, 112 Tax Notes Int'l 1501 (Dec. 11, 2023):

Tax-notes-internationalSince December 1996, domestic and foreign “eligible entities” have been able to elect their tax classification for U.S. federal income purposes. As a result, eligible entities may elect to be a corporation subject to entity-level tax, a partnership that is not subject to entity-level tax but rather flows through the tax to its owners, or an entity disregarded as separate from its owner (“DRE”). DRE’s that are owned by individuals are treated as sole proprietorships and DRE’s that are owned by corporations or partnerships are treated as a branch or division of that corporation or partnership. They are ignored for U.S. tax purposes and deemed to be the same taxable entity as their regarded owner.

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February 13, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, February 12, 2024

Luke Reviews Calderón Gómez’s Whose Debt Is It Anyway?

Charlene Luke (Florida; Google Scholar), The Taxing Power of Co-Obligated Debt (JOTWELL) (reviewing Luís Calderón Gómez (Cardozo; Google Scholar), Whose Debt Is It Anyway?, 76 Tax L. Rev. 159 (2022):

Jotwell Tax (2023)Luís Calderón Gómez asks the question, “Whose Debt Is It Anyway?,” to frame his analysis of a situation that, while common, remains understudied and undertheorized: the tax treatment of debt co-obligors.

Calderón Gómez’s initial contribution is to demonstrate that there is, in fact, a problem. Co-obligated debt offered by corporate issuers alone is “in the hundreds of billions” of dollars under a “conservative estimate” based on SEC documentation. Yet, tax law generally assumes a conceptual paradigm “where one creditor lends money to one borrower.” Calderón Gómez begins the article by illustrating the inconsistent and incoherent tax treatment that results when a loan arrangement departs from this paradigm.

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February 12, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Awarding Racial Segregation: The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit As A New Racially Restrictive Covenant

Jessica Xu (J.D. 2022, UCLA; King & Spalding, Los Angeles), Comment, Awarding Racial Segregation: The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit as a New Racially Restrictive Covenant, 70 UCLA L. Rev. 596 (2023): 

Ucla law reviewThe United States has a history of racial segregation in its facilitation of federal housing programs. One such program, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), was intended to respond to the need for affordable housing since its establishment in 1986. Through the LIHTC program, the federal government grants tax credits to investors and developers who rent to low-income tenants. In recent years, the federal government has become increasingly reliant on the program as the most prevalent form of affordable public housing.  

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February 12, 2024 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Sunday, February 11, 2024

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 new papers debuting on the list at #3 and #5.

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[640 Downloads]  The Myths and Truths of Extraterritorial Taxation, by Laura Snyder (President, Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation (SEAT); Board of Directors, Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO))
  2. [319 Downloads]  Pillar 2: QDMTT or Safe Harbour Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax (SHDMTT)?, by Joachim Englisch (Münster)
  3. [223 Downloads]  Breaking the Double Tax Paradigm, by Jeroen Lammers (Copenhagen; Google Scholar) & Tarcísio Diniz Magalhães (Antwerp; Google Scholar)
  4. [214 Downloads]  Paying for Reparations: How to Capitalize a Multi-Trillion Reparations Fund, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [168 Downloads]  The Advocate General’s Opinion in Apple: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar)

February 11, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Tax Panel At Today's ClassCrits XIV Conference At Southwestern

Tax panel at today's ClassCrits XIV Conference at Southwestern on Demanding Justice in the Face of Retrenchment: Finding Common Ground and Building Coalition Across Borders (program): 

Demanding Justice in the Face of Retrenchment GraphicTax Law and Policy and Its Implications

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February 10, 2024 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, February 9, 2024

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Tuesday, February 13: Caroline Bruckner (American-Kogod; Google Scholar) will present AI and the Modern Tax Agency: Adopting and Deploying AI to Improve Tax Administration (with Collin Coil (American-Kogod)) as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli

Wednesday, February 14: Natasha Sarin (Yale; Google Scholar) will present The Coming Fiscal Cliff: A Blueprint for Tax Reform in 2025 (with Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar)) as part of the Northwestern Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Ari Glogower.

Wednesday, February 14: Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar) will present Capital Taxation and Market Power as part of the UC-Irvine Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Natascha Fastabend

Thursday, February 15: Richard L. Schmalbeck (Duke) will present Substance Over Form In Transfer Tax Adjudication, 55 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 609 (2022) (with Jay Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Larry Zelenak

Thursday, February 15: William G. Gale (Brookings Institute; Google Scholar) will present Racial Aspects of the Federal Income Tax (with Oliver Hall (Brookings Institute) & John Sabelhaus (Brookings Institute, Michigan; Google Scholar)) as part of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance. If you would like to attend, please contact Kirk Stark and Jason Oh

Friday, February 16: Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) will present Taxing the Metaverse,112 Geo. L.J. ___ (2024) as part of the Indiana Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman

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February 9, 2024 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Goldin Presents Measuring And Mitigating Racial Disparities In Tax Audits Today At Duke

Jacob Goldin (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Measuring and Mitigating Racial Disparities in Tax Audits (with Hadi Elzayn (Stanford; Google Scholar), Evelyn Smith (Michigan), Thomas Hertz (U.S. Treasury), Arun Ramesh (Chicago), Robin Fisher (U.S. Treasury) & Daniel E. Ho (Stanford)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Larry Zelenak:

Jacob goldinGovernment agencies around the world use data-driven algorithms to allocate enforcement resources. Even when such algorithms are formally neutral with respect to protected characteristics like race, there is widespread concern that they can disproportionately burden vulnerable groups. We study differences in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit rates between Black and non-Black taxpayers. Because neither we nor the IRS observe taxpayer race, we propose and employ a novel partial identification strategy to estimate these differences. Despite race-blind audit selection, we find that Black taxpayers are audited at 2.9 to 4.7 times the rate of non-Black taxpayers. The main source of the disparity is differing audit rates by race among taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Using counterfactual audit selection models for EITC claimants, we find that maximizing the detection of underreported taxes would not lead to Black taxpayers being audited at higher rates.

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February 8, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Zhang Presents Fiscal Citizenship And Taxpayer Privacy Today At UCLA

Alex Zhang (Emory; Google Scholar) presents Fiscal Citizenship and Taxpayer Privacy at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh:

Alex zhangInequality has reached record levels, and the public shares a common belief that the ultra-rich—while accumulating enormous capital—have not borne their fair share of tax burdens.  In response, commentators have called for transparency in the tax records of the wealthy and the powerful.  The most dramatic illustration was Trump’s tax returns.   The bitter fight ended with the House Ways and Means Committee obtaining those returns—under the quiet blessing of the Supreme Court—and releasing them to the public.  Less dramatic, but far more consequential, was the leak of ultra-wealthy taxpayers’ records to ProPublica in 2021.  Those records revealed that the richest Americans exploited loopholes and tax doctrine to reduce, often to zero, their income-tax liability.  The leak prompted lawsuits and congressional investigations over what some see as a major breach of the statutory guarantee of tax privacy. 

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February 8, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink