Paul L. Caron
Dean




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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Friday, November 12, 2021

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Brennan Presents The Tax Portfolio Today At Boston College

Tom Brennan (Harvard) presents The Tax Portfolio at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Collaborative hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu Yi Oei: 

Brennan (2017)This paper demonstrates that a linear tax on capital is equivalent to one that imposes an ex ante lump-sum payment on a taxpayer’s position with respect to a particular asset portfolio, referred to herein as the “tax portfolio,” and no tax on any portfolio orthogonal to it. Among the orthogonal portfolios, there may or may not be a portfolio with a non-zero (pre-tax) market price. If there is not such a portfolio, then the tax is equivalent to an ex ante wealth tax, and the result is the same as found by Kaplow (1994). If, however, there is an orthogonal portfolio with non-zero price, then the tax portfolio may be chosen to have zero market price, and there exists an “untaxed capital portfolio” that is effectively not subject to tax and that has non-zero market price. In this case, the tax burden is separated from the total amount of capital invested. A taxpayer has flexibility to allocate capital to the untaxed capital portfolio and thereby avoid any tax burden. Only an investment in the tax portfolio results in a tax burden, with a short position in the portfolio resulting in an effective tax subsidy.

Continue reading

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

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Pomeranz Presents Ghosting The Tax Authority: Fake Firms And Tax Fraud Today At The OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks

Dina Pomeranz (Zurich; Google Scholar) presents Ghosting the Tax Authority: Fake Firms and Tax Fraud (with Paul Carrillo (George Washington; Google Scholar), Dave Donaldson (MIT; Google Scholar) & Monica Singhal (UC-Davis)) today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

Dina_pomeranzBillions of dollars in tax revenue are lost annually due to tax fraud using "ghost firms". These fake firms issue fraudulent receipts for false deductions. We provide a window into this global phenomenon by exploiting transaction-level tax data and an innovative policy experiment in Ecuador. Over 5\% of incorporated firms make purchases from ghost firms. These client firms are large and disproportionately owned by high-income individuals. An enforcement campaign, which targeted the client firms rather than chasing ghost firms directly, led to over 25 million USD in additional tax reported from 435 firms within 3 months.

Continue reading

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

Hasen Presents Interest Deductibility Under The Income Tax Today At Indiana

David Hasen (Florida; Google Scholar) presents Interest Deductibility Under the Income Tax at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Hasen-photoThe proper tax treatment of interest expense has been a subject of disagreement since the inception of the modern income tax in the early twentieth century. On one view, the purpose of the financing transaction dictates the tax treatment, so that interest paid on borrowing used to finance consumption should be nondeductible, whereas business interest should be deductible. On another view, interest paid does not constitute a consumption item but rather a mere shift in resources and therefore should be deductible at all events, assuming the recipient includes in income the interest received.

Both of these views lead to conundrums that cannot be resolved without considering the broader question of why some expenses are deductible at all. 

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Mason & Knoll Present Unbundling Undue Burdens Today At NYU

Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) & Michael Knoll (Penn) present Unbundling Undue Burdens at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Daniel Shaviro:

Mason-knollCriticizing dormant Commerce Clause doctrine for, among other reasons, involving arbitrary distinctions and inviting judicial legislation, jurists and commentators have advocated for its abandonment or severe curtailment. This Article shows that when dormant Commerce Clause cases are divided by the type of burden they impose on interstate commerce, the need for different approaches to different types of cases emerges. Unbundling the doctrine helps explain the Supreme Court’s various doctrinal approaches in the cases, making it less ad hoc and haphazard and more connected to its justifications, which lie in federalism and the need to preserve a smoothly functioning national market.

Continue reading

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

Guo Presents Payroll Tax Incidence: Evidence From Unemployment Insurance Today At Georgetown

Audrey Guo (Santa Clara; Google Scholar) presents Payroll Tax Incidence: Evidence from Unemployment Insurance at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Audrey-guoPayroll taxes act as the primary source of social insurance financing throughout the world. Economic models assume that in the long run payroll tax burdens fall fully on workers, but where does tax incidence fall when taxes are firm-specific and time-varying? Unemployment insurance in the United States has the key feature of varying both across employers and over time, creating the potential for labor demand responses if tax costs cannot be fully passed on to worker wages. Using state variation in tax schedules and matched employer-employee job spells from the LEHD, I study how employment and earnings respond to payroll tax changes. I also focus on the impact to seasonal and part-time workers who bear a larger UI tax burden, and study both increases and decreases in tax costs, to provide a more comprehensive analysis of payroll tax incidence.

Continue reading

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

Horwitz Presents Why We (Still) Need Non-Profit Hospitals Today At San Diego

Jill R. Horwitz (UCLA) presents Do We (Still) Need Nonprofit Hospitals? Ownership, Community Benefits, and Medical Services at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series

Jill-horwitzAlmost sixty years ago, observers predicted that the passage of Medicare and Medicaid would bring universal health insurance coverage and, therefore, would end the need for nonprofit hospitals. The ACA brought with it similar predictions. Yet nonprofit hospitals continue to exist. And, to the dismay of some critics and regulators, they continue both to earn substantial revenues and to provide only a little more free care to needy patients than comparable for-profit hospitals. In fact, it is unlikely that free care has ever been a distinguishing feature of nonprofit hospitals. At least some inmates in almshouses and some patients in the earliest American hospitals paid for their treatments with fees or with labor. To answer whether we need nonprofit hospitals—historically and today—requires evaluating the medical care they provide rather than spending on free care. Since at least the 1980s, nonprofits have provided a remarkably different mix of services, measured by their relative profitability, than their for-profit counterparts.

Continue reading

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

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Pildes Presents Political Fragmentation In Democracies Of The West At Virginia

Rick Pildes (NYU) presented Political Fragmentation in Democracies of the West at Virginia yesterday as part of its Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason:

PildesThe decline of effective government throughout most Western democracies poses one of the greatest challenges democracy currently confronts. A major reason for this decline is that democracies have become more politically fragmented. In the proportional-representation systems of Western Europe, power is now divided across many more political parties, including recent, insurgent ones. In the first-past-the-post system of the United States, the main parties are much more internally fragmented. Outside groups, and even individual actors, have far greater power to disrupt and undermine government efforts to forge policy than in the past.

This article expands and extends earlier work I have done on political fragmentation in the United States. It identifies the various forms political fragmentation has taken across the Western democracies in general. The article then explores the major economic and cultural forces driving fragmentation across democracies.

Continue reading

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

Friday, November 5, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinMonday, November 8: Michael Graetz (Columbia) will present Origins of the Antitax Movement as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here

Tuesday,  November 9: Audrey Guo (Santa Clara; Google Scholar) will present Payroll Tax Incidence: Evidence from Unemployment Insurance as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday,  November 9: Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) & Michael Knoll (Penn) will present Unbundling Undue Burdens as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro

Tuesday,  November 9: Jill R. Horwitz (UCLA) will present Why We (Still) Need Non-Profit Hospitals as part of the San Diego Tax Law Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Thursday,  November 11: David Hasen (Florida; Google Scholar) will present Interest Deductibility Under the Income Tax as part of the Indiana Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Thursday,  November 11: Dina Pomeranz (Zurich; Google Scholar) will present Ghosting the Tax Authority: Fake Firms and Tax Fraud with Paul Carrillo (George Washington; Google Scholar), Dave Donaldson (MIT; Google Scholar) & Monica Singhal (UC-Davis) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks. If you would like to attend, see here.

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Oei Presents World Tax Policy In The World Tax Polity Today At Utah

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College; Google Scholar) presents World Tax Policy in the World Tax Polity? An Event History Analysis of OECD/G20 BEPS Inclusive Framework Membership, 47 Yale J. of Int'l L. __ (2022), at Utah today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series hosted by Young Ran (Christine) Kim: 

Shuyi-oeiThe last decade has seen the emergence of a new global tax order characterized by increased multilateral consensus and cooperation. World polity theory appears to be an obvious theoretical fit for conceptualizing this new order, which has been spearheaded by the OECD and G20. But what are the pathways by which this new “world tax polity” has emerged? Using event history regression methods, this Article investigates this question by studying the case of the OECD/G20 BEPS Inclusive Framework, a multilateral framework that currently includes 140 member countries, including 96 non-OECD, non-G20 countries.

How did these countries come to join the BEPS Inclusive Framework? World polity theory posits that the new multilateral Inclusive Framework could have been driven by normative, coercive, or mimetic processes. Of these possibilities, my Article finds that Inclusive Framework membership seems to have proliferated through a combination of normative and coercion-based pathways. Specifically, acculturation through prior involvement in certain OECD tax initiatives and inclusion in contemporaneous European Union tax haven “listing” (naming and shaming) processes was associated with a significantly higher hazard of Framework membership. By contrast, imitation of other countries did not appear to be a significant pathway.

Continue reading

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

Dagan Presents Cooperation And Its Discontents Today At UC-Irvine

Tsilly Dagan (Oxford; Google Scholar) presents Cooperation and its Discontents from International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press 2017) at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium

Tsilly-daganIn this session of the UCI Tax Policy Colloquium, Professor Dagan will present a chapter from her book, International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation. The chapter examines why some countries participate in multilateral cooperative tax efforts that do not serve their best interests. The analysis reviews key multilateral efforts including double-taxation prevention, the campaign against harmful tax competition, information-sharing initiatives, and efforts countering base erosion and profit-shifting.

About Professor Tsilly Dagan
Professor Tsilly Dagan is Professor of Taxation Law at Oxford University and a Fellow of Worcester College. Professor Dagan’s main fields of research and teaching are tax law and policy (both domestic and international) and the interaction of the state and the market. Her book International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 2017 Frans Vanistendael Award for International Tax Law.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Abreu & Greenstein Present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good Today At Georgetown

Alice Abreu (Temple) & Richard Greenstein (Temple; Google Scholar) present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good today at Georgetown as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Abreu-greensteinIntroduction
Our normative claim in this Essay is straightforward: Not only should it not be “hornbook law that informal publications all the way up to revenue rulings are simply guides to taxpayers, and a taxpayer relies on them at his peril,” it should not be the law at all. If the IRS interprets the tax law, in writing, in a document intended to provide guidance to taxpayers or in a document addressed to a specific taxpayer, not only should the taxpayer be entitled to rely on what the IRS has said, but a court ought not dismiss it out of hand as having no bearing on its decision in the case. What is at stake is the legitimacy of an agency that needs legitimacy to promote taxpayer compliance.

Continue reading

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

Taite Presents How The TCJA Fortified The Great Wealth Divide Today At UC-Hastings

Phyllis Taite (Oklahoma City) presents May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor: How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Fortified the Great Wealth Divide, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 1023 (2021), at UC-Hastings today as part of its Tax Speaker Series hosted by Heather Field and Manoj Viswanathan:

Phyllis-taiteHave Americans become so desensitized to inequality that we have morphed into a state of dystopia, and vast inequalities have become normalized? Discussions of dystopia typically describe acts of oppression, tyranny, inequality, and an overall undesirable societal state. Dystopia analysis also requires a hard look at societal values to determine ways to avoid adverse outcomes that vast inequalities may produce. By identifying the undesirable outcome, there is an opportunity to avoid or reverse it by enacting laws to combat inequalities.

The Hunger Games is a fictional tale of wealthy society members enjoying the rewards of high society while using the poor societal members for labor and entertainment. This illustration may also depict American realities. For example, Panem is described as a country consisting of twelve districts and the Capitol. The Capitol is the power center where the wealthiest reside. While decisions regarding the entire society are made by a select few, namely the President, those decisions primarily benefit the wealthy, and they intentionally contribute to a state of inequality and selective oppression.

Continue reading

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

Monday, November 1, 2021

Nam Presents Just Taxation Of Crime: Should The Commission Of Crime Change One’s Tax Liability? Today At Loyola-L.A.

Jeesoo Nam (USC) presents Just Taxation of Crime: Should the Commission of Crime Change One’s Tax Liability? at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Jeesoo-namThe tax law treats criminals differently from non-criminals. Should it? Under the public policy doctrine, various tax deductions are disallowed if they are closely tied to criminal activity. Running a criminal enterprise is thus tax disadvantaged compared to running a non-criminal enterprise.

This Article considers a variety of possible explanations. (1) The tax disadvantage provides an incentive not to commit crime. (2) The tax disadvantage helps to bring deserved punishment to the criminal. (3) Criminals have given up their right not to be taxed. (4) Criminals have taken an unfair advantage and so must be stripped of that unfair advantage. (5) Taxpayers deserve to bear the full cost of their criminal activities with no help from others.

Continue reading

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

Friday, October 29, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinMonday, November 1: Jeesoo Nam (USC) will present Just Taxation of Crime: Should the Commission of Crime Change One’s Tax Liability? as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Tuesday, November 2: Phyllis Taite (Oklahoma City) will present May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor: How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Fortified the Great Wealth Divide, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 1023 (2021), as part of the UC-Hastings Tax Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact tax@uchastings.edu

Tuesday, November 2: Alice Abreu (Temple) & Richard Greenstein (Temple; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle

Wednesday, November 3: Tsilly Dagan (Oxford; Google Scholar) will present Cooperation and its Discontents (International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press 2017)) as part of the UCI Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

Wednesday, November 3: Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College; Google Scholar) will present World Tax Policy in the World Tax Polity? An Event History Analysis of OECD/G20 BEPS Inclusive Framework Membership, 47 Yale J. of Int'l L. __ (2022) as part of the Utah Faculty Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Young Ran (Christine) Kim.

Friday, November 5: Rick Pildes (NYU) will present Political Fragmentation in Democracies of the West as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan or Ruth Mason.  

Continue reading

October 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Abreu & Greenstein Present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good Today At Indiana

Alice Abreu (Temple) & Richard Greenstein (Temple; Google Scholar) present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good today at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Abreu-greensteinIntroduction
Our normative claim in this Essay is straightforward: Not only should it not be “hornbook law that informal publications all the way up to revenue rulings are simply guides to taxpayers, and a taxpayer relies on them at his peril,” it should not be the law at all. If the IRS interprets the tax law, in writing, in a document intended to provide guidance to taxpayers or in a document addressed to a specific taxpayer, not only should the taxpayer be entitled to rely on what the IRS has said, but a court ought not dismiss it out of hand as having no bearing on its decision in the case. What is at stake is the legitimacy of an agency that needs legitimacy to promote taxpayer compliance.

Continue reading

October 28, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Viswanathan Presents Retheorizing Progressive Taxation Today At NYU

Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) presents Retheorizing Progressive Taxation at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Daniel Shaviro:

Manoj-viswanathanTax progressivity is undeniably central to both the detailed analytics of tax policy and the rhetorical arguments commonly used in public discourse. Yet there are surprisingly inconsistent and inaccurate uses of this seemingly objective term. By theorizing progressivity’s constitutive elements and identifying its shortcomings, this Article offers a novel taxonomy of how progressivity is assessed and why contradictory assessments are common.

This Article argues that, as a theoretical matter, accurately characterizing tax provisions as progressive (or regressive) requires assessing their burdens beyond simply the tax payments remitted. By failing to account for effects such as economic incidence and inefficiency costs, traditional progressivity analyses are incomplete. Relatedly, since the spending side of the budget process is functionally indistinguishable from taxation, accurate progressivity analyses must also consider where tax revenues are spent. This Article suggests that earmarked tax assessments—taxes allocated to specific purposes—could overcome some of these challenges.

Continue reading

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

Manoli Presents The Effects Of EITC Correspondence Audits On Low-Income Earners Today At Georgetown

Day Manoli (Georgetown; Google Scholar) presents The Effects of EITC Correspondence Audits on Low-Income Earners (with John Guyton, Kara Leibel, Mark Payne, Brenda Schafer (IRS) & Ankur Patel (US Treasury)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Day-manoliThis paper studies the impacts of IRS EITC correspondence (mail) audits on taxpayer behaviors. The analysis documents widespread disallowance of EITC benefits due to nonresponse and insufficient response. Relative to similar nonaudited taxpayers, audited taxpayers over the years after being audited are less likely to claim EITC benefits and file tax returns, and qualifying children claimed on their returns are more likely to be claimed by other taxpayers. Audited taxpayers also appear less likely to have third-party and self-reported wages, with larger decreases for self-reported wages and for wage levels in the maximum EITC benefit region.

Conclusion
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the impacts of EITC correspondence audits on taxpayers. The primary goal of EITC correspondence audits is revenue protection by stopping erroneous EITC claims. Do EITC correspondence audits achieve this goal?

Continue reading

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

Monday, October 25, 2021

Taite Presents The Impact Of Tax Code Bias On The Racial Wealth Gap Today At Loyola-L.A.

Phyllis Taite (Oklahoma City) presents Inequality by Unnatural Selection: The Impact of Tax Code Bias on the Racial Wealth Gap at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Phyllis-taiteOne of the underlying principles of social Darwinism is the belief that people are inherently strong or weak and those strengths and weaknesses determine their fate in life through the process of natural selection.  Wealthy taxpayers support the ideals of social Darwinism because it maintains the class divide and strengthens the racial divide through oppressive acts, particularly toward Black people.   Others likely support the principles based on their perceptions that everyone would start at the same position and competitors would face similar obstacles.  Based on the belief that the strongest will, and should survive, it is easy to promote the ideals of social Darwinism because fair competition should yield a just outcome.  Even when two people are planted in the same location, their backgrounds will likely determine their respective readiness for competition.  America has a history of deeply rooted racial oppression that built the foundation for one community and destroyed the foundation of others.  It is inherently unfair to place obstacles in the path of one group, and not the other, and expect the same level of performance.

Continue reading

October 25, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, October 22, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Monday, October 25: Phyllis Taite (Oklahoma City) will present Inequality by Unnatural Selection: The Impact of Tax Code Bias on the Racial Wealth Gap as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Tuesday, October 26: Day Manoli (Georgetown; Google Scholar) will present The Effects of EITC Correspondence Audits on Low-Income Earners (with John Guyton, Kara Leibel, Mark Payne, Brenda Schafer (IRS) & Ankur Patel (US Treasury)) as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday, October 26: Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) will present Retheorizing Progressive Taxation as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro.

Thursday October 28: Alice Abreu (Temple) & Richard Greenstein (Temple; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Binary: The Normative Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Demonstrably Good as part of the Indiana Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman

Continue reading

October 22, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gamage Presents Political Optionality And Current-Assessment Tax Reform Today At UC-Irvine

David Gamage (Indiana; Google Scholar) presents Tax Now or Tax Never: Political Optionality and the Case for Current-Assessment Tax Reform (with John Brooks (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Gamage-davidThe U.S. income tax is broken. Due to the realization doctrine and taxpayers’ consequent ability to defer taxation of gains, taxpayers can easily minimize or avoid the taxation of investment income, a failure that is magnified many times over when considering the ultra-wealthy. As a result, this small group of taxpayers commands an enormous share of national wealth yet pays paltry taxes relative to the economic income their wealth produces—a predicament that this Article condemns as being economically, politically, and socially harmful.

The conventional view among tax law experts has assumed that the problems created by the realization doctrine can be fixed on the back end by adjusting the rules that govern taxation at the time of realization. Specifically, most tax scholars have favored reform proposals that would retain the realization doctrine, while aiming to impose taxes in a way that would erase or reduce the financial benefits of deferral. Examples include retrospective capital gains tax reforms, progressive consumption tax reforms, and more incremental reforms such as ending stepped-up basis.

Continue reading

October 20, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, October 18, 2021

Maag Presents The Next Stage Of The Child Tax Credit Today At Loyola-L.A.

Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Issues In Child Benefit Administration In The United States: Imagining the Next Stage of the Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Maag-elaineThe American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for one year and delivered it as a monthly benefit to the vast majority of recipients. Whether the credit will retain its current form, revert to its previous form, or take on a new form altogether is unclear. Even if the credit is extended, it is unlikely to be extended permanently and there remains the possibility that if will continue to evolve as discussions around providing a robust child benefit continue. A robust child benefit could provide a minimum source of support to all or most families with children which would mean that fewer children would grow up in poverty and would be harmed by temporary income drops. We compare how a tax credit such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC) administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a universal child allowance administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) could be structured to best meet the needs of families with children. Tax credits, in general, have been the more popular tool of choice for both Democrats and Republicans to redistribute income in recent years (Faricy 2015)–including the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Continue reading

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

Friday, October 15, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Monday, October 18: Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Issues In Child Benefit Administration In The United States: Imagining The Next Stage of The Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Tuesday, October 19: Stephanie Hoffer (Indiana-Indianapolis; Google Scholar) presents Tax Legislation in Crises as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Wednesday, October 20: David Gamage (Indiana; Google Scholar) presents Tax Now or Tax Never: Political Optionality and the Case for Current-Assessment Tax Reform (with John Brooks (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) as part of the UC-Irvine Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please email taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

Continue reading

October 15, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Hines Presents Evaluating Tax Harmonization Today At Georgetown

James Hines (Michigan; Google Scholar) presents Evaluating Tax Harmonization at Georgetown today as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown):

James-HinesTax harmonization can address downward rate pressure due to tax competition, but does so by imposing a common rate that may not suit all governments.  A second-order Taylor approximation yields the simple rule that tax rate harmonization advances collective government objectives only if tax competition reduces average tax rates by more than the standard deviation of observed tax rates.  Consequently, any objective-maximizing harmonized tax rate must exceed the sum of the observed average tax rate and the standard deviation of tax rates.  In 2020 the standard deviation of world corporate tax rates weighted by GDP was 4.5%, and the mean corporate tax rate 25.9%, so if competition sufficiently depresses tax rates then governments may find it attractive to harmonize at a corporate tax rate of 30.4% or higher. The minimum tax rate that most effectively advances collective objectives equals the average effect of tax competition plus the average tax rate in affected countries.  Hence there are dominated regions: in the 2020 data, there is no degree of tax competition for which a world minimum corporate tax rate between 4% and 27% would be consistent with maximizing collective objectives.

Continue reading

October 14, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hoffer Presents Tax Legislation In Crises Today At Indiana

Stephanie Hoffer (Indiana-Indianapolis; Google Scholar) presents Tax Legislation in Crises at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Stpehanie-hoffer

Introduction
Congress, during crises, uses tax law as an instrument of mitigation. A legislature convened in crisis, though, faces unusual informational, political, and time constraints. Tax legislation tends toward complexity. Passing complex legislation under unusual constraints likely precludes thorough contemporaneous consideration of the distributional or other policy effects of the legislation on a diverse group of stakeholders. Perhaps as a consequence, tax legislation passed in times of crises typically builds on prior crisis legislation and contains many recurring provisions. 

This essay examines recurring provisions in crisis-motivated tax and presents preliminary observations on a study of tax legislation passed in response to national crises during the years the 2000 – 2020. The study period includes the September 11 terrorist attacks, hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, the 2008 housing market collapse, the Great Recession, and the COVID pandemic. The study examines which kinds of provisions recur under which circumstances, for whose benefit, and at what cost.

The broader work of which this essay is a part addresses three hypotheses. First, crisis tax legislation is formulaic, generally including a number of provisions drawn from prior tax crisis bills. Second, subsequent crisis tax legislation tends to expand the scope of provisions repeated from earlier crisis tax legislation. Third, among recurring provisions, privately-directed outlays via tax expenditure will outweigh Congressionally-directed outlays.

Continue reading

October 14, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Blouin Presents Does Tax Planning Affect Organizational Complexity: Evidence From Check-the-Box Today At NYU

Jennifer Blouin (Penn) presents Does Tax Planning Affect Organizational Complexity: Evidence from Check-the-Box (with Linda Krull (Oregon; Google Scholar)) at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Dan Shaviro:

Blouin (2021)This study investigates the effect of the 1997 check-the-box regulations on the current effective income tax rates of U.S. multinational firms. Following the empirical methodology developed in Dyreng and Lindsey (2009), we measure the effect that the change in tax law has on the average worldwide, U.S., and foreign taxes paid on worldwide, federal and foreign pretax book income for a large sample of U.S. multinational firms. We find that on average U.S. multinational firms’ worldwide tax rates declined by 7.5% in the post-1996 period. Further, we find that the effect of the regulations was greater on U.S. multinational firms’ average foreign tax rates as compared to their average U.S. foreign tax rates. Our results also suggest that the effect is concentrated in the U.S. multinational firms that had a greater change in their ownership structures and a greater change in the balance of their intercompany payments in the post-1996 period.  

Continue reading

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

Maag Presents Imagining The Next Stage Of The Child Tax Credit Today At Georgetown

Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Imagining the Next Stage of the Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Maag-elaineThe American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for one year and delivered it as a monthly benefit to the vast majority of recipients. Whether the credit will retain its current form, revert to its previous form, or take on a new form altogether is unclear. Even if the credit is extended, it is unlikely to be extended permanently and there remains the possibility that if will continue to evolve as discussions around providing a robust child benefit continue. A robust child benefit could provide a minimum source of support to all or most families with children which would mean that fewer children would grow up in poverty and would be harmed by temporary income drops. We compare how a tax credit such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC) administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a universal child allowance administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) could be structured to best meet the needs of families with children. Tax credits, in general, have been the more popular tool of choice for both Democrats and Republicans to redistribute income in recent years (Faricy 2015)–including the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Continue reading

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

Listokin Presents Monetary Finance Today At Boston College

Yair Listokin (Yale; Google Scholar) presents Monetary Finance (with Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here) at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Collaborative hosted by Jim Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu Yi Oei:

Listokin_yair_yjl6Conventional economic wisdom holds that governments cannot pay their bills by printing money. Running the printing press—or, at modern central banks, tapping a few keys to create electronic funds—causes inflation, and inflation can destroy economies. Yet as it turns out, since 2008 developed countries throughout the world have in effect printed trillions of dollars’ worth of new money without any real hint of inflation. In the United States, for example, this “monetary finance” has amounted to ⅓ of all deficit spending over the last decade.

The power of central banks to finance government at this scale should transform how we think about the fiscal state, our system of taxing and spending. Yet because this phenomenon is new, runs contrary to decades of theory, and is not yet fully understood, little scholarship yet grapples with how governments should use monetary finance. Most nations’ basic architectures for revenue and spending decisions assume that taxes and government borrowing are the primary sources of government finance. What should happen to fundamental legal rules, such as balanced-budget requirements, debt ceilings, or the tax legislative process, when central banks are also key players in financing national expenditures? And how should the structure of central banks change to reflect this new power, which could turn into a dangerous temptation?

Continue reading

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

Monday, October 11, 2021

Devereux Presents Taxing Profit In The Market Country Today At Loyola-L.A.

Michael Devereux (Oxford; Google Scholar) presents Taxing Profit in a Global Economy and Comparing Proposals to Tax Some Profit in the Market Country (with Richard Collier (Oxford) & John Vella (Oxford)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

Michael-devereuxTaxing Profit in a Global Economy
This book undertakes a fundamental review of the existing international system of taxing business profit. It steps back from the current political debates on how to combat profit shifting and how taxing rights over the profits of the digitalized economy should be allocated. Instead, it starts from first principles to ask how we should evaluate a tax on business profit—and whether there is any good rationale for such a tax in the first place. It then goes on to evaluate the existing system and a number of alternatives that have been proposed. It argues that the existing system is fundamentally flawed, and that there is a need for radical reform. The key conclusion from the analysis is that there would be significant gains from a reform that moved the system towards taxing profit in the country in which a business made its sales to third parties. That conclusion informs two proposals that are put forward in detail and evaluated: the Residual Profit Allocation by Income (RPAI) and the Destination-based Cash Flow Tax (DBCFT). 

Continue reading

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

Friday, October 8, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Monday, October 11: Michael Devereux (Oxford; Google Scholar) presents Taxing Profit in the Market Country (with Richard Collier & John Vella (Oxford)) virtually as part of the Loyola-L.A. Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here

Tuesday, October 12: Elaine Maag (Tax Policy Center) presents Imagining the Next Stage of the Child Tax Credit (with Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)) virtually as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday, October 12: Jennifer Blouin (Penn) presents Does Tax Planning Affect Organizational Complexity: Evidence from Check-the-Box (with Linda Krull (Oregon; Google Scholar)) as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Dan Shaviro

Tuesday, October 12: Yair Listokin (Yale; Google Scholar) presents Monetary Finance (with Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar)) virtually as part of the Boston College Tax Policy Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please contact James RepettiDiane Ring, or Shu Yi Oei.

Thursday, October 14: Stephanie Hoffer (Indiana-McKinney; Google Scholar) presents Tax Legislation in Crises virtually as part of the Indiana-Maurer Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please register here

Continue reading

October 8, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Layser Presents A Spatial Analysis Of Place-Based Tax Incentives Today At Georgetown

Michelle D. Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar) presents Subsidizing Gentrification: A Spatial Analysis of Place-Based Tax Incentives, 11 UC Irvine L. Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Michelle-layserPlace-based tax incentives, such as the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Opportunity Zones incentives, are often used to promote investment in low-income neighborhoods. However, not all low-income neighborhoods have an equal need for investment subsidies. Subsidies for investment in already gentrifying neighborhoods, for example, may reflect inefficient inframarginal investment, and they may lead to inequitable outcomes. Critics fear that when gentrifying neighborhoods are eligible for tax incentives, they will draw investment away from the neighborhoods that need it most. However, few studies have provided empirical analysis to assess whether these concerns have merit. Through a novel geospatial analysis of the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects, this Article provides new evidence that critics’ concerns are justified.

This Article analyzes 15 years of NMTC data to explore the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects in 20 U.S. cities.

Continue reading

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

Hayashi Presents Dynamic Property Taxes And Racial Gentrification Today At UC-Hastings

Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia; Google Scholar) presents Dynamic Property Taxes And Racial Gentrification, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1517 (2021), virtually at UC-Hastings today as part of its 2021 Tax Speaker Series hosted by Heather Field and Manoj Viswanathan:

Hayashi_andrew_Many jurisdictions determine real property taxes based on a combination of current market values and the recent history of market values, introducing a dynamic aspect to property taxes. By design, homes in rapidly appreciating neighborhoods enjoy lower tax rates than homes in other areas. Since growth in home prices is correlated with — and may be caused by — changing neighborhood demographics, dynamic property taxes will generally have racially disparate impacts. These impacts may explain why minority-owned homes tend to be taxed at higher rates. Moreover, the dynamic features of local property taxes may subsidize gentrification and racially discriminatory preferences.

Continue reading

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

Monday, October 4, 2021

Fleming Presents The Decline Of Deferral In U.S. International Tax Planning Today At Vienna

Cliff Fleming (BYU; Google Scholar) presents The Decline of Deferral in U.S. International Tax Planning virtually at Vienna University of Economics and Business today:

JCliftonFlemingPrior to the 2017 TCJA, international tax planning by U.S. multinationals concentrated heavily on deferring U.S. residual tax on income earned in low-tax foreign countries and on enhancing the deferral benefit through cross-crediting and aggressive transfer pricing. Post TCJA, deferral planning has been rendered largely vestigial by the Section 245A dividends received deduction, the Section 965 transition tax, and the GILTI regime. Now international tax planning by U.S. multinationals focuses on maximizing the benefit of the low GILTI rate, cross-crediting within the GILTI foreign tax credit basket, minimizing Subpart F income, and shifting income from high-taxed foreign subsidiaries to low-taxed foreign subsidiaries. Aggressive transfer pricing remains an important tool.

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

Friday, October 1, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, October 5: Michelle D. Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar) presents Subsidizing Gentrification: A Spatial Analysis of Place-Based Tax Incentives, 11 UC Irvine L. Rev. __ (2021), virtually as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday, October 5: Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia; Google Scholar) presents Dynamic Property Taxes And Racial Gentrification, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1517 (2021), virtually as part of the UC-Hastings Center on Tax Law 2021 Tax Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please email tax@uchastings.edu

Continue reading

October 1, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

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

Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) presents Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence from U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements (with Yeliz Kaçamak (Boglaziçi University; Google Scholar) & Tejaswi Velayudhan (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar)) virtually at Florida today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Hasen.

Wilking (2021)In South Dakota v. Wayfair (2018), the Supreme Court empowered states to require remote sellers to remit sales taxes, thereby eliminating a persistent difference in the tax treatment of online and brick and mortar commerce. Despite the attention this decision received, we know little about how shifting the responsibility to remit will affect consumption or the tax system. To remedy this, we use states’ staggered adoption of Voluntary Collection Agreements (VCAs), which committed large online retailers to remit sales taxes prior to Wayfair. We find that while retailer remittance stemmed sales tax base erosion, the effective tax increase arising from greater compliance was almost fully passed through to consumers via higher tax-inclusive prices. Among consumers, we find that wealthier households bore more of the tax burden after the policy, suggesting that closing this evasion channel was distributionally neutral, or even modestly progressive.

Continue reading

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

Bird-Pollan Presents Taxing The Ivory Tower Today At Boston College

Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky; Google Scholar) presents Taxing the Ivory Tower: Evaluating the Excise Tax on University Endowments virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Collaborative hosted by James Repetti, Diane Ring, and Shu Yi Oei:

Jennifer-bird-pollan

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 introduced the first ever excise tax imposed on the investment income of university endowments. While it is a relatively small tax, this new law is a first step towards the exploration of taxing non-profit entities on the vast sums of wealth they hold in their endowments. In this Essay I take the new tax as a starting place for investigating the justification for tax exemption for universities and thinking through the consequences of changing our approach, both in the form of the new excise tax and possible alternatives. There remain reasons to be skeptical both about the design of the current tax and its ability to withstand the political efforts of the powerful set of universities who will be subject to it. Nonetheless, this new tax opens the door to a discussion of whether it is time to treat universities’ endowments more like the private equity funds they increasingly resemble.

Much of the attention paid to the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) focused on the significant cut in the tax rate assessed to corporations, the creation of a deduction for non-corporate business income under the new § 199A, the elimination of a variety of tax benefits aimed at relatively lower income taxpayers, and the changes to the international tax regime. However, one change to the tax code created under this bill focused in another direction entirely, attempting, for the first time, to tax university endowments.

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Huang, Peavey & Kaercher Present Capital Gains And Transfer Tax Policy In The Build Back Better Act Today At UC-Irvine

Chye-Ching Huang, Tabetha Peavey & Michael Kaercher (NYU Tax Law Center) present Capital Gains and Transfer Tax Policy in the Build Back Better Act virtually today at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium:

UCI_Law_This session of the colloquium will discuss current administration and Congressional proposals to increase the capital gains rate, replace the step up in basis at death with taxing gains at death or reintroducing a carryover basis rule, and address shortcomings in the current estate and gift tax regime. We will also discuss the NYU Tax Law Center, the motivation behind its creation, and its role in the tax policy world and tax legislative process. 

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Hemel Presents Law And The New Dynamic Public Finance Today At NYU

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Law and the New Dynamic Public Finance virtually at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Daniel Shaviro:

Hemel_danielOver the last two decades, a new movement in academic economics has challenged conventional wisdoms in optimal tax theory and generated fresh insights for real-world tax policy. Known as “the new dynamic public finance,” this movement has altered the way that economists think about labor income taxation, capital taxation, and the credibility of tax policy over time. Along the way, the NDPF literature has identified new justifications for previously perplexing features of the existing tax-and-transfer system and has called other elements of the status quo into serious question.

Mainstream economics has embraced the new dynamic public finance revolution. All the top peer-reviewed economics journals publish NDPF papers. Undergraduate public finance textbooks cover basic NDPF concepts. But legal scholars—including scholars of tax law—have largely ignored the emergence of NDPF. One notable exception is Daniel Shaviro, whose 2007 article “Beyond the Pro-Consumption Tax Consensus” highlighted NDPF’s implications for income-averaging proposals and the choice between income and consumption tax bases.3 Since then, though, only seven law review articles in the Westlaw database have even mentioned “the new dynamic public finance,” and none has sought to take stock of NDPF’s wide-ranging implications for legal analysis.

Continue reading

September 28, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hoopes Presents Tax Boycotts Today At Georgetown

Jeff Hoopes (North Carolina; Google Scholar) presents Tax Boycotts (with H. Scott Asay (Iowa; Google Scholar), Jacob Thorndock (BYU; Google Scholar) & Jaron Wilde (Iowa; Google Scholar)) virtually at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Jeff-hoopesTo what extent do consumers boycott in response to corporate tax planning? Anecdotes suggest consumer boycotts are a meaningful deterrent to tax planning, but empirical evidence on their frequency and impact is lacking. We undertake a comprehensive study to examine how consumers’ purchase behavior relates to corporate tax planning. First, we survey a representative sample of U.S. consumers and find that more than a third of survey participants report having boycotted a firm, but zero report having done so for taxes. Next, we use a granular dataset of nationwide Nielsen weekly purchase transactions to analyze consumer purchase behavior around corporate tax planning news events. Across a battery of tests, we find little evidence of changes in actual consumer purchase behavior in response to tax news.

Continue reading

September 28, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Goldin Presents Whose Child Is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules In Safety Net Programs Today At UC-Hastings

Jacob Goldin (Stanford; Google Scholar) presents Whose Child is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules in Safety Net Programs (with Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar)) virtually at UC-Hastings today as part of its 2021 Tax Speaker Series hosted by Heather Field and Manoj Viswanathan:

Goldin (2021)To address the staggering problem of child poverty in the United States, Congress may soon enact a child allowance akin to those in other high-income countries. As lawmakers debate doing so, they must consider the design of rules that determine how benefits are distributed. Among the more important of these are “child-claiming” rules. These rules determine which adults can receive benefits for which children, driving how well a program helps recipients and satisfies public goals.

This Article critically assesses the design of child-claiming rules for safety net programs, using as case studies the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It considers how best to design child-claiming rules to achieve specific program goals, the foremost of which is supporting children’s well-being. This analysis illustrates that no single rule regime dominates for any given goal or goals. Rather, policymakers compromise between important objectives such as channeling benefits to children’s caregivers and providing flexibility to claimants’ households. Informed by a principle-driven framework, the Article considers how best to navigate these difficult tradeoffs and proposes specific child-claiming rules under several different benefit structures.

Continue reading

September 28, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Mayer Presents What Is Caesar's, What Is God's: Fundamental Public Policy For Churches Today At San Diego

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame; Google Scholar) presents What is Caesar's, What is God's: Fundamental Public Policy for Churches, 44 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 145 (2021), virtually at San Diego today as part of its Tax Law Speaker Series co-hosted with San Diego's Institute for Law and Religion:

Lloyd-mayerBob Jones University v. United States is a highly debated Supreme Court decision, both regarding whether it was correct and what exactly it stands for, and a rarely applied one. Its recognition of a “fundamental public policy doctrine” that could cause an otherwise tax-exempt organization to lose its favorable federal tax status remains highly controversial, although the Court has shown no inclination to revisit the case, and Congress has shown no desire to change the underlying statutes to alter the case’s result. That lack of action may be in part because the IRS applies the decision in relatively rare and narrow circumstances.

The mention of the decision during oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges raised the specter of more vigorous and broader application of the doctrine, however. It renewed debate about what public policies other than avoiding racial discrimination in education might qualify as fundamental and also whether and to what extent the doctrine should apply to churches, as opposed to the religious schools involved in the original case. The IRS has taken the position that churches are no different than any other tax-exempt organizations in this context, although it has only denied or revoked the tax-exempt status of a handful of churches based on this doctrine.

Continue reading

September 28, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Monday, September 27, 2021

Kleiman Presents Impoverishment By Taxation At UC-Irvine

Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) presented Impoverishment by Taxation, 170 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2022), virtually at UC-Irvine last Thursday as part of its Intellectual Life Workshop Series:

6606Viewed in the aggregate, the U.S. fiscal system is progressive, reduces inequality, and cuts poverty. The system improves on market outcomes by transferring income from rich to poor. Yet this bird’s eye view rings hollow on the ground, where millions of low-income taxpayers across the United States are made poor or poorer by paying their state and federal taxes. In truth, while the U.S. fiscal system may be broadly equalizing and poverty reducing, for many struggling households, it is impoverishing.

This Article offers a new way to measure taxation of low-income households in the United States, presenting a concept called fiscal impoverishment. Taxpayers are fiscally impoverished when they are made poor or poorer by paying state and federal taxes, after accounting for the offsetting cash or near-cash public benefits they receive. Distinct from the aggregate and anonymous measures by which we typically assess our tax and transfer system, fiscal impoverishment is dynamic and individualized. It highlights individual human dignity and implicates the economic responsibilities of the state vis-à-vis low-income taxpayers.

Continue reading

September 27, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Kades Presents A New Feudalism: Selfish Genes, Great Wealth And The Rise Of The Dynastic Family Trust Today At Loyola-L.A.

Eric Kades (William & Mary; Google Scholar) presents A New Feudalism: Selfish Genes, Great Wealth and the Rise of the Dynastic Family Trust virtually today at Loyola-L.A. as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium.

KadesToday’s record levels of economic inequality are infecting our future as the top 0.01% bequest vast wealth to their descendants. With the death of the Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP), this inequality has the potential to harden social class lines not just for a generation or two but forever. Although it may sound implausible, interviews with estate lawyers serving very high net worth clients reveal that some of the wealthiest tier of testators are already exploiting the RAP’s elimination, along with a tax loophole, to establish dynasty trusts that will financially empower their bloodline as long as it continues.

Evolutionary biologists will not be surprised by this finding. Recent work in their field shows a universal and powerful human drive for high status descendants — a drive for “quality” progeny so powerful that it appears to trump the usual desire to maximize quantity of offspring. Coupled with the long history of dynastic family wealth in England, this science suggests that today’s wealthiest testators will utilize powerful modern legal institutions (e.g. well-developed laws of contract and trust; deep and efficient capital markets) to forge a new sort of trust that I dub a Dynastic Family Trust (DFT). These DFTs will be larded with innovative provisions leveraging a founder’s wealth to maximize descendants’ status for generation after generation.

Continue reading

September 27, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, September 24, 2021

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Monday, September 27: Eric Kades (William & Mary; Google Scholar) will present A New Feudalism: Selfish Genes, Great Wealth and the Rise of the Dynastic Family Trust virtually at Loyola-L.A. as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here

Tuesday, September 28: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Law and the New Dynamic Public Finance virtually at NYU as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro.

Tuesday, September 28: Jacob Goldin (Stanford; Google Scholar) will present Whose Child is This? Improving Child-Claiming Rules in Safety Net Programs (with Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar)) virtually at UC-Hastings as part of its 2021 Tax Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Heather Field and Manoj Viswanathan.

Tuesday, September 28: Jeff Hoopes (North Carolina; Google Scholar) will present Tax Boycotts (with H. Scott Asay (Iowa Tippie College of Business; Google Scholar), Jacob Thorndock (BYU; Google Scholar) & Jaron Wilde (Iowa; Google Scholar)) virtually at Georgetown as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle

Wednesday, September 29: Chye-Ching Huang, Tabetha Peavey & Michael Kaercher (NYU Tax Law Center) will present Capital Gains and Transfer Tax Policy in the Build Back Better Act virtually at UC-Irvine as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please register here

Friday, October 1: Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) will present Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence from U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements (with Yeliz Kaçamak (Boglaziçi University; Google Scholar) & Tejaswi Velayudhan (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar)) virtually at Florida as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Hasen

Friday, October 1: Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky; Google Scholar) will present Taxing the Ivory Tower: Evaluating the Excise Tax on University Endowments virtually at Boston College as part of its Tax Policy Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please contact James RepettiDiane Ring, or Shu Yi Oei

Continue reading

September 24, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Lipman Presents Tax Audits, Economics, And Racism Today At Indiana

Francine Lipman (UNLV; Google Scholar) presents Tax Audits, Economics, and Racism virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Francine-lipmanFunding and targeting IRS enforcement would not only pay for itself but would also provide enough tax revenue to finance remedies for debilitating social problems including ending homelessness, providing universally affordable quality childcare and rebuilding America’s infrastructure without any statutory tax law changes (Hanlon, 2019). Why has Congress moved in the opposite direction defunding the IRS causing reductions in enforcement over the last two decades from this economically sound and prudent move? Why is the IRS cutting back on tax enforcement of corporations and higher income taxpayers when the tax gap related to these taxpayers and the demonstrated return on these audits is much more significant than other audits? Why is the EITC which scholars have determined effectively pays for itself and contributes little to the tax gap excessively audited? Why are the only tax provisions categorized as improper payments tax provisions that disproportionately benefit households of color? Why are impoverished households of color effectively denied tax benefits with no meaningful recourse when wealthy white nonfilers owing billions of taxes aren’t even pursued? Why are poor households of color more likely to be targeted for audit than their white counterparts when more white households receive the EITC than households of color?

Continue reading

September 23, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink