Paul L. Caron
Dean




Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Choi Presents Subjective Costs Of Tax Compliance Today At Northwestern

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents Subjective Costs of Tax Compliance (with Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-LA; Google Scholar)) at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium hosted by Gregg Polsky:

Jonathan-choiThis Article introduces and estimates “subjective costs” of tax compliance, which are costs of tax compliance that people experience directly and individually. To measure these costs, we conducted a survey experiment assessing how much taxpayers would pay to reduce the unpleasantness associated with filing a tax return. The experiment revealed that taxpayers are more concerned about inadvertent mistakes in their tax filings than by the time spent on compliance. Respondents also only ascribed meaningful value to eliminating all tax compliance work; they ascribed essentially no value to marginal time savings. Additionally, eliminating tax compliance time for high-income taxpayers and taxpayers with complex returns is not worth much more than eliminating tax compliance time for low-income taxpayers with simple returns.

These findings have important implications for theory and policy. From a theoretical perspective, these survey results call into question the nearly universal practice of using market wages to monetize the time that people spend on tax compliance work. 

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February 8, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Bishop Posts Two Papers On ChatGPT

Lea Bishop (Indiana-McKinney): 

Open AI ChatGPTCan ChatGPT 'Think Like a Lawyer?' A Socratic Dialogue:

A witty socratic dialogue with a language-generation model, exploring the aims of legal education in the new era of machine writing.

If you are a lawyer, a law student, or a law professor, you already have a good understanding of what it means to “think like a lawyer.”

For everyone else, there is ChatGPT. Hey, ChatGPT, give me a hand here…Let’s have a Socratic Dialogue. I’ll type a question, and you do your best to answer it. Your answers don’t need to be perfect. Because I want my readers to see exactly how you do what you do, I am not going to edit your responses at all. Okay, let’s go…

A Computer Wrote this Paper: What ChatGPT Means for Education, Research, and Writing:

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February 8, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Blank & Glogower: When Should Means Matter? The Case Of Tax Compliance

Joshua D. Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) & Ari D. Glogower (Northwestern; Google Scholar), When Should Means Matter? The Case of Tax Compliance, 42 Va. Tax Rev. __ (2023):

Virginia Tax Review (2021)When should policymakers incorporate individuals’ economic means, such as wealth and income, into the design of legal rules? Two principles in legal theory typically favor uniform legal rules, which do not vary based on individual characteristics. First, under the “double distortion” principle in the law and economics literature, means-based adjustments to legal rules should be reserved for the tax system alone. Second, theories of the rule of law also favor generally applicable legal rules, rather than those targeted to certain individuals or groups.

Because of its core distributive function, the progressive tax system represents a prominent exception to these principles favoring uniform legal rules, and explicitly accounts for individuals’ economic means when determining tax liabilities.

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February 8, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

2023 Princeton Review Law School Rankings: Admissions Selectivity

Princeton ReviewI previously blogged the lists of the Top 5 law schools in fourteen categories in the 2023 edition of the Princeton Review's Best Law Schools. In a series of posts, I will highlight the Top 50 schools in the five categories for which the Princeton Review provides individual law school data.

Admissions Selectivity:  This rating measures the competitiveness of admissions at each law school on a scale of 60–99. Factors taken into consideration include the median LSAT score and undergraduate GPA of entering 1L students, the percentage of applicants who are accepted, and the percentage of applicants who are accepted and ultimately enroll. 

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February 8, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Call For Presentations: UC-Irvine Symposium On Taxation Of Crypto-Assets

The UC-Irvine Graduate Tax Program has issued a call for papers for its fifth annual Taylor Nelson Amitrano LLP Tax Symposium on Taxation of Crypto Assets on April 17, 2023:

UCI Law (2022)We are interested in submissions for proposed presentations on current issues relating to taxation of crypto-assets in the United States and abroad.

This one-day virtual symposium will be attended by tax industry professionals, government officials, and academic researchers from all over the world. Presenters of accepted submissions will be invited to present at the event.

We accept submissions from:

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February 8, 2023 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

The Travesty Of The US News Rankings: How Legal Education Should Be Measured

Reuben Guttman (American) & Gregg Ivers (American), The Travesty of The US News Rankings: How Legal Education Should be Measured, 10 Emory Corp. Governance & Accountability Rev. __ (2023):

U.S. News LogoThe authors analyze the detrimental impact on legal education attributable to the chase for US News rankings and tell the story of how one law school—Howard University Law—forged its reputation on the success of alumni who litigated cutting edge civil rights cases. It is the Howard experience that provides a model for how legal education should be measured. ...

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February 8, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Galle Presents Solving the Valuation Challenge: The ULTRA Method of Taxing Extreme Wealth Today At Columbia

Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar) presents Solving the Valuation Challenge: The ULTRA Method for Taxing Extreme Wealth, 72 Duke L.J. ___ (2023) (with David Gamage (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) (reviewed by Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) here) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Schizer:

Galle (2023)Recent reporting based on leaked tax returns of the ultra-rich confirms what experts have long suspected: for the wealthiest Americans, paying taxes is mostly optional. Some of the country's richest have reported annual incomes that would be modest for a school teacher, even as the share of wealth held by the top .1% is at its highest in nearly a century.

Experts have long understood that one problem sits at the root cause of many of the tax system's failures to reach the very rich: valuation. Because it is difficult to appraise complex or unique assets, modern tax systems instead wait until an asset is sold to impose tax. In combination with an American rule that wipes away income tax on inherited profits, and a highly porous estate tax system, this "realization" approach has deeply undermined U.S. efforts to tax extreme wealth.

This Article proposes a new approach: governments should take payments from the wealthy in the form of notional equity interests, which we call "ULTRAs," for unliquidated tax reserve accounts. 

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February 7, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

NY Times: The Road To A Supreme Court Clerkship Starts At Three Ivy League Colleges; 'You Can’t Scrub Your Undergraduate Degree With An Elite Law Degree'

New York Times Sidebar:  The Road to a Supreme Court Clerkship Starts at Three Ivy League Colleges, by Adam Liptak:

Harvard Yale PrincetonWhen Ted Cruz attended Harvard Law School, he liked to study with people who had undergraduate degrees from Harvard, Yale or Princeton. “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown,” one of his law school roommates told GQ.

That may strike you as slicing the baloney of elitism awfully thin. But a new study has found that Supreme Court justices do much the same thing in selecting their law clerks [Tracey George (Vanderbilt; Google Scholar), Albert Yoon (Toronto; Google Scholar) & Mitu Gulati (Virginia; Google Scholar), Some Are More Equal Than Others: U.S. Supreme Court Clerkships].

It is not news that the justices favor a handful of law schools in doling out clerkships, a glittering credential that all but guarantees success in a profession obsessed with status markers. But the study adds another factor: To get a clerkship, it really helps to have gone to college at Harvard, Yale or Princeton. ...

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February 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lawsky Presents Coding The Code: Catala And Computationally Accessible Tax Law Today At Duke

Sarah B. Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar) presents Coding The Code: Catala And Computationally Accessible Tax Law, 75 S.M.U. L. Rev. 535 (2022), at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Sarah lawskyThis Article describes a new programming language, Catala, created by a team of computer scientists and lawyers. Catala provides a tractable and functional approach to coding U.S. tax law that offers a more transparent formalization and could potentially hold the government more accountable than the current patchwork of forms, worksheets, and secret programs.

While this Article describes a particular programming language, key characteristics of this particular language could generalize to other programming languages that formalize the law. First, Catala is a domain-specific programming language designed specifically for formalizing tax law. In particular, Catala is structured using default logic, a nonstandard logic that represents the underlying structure of the U.S. tax code more accurately than does standard logic. This structure makes the computer code easier to read, easier to create, and easier to modify when the law changes. 

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February 7, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Bad Math Bar Sauce And The ABA As A Shill For The NCBE

Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn) & Kevin Ruth (PhD Mathematics, Miami), Bad Math Bar Sauce and the ABA as a Shill for the NCBE, 66 How. L.J. __ (2023):

Recent scholarship purporting to employ sophisticated mathematics to decipher the pedagogies which improve institutional bar examination performance and to identify which schools over and underperform on the bar examination has been widely accepted. Despite this wide acceptance the scholarship is largely erroneous. Law reviews are incapable of discerning the errors in the scholarship when authors do not comport with scientific publication norms which require publishers to “show their work,” and produce supporting data so that the study may be replicated and peer reviewed. Additionally, the authors of these studies make fundamental mathematical errors impeaching the validity of their conclusions. For example, the authors confuse odds ratios with probability and use linear regression for data that is unsuitable for linear regression.

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February 7, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Christians Presents Global Tax Reform And Mythical International Law Today At Georgetown

Allison Christians (McGill; Google Scholar) presents Global Tax Reform and Mythical International Law (with Tarcísio Diniz Magalhães (Antwerp; Google Scholar)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli:

Christians (2023)Over the past several years, governments around the world have been debating how to design coordinated minimum taxes on large multinationals in a bid to end race-to-the-bottom global tax competition. The plans so far have been complex and intricate, but in virtually all respects the evolution of ideas has followed well-worn practices and approaches in tax and corporate law. Nevertheless, outspoken critics have emerged with arguments against change that are grounded in abstract and often ill-defined international law concepts—effectively, a mythology of general and/or customary norms meant to forestall forward momentum and cast doubt on the fundamental workability of global tax reform as it has been collaboratively developed to date. This Article examines the myths of international tax law and demonstrates that each purported impediment is either conceptually under-theorized or exaggerated in legal impact or both.

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February 7, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Brooklyn Hosts A Book Talk And Discussion Today On For-Profit Philanthropy

Brooklyn hosts a hybrid Book Talk and Discussion with Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) and Steven A. Dean (Brooklyn), featuring Anne-Marie Slaughter (CEO, New America; Professor Emerita, Princeton University) on For-Profit Philanthropy: Elite Power & the Threat of Limited Liability Companies, Donor-Advised Funds, & Strategic Corporate Giving (Oxford University Press 2023) today at 6:00 PM ET:

For-profit-philanthropyAbout the Book

Please join Professors Dana Brakman Reiser and Steven A. Dean for a discussion of their new book For-Profit Philanthropy (Oxford University Press, Jan. 3, 2023).

In For-Profit Philanthropy, the authors reveal that philanthropy law has long operated as strategic compromise, binding ordinary Americans and elites together in a common purpose. At its center stands the private foundation. Prophylactic restrictions separate foundations from their funders' business and political interests. And foundations must disclose more about the sources and uses of their assets than any other business or charity. The philanthropic innovations increasingly espoused by America's most privileged individuals and powerful companies prioritize donor autonomy and privacy, casting aside the foundation and the tools it provides elites to demonstrate their good faith. By threatening to displace impactful charity with hollow virtue signaling, these actions also jeopardize the public's faith in the generosity of those at the top.

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February 7, 2023 in Book Club, Books, Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, February 6, 2023

ABA House Of Delegates Rejects Proposal To Make The LSAT Optional; ABA Council To Consider Next Steps At Feb. 17 Meeting

Following up on this morning's post:  ABA Journal, Admissions Test Requirement For ABA-Accredited Law Schools Will Remain in Place For Now:

ABA (2022)A proposed revision to a law school accreditation standard that removes an entrance exam requirement was rejected Monday by the ABA House of Delegates, at the organization’s midyear meeting in New Orleans.

Resolution 300 was brought by the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and called for cutting the test requirement in Standard 503. A similar measure, which suggested cutting the standard all together, was brought by the section in August 2018, but withdrawn shortly before the House gathered.

“The Council is disappointed in the House of Delegates’ vote on Resolution 300. It will consider next steps at the Council meeting on Feb. 17, consistent with ABA rules and procedures,” Bill Adams, managing director of ABA Accreditation and Legal Education, said in a statement.

Under ABA rules, proposed revisions to the accreditation standards and rules are sent to the House for concurrence up to two times, but the council has the final decision on matters related to law school education.

I was one of sixty law school deans who signed a comment letter opposing removal of the accreditation requirement that law school applicants take a valid and reliable admissions test like the LSAT and GRE.

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February 6, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

End The Charitable Tax Exemption And Remove The Conflict Of Interest Baked Into Big Philanthropy

Chronicle of Philanthropy Op-Ed:  End the Charitable Tax Exemption and Remove the Conflict of Interest Baked Into Big Philanthropy, by Jeffrey Cain:

The genius of American philanthropy, it is often said, is that nearly all Americans, of every income level, give. But the tax exemptions and deductions in the Internal Revenue Code are not for all Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom don’t itemize their federal income taxes or claim the charitable deduction. Few will ever start their own foundation or open a donor-advised fund. Most don’t have a tax accountant, philanthropic adviser, or private bank account.

Instead, the formidable body of tax-exempt law, policy, and regulation created during the past 100 years provides the framework for Big Philanthropy. This is not solely about America’s wealthiest philanthropists and largest foundations. It is, rather, the system of charitable giving that bestows tax privileges upon donors in exchange for their charitable contributions. And it is a system powered by the conflict of interest inherent in those tax laws.

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February 6, 2023 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

ABA To Vote Today On Making LSAT Optional Beginning With Fall 2026 1L Class

Reuters, Judgment Day Looms for ABA’s Hotly Debated LSAT Requirement:

ABA Legal Ed (2022)The American Bar Association’s policy-making body is slated on Monday to decide whether to drop the longstanding requirement that law schools use the Law School Admission Test or another standardized test when admitting students.

If the ABA’s House of Delegates approves the change when it meets [this] week in New Orleans, law schools will be fully “test optional”—though not until the fall of 2025. ...

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar preliminarily approved the rule change in November, adding a last-minute provision that delays implementation until 2025 to give schools time to prepare. Approval by the House of Delegates is the final step.

Those who oppose the change, including [60] law school deans, have warned that eliminating the LSAT requirement will make admissions decisions more dependent on undergraduate grade-point averages and subjective measures such as the prestige of an applicant’s college, which they say could disadvantage minority applicants.

Those who want the rule removed argue that the LSAT is a barrier for minority would-be lawyers because on average they score below white test takers, and because law schools rely too heavily on those scores. A 2019 study found the average score for Black LSAT takers was 142, compared to 153 for white and Asian test takers.

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February 6, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: The Tax Court Is Not Your Advocate

Camp (2021)Today I present two lessons.  First, we learn why diabetes is not a per se disability sufficient to avoid penalties for early 401(k) distributions.  Second, we learn that pro se litigants cannot rely on the Tax Court to consider potential arguments they could have raised, but did not.

Diabetes is a well-known and widespread disease, afflicting some 37.3 million people in the U.S., according to the CDC’s 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report.  That’s just over 11% of the US population.  Medical complications abound, as detailed in this report from the Diabetes Institute Research Foundation.

Managing diabetes and its attendant complications can be difficult and expensive.  In recognition of that, Canada gives this tax credit to Canadians who must manage the disease.  And in the U.S., many of the costs associated with diabetes qualify for the medical expense deduction under §213.  See e.g. IRS Publication 502 (2021) at p. 7 (explaining that cost of blood sugar test kit for diabetes is a qualifying medical expense).

In Robert B. Lucas v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2023-9 (Jan. 17, 2023) (Judge Urda), the unemployed taxpayer took an early distribution from his 401(k) plan to help make ends meet, which included helping to manage his diabetes.  The issue was whether he had to pay the §72(t) 10% penalty for early distributions.  He could avoid the entire penalty if his diabetes qualified as a disability, and he could avoid some of it if the distribution was used for expenses allowable as a §213 deduction.  As to the first, Judge Urda teaches us why diabetes is not, in and of itself, a disability sufficient to escape the 10% penalty.  As to the second, Judge Urda notes the issue but, because the taxpayer did not raise it, “[w]e accordingly deem the issue forfeited.”  Op. at 4.  In doing that, Judge Urda teaches an important lesson on the role of the Tax Court.

Details below the fold.

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February 6, 2023 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Law Student Wellness: Anxiety (77%), Depression (51%), Increased Alcohol|Drug Use (35%), Thoughts Of Self-Harm (17%)

Bloomberg Law, Well-Being in Law School: Law Students Aren’t OK:

Most law students are struggling with mental health issues, according to a new Bloomberg Law survey. Over 75% of student respondents reported increased anxiety because of law school-related issues, and over 50% reported experiencing depression.

Bloomberg Law has been reporting on the troubling level of attorney burnout and the drop in attorney well-being for the past few years. This past December, Bloomberg Law’s second Law School Preparedness Survey asked law students about their mental health and how their overall well-being changed during the semester. ...

The survey also asked law students whether they experienced various mental and physical health problems “because of law school related issues.” The response from most students was a resounding “yes.” A majority of law school respondents reported experiencing anxiety (77%), disrupted sleep (71%), and depression (51%). Only 11% of law students reported experiencing none of the given issues. ...

Bloomberg

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February 6, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, February 5, 2023

NY Times Op-Ed: The Rationality And Danger Of Spiritual Experimentation

New York Times Op-Ed:  Be Open to Spiritual Experience. Also, Be Really Careful., by Ross Douthat:

[T]he dissolution of the old order of American religion — the decline of churches and denominations and the rise of deinstitutionalized spirituality — means that more and more religious lives are lived in between worldviews, in experimental territory where it’s a mistake to expect coherence, theological consistency, a definite set of prior assumptions or beliefs.

In this column I want to defend the rationality of this kind of spiritual experimentation and then to warn about its dangers. ...

[T[he basic pattern of human existence and experience, an ordered and mathematically beautiful cosmos that yields extraordinary secrets to human inquiry and supplies all kinds of wild spiritual experiences even in our allegedly disenchanted age (and even sometimes to professional skeptics), makes a general openness to metaphysical possibilities a fundamentally reasonable default. And this is especially true if you have no theological tradition, no religious upbringing to structure your encounter with the universe’s mysteries — if you’re starting fresh, as many people nowadays are.

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February 5, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Aprill & Mayer: 21st Century Churches And Federal Tax Law

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) & Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame; Google Scholar), 21st Century Churches and Federal Tax Law:

Federal tax treatment matters to churches, the term the IRS uses for all types of religious congregations, including synagogues, mosques, and temples. The federal tax provisions most significant for churches and certain entities closely related to them, however, are not those that the public and commentators often assume. Exemption from income tax and the ability of donors to deduct contributions, the benefits that receive the most public attention, in fact provide surprisingly little benefit either to churches in the aggregate or to most individual churches. Their status as organizations tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, moreover, imposes a variety of burdens on them. The burdens include limitations on lobbying and the prohibition on any intervention in campaigns for public office.

At the same time churches enjoy special tax benefits not afforded to other section 501(c)(3) organizations, not even other kinds of tax-exempt religious organizations. These special benefits make church status appealing. Such benefits include exemption from filing the IRS Form 990, an annual information return that, with the exception of the names and addresses of major donors, is also publicly available. In addition, the IRS cannot begin any audit of a church unless it complies with a number of procedures.

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February 5, 2023 in Faith, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Two Perspectives On How Far Employers Must Go In Providing Religious Accommodations To Employees

New York Times Op-Ed:  The Latest Crusade to Place Religion Over the Rest of Civil Society, by Linda Greenhouse:

Federal civil rights law requires employers to accommodate their employees’ religious needs unless the request would impose “undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.” Congress didn’t bother to define “undue hardship,” so 46 years ago the Supreme Court came up with a definition of its own.

An accommodation requiring an employer “to bear more than a de minimis cost” — meaning a small or trifling cost — need not be granted, the court said in Trans World Airlines v. Hardison. ...

Treating religion as nothing particularly special, the decision reflected the spirit of the times but was deeply unpopular in religious circles. There have been many attempts over many years to persuade Congress to amend the law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to shift the balance explicitly in favor of religiously observant employees. Between 1994 and 2019, more than a dozen such bills were introduced. None emerged from Congress.

And so now, a very different court from the one that ruled 46 years ago is about to do the work itself.

That isn’t an idle prediction but rather the surely foreordained outcome of the new case the justices recently added to their calendar for decision during the current term. The appeal was brought by a conservative Christian litigating group, First Liberty Institute, on behalf of a former postal worker, Gerald Groff, described as a Christian who regards Sunday as a day for “worship and rest.”

Mr. Groff claimed a legal right to avoid the Sunday shifts required during peak season at the post office where he worked. Facing discipline for failing to show up for his assigned shifts, he quit and filed a lawsuit. The lower courts ruled against him, with the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit expressing no doubt that the disruption and loss of morale Mr. Groff’s absences caused in the small rural post office where he worked exceeded the de minimis threshold that the Supreme Court’s 1977 precedent requires an employer to demonstrate. ...

When the court doubtless rules for him later this term, the decision will not stand for a vindication of minority rights. It will instead signify the court’s complete identification with the movement in the country’s politics to elevate religion over all other elements of civil society.

Whether today’s Supreme Court is helping to lead that movement or has been captured by it is by now beside the point. Religion is the lens through which the current majority views American society; as I have written, there is no other way to understand the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The endpoint of this project is not yet in view. Those of us not on board are left to watch, to try to understand, and to call the court out with each additional step it takes.

Forward Op-Ed:  A New Case Before the Supreme Court Could Make Shabbat Observance Easier, by Michael Helfand (Pepperdine & Yale):

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February 5, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

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

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [629 Downloads]  The Declining Appeal of Inherited Retirement Accounts, by Richard L. Kaplan (Illinois; Google Scholar)
  2. [567 Downloads]  Pillar 2, Fiat, and the EU Unanimity Rule on Tax Matters, by Rita de la Feria (Leeds)
  3. [371 Downloads]  State Strategic Responses to the GloBE Rules, by Heydon Wardell-Burrus (Oxford) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya; (Google Scholar) here)
  4. [219 Downloads]  Textualism, The Role And Authoritativeness Of Tax Legislative History, And Stanley Surrey, by George Yin (Virginia) (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) here)
  5. [106 Downloads]  Multistate Business Entities, by Andrew Appleby (Stetson; Google Scholar) & Tomer Stein (Stetson)

February 5, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, February 4, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. Law.com, Columbia Law Professor's 'F--k You' To Student Question Caught On Video
  2. Daily Pennsylvanian, Facing Major Sanctions, Amy Wax Files Grievance Against Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger
  3. Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2022 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews
  4. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 40 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings
  5. Princeton Review, Best 168 Law Schools (2023 Edition)
  6. Wall Street Journal, Rebellion Over U.S. News Rankings Seems Likely To Fail
  7. David Lat, A Controversial Speaker Returned To Yale Law—You Won't Believe What Happened Next
  8. Reuters, Using ChatGPT To Write Law School Exams, Bar Exams, And Strategic Plans
  9. CNN, Justice Kavanaugh Says U.S. News Law School Rankings Are 'Very Problematic'; Peer Reputation Is 'Kind Of A Joke'
  10. Los Angeles Times & Wall Street Journal, Two Perspectives On The Growing U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Tax:

  1. Wall Street Journal, Whose Name Goes First On Your Joint Tax Return? Probably Not The Woman's.
  2. Benjamin Alarie (Toronto), The Rise Of The Robotic Tax Analyst
  3. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Corporations In The Bardo
  4. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, The Ninth Circuit Upholds A Wealth Tax
  5. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), The 50 Most Downloaded U.S. Tax Law Professors Of 2022
  6. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: The Meaning Of 'Business Premises' In §119
  7. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Tax Policy in the Biden Administration
  8. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  9. Richard Kaplan (Illinois), The Declining Appeal Of Inherited Retirement Accounts
  10. New York Times, Black Americans Are Much More Likely To Face Tax Audits, Study Finds

Faith

  1. David French, Faith, Not Politics, Can Heal Lonely Hearts And A Nation

February 4, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

In Defense Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings

Kenneth Terrell (Princeton Alumni Weekend), Why College Rankings Remain Important, If Flawed:

US News (2023)Yale’s recent announcement that it would no longer “participate” in the U.S. News rankings of law schools — despite its place at the top of that list — has renewed talk that the era of these annual lists might be coming to an end, especially when 10 other law schools quickly announced they also would no longer cooperate with the publication. These institutions argue that the criteria U.S. News uses hurts their ability to enroll students of color, students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and those who might want to pursue careers in public service. ...

I believe the rankings are an important, if imperfect tool, for students and families. ...

To improve the education and career outcomes of students in law schools — particularly those who are from lower-income backgrounds, first in their family to go to college, students of color, or all of the above — commitments to meaningful change would be more effective than announcements about withdrawing from rankings.

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February 4, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Call For Papers: BI Norwegian Business School Workshop On Taxation, Citizenship, And Democracy

Call For Papers:

NBS 3We invite submissions from scholars in from law, politics, economics, and history to jointly discuss the interlinking between taxation, citizenship, and democracy. The workshop and publication strive for a multidisciplinary approach and thought-provoking ideas on the theme. In contrast to general legal scholarship, formal citizenship has not been of particular interest to tax scholarship. 

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February 4, 2023 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents Used Their Stanford Home To Bail Him Out

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Los Angeles Times, Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents Used Their House to Bail Him Out. But They Rent the Land from Stanford:

Shortly before Christmas, FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried, indicted on federal charges of fraud and money laundering, was released on a $250-million bail bond that was secured by his parents’ Palo Alto-area home.

The size of the bail bond — 25 times bigger than Bernie Madoff’s — garnered considerable attention. The prosecution termed it “the largest ever pretrial bond.” What hasn’t drawn notice is the fact that Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who are professors at Stanford Law School, are not typical homeowners. Their property is a faculty home on the Stanford campus itself. Stanford owns the land, and Bankman and Fried lease it.

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February 4, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Friday, February 3, 2023

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Household Asymmetric Risk Of Foreclosure From Tax Assessment Limit

This week, Michelle Layser (San Diego) reviews Sebastien Bradley (Drexel; Google Scholar), Da Huang (Utah; Google Scholar), Nathan Seegert (Utah; Google Scholar), Household Asymmetric Risk of Foreclosure From Tax Assessment Limit (Jan. 21, 2023).

Michelle-layserDuring the pandemic, U.S. housing prices soared. In many cities, rising home prices can trigger higher assessed values for property taxation. But in California and 16 other states with assessment limits, laws limit how much appreciation cities can take into account for property tax purposes. That is good news for homeowners here in San Diego, where housing prices in March 2022 were up a whopping 29.9% from the previous year. Since California law caps the annual increase in assessed value at 2%, homeowners were protected from property tax spikes during that period.

Then came the fall. From April to September, prices in San Diego fell 5.2%, and they have continued to drop

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February 3, 2023 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax Workshops - linkedinTuesday, February 7: Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar) will present Solving the Valuation Challenge: The ULTRA Method for Taxing Extreme Wealth (with David Gamage (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)) (reviewed by Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) here) as part of the Columbia Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Schizer

Tuesday, February 7: Allison Christians (McGill; Google Scholar) will present Global Tax Reform and Mythical International Law (with Tarcísio Diniz Magalhães (Antwerp; Google Scholar)) as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli.

Tuesday, February 7: Sarah B. Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar) will present Coding The Code: Catala And Computationally Accessible Tax Law, 75 S.M.U. L. Rev. 535 (2022), as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Wednesday, February 8: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Subjective Costs of Taxation as part of the Northwestern Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Gregg Polsky

Thursday, February 9: Katarzyna Anna Bilicka (Utah State; Google Scholar) will present 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 10: Robert Schütze (Durham) will present Limits to the Union’s ‘Internal Market’ Competence(s): Constitutional Comparisons (from The Question of Competence in the European Union, Oxford University Press 2014) as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason

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February 3, 2023 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Is U.S. News In Trouble?

Observer, U.S. News Depends On its College Rankings. What Happens When Universities Don’t Want To Be Ranked?:

U.S. News Generic (2020)

In the past few months, numerous high-ranked universities have dropped out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings, spelling trouble for the future of the nearly 80-year old publication.

For decades, schools, deans and even students have called for an overhaul of the annual U.S. News & World Report university rankings, to no avail.

But in the past few months, a series of public statements from top-ranked universities has begun to finally pose a real threat to U.S. News, which has been the dominant player in the rankings industry for nearly 40 years. ...

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February 3, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Gondwe Presents The Life-Saving Potential Of Direct Public Financial Assistance To Survivors Of Intimate Partner Violence Today At Indiana

Nyamagaga Gondwe (Wisconsin; Google Scholar) presents Emergency Exit: The Life-Saving Potential of Direct Public Financial Assistance to Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Gondwe (2023)Intimate partner violence (IPV) is viewed primarily as a class of criminal behavior in federal policy. But the criminal justice system operates through a model of individual accountability, which means that solutions to IPV in American communities focus on education (proactive) and incarceration (reactive) as interventions.

However, public health studies on IPV suggest that the kinds of physical violence that result in arrest should not be seen as the central issue in addressing IPV. Instead, those studies suggest that physical violence should be thought of as a tool for one partner in a relationship to exert coercive power and control over the other partner. Put another way, physical violence is just one of multiple tools an abuser will use to control their partner. Other tools include emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and economic abuse.

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February 3, 2023 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Londoño-Vélez Presents Behavioral Responses To Wealth Taxation: Evidence From Colombia Today At UCLA

Juliana Londoño-Vélez (UCLA; Google Scholar) presents Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxation: Evidence from Colombia (with Javier Avila-Mahecha (DIAN; Google Scholar)) at UCLA today as part of its Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance hosted by Kirk Stark and Jason Oh:

Juliana Londoño-VélezWe study behavioral responses to personal wealth taxes in Colombia using tax microdata (1993-2016) linked with the leaked Panama Papers, which shed light on offshoring to Colombia’s most relevant tax havens. We leverage variation from four reforms that modified the wealth tax design—tax duration and rate schedule—and introduced discrete jumps in the tax liability. Using bunching and difference-in-difference techniques, we obtain four key results. First, we find salient and compelling evidence that wealth tax hikes cause taxpayers to lower their reported wealth instantly—a reporting response that slashes, at most, one-fifth of tax revenue. Second, this response can persist even after the wealth tax no longer applies—i.e., “hysteresis”—reflecting taxpayers’ strategic avoidance behavior. Third, taxpayers misreport what authorities cannot cross-verify: they inflate (interpersonal) debt and underreport non-third-party-reported business assets. Lastly, the wealthiest taxpayers respond to wealth tax hikes by hiding assets in hard-to-track entities in tax havens.

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February 2, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Two Perspectives On The Growing U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:  Medical Schools Bail on Academic Merit and Intellectual Rigor, by Ira Stoll (Education Next):

U.S. News Generic (2020)To see how the diversity, equity and inclusion mania is colliding with meritocracy in American higher education, pay attention to the flap over graduate schools pulling out of the U.S. News rankings. Readers who aren’t applying to medical school may have missed the controversy. But anyone who plans on seeing a doctor or benefiting from research or treatment at an academic medical center has an interest in the outcome.

So far, U.S. News has resisted demands from the graduate schools to base the rankings on equity rather than on the grades and test scores of incoming students. U.S. News has been transparent about the method it uses for its rankings, including factors such as a reputation survey, MCAT scores and grade point averages of incoming students.

The medical schools have been similarly clear about why they disagree with the U.S. News method and will stop participating. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in a Jan. 24 statement, said the U.S. News rankings undermine the school’s “commitment to anti-racism” and “outreach to diverse communities.” ...

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February 2, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Bargain Basement Progressivity? Constitutional Flat Taxes, Demogrants, And Progressive Income Taxation

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago; Google Scholar), Bargain Basement Progressivity? Constitutional Flat Taxes, Demogrants, and Progressive Income Taxation, 53 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 683 (2022):

State and local governments raise revenue in three primary ways: property, sales, and income taxes. Property and sales taxes tend to impose a higher burden on low-income households. To ensure the fairness and progressivity of their overall revenue system, states need their income tax to be sufficiently progressive.

Four states face an apparently insurmountable barrier to progressive income taxation: their state constitutions mandate that any income tax must have a flat rate, applicable to all taxpayers. Without a constitutional amendment, a difficult process, they cannot adopt marginal rates that increase as income increases.

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February 2, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Lat: Big Law’s Cancel Culture

The Boston Globe Op-Ed:  Big Law’s Cancel Culture, by David Lat:

Ideological uniformity in Big Law, whether on the right or the left, is not a good thing — not for lawyers, law firms, and the rule of law.

On the morning of June 23, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home. You might have expected the lawyers who won the case, celebrated Supreme Court litigators Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, to receive congratulations within their firm for such a major victory.

Instead, they received walking papers. That afternoon, Clement and Murphy announced in The Wall Street Journal that they were leaving Kirkland & Ellis, the nation’s highest-grossing law firm. Why? Because Kirkland presented them with an ultimatum: withdraw from representing clients in Second Amendment cases, including existing clients in ongoing representations, or withdraw from the firm.

It’s not just representing unpopular clients; even articulating an unpopular opinion might be a fireable offense today in the world of large law firms (aka “Big Law”). Take support for the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and sent abortion back to the states. At least two antiabortion women partners allege — one in The Wall Street Journal and one in Original Jurisdiction, my newsletter about the legal profession — that their support for Dobbs played a major role in their being forced out of their firms. ...

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February 2, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Kaplan: The Declining Appeal Of Inherited Retirement Accounts

Richard L. Kaplan (Illinois; Google Scholar), The Declining Appeal of Inherited Retirement Accounts, 42 Va. Tax Rev. __ (2023): 

Virginia Tax Review (2021)As retirement accounts proliferate and grow in value, American retirees are increasingly leaving substantial balances in these accounts to their adult children, siblings, and other relatives. Until recently, these new owners were able to withdraw funds from these tax-favored accounts over their lifetimes as their personal circumstances dictated. 

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February 2, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

WaPo: Want To Be Happy? Don’t Be A Lawyer.

Washington Post Op-Ed:  Want to be Happy? Then Don’t Be a Lawyer., by Kathleen Parker:

It might surprise few that lawyers are the unhappiest people on the planet, at least when it comes to their jobs. This is according to lawyers themselves and is the conclusion of a recent analysis by The Post of data on America’s happiest and unhappiest workers [The Happiest, Least Stressful, Most Meaningful Jobs in America].

Chalk up lawyers’ malaise to high levels of stress and a lack of “meaningfulness” in their work. This doesn’t mean all lawyers dislike their jobs, but data doesn’t lie (even if some lawyers sometimes do). I should mention that a significant number of my family members have been and are attorneys. ...

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February 2, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Clausing Presents Capital Taxation And Market Power Today At Toronto

Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar) presents Capital Taxation and Market Power at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series hosted by Benjamin Alarie:

Kim-clausingIn recent decades, market power has increased substantially, as shown by measures that include 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 1, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Drexel Seeks To Hire An Entry Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

Drexel Law Faculty Posting:

Drexel kline school of lawThe Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law invites applications from entry-level and pre-tenure lateral candidates for a full-time, tenure-track position teaching and researching in the area of tax law. Candidates must have a demonstrated record of significant scholarly achievement and a demonstrated commitment to excellent teaching. Because the law school is part of an R1 research university, tenure stream faculty are expected to engage in significant research and demonstrate educational, methodological, or practice backgrounds that add vitality to their work.

Applications are particularly encouraged from people of color, individuals with disabilities, people of all sexual and gender identities, and anyone whose background, experience or viewpoint will contribute to the diversity of the faculty.

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February 1, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

Morse Presents APA Challenges To Old Tax Guidance And The Six-Year Default Limitations Period Today At Northwestern

Susie Morse (Texas; Google Scholar) presents Out of Time: APA Challenges to Old Tax Guidance and the Six-Year Default Limitations Period at Northwestern today as part of its Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium hosted by Gregg Polsky:

Susan morseOld regs should not be subject indefinitely to administrative procedure challenge. Instead, we should leave them alone. The consensus case law view that applies the six-year limitations period under 28 U.S.C. § 2401(a) with accrual at the time of promulgation, strikes the right balance between accuracy and repose. It correctly reflects that all of the elements of the administrative procedure claim are in place at the time of the alleged error, when the regulation was promulgated. When -- as in tax -- claims can be delayed through no fault of any plaintiff, the solution is to make appropriate administrative and equitable adjustments.

Conclusion
The puzzle presented by administrative procedure challenges to old regs amounts to a classic tension in law: the tradeoff between accuracy and repose. The puzzle is solved by the default six-year limitations period of 28 U.S.C. § 2401(a), which, under a case law consensus, begins to run when the final agency rulemaking action is taken for administrative procedure claims. Tax provides a good text case for this argument because it is a somewhat more difficulty case, due to the fact that most opportunities to raise administrative procedure claims arise not as facial challenges, bur rather in enforcement cases – whether deficiency or refund -- where the pre-litigation tax procedure can be lengthy. 

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February 1, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

2nd Circuit To Decide Whether Vermont Law School Can Cover Underground Railroad Murals Against Artist's Wishes

Vermont MuralFollowing up on my previous posts (links below), Bloomberg Law, Law School’s Covering of Slavery Murals Probed by 2nd Cir.:

Vermont Law School found a somewhat receptive Second Circuit as it defended a ruling allowing it to permanently cover murals depicting the Underground Railroad without violating an artists’ rights law.

Artist Samuel Kerson argued that the school hiding his two 1994 murals behind bolted-in acoustic panels violated the Visual Artists Rights Act, or VARA, during Friday’s oral argument at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. But the school says it complied with the law when it hid murals that students complained about for decades as “cartoonish” depictions of slaves and promotion of the “white savior complex.”

The dispute raises questions regarding how far VARA limits the property rights of the owners of their physical art, and the reach of exceptions written into the law. The US District Court for the District of Vermont’s ruling said that “no court has ruled that VARA protects the artist’s interest in keeping his art visible or on display.”

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February 1, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, New Cases | Permalink

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February 1, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

NY Times: Black Americans Are Much More Likely To Face Tax Audits, Study Finds

New York Times, Black Americans Are Much More Likely to Face Tax Audits, Study Finds:

AuditA new report documents systemic discrimination in how the I.R.S. selects taxpayers to be audited, with implications for a debate on the agency’s funding.

Black taxpayers are at least three times as likely to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service as other taxpayers, even after accounting for the differences in the types of returns each group is most likely to file, a team of economists has concluded in one of the most detailed studies yet on race and the nation’s tax system.

The findings do not suggest bias from individual tax enforcement agents, who do not know the race of the people they are auditing. They also do not suggest any valid reason for the I.R.S. to target Black Americans at such high rates; there is no evidence that group engages in more tax evasion than others.

Instead, the findings document discrimination in the computer algorithms the agency uses to determine who is selected for an audit, according to the study by economists from Stanford University [Hadi Elzayn, Daniel Ho], the University of Michigan [Evelyn Smith], the University of Chicago [Jacob Goldin, Arun Ramesh] and the Treasury Department [Robin Fisher, Thomas Hertz] [Measuring and Mitigating Racial Disparities in Tax Audits]:

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February 1, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax News, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

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February 1, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Ryznar: Exams In The Time Of ChatGPT

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-McKinney), Exams in the Time of ChatGPT, 80 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online __ (2023):

Open AI ChatGPTThis article offers various methods to administer assessments while maintaining their integrity—after asking artificial intelligence writing tool ChatGPT for its views on the matter. The sophisticated response of the chatbot, which students can use in their written work, only raises the stakes of figuring out how to administer exams fairly.

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February 1, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Doran Presents Executive Compensation And Corporate Governance Today At Columbia

Michael Doran (Virginia; Google Scholar) presents Executive Compensation And Corporate Governance (reviewed by Sloan Speck (Colorado; Google Scholar) here) at Columbia today as part of its Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by David Schizer, Michael Love, Wojciech Kopczuk, and Alex Raskolnikov. 

Michael-doranOver the past four decades, Congress has repeatedly used tax policy to address executive-compensation practices, most notably through golden-parachute penalty taxes (enacted in 1984), a $1 million cap on compensation deductions (enacted in 1993 and expanded in 2017), and penalty taxes on nonqualified deferred compensation (enacted in 2004). The critical assumptions underlying these efforts are, first, that certain features of executive pay represent a failure of corporate governance and, second, that tax policy can correct that failure. The first assumption may or may not be correct; the theoretical and empirical arguments about it remain unresolved. But the second assumption is increasingly untenable. Penalty taxes have been largely ineffective in changing executive-compensation practices in the ways that legislators intend; in many instances, they actually exacerbate the features of executive pay that concern Congress in the first place. 

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January 31, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Princeton Review's Best 168 Law Schools (2023 Edition)

Princeton-reviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2023 edition of The Best 168 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The company reports its annual law school rankings in 14 categories: each one lists the top 10 ranking schools. ...

The Princeton Review’s law school rankings are uniquely based on data the company gathers from surveys of administrators at the law schools as well as surveys of students attending the schools who rate and report on their experiences at them. The rankings for 2023 are based on surveys of administrators at 168 law schools in 2021-22 and surveys of 17,000 students enrolled in the schools [an average of 101 per school] over the past three academic years.

More than 60 data points are factored into the company’s ranking list tallies. Of the 14 categories of ranking lists, six lists are based on student- and administrator-reported data. Five are based solely on student data, and three are based solely on administrator data.

Best Quality of Life: Based on student answers to survey questions on: whether there is a strong sense of community at the school whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the location of the school, the quality of social life at the school, the school's research resources (library, computer and database resources). 

  1. Virginia
  2. Florida State
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. UCLA
  5. Penn

Best Professors:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning how good their professors are as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

  1. Chicago
  2. Duke
  3. Stanford
  4. Virginia
  5. Vanderbilt

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January 31, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Goldin Presents Measurement And Mitigation Of Racial Disparities In Tax Audits Today At Georgetown

Jacob Goldin (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Measurement and Mitigation of Racial Disparities in Tax Audits at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Emily Satterthwaite and Dayanand Manoli. 

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. In contrast, in these models, certain policies tend to increase the audit rate of Black taxpayers: (1) designing audit selection algorithms to minimize the “no-change rate”; (2) targeting erroneously claimed refundable credits rather than total under-reporting; and (3) limiting the share of more complex EITC returns that can be selected for audit. 

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January 31, 2023 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink