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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan Feb 2019

The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan

Articles

The 2017 tax legislation brought sweeping changes to the rules for taxing individuals and business, the deductibility of state and local taxes, and the international tax regime. The complex legislation was drafted and passed through a rushed and secretive process intended to limit public comment on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic policy enacted in recent history. This Article is an effort to supply the analysis and deliberation that should have accompanied the bill’s consideration and passage, and describes key problem areas in the new legislation. Many of the new changes fundamentally undermine the integrity of the ...


Does The United States Still Care About Complying With Its Wto Obligations?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2018

Does The United States Still Care About Complying With Its Wto Obligations?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) contains a provision that on its face appears to be a blatant violation of the WTO’s Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) rules. New IRC section 250 applies a reduced 13.125% tax rate to “foreign derived intangible income” (FDII), which is defined as income derived in connection with (1) property that is sold by the taxpayer to any foreign person for a foreign use or (2) services to any foreign person or with respect to foreign property. In other words, this category comprises exports for property and services, including royalties ...


Accessible Reliable Tax Advice, Emily Cauble Apr 2018

Accessible Reliable Tax Advice, Emily Cauble

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Unsophisticated taxpayers who lack financial resources are disadvantaged by a shortage of adequate tax advice. The IRS does not have the resources to answer all questions asked, and the IRS’s informal advice comes with no guarantee as to its accuracy and offers the taxpayer no protection when it is mistaken. Furthermore, non-IRS sources of advice have not sufficiently filled the void left by a lack of satisfactory IRS guidance. These biases against unsophisticated taxpayers have been noted by existing literature. This Article contributes to existing literature by proposing several novel reform measures to assist unsophisticated taxpayers.

First, with respect ...


Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements Nov 2017

Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Article reviews and assesses corporate tax reforms advocated by President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and signed into law since taking office (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), in light of economic theory and the Modigliani-Miller Irrelevance Theorem. The Ar-ticle argues that companies will adapt polcies in light of new taxation mea-sures, thereby impacting the effectiveness of reform. In support of this conclusion, the Article surveys two empirical studies—one in relation to the repatriation efforts of President Bush’s Homeland Investment Act and an-other in relation to unexpected changes to the taxation of Canadian income ...


Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze Mar 2017

Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze

Articles

Rules targeting specific known schemes are not the only tools available in the battle against tax avoidance. Legal systems also use measures that apply generally. The U.S. for example has tended to rely heavily on general doctrines. One such doctrine which is discussed in part 2 of this chapter is the “economic substance” doctrine. Yet as Xiong and Evans recently pointed out “although such judicial doctrines can be used to deal with various aspects of complicated tax abuse judges tended sometimes to limit and sometimes to enlarge the scope of jurisprudential interpretation leading to substantial uncertainty and risk.” One ...


Tax Symposium: Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2017

Tax Symposium: Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Michigan Journal of International Law

This issue of MJIL features four out of the many outstanding papers that were presented at a conference on Taxation and Citizenship held at Michigan Law in October 2015 and co-organized by Allison Christians and myself. The impetus for the conference was the realization that the unique U.S. practice of taxing its citizens on worldwide income, regardless of where they reside, has become a major flashpoint in the relationship between the United States and its citizens living overseas, and sometimes also between the United States and the country those citizens resided in.


Citizenship Overreach, Peter J. Spiro Jan 2017

Citizenship Overreach, Peter J. Spiro

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article examines international law limitations on the ascription of citizenship and national self-definition. The United States is exceptionally generous in its extension of citizenship. Alone among the major developed states, it extends citizenship to almost all persons in its territory at the moment of birth. This birthright citizenship is constitutionally protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. At the same time that it is generous at the front end, U.S. citizenship is sticky at the back. Termination of citizenship on the individual’s part can involve substantial fees. Expatriation is contingent on tax compliance and, in some cases, will implicate ...


A Global Perspective On Citizenship-Based Taxation, Allison Christians Jan 2017

A Global Perspective On Citizenship-Based Taxation, Allison Christians

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article contends that, with regard to individuals who reside permanently outside of the United States, the global assistance sought under FATCA to enforce U.S. income taxation solely on the basis of citizenship violates international law. It argues that insisting upon foreign cooperation with the FATCA regime, under threat of serious economic penalties, is inconsistent with universally accepted norms regarding appropriate limits to the state’s jurisdiction to tax, while also being normatively unjustified. Accordingly, FATCA should be rejected by all other nation states to the extent it imposes any obligations with respect to individuals who permanently reside outside ...


Minimalism About Residence And Source, Wei Cui Jan 2017

Minimalism About Residence And Source, Wei Cui

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this Article, I relate the discomfort with fundamental principles in taxing individuals’ worldwide income to a problem that has attracted greater attention in recent years: the assignment of geographical sources to income. I suggest that there is substantial similarity between critiques of residence rules (of which critiques of citizenship-based taxation are examples) and critiques of source rules. However, I argue that problematic residence and source rules are only symptoms, not causes, of unsatisfactory conceptual paradigms in international taxation. Many scholars portray source and residence rules as inadequate means for achieving purportedly given normative objectives in the age of intense ...


Defining Residence For Income Tax Purposes: Domicile As Gap-Filler, Citizenship As Proxy And Gap-Filler, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2017

Defining Residence For Income Tax Purposes: Domicile As Gap-Filler, Citizenship As Proxy And Gap-Filler, Edward A. Zelinsky

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this paper, I place the United States’ adherence to citizenship-based taxation in the context of the states’ tax systems. Forty-one states impose general income taxes on the worldwide incomes of their respective residents. These state tax systems are important repositories of experience that confirm the administrative benefits of citizenship-based taxation. Domicile today plays an important role in state tax systems as a gap-filler when more objective statutory residence laws fail to assign any state of residence to the taxpayer. Citizenship is an administrable proxy for domicile and serves a similar gap-filling role in the taxation of individuals whose income ...


Reviving Fiscal Citizenship, Ajay K. Mehrotra Apr 2015

Reviving Fiscal Citizenship, Ajay K. Mehrotra

Michigan Law Review

April 15 is a day that most Americans dread. That date is, of course, when federal and nearly all state-level individual income tax returns are due. Agonizing over the filing of income tax returns has long been a perennial part of modern American legal culture. Since the mid-1940s, when the United States first adopted a return-based mass income tax, the vast majority of Americans have been legally required to file an annual Form 1040. Over the years, taxpayers have been complaining about, procrastinating over, and generally loathing the filing of their annual tax returns. Indeed, in recent times, April 15 ...


Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2015

Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In 1997, I wrote an article on the international tax challenges posed by the then-nascent electronic commerce, in which I suggested that the international tax regime is based on two principles: the benefits principle and the single tax principle. The benefits principle states that active (business) income should be taxed primarily by the country of source, and passive (investment) income should be taxed primarily by the country of residence. This is the famous compromise reached by the four economists at the foundation of the regime in 1923 and is not particularly controversial. It is embodied in every one of the ...


Understanding The Amt, And Its Unadopted Sibling, The Amxt, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue Jan 2014

Understanding The Amt, And Its Unadopted Sibling, The Amxt, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue

Articles

Four million Americans with extensive tax preferences are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). By taxing a broad definition of income, the AMT makes it possible to have a tax system that both encourages certain activities with generous tax preferences and maintains a semblance of distributional equity. The same rationale supports the imposition of an Alternative Maximum Tax (AMxT), which would cap tax liabilities of individuals with very few preference items and thereby afford Congress greater flexibility in designing the income tax. The original 1969 AMT proposal included an AMxT; it is difficult to justify imposing one without the ...


Partisan Politics And Income Tax Rates, William E. Foster Jan 2013

Partisan Politics And Income Tax Rates, William E. Foster

William E Foster

With income tax reform dominating so much of the current political discourse, now is an optimal time for tax scholars to reflect on the lessons and trends from a century of legislative tinkering with the primary revenue-generating device in the United States. Tax rate changes do not occur in a vacuum, and this article explores one increasingly prominent and often overlooked ingredient in the mixture of variables that can produce or inhibit tax reform―partisan politics. It does so by comparing individual income tax rates with partisan control of federal political bodies. This article reviews majority party status in the ...


Political Hot Potato: How Closing Loopholes Can Get Policymakers Cooked, Stephanie Mcmahon Jan 2012

Political Hot Potato: How Closing Loopholes Can Get Policymakers Cooked, Stephanie Mcmahon

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Loopholes in the law are weaknesses that allow the law to be circumvented. Once created, they prove hard to eliminate. Acase study of the evolving tax unit used in the federal income tax explores policymakers' response to loopholes. The1913 income tax created an opportunity for wealthy married couples to shift ownership of family income between spouses, then to file separately, and, as a result, to reduce their collective taxes. In 1948, Congress closed this loophole by extending the income-splitting benefit to all married taxpayers filing jointly. Congress acted only after the federal judiciary and Treasury Department pleaded for congressional ...


Reforming The Tax Code: A Tale Of Two Purposes And Paralysis, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

Reforming The Tax Code: A Tale Of Two Purposes And Paralysis, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Though the presidential election of 2012 is still some time away, national politics have been in the thick of one for several months now. One of the top issues being debated is the tax code. Most agree that the tax code should be simplified, but to say that the proposals to do this are various is an understatement. This perennial question of reform has been a fixture of the national debate for a long time, so little of what can be said about it is particularly novel. All the same, a brief overview of the purposes behind our system of ...


The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2010

The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The bipartisan tax reform bill recently introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., proposes to abolish IRC section 911. That section, which exempts U.S. citizens living overseas from tax on the first $80,000 of earned income, is indeed anomalous in the context of a tax on all income "from whatever source derived," and has been subjected to criticism. However, there is a reason section 911 has been in the code since the 1920s: In its absence, citizenship-based taxation becomes completely unadministrable. Rather than continuing the long argument over section 911, Congress should therefore reexamine ...


It Is Logic Rather Than Whom You Trust: A Rejoinder To Prof. Cohen, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 2010

It Is Logic Rather Than Whom You Trust: A Rejoinder To Prof. Cohen, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

This article is the continuation of an exchange that has taken place between Prof. Stephen B. Cohen and me concerning the validity of criticisms leveled by Chief Justice John Roberts on an opinion by then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor writing for the Second Circuit in the case of William L. Rudkin Testamentary Trust v. Commissioner. While affirming the Second Circuit’s decision, Chief Justice Roberts, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, criticized and rejected Justice Sotomayor’s construction of the relevant statutory provision. In an article in the August 3, 2009, issue of Tax Notes, Cohen defended Justice Sotomayor’s construction of ...


Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is divided into four parts. In Part I, the nature of the levy that the DOMAs impose on same-sex couples is explained. In Part II, how this levy can be classified as a "tax" is explained. In Part III, the federal- and state-level ramifications of classifying the levy that the DOMAs impose as a "tax" are discussed. Finally, brief concluding remarks are provided that discuss how this Article might pave the way for making similar arguments with respect to other nontraditional families and, concomitantly, how it demonstrates the transformative potential of same-sex marriage.


Alimony Treatment For A Single Payment, Douglas A. Kahn Dec 2009

Alimony Treatment For A Single Payment, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

Before 1942 alimony paid to a former spouse was not included in the spouse’s gross income. In 1942 Congress adopted the antecedent to section 71. Although an alimony recipient must recognize gross income, section 215 provides the payer with a nonitemized deduction for the payment. Therefore, the alimony tax provisions provide a congressionally approved income-splitting arrangement which can benefit the parties by shifting income from a high-bracket taxpayer to one in a lower tax bracket. The parties can divide the resulting savings between them by altering the amount paid to the former spouse.


Rudkin Testamentary Trust -- A Response To Prof. Cohen, Douglas A. Kahn Sep 2009

Rudkin Testamentary Trust -- A Response To Prof. Cohen, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

In the August 3 issue of Tax Notes, Prof. Stephen Cohen wrote an article about Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s opinions in three tax cases. Of those three cases, only the opinion she wrote in William L. Rudkin Testamentary Trust v. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2d Cir. 2006), Doc 2006- 21522, 2006 TNT 203-4, is worthy of comment. Although the Second Circuit’s decision in that case was affirmed by the Supreme Court under the name Knight v. Commissioner, the construction of the critical statutory language that Justice Sotomayor adopted was rejected and criticized by Chief Justice Roberts, writing for ...


The Proper Tax Treatment Of The Transfer Of A Compensatory Partnership Interest, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 2008

The Proper Tax Treatment Of The Transfer Of A Compensatory Partnership Interest, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

If a person receives property as payment for services, whether for past or future services, the receipt typically constitutes gross income to the recipient. If a person performs services for a partnership or agrees to perform future services, and if the person receives a partnership interest as compensation for the past or future services, one might expect that receipt to cause the new partner to recognize gross income in an amount equal to the fair market value of the partnership interest. After all, if a corporation compensated someone for services rendered or to be rendered by transferring the corporation's ...


All In The Family As A Single Shareholder Of An S Corporation, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn, Terrence G. Perris Aug 2007

All In The Family As A Single Shareholder Of An S Corporation, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn, Terrence G. Perris

Articles

Subject to a few exceptions, a corporation that has elected to be taxed under subchapter S of chapter 1 of subtitle A of title 26 of the United States tax code is not taxed on its net income. Instead, the income, deductions, credits, and other tax items of an S corporation pass through to its shareholders on a pro rata basis. To qualify for subchapter S treatment, an electing corporation must satisfy the requirements that are set forth in section 1361, one of which is that the corporation can have no more than 100 shareholders. One aspect of that requirement ...


Taxation, Craig D. Bell Nov 2005

Taxation, Craig D. Bell

University of Richmond Law Review

This article reviews significant developments in the law affecting Virginia taxation. Each section covers recent legislative changes, judicial decisions, and selected opinions or pronouncements from the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Virginia Attorney General over the past year. The overall purpose of this article is to provide Virginia tax and general practitioners with a concise overview of the recent developments in Virginia taxation most likely to have an impact on their practices. This article will not, however, discuss many of the numerous technical legislative changes to the State Taxation Code of Title 58.1.


The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale Jan 2005

The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article reviews the legal landscape that provided the backdrop against which Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania later adopted community property laws. It also examines the tax consequences of the two Supreme Court cases, Lucas v. Earl and Poe v. Seaborn, that resulted in the disparate tax treatment of married couples in common law and community property law states. Part II briefly reviews the subsequent passage of community property laws by Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania; the passage of a federal tax reduction bill that provided for equal treatment of community property law and common ...


The Pitfalls Of International Integration: A Comment On The Bush Proposal And Its Aftermath, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2005

The Pitfalls Of International Integration: A Comment On The Bush Proposal And Its Aftermath, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In January 2003, the Bush Administration proposed a new system for taxing corporate dividends, under which domestic shareholders in U.S. corporations would not be taxed on dividends they received, provided the corporation distributed these dividends out of after-tax earnings (the “Bush Proposal”). The Bush Proposal was introduced in Congress on February 27, 2003. Ultimately, however, Congress balked at enacting full-?edged dividend exemption. Instead, in the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (“JGTRRA”) as enacted on May 28, 2003, a lower rate of 15% was adopted for dividends paid by domestic and certain foreign corporations,1 ...


Guaranteed Payments Made In Kind By A Partnership, Douglas A. Kahn, Faith Cuenin Jan 2004

Guaranteed Payments Made In Kind By A Partnership, Douglas A. Kahn, Faith Cuenin

Articles

If a partnership makes a payment to a partner for services rendered in the latter's capacity as a partner or for the use of capital, to the extent that the payment is determined without regard to partnership income, it is characterized by the Internal Revenue Code as a "guaranteed payment" and is treated differently from other partnership distributions.' In addition, if a partnership makes a payment in liquidation of a retiring or deceased partner's interest in the partnership, part of that payment may be characterized as a guaranteed payment by section 736(a)(2). We will discuss in ...


Gifts, Gafts And Gefts: The Income Tax Definition And Treatment Of Private And Charitable 'Gifts' And A Principled Policy Justification For The Exclusion Of Gifts From Income, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2003

Gifts, Gafts And Gefts: The Income Tax Definition And Treatment Of Private And Charitable 'Gifts' And A Principled Policy Justification For The Exclusion Of Gifts From Income, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Articles

Gifts have been given special treatment by the income tax laws since the first post-16th Amendment tax statute was adopted in 1913. The determination of how the income tax law should treat gifts raises a number of issues. For example: should gifts be given special treatment? If so, what should qualify as a gift? Should gifts to a private party be taxable to the donee? Should gifts to a private party be deductible by the donor? Should the donee's basis in a gift of property be determined by reference to the basis that the donor had, and should any ...


Heteronormativity And The Federal Tax Code, Nancy J. Knauer Dec 1997

Heteronormativity And The Federal Tax Code, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

Proponents of same-sex marriage demand equal marriage rights as a matter of fundamental human dignity and as a means to gain certain legal benefits and protections. The ability to file joint federal income tax returns is invariably listed as one of the benefits associated with marriage. This outsider perspective contradicts the popular notion that the income tax is anti-marriage and offers a useful vantage point from which to analyze the marital provisions of the federal tax code, the treatment of the provisions in tax scholarship, and legislative proposals for "pro-family" tax reform. The joint filing provisions are just one example ...


Charging Public Land Users For Recreational Uses, Chip Dennerlein Oct 1995

Charging Public Land Users For Recreational Uses, Chip Dennerlein

Challenging Federal Ownership and Management: Public Lands and Public Benefits (October 11-13)

11 pages.