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A (Partial) Defense Of Section 501(C)(4)'S “Catchall” Nature, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer Mar 2018

A (Partial) Defense Of Section 501(C)(4)'S “Catchall” Nature, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) provides exemption from federal income tax for “social welfare” organizations. The vagueness of this term and the failure of the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to interpret it in a manner that would significantly limit that vagueness has led some commentators to criticize this section’s “catchall” nature. While much scholarly attention has been paid to this criticism with respect to the most visible section 501(c)(4) organizations, particularly those involved in political campaign activity and lobbying, almost no attention has been paid to the many less common types of section ...


Citizens Abroad And Social Cohesion At Home: Refocusing A Cross-Border Tax Policy Debate, Michael Kirsch Jan 2017

Citizens Abroad And Social Cohesion At Home: Refocusing A Cross-Border Tax Policy Debate, Michael Kirsch

Journal Articles

Modern developments raise significant questions about the future importance (or non-importance) of formal citizenship status. For example, while many have interpreted the European Union project, with its emphasis on the free movement of individuals, as portending the decreasing relevance of nationality, recent developments, such as the “Brexit” vote, suggest that national identity remains an important factor for many individuals. While much of the public debate over citizenship focuses on areas, such as immigration, that are more obviously tied to formal citizenship status, this debate also impacts cross-border tax policy.

Over the past decade, several scholars have addressed the use of ...


Citizens Abroad And Social Cohesion At Home: Refocusing A Cross-Border Tax Policy Debate, Michael S. Kirsch Jan 2017

Citizens Abroad And Social Cohesion At Home: Refocusing A Cross-Border Tax Policy Debate, Michael S. Kirsch

Journal Articles

Over the past decade, a number of scholars have addressed the United States’ continuing use of citizenship as a jurisdictional basis upon which to tax the foreign-source income of individuals in the modern international setting. Some writers, including myself, have defended this citizenship-based taxation (“CBT”), while others have rejected it and proposed some form of residence-based taxation (“RBT”) for citizens.

This Article considers the competing normative arguments raised in this context, and attempts to distill the strengths and weaknesses of each. In so doing, it attempts to highlight the most important factors upon which the debate hinges, and illustrates the ...


'The Better Part Of Valour Is Discretion': Should The Irs Change Or Surrender Its Oversight Of Tax-Exempt Organizations?, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2016

'The Better Part Of Valour Is Discretion': Should The Irs Change Or Surrender Its Oversight Of Tax-Exempt Organizations?, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

Recent events have highlighted the difficulties the Internal Revenue Service faces when attempting to ensure that purportedly tax-exempt organizations in fact qualify for that status. The problems in this area go much deeper than a group of IRS employees subjecting certain organizations to greater scrutiny based on their political leanings, however. For decades members of the public, the media, the academy, and Congress have criticized the limited ability of the IRS to ensure that organizations claiming exemption from federal income tax in fact deserve that categorization. Yet examples of IRS failings in this area continue to arise with depressing frequency ...


Tax Treaties And The Taxation Of Services In The Absence Of Physical Presence, Michael Kirsch Jan 2016

Tax Treaties And The Taxation Of Services In The Absence Of Physical Presence, Michael Kirsch

Journal Articles

It is old news that modern technological developments have strained long‐standing international tax policies and principles. Tax treaties have attempted to keep pace by fitting these new developments within the existing framework. This brief article addresses one aspect of technological developments that can directly affect individual taxpayers—the increasing ability to deliver personal services electronically across borders, without the need for the service provider to have a physical presence in the “source” country. In particular, it focuses on recent developments with the U.N. Model, which may allow source‐based taxation of at least some types of services income ...


Fragmented Oversight Of Nonprofits In The United States: Does It Work? Can It Work?, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2016

Fragmented Oversight Of Nonprofits In The United States: Does It Work? Can It Work?, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

Previously Brendan Wilson and I concluded that oversight of nonprofit governance would be most effective if it remained the responsibility of the states, although it would benefit from both a federal funding mechanism and enhanced coordination with the Internal Revenue Service.' More recently I concluded that oversight of federal tax exemption would be better served if Congress shifted the locus of that oversight to a national, self-regulatory organization working in close cooperation with the IRS given the perennial financial and other limitations faced by the IRS.2 What neither of these earlier articles addressed, however, was whether the current split ...


Revisiting The Tax Treatment Of Citizens Abroad: Reconciling Principle And Practice, Michael Kirsch Jan 2014

Revisiting The Tax Treatment Of Citizens Abroad: Reconciling Principle And Practice, Michael Kirsch

Journal Articles

In an increasingly mobile world, the taxation of citizens living abroad has taken on increased importance. Recent international administrative developments — most notably, the weakening of foreign bank secrecy and expansion of global information sharing norms — have further raised the profile of this issue. While U.S. law traditionally has taxed U.S. citizens living abroad in the same general manner as citizens living in the United States, a number of scholars have proposed abandoning the use of citizenship as a jurisdictional basis to tax. In its place, they would apply residence-based principles — i.e., exercising full taxing rights over U ...


Tax Recognition, Barry Cushman Jan 2014

Tax Recognition, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

This article was prepared for the St. Louis University Law Journal’s “Teaching Trusts & Estates” issue. Many law students take a course in Trusts & Estates, but comparatively few enroll in a class devoted to the federal wealth transfer taxes. For most law students, the Trusts & Estates course provides the only opportunity for exposure to some of the basic features of the estate tax, the gift tax, the generation-skipping transfer tax, and some related features of the income tax. The coverage demands of the typical Trusts & Estates course do not allow for intensive discussion of these issues, but there are numerous ...


Nfib V. Sebelius And The Transformation Of The Taxing Power, Barry Cushman Jan 2014

Nfib V. Sebelius And The Transformation Of The Taxing Power, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice Roberts wrote for a majority of five Justices in holding that the “shared responsibility payment” required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) constituted an imposition of a “tax” rather than a “penalty.” Thus, even though the Chief Justice and four other Justices had concluded that the provision was not a legitimate exercise of the commerce power, the Court held that it was a valid exercise of the taxing power.

The origin of the distinction between taxes and penalties in taxing power jurisprudence is found in the 1922 ...


The "Independent" Sector: Fee-For-Service Charity And The Limits Of Autonomy, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2012

The "Independent" Sector: Fee-For-Service Charity And The Limits Of Autonomy, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

Although numerous scholars have attempted to explain and justify the benefits provided to charities, none has been completely successful. Their theories share, however, two required characteristics for charities. First, charities must be distinct from other types of entities in society, including governmental bodies, businesses, other types of nonprofit organizations, and informal entities such as families. Second, charities must provide some form of public benefit. Given these defining characteristics, the principal role for the laws governing charities is to protect charities from influences that could potentially undermine these traits. This Article is the first to recognize fully the importance of this ...


A Winn For Educational Pluralism, Nicole Stelle Garnett Jan 2011

A Winn For Educational Pluralism, Nicole Stelle Garnett

Journal Articles

This short essay takes as its starting point on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Winn v. Arizona Christian Tuition Organization, which involved an Establishment Clause challenge to Arizona’s scholarship tax program — a school-choice device that provides tax credits from state income taxes for donations to organizations granting scholarship to private K-12 schools. In Winn, a divided court ruled that taxpayers lack standing to challenge this and other tax credit programs — thereby dramatically limiting the Flast v. Cohen exception to the no-taxpayer-standing rule. The essay makes the case that the Winn will promote authentic educational pluralism by clearing ...


Regulating Charities In The Twenty-First Century: An Institutional Choice Analysis, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Brendan M. Wilson Jan 2010

Regulating Charities In The Twenty-First Century: An Institutional Choice Analysis, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Brendan M. Wilson

Journal Articles

For more than fifty years scholars, practitioners, and government officials have debated whether the federal government, the state governments, or the charitable sector itself can best ensure that charity leaders fulfill their fiduciary duties. The dramatic growth of this sector, recent highly publicized governance scandals, and a push in Congress and the IRS for more federal involvement in this area have now brought this issue to a head. This article lays a foundation for resolving the dispute by developing an institutional choice framework for considering and comparing the various available options. Applying that framework, the article concludes that the best ...


Does "Proceeds" Really Mean "Net Profits"? The Supreme Court's Efforts To Diminish The Utility Of The Federal Money Laundering Statute, Jimmy Gurule Jan 2009

Does "Proceeds" Really Mean "Net Profits"? The Supreme Court's Efforts To Diminish The Utility Of The Federal Money Laundering Statute, Jimmy Gurule

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Santos is severely hampers the fight against drug traffickers, terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals. It restricts the scope of the money laundering statute, defining the term “proceeds” in it as net profits, not gross receipts from unlawful activity. This imposes an unreasonable and unwarranted burden on prosecutors to prove net criminal profits, money acquired beyond the defendant’s overhead expenses from unlawful activities. The court’s holding also restricts other provisions of the money laundering statute, such as the concealment theory of money laundering, and it creates confusion over whether ...


The Limits Of Administrative Guidance In The Interpretation Of Tax Treaties, Michael Kirsch Jan 2009

The Limits Of Administrative Guidance In The Interpretation Of Tax Treaties, Michael Kirsch

Journal Articles

This Article addresses the increasingly important role of administrative guidance in interpreting the United States' international treaty obligations. The relationship between administrative guidance and treaties raises important issues at the intersection of international law, constitutional law, and administrative law. These issues are explored in the context of the United States' extensive tax treaty network. Tax treaties play an important role in a global economy, attempting to reconcile the complex and ever-changing internal tax laws of different countries. The Treasury Department is considering the increased use of administrative guidance to interpret the meaning and application of tax treaties, particularly in response ...


Bringing Clarity To Title Clearing: Tax Foreclosure And Due Process In The Internet Age, James J. Kelly Jr. Jan 2008

Bringing Clarity To Title Clearing: Tax Foreclosure And Due Process In The Internet Age, James J. Kelly Jr.

Journal Articles

The foreclosure of property tax liens performs an essential economic function by reconnecting underutilized properties to the real estate market. To clear title in an efficient and just manner, local jurisdictions foreclosing on tax liens require clear, balanced procedures for the provision of notice to affected parties. In its 2006 decision in Jones v. Flowers, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the foreclosing jurisdiction's lack of direct follow-up on returned notice mailings denied the addressee due process because the foreclosing party did not take steps that would be chosen by one desirous of actually informing the property owner ...


Grasping Smoke: Enforcing The Ban On Political Activity By Charities, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer Jan 2007

Grasping Smoke: Enforcing The Ban On Political Activity By Charities, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

The rule that charities are not allowed to intervene in political campaigns has now been in place for over fifty years. Despite uncertainty about the exact reasons for Congress' enactment of it, skepticism by some about its validity for both constitutional and public policy reasons, and continued confusion about its exact parameters, this rule has survived virtually unchanged for all of those years. Yet while overall noncompliance with the income tax laws has drawn significant scholarly attention, few scholars have focused on violations of this prohibition and the IRS' attempts to enforce it.

This Article focuses on the elusive issue ...


Taxing Citizens In A Global Economy, Michael S. Kirsch Jan 2007

Taxing Citizens In A Global Economy, Michael S. Kirsch

Journal Articles

This Article addresses a fundamental issue underlying the U.S. tax system in the international context: the use of citizenship as a jurisdictional basis for imposing income tax. As a general matter, the United States is the only economically developed country that taxes its citizens abroad on their foreign income.

Despite this broad general assertion of taxing jurisdiction, Congress allows citizens abroad to exclude a limited amount of their income earned from working outside the United States. Influential lobbying groups, including businesses that employ significant numbers of U.S. citizens abroad, argue that this exclusion is necessary in order to ...


The Tax Code As Nationality Law, Michael S. Kirsch Jan 2006

The Tax Code As Nationality Law, Michael S. Kirsch

Journal Articles

This article questions the frequently-asserted axiom that Congress's taxing power knows no bounds. It does so in the context of recently-enacted legislation that creates a special definition of citizenship that applies only for tax purposes. Historically, a person was treated as a citizen for tax purposes (and therefore taxed on her worldwide income and estate) if, and only if, she was a citizen under the nationality law. As a result of the new statute, in certain circumstances a person might be treated as a citizen for tax purposes (and therefore taxed on her worldwide income and estate) for years ...


The Congressional Response To Corporate Expatriations: The Tension Between Symbols And Substance In The Taxation Of Multinational Corporations, Michael Kirsch Jan 2005

The Congressional Response To Corporate Expatriations: The Tension Between Symbols And Substance In The Taxation Of Multinational Corporations, Michael Kirsch

Journal Articles

During the past few years, several high-profile U.S.-based multinational corporations have changed their tax residence from the United States to Bermuda or some other tax haven. They have accomplished these expatriations, and the resulting millions of dollars of annual tax savings, merely by changing the place of incorporation of their corporate parent, without the need to make any substantive changes to their business operations or their U.S.-based management structure. Congress and the media have focused significant attention on this phenomenon. Despite this attention, Congress initially enacted only a non-tax provision targeting corporate expatriations - a purported ban ...


Practicing What We Preach: A Call For Progressive Church Taxes, Matthew Barrett Mar 2004

Practicing What We Preach: A Call For Progressive Church Taxes, Matthew Barrett

Journal Articles

Many Catholics do not know that canon law allows their bishop to impose taxes on the parishes in his diocese for diocesan needs. Under canon law, these diocesan taxes, sometimes called diocesan assessments, parish assessments, or quotas, must be proportionate to [the parishes'] income. To a tax lawyer, the adjective proportionate describes a so-called flat tax, or a system that imposes the same tax rate on every taxpayer's taxable income. Canon law commentators, however, have consistently agreed that diocesan bishops can use a progressive tax, which in this context would impose a higher tax rate on parishes with larger ...


"Tax Services" As A Trojan Horse In The Auditor Independence Provisions Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Matthew J. Barrett Jan 2004

"Tax Services" As A Trojan Horse In The Auditor Independence Provisions Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Matthew J. Barrett

Journal Articles

This article argues that the failure of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOx) to prohibit auditors for public companies from also providing tax services to audit clients or their executives and selling tax shelters to anyone remains a Trojan horse that threatens both the investing public and the auditing profession. Although SOx enacted several reforms designed to enhance auditor independence, the legislation and implementing regulations that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subsequently promulgated allow an auditor for a publicly traded company to provide tax services to the company as long as the audit committee preapproves the engagement.

As the ...


The Theological Case For Progressive Taxation As Applied To Diocesan Taxes Or Assessments Under Canon Law In The United States, Matthew J. Barrett Jan 2003

The Theological Case For Progressive Taxation As Applied To Diocesan Taxes Or Assessments Under Canon Law In The United States, Matthew J. Barrett

Journal Articles

Canon 1263 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law allows the diocesan bishop to impose taxes on the parishes in his diocese for diocesan needs. Canon 1263 requires that such taxes be proportionate to [the parishes'] income. To a tax lawyer, the adjective proportionate describes a so-called flat tax, or a system that imposes the same tax rate on every taxpayer's taxable income. Canon law commentators, however, have consistently agreed that canon 1263 also authorizes a progressive tax, which in this context would impose a higher tax rate on parishes with larger incomes. This article argues that Catholic social ...


Enron, Accounting, And Lawyers, Matthew Barrett Jan 2002

Enron, Accounting, And Lawyers, Matthew Barrett

Journal Articles

Enron's collapse painfully illustrates the importance of financial accounting to all lawyers. Accounting is often referred to as "the language of business." Virtually every lawyer represents businesses, their owners, or clients with adverse legal interests, such as creditors and customers. Especially after Enron, lawyers cannot competently represent clients if they do not grasp certain basic principles about accounting. This article lists the top ten accounting lessons that any lawyer could learn from the scandal. These lessons include the components of a complete set of financial statements, the choices inherent in generally accepted accounting principles, the distortions possible in pro ...


The Use And Misuse Of Antiabuse Rules: Lessons From The Partnership Antiabuse Regulations, Alan Gunn Jan 2001

The Use And Misuse Of Antiabuse Rules: Lessons From The Partnership Antiabuse Regulations, Alan Gunn

Journal Articles

Subchapter K of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code was designed to achieve simplicity and flexibility in taxing partners. To limit this flexibility the regulations under subchapter K contain "antiabuse rules", aimed at insuring that subchapter K rules are applied consistently, with the "intent" of those rules in mind and allowing the Commissioner to treat a partnership as an aggregate of its partners in applying any Internal Revenue Code provision. Though antiabuse rules have received harsh criticism for being badly written, they are valuable in many ways. Such rules define abuse as something distinct in principle from substance-over-form and business ...


The Market For Deadbeats, Margaret F. Brinig, F. H. Buckley Jan 1996

The Market For Deadbeats, Margaret F. Brinig, F. H. Buckley

Journal Articles

This article outlines three explanations for why states seek migrants and tests them by references to 1985-90 interstate migration flows. On race-for-the-top theories, states compete for value-increasing migrants by offering them healthy economies and efficient laws. On vote-seeking theories, states compete for clienteles of voters, with some states seeking to attract and some to deter welfare- or tax-loving migrants. On deadbeat theories, states compete for high human capital debtors by offering them a fresh start from out-of-state creditors. Our findings support vote-seeking and deadbeat theories.


Can A Deficiency Notice To A Non-Filing Taxpayer Shorten The Time To Claim A Refund In The Tax Court?, Matthew J. Barrett Jan 1995

Can A Deficiency Notice To A Non-Filing Taxpayer Shorten The Time To Claim A Refund In The Tax Court?, Matthew J. Barrett

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Can The Government Change Tax Laws Retroactively?, Matthew J. Barrett Jan 1994

Can The Government Change Tax Laws Retroactively?, Matthew J. Barrett

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Determining An Individual's Federal Income Tax Liability When The Tax Benefit Rule Applies: A Fifty-Year Checkup Brings A New Prescription For Calculating Gross, Adjusted Gross, And Taxable Incomes, Matthew J. Barrett Jan 1994

Determining An Individual's Federal Income Tax Liability When The Tax Benefit Rule Applies: A Fifty-Year Checkup Brings A New Prescription For Calculating Gross, Adjusted Gross, And Taxable Incomes, Matthew J. Barrett

Journal Articles

The tax benefit rule should be described to indicate that it applies to credits and exclusions besides deductions, and deduction recoveries should be reported in the same location as was affected initially. The recovery should not affect gross income, for the purpose of tax equity. The recovery should rather affect either taxable income or adjusted gross income. The IRS and the courts should adopt this new description and principles.


Some Observations On The Interpretation Of The Internal Revenue Code, Alan Gunn Jan 1985

Some Observations On The Interpretation Of The Internal Revenue Code, Alan Gunn

Journal Articles

According to the author, a minor problem in partnership taxation provides a useful illustration of the problem of following the language of the Internal Revenue Code slavishly, without regard to context and history, even if a literal reading leads to absurd results.


Matching Of Costs And Revenues As A Goal Of Tax Accounting, Alan Gunn Jan 1984

Matching Of Costs And Revenues As A Goal Of Tax Accounting, Alan Gunn

Journal Articles

A central principle in accounting is that accounting methods must “clearly reflect income”. They must match a taxpayer’s revenues with the expenses of producing these revenues to determine their income. The article argues against this principle with an examination of accrual accounting methods. It looks at the role of matching in connection with two fundamental concerns of accrual accounting, the “all events” test and the principle of “clear reflection” of income. Through this examination the article notes that matching is generally irrelevant in principle, since the goal of tax accounting is to produce administratively feasible and economically sensible rules ...