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"I'D Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A [Tax Deduction] Today": Donor-Advised Funds And The Deferral Of Charity, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2020

"I'D Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A [Tax Deduction] Today": Donor-Advised Funds And The Deferral Of Charity, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

In recent years, donor-advised funds have become an increasingly popular vehicle for charitable giving. In part, their popularity can be traced to a disconnect in the law: donor-advised funds look in many ways like private foundations, but the tax law treats them as public charities. This disconnect is advantageous to donors. Because Congress was worried about wealthy individuals' ability to take advantage of the control they can exercise over private foundations, it imposed a series of additional tax rules on private foundations. These rules, among other things, limit the deductibility of donations to private foundations, require that private foundations make ...


Afterlife Of The Death Tax, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2019

Afterlife Of The Death Tax, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

More than a century ago, Congress enacted the modern estate tax to help pay for World War I. Unlike previous iterations of the estate tax, though, this one outlived the war and accumulated additional goals beyond merely raising revenue. The estate tax helped ensure the progressivity of the tax system as a whole, and it limited the hereditary ability to accumulate wealth.


This modern estate tax almost instantly met with opposition, though. The opposition has never been sufficient to entirely eliminate the estate tax, but it has severely weakened its ability to raise revenue and to prevent the accumulation of ...


Mormon Profit: Brigham Young, Tithing, And The Bureau Of Internal Revenue, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2019

Mormon Profit: Brigham Young, Tithing, And The Bureau Of Internal Revenue, Samuel D. Brunson

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Since the enactment of the modern federal income tax, churches have been exempt from taxation. But that exemption is neither necessary nor inevitable. In fact, at the end of the 1860s, the Bureau of Internal Revenue decided that tithing received by the Mormon church was taxable under the Civil War income tax. At the time, Mormons distrusted the federal government and the federal government, in turn, distrusted the Mormons. The question of taxation was a small part of a larger legal and existential battle between the Mormons and the government. This Article situates the question of the taxability of tithing ...


Paying For Gun Violence, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2019

Paying For Gun Violence, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

Gun violence is an outsized problem in the United States. Between a culture that allows for relatively unconstrained firearm ownership and a constitutional provision that ensures that ownership will continue to be relatively unchecked, it has proven virtually impossible for politicians to address the problem of gun violence. And yet, gun violence costs the United States tens of billions of dollars or more annually. These tens of billions of dollars are negative externalities — costs that gun owners do not bear themselves, and thus that are imposed on the victims of violence and on taxpayers generally.

What can we do about ...


Dear I.R.S., It Is Time To Enforce The Campaigning Prohibition. Even Against Churches, Samuel Brunson Jan 2016

Dear I.R.S., It Is Time To Enforce The Campaigning Prohibition. Even Against Churches, Samuel Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

In 1954, Congress prohibited tax-exempt public charities, including churches, from endorsing or opposing candidates for office. To the extent a tax-exempt public charity violated this prohibition, it would no longer qualify as tax-exempt, and the IRS was to revoke its exemption.

While simple in theory, in practice, the IRS rarely penalizes churches that violate the campaigning prohibition and virtually never revokes a church's tax exemption. And, because no taxpayer has standing to challenge the IRS's inaction, the IRS has no external imperative to revoke the exemptions of churches that do campaign on behalf of or against candidates for ...


Taxing Utopia, Samuel Brunson Jan 2016

Taxing Utopia, Samuel Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

Nineteenth-century American religious movements challenged many aspects of American society. Although their challenges to mainstream America's vision of sex and marriage remain the best-known aspects of many of these groups, their challenges to traditional American economics are just as important. Eschewing individual ownership of property, many of these new Christian movements followed the New Testament model of a body of believers that held all property in common.

In the early twentieth century, these religious communal groups had to contend with something new: an income tax. Communalism did not fit into the individualistic economic system envisioned b-y the drafters of ...


The U.S. As Tax Haven? Aiding Developing Countries By Revoking The Revenue Rule, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2014

The U.S. As Tax Haven? Aiding Developing Countries By Revoking The Revenue Rule, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

Over the years, many OECD countries, including the United States, have identified tax havens as a significant problem, and have acted to limit the ability of their taxpayers to use tax havens to reduce their taxes. The United States has implemented tax regimes, including subpart F and the passive foreign investment company rules, and disclosure regimes, such as the recently-enacted FATCA rules, to prevent U.S. taxpayers from taking advantage of tax haven jurisdictions.

But the intersection of a number of U.S. tax rules, it turns out, makes the United States an attractive place for foreigners to investand ...


Watching The Watchers: Preventing I.R.S. Abuse Of The Tax System,, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2013

Watching The Watchers: Preventing I.R.S. Abuse Of The Tax System,, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

As a result of broad outcries against the incompetence and aggressiveness of the LR.S., Congress reined in its behavior, requiring it to focus on treating taxpayers as customers. Congress also created oversight bodies to ensure that the I.R.S. would comply with the new mandate. Though those oversight bodies face some difficulties - most notably, the unwillingness of Congress to adequately fund them - they nonetheless have proven effective at checking the IR.S. 's misbehavior with regard to taxpayers.

Congress has not, however been as solicitous to the tax law itself The I.R.S. can act in ways ...


Mutual Funds, Fairness, And The Income Gap, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2013

Mutual Funds, Fairness, And The Income Gap, Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

The rich, it turns out, are different from the rest of us. The wealthy, for example, can assemble a diversified portfolio of securities or can invest through hedge and private equity funds. When the rest of us invest, we do so largely through mutual funds. Nearly half of American households own mutual funds, and mutual funds represent a significant portion of the financial assets held by U.S. households.

The tax rules governing mutual funds create an investment vehicle with significantly worse tax treatment than investments available to the wealthy. In particular, the tax rules governing mutual funds force shareholders ...


Repatriating Tax-Exempt Investments: Tax Havens, Blocker Corporations, And Unrelated Debt-Financed Income., Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2012

Repatriating Tax-Exempt Investments: Tax Havens, Blocker Corporations, And Unrelated Debt-Financed Income., Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

When a tax-exempt entity is both able and willing to lend its exemption to other taxpayers, tax-averse parties line up to take advantage of its largesse (and, in the process, reduce their own tax bill). Congress, eager to prevent such abuse of the exemption, decided that, in some circumstances, it would tax entities that would otherwise be exempt from taxation. In this Article, I show that Congress's response to such "lending" has failed to solve the problem and, in fact, is harmful to the tax system and to tax-exempt entities. To address this problem, this Article proposes a new ...


When Should Asset Appreciation Be Taxed?: The Case For A Disposition Standard Of Realization., Jeffrey L. Kwall Jan 2011

When Should Asset Appreciation Be Taxed?: The Case For A Disposition Standard Of Realization., Jeffrey L. Kwall

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Reigning In Charities: Using An Intermediate Penalty To Enforce The Campaigning Prohibition., Samuel Brunson Jan 2011

Reigning In Charities: Using An Intermediate Penalty To Enforce The Campaigning Prohibition., Samuel Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Grown-Up Income Shifting: Yesterday's Kiddie Tax Is Not Enough., Samuel Brunson Jan 2011

Grown-Up Income Shifting: Yesterday's Kiddie Tax Is Not Enough., Samuel Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Taxing Investment Fund Managers Using A Simplified Mark-To-Market Approach., Samuel Brunson Jan 2010

Taxing Investment Fund Managers Using A Simplified Mark-To-Market Approach., Samuel Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Elective Taxation Of Risk-Based Financial Instruments: A Proposal., Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2007

Elective Taxation Of Risk-Based Financial Instruments: A Proposal., Samuel D. Brunson

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


What Is A Merger?: The Case For Taxing Cash Mergers Like Stock Sales., Jeffrey L. Kwall Jan 2006

What Is A Merger?: The Case For Taxing Cash Mergers Like Stock Sales., Jeffrey L. Kwall

Faculty Publications & Other Works

In a merger, neither the assets nor the stock of one corporation are physically transferred to another corporation. Rather, the two corporations are unified by operation of law. The absence of a physical transfer of assets or stock obscures the tax effects of a merger. To determine these effects, a merger must be analogized to a sale of assets or a sale of stock. These alternative analogies yield significantly different results when the consideration for the merger is cash. When a cash merger is analogized to an asset sale, a 35% corporate tax is normally imposed. By contrast, no corporate ...


Out With The Open-Transaction Doctrine: A New Theory For Taxing Contingent Payment Sales, Jeffrey L. Kwall Jan 2003

Out With The Open-Transaction Doctrine: A New Theory For Taxing Contingent Payment Sales, Jeffrey L. Kwall

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Big Picture, Fine Print: The Intersection Of Art And Tax, Anne-Marie E. Rhodes Jan 2003

Big Picture, Fine Print: The Intersection Of Art And Tax, Anne-Marie E. Rhodes

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.