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2000

Columbia Law School

Tax Law

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Complex "derivative" financial instruments are often used in aggressive tax planning. In response, the government has implemented mark-to-market type reforms, but only partially. Considered in isolation, these incremental reforms are likely to seem well advised in measuring income more accurately. However, there is an important "second best" cost, emphasized in this Article: the ability of well-advised taxpayers either to avoid the new rule or to turn it to their advantage (here called "defensive" and "offensive" planning options, respectively). This Article uses two case studies to identify how these effects arise and to suggest ways of combating them. The first case ...


Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The most important tax problem of recent months is the impact of aggressive tax planning on corporate tax revenue. The Secretary of the Treasury blames the "tax shelter industry," in which tax lawyers and investment bankers develop and market tax-motivated transactions. This Article analyzes aggressive tax planning, and recommends ways to impede it, in a context rife with opportunities for planning: the tax rules for complex financial instruments known as derivatives. While planning opportunities are prevalent elsewhere in the tax law as well, this Article focuses on derivatives because the problem is particularly acute – indeed, derivatives have been called "[tlhe ...