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The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers: Evidence From Online Forums, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2016

The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers: Evidence From Online Forums, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

We find that while forum participants displayed generally accurate understandings of tax filing and income inclusion obligations, their approaches to expenses and deductions were ...


Can Sharing Be Taxed?, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2016

Can Sharing Be Taxed?, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In the past few years, we have seen the rise of a new model of production and consumption of goods and services, often referred to as the “sharing economy.” Fueled by startups such as Uber and Airbnb, sharing enables individuals to obtain rides, accommodations, and other goods and services from peers via personal computer or mobile application in exchange for payment. The rise of sharing has raised questions about how it should be regulated, including whether existing laws and regulations can and should be enforced in this new sector or whether new ones are needed.

In this Article, we explore ...


Paying For Altruism: The Case Of Organ Donation Revisited, Firat Bilgel, Brian D. Galle Sep 2014

Paying For Altruism: The Case Of Organ Donation Revisited, Firat Bilgel, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Although many commentators have called for increased efforts to incentivize organ donations, theorists and some evidence suggest these efforts will be ineffective or even could perversely crowd out altruistic efforts. Prior papers examining the impact of tax incentives for donations generally report zero or negative coefficients. We argue these studies incorrectly define their tax variables, and rely on difference-in-differences methods despite likely failures of the requisite parallel trends assumption. We therefore aim to identify the causal effect of tax incentive legislation to serve as an organ donor on living related and unrelated kidney donation rates in the U.S states ...


Does Federal Spending 'Coerce' States? Evidence From State Budgets, Brian D. Galle Apr 2014

Does Federal Spending 'Coerce' States? Evidence From State Budgets, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

According to a recent plurality of the U.S. Supreme Court, the danger that federal taxes will “crowd out” state revenues justifies aggressive judicial limits on the conditions attached to federal spending. Economic theory offers a number of reasons to believe the opposite: federal revenue increases may also float state boats. To test these competing claims, I examine for the first time the relationship between total federal revenues and state revenues. I find that, contra the NFIB plurality, increases in federal revenue -- controlling, of course, for economic performance and other factors -- are associated with a large and statistically significant increase ...


Social Enterprise: Who Needs It?, Brian D. Galle Nov 2013

Social Enterprise: Who Needs It?, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

State statutes authorizing firms to pursue mixtures of profitable and socially-beneficial goals have proliferated in the past five years. In this invited response essay, I argue that for one large class of charitable goals the so-called “social enterprise” firm is often privately wasteful. While the hybrid form is a bit more sensible for firms that combine profit with simple, easily monitored social benefits, existing laws fail to protect stakeholders against opportunistic conversion of the firm to pure profit-seeking. Given these failings, I suggest that social enterprise’s legislative popularity can best be traced to a race to the bottom among ...


The Politics Of Federalism: Self-Interest Or Safeguards? Evidence From Congressional Control Of State Taxation, Brian D. Galle Aug 2011

The Politics Of Federalism: Self-Interest Or Safeguards? Evidence From Congressional Control Of State Taxation, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

We present for the first time in the literature a quantitative analysis of the efficacy of the "political safeguards of federalism." We also test the popular theory that congressional control of state authority to tax maximizes national welfare. Both analyses rely on a hand-collected data set of every federal statute to date affecting state power to tax.

Overall, our data suggest that federal decisions to curtail state autonomy are strongly influenced by congressional self-interest. Conditional on enactment, statutes affecting state taxing power are more likely to reduce state authority when a concentrated special interest group stands to benefit, and also ...


The Amt's Silver Lining, Brian D. Galle Oct 2010

The Amt's Silver Lining, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal Alternative Minimum Tax has potentially salutary – and heretofore unrecognized – effects that counteract pathologies of state budgets over the business cycle. A taxpayer’s AMT liability increases with income, and acts to eliminate federal tax subsidies for state revenue-raising. Thus, as a state’s income grows and the AMT hits more state residents, state spending becomes more expensive in flush times as the federal tax subsidy for state and local taxes is reduced. Conversely, when state fiscal health deteriorates, the federal tax subsidy grows as fewer state residents fall under the AMT, boosting taxpayer support for state spending. This ...


Hidden Taxes, Brian D. Galle Jan 2009

Hidden Taxes, Brian D. Galle

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The idea of hidden taxes is as old as John Stuart Mill, but convincing evidence of their existence is new. In this Article, I survey and critique recent studies that claim to show that there are some taxes that can go unnoticed by those who pay them. I also develop the array of unanswered theoretical questions and policy implications that potentially follow from the studies' results.

Probably the central question for hidden taxes is whether they might enable government to raise revenue without also distorting the economy. If so, I argue, they have the potential to radically refashion the architecture ...


One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring Dec 2002

One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Cross-border tax arbitrage arises where a transaction is subject to two or more countries’ differing tax regimes. Conflicts between the tax rules create unique opportunities for the parties to engage in profitable tax planning – opportunities that would not be available if the transaction occurred entirely domestically in one of the countries. These opportunities have been a growing feature of the multi-jurisdictional business world and have raised issues concerning whether and how countries, such as the United States, should respond. This Article examines cross-border tax arbitrage in the context of both domestic tax policy and of other international tax issues, and ...


The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti Jan 1997

The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The U.S. tax system contains many provisions which are intended to align management of large publicly traded companies more closely to stockholders. This article shows that many of the tax provisions that have been adopted are of questionable effectiveness because they fail to address the complexities of stockholder-management relations in attempting to motivate management to act in the best interests of stockholders. The article proposes that rather than Congress attempting to identify the best way that it can use the tax system to motivate management, Congress should eliminate tax provisions which subsidize management's inefficiencies in order to encourage ...