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Full-Text Articles in Law

Crime And Punishment In Taxation: Deceit, Deterrence, And The Self-Adjusting Penalty, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

Crime And Punishment In Taxation: Deceit, Deterrence, And The Self-Adjusting Penalty, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Avoidance and evasion continue to frustrate the government's efforts to collect much-needed tax revenues. This Article articulates one of the reasons for this lack of success and proposes a new type of penalty that would strengthen tax enforcement while improving efficiency. Economic analysis of deterrence suggests that rational taxpayers choose avoidance and evasion strategies based on expected rather than nominal sanctions. I argue that many taxpayers do just that. Because the probability of detection varies dramatically among different items on a tax return while nominal penalties do not take the likelihood of detection into account, expected penalties for inconspicuous ...


Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Of Europe, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jr. Jan 2006

Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Of Europe, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has invalidated many income tax law provisions of European Union (EU) member states as violating European constitutional treaty guarantees of freedom of movement for goods, services, persons, and capital. These decisions have not, however, been matched by significant EU income tax legislation, because no EU political institution has the power to enact such legislation without unanimous consent from the member states. In this Article, we describe how the developing ECJ jurisprudence threatens the ability of member states to use tax incentives to stimulate their domestic economies and to resolve problems of ...


Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In November 2005, the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, appointed by President Bush to suggest options for reforming and simplifying the federal tax code, unanimously recommended two alternative plans: a "simplified income tax" (SIT) and a "growth and investment tax" (GIT). The two plans shared much in common. For example, both would: (1) Reduce the top marginal tax rate-to 33% under the SIT plan and 30% under GIT plan; (2) eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT); (3) replace the earned income tax credit (EITC) and refundable child credits with a "work credit"; (4) replace personal exemptions, the standard ...


After Confidentiiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon Jan 2006

After Confidentiiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Recent business scandals and the regulatory responses to them raise basic questions about the role of the business lawyer. Lawyers were major participants in Enron and in similar controversies over corporate disclosure. Lawyers have also been key players in the corporate tax shelter industry. In both instances, their conduct has prompted federal regulations that repudiate to an unprecedented degree the bar's traditional understanding of its structure and obligations.

The provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 mandating "up-the-ladder" reporting by public corporation counsel was the first federal statute in American history to regulate lawyers directly and broadly. The second ...


Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer Jan 2006

Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Tax shelters have proliferates in the United States not only because of financial innovation, the globalization of capital markets, the increasing complexity of our tax system, the inadequacy of tax penalties, the lack of political support for tax reform, and the growing popularity of textualist interpretation – all factors that have attracted considerable attention in the literature. Shelters also derive from a structural imbalance in our tax system that has not been adequately explored: In important respects, the private tax bar outmatches its counterpart in government. This imbalance is one of sheer numbers, of access to information, and, at least in ...


Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen Jan 2006

Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

If charity begins at home, scholarship on the charitable deduction has stayed at home. In the vast legal literature, few authors have engaged the distinction between charitable contributions that are meant to be used within the United States and charitable contributions that are meant to be used abroad. Yet these two types of contributions are treated very differently in the Code and raise very different policy issues. As Americans' giving patterns and the U.S. nonprofit sector grow increasingly international, the distinction will only become more salient.

This Article offers the first exploration of how theories of the charitable deduction ...


The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Most human interactions take place in reliance on tacit understandings, customary practices, and other legally unenforceable agreements. A considerable literature studying these informal arrangements (commonly referred to as social norms) has a decidedly positive flavor, arguing that many, if not most, of these norms are welfare-enhancing. This Article looks at the less-appreciated darker side of social norms. It combines the analysis of the modern sophisticated tax planning techniques with the existing empirical studies of commercial relationships to reveal a disturbing connection. By relying on tacit understandings rather than express contractual terms, many taxpayers shift some of their tax liabilities to ...


Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Whether the U.S. government should be allowed to claim credit for the private philanthropy of its citizens is a hot topic in today's foreign aid debate. Overlooked in this debate, however, is a form of aid that straddles the traditional public/private divide: charitable tax expenditures. Through the many tax privileges that the United States grants to its nonprofit organizations, the government implicitly foots some portion of the bill anytime these organizations send money abroad for development purposes. Unlike official development assistance (ODA), these tax expenditure funds are privately organized and distributed, yet unlike voluntary transfers they are ...


Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer Jan 2006

Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Tax shelters and aggressive planning derive in part from a structural imbalance in our tax system that has not been adequately explored: In important respects, the private tax bar outmatches their counterparts in government. Although a strong policy case can be made for remedying this mismatch, this Article emphasizes two institutional barriers that complicate any solution, rooted in the political economy of taxation and the economics and professional norms of the legal profession. First, although it would be enormously helpful to dramatically increase the staffing levels and pay of government tax administrators, this is a politically daunting task. Second, a ...


Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Integration Of Europe, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Integration Of Europe, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has invalidated many income tax law provisions of EU member states as violating the guarantees of the European constitutional treaties of freedom of movement for goods, services, persons, and capital. These decisions have not, however, been matched by significant European income tax legislation, because no European political institution has the power to enact such legislation without unanimous consent from the member states. Under the treaties, the member states have retained a veto power over income tax legislation. In this Article, we describe how the developing ECJ jurisprudence threatens the ability of ...