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The Ncaa And The Irs: Life At The Intersection Of College Sports And The Federal Income Tax, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2019

The Ncaa And The Irs: Life At The Intersection Of College Sports And The Federal Income Tax, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

Few organizational acronyms are more familiar to Americans than those of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Although neither organization is particularly popular, both loom large in American life and popular culture. Because there is a tax aspect to just about everything, it should come as no surprise that the domains of the NCAA and the IRS overlap in a number of ways. For many decades, the strong tendency in those areas has been for college athletics to enjoy unreasonably generous tax treatment-sometimes because of the failure of the IRS to enforce the tax ...


The Constitutionality Of A National Wealth Tax, Dawn Johnsen, Walter E. Dellinger Iii Jan 2018

The Constitutionality Of A National Wealth Tax, Dawn Johnsen, Walter E. Dellinger Iii

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Determining An Asset's Tax Basis In The Absence Of A Meaningful Transfer Tax Regime, Jay A. Soled, Richard L. Schmalbeck Jan 2018

Determining An Asset's Tax Basis In The Absence Of A Meaningful Transfer Tax Regime, Jay A. Soled, Richard L. Schmalbeck

Faculty Scholarship

Until recently, in those circumstances where there was a valuation range with respect to a particular asset, executors faced a choice: among estates subject to the estate tax, declaring a high value would increase the estate tax liability; however, due to the Internal Revenue Code's "basis equal to fair market value" rule applicable at death, declaring a low value would expose heirs to a greater capital gains tax on subsequent asset disposition. Because the estate tax rates were higher and that tax was immediate (as opposed to deferred until a later sale by the heir), executors typically minimized asset ...


The Constitutionality Of A National Wealth Tax, Dawn Johnsen, Walter Dellinger Jan 2018

The Constitutionality Of A National Wealth Tax, Dawn Johnsen, Walter Dellinger

Faculty Scholarship

Economic inequality threatens America’s constitutional democracy. Beyond obvious harms to our nation’s social fabric and people’s lives, soaring economic inequality translates into political inequality and corrodes democratic institutions and values. The coincident, relentless rise of money in politics exacerbates the problem. As elected officials and candidates meet skyrocketing campaign costs by devoting more and more time to political fundraising—and independent expenditures mushroom—Americans lose faith and withdraw from a system widely perceived as beholden to wealthy individuals and corporate interests.

The United States needs innovative approaches to help rebuild foundational, shared understandings of American democracy, the ...


Advocating A Carryover Tax Basis Regime, Richard Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled, Kathleen Delaney Thomas Jan 2017

Advocating A Carryover Tax Basis Regime, Richard Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled, Kathleen Delaney Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

For close to a century, an important (but unfortunate) feature of the Internal Revenue Code has been a rule that the tax basis of any asset is made equal to its fair market value at death. Notwithstanding the substantial revenue losses associated with this rule, Congress has retained it for reasons of administrative convenience.

But from three different vantage points, pressure has been mounting to change what is commonly referred to as the “step-up in basis rule.” First, politicians and commentators have historically tied the step-up in basis rule to the estate tax on the theory that income be taxed ...


Changing The Tax Code To Create Consumer-Driven Health Insurance Competition, Regina Herzlinger, Barak D. Richman Jan 2017

Changing The Tax Code To Create Consumer-Driven Health Insurance Competition, Regina Herzlinger, Barak D. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Because current tax laws exclude employer-paid health insurance premiums from employees’ taxable wages and income, employer-sponsored insurance remains the primary source of health insurance for most employed Americans. Economists have long blamed the employer-based insurance tax exclusion for inflating health care costs, and, more recently, for constraining income growth and exacerbating income inequality.

We execute a simulation to test the effect of permitting employees to receive their employers’ premium contribution directly and then purchase health insurance themselves, using tax-free funds. Employees could deduct for income tax purposes the amount used for insurance and, if they spend less than the amount ...


For Better And Worse: The Differing Income Tax Treatments Of Marriage At Different Income Levels, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2015

For Better And Worse: The Differing Income Tax Treatments Of Marriage At Different Income Levels, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

Although both marriage penalties and marriage bonuses exist at all income levels under the federal income tax, the system is tilted toward penalties for lower-income couples, toward bonuses for middle-income couples, and back toward penalties for upper income couples. This Article begins by explaining how the tax rules produce these differing treatments of marriage at different points in the income distribution. It then argues that the increase in recent decades in the social acceptability and prevalence of cohabitation makes tax marriage effects a more serious concern--in terms of both behavioral, effects and fairness-than in earlier decades. After demonstrating that Congress ...


Unifying Depreciation Recapture, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled Jan 2015

Unifying Depreciation Recapture, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled

Faculty Scholarship

To achieve fairness and accuracy, an income tax system must accomplish two objectives: allow depreciation deductions for the erosion in the value of assets used to produce income, and correct errors that may result from excessive depreciation allowances. The Internal Revenue Code currently fares well in accomplishing the first objective but conspicuously fails to achieve the second.

One of the two main depreciation corrective mechanisms is embodied in Internal Revenue Code § 1250. This section requires that upon the disposition of depreciable real estate used in a trade or business, a portion of the gain that reflects the taxpayer’s prior ...


Mitt Romney, The 47% Percent, And The Future Of The Mass Income Tax, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2014

Mitt Romney, The 47% Percent, And The Future Of The Mass Income Tax, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Ending The Sweetheart Deal Between Big-Time College Sports And The Tax System, Richard L. Schmalbeck Jan 2014

Ending The Sweetheart Deal Between Big-Time College Sports And The Tax System, Richard L. Schmalbeck

Faculty Scholarship

This paper was prepared for the annual conference of the National Center for Philanthropy and Law, held at the NYU Law School, held October 24-25, 2013. The overall topic was “Tax Issues Affecting Colleges and Universities,” and I was asked to address specifically those issues relating to athletics. This paper considers two specific issues that have in common only that they involve college sports, and are plagued by egregiously bad, (in this case, egregiously generous), tax treatment: the failure of the IRS to regard any part of the revenue from college sports as unrelated business income, and the choice by ...


Up In The Air Over Taxing Frequent Flyer Benefits: The American, Canadian, And Australian Experiences, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2014

Up In The Air Over Taxing Frequent Flyer Benefits: The American, Canadian, And Australian Experiences, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Rethinking The Penalty For The Failure To File Gift Tax Returns, Jay A. Soled, Paul L. Caron, Charles Davenport, Richard L. Schmalbeck Jan 2013

Rethinking The Penalty For The Failure To File Gift Tax Returns, Jay A. Soled, Paul L. Caron, Charles Davenport, Richard L. Schmalbeck

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, the authors argue that Congress must reform the penalty structure associated with the failure to file gift tax returns if it wants to maintain the integrity of the transfer tax system.


“Early-Bird Special” Indeed!: Why The Tax Anti-Injunction Act Permits The Present Challenges To The Minimum Coverage Provision, Neil S. Siegel, Michael C. Dorf Jan 2012

“Early-Bird Special” Indeed!: Why The Tax Anti-Injunction Act Permits The Present Challenges To The Minimum Coverage Provision, Neil S. Siegel, Michael C. Dorf

Faculty Scholarship

In view of the billions of dollars and enormous effort that might otherwise be wasted, the public interest will be best served if the Supreme Court of the United States decides the present challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) during its October 2011 Term. Potentially standing in the way, however, is the federal Tax Anti-Injunction Act (TAIA), which bars any “suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.” The dispute to date has turned on the fraught and complex question of whether the ACA's exaction for being uninsured qualifies as ...


Not The Power To Destroy: An Effects Theory Of The Tax Power, Neil S. Siegel, Robert D. Cooter Jan 2012

Not The Power To Destroy: An Effects Theory Of The Tax Power, Neil S. Siegel, Robert D. Cooter

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s “new federalism” decisions impose modest limits on the regulatory authority of Congress under the Commerce Clause. According to those decisions, the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to use penalties to regulate interstate commerce, but not to regulate noncommercial conduct. What prevents Congress from penalizing non-commercial conduct by calling a penalty a tax and invoking the Taxing Clause? The only obstacle is the distinction between a penalty and a tax for purposes of Article I, Section 8. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (NFIB), the Court considered whether the minimum coverage provision in the Patient Protection ...


Brief Of Constitutional Law Professors As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ernest A. Young Jan 2011

Brief Of Constitutional Law Professors As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Making Mountains Of Debt Out Of Molehills: The Pro-Cyclical Implications Of Tax And Expenditure Limitations, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule Jan 2010

Making Mountains Of Debt Out Of Molehills: The Pro-Cyclical Implications Of Tax And Expenditure Limitations, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule

Faculty Scholarship

This paper presents evidence that property tax limits have detrimental effects on state and local revenues during recessions. Property tax limits cause states to rely on income–elastic revenue sources, such as the income tax or charges and fees. Greater reliance on these revenue sources results in greater revenue declines during economic downturns. We present analysis of time–series, cross–sectional data for the U.S. states for each of these conclusions. Our results suggest that states would have fewer and more modest financial problems during economic downturns if they did not enact property tax limitations.


Proposition 13 And The California Fiscal Shell Game, Colin H. Mccubbins, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2010

Proposition 13 And The California Fiscal Shell Game, Colin H. Mccubbins, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We study the effects of California’s tax and expenditure limitations, especially Proposition 13. We find that Proposition 13 was indeed effective at reducing both ad valorem property taxes per capita and total state and local taxes per capita, at least in the short run. We further argue that there have been unintended second- ary effects that have resulted in an increased tax burden, undermining the aims of Proposition 13. To circumvent the limits imposed by Proposition 13, the state has drastically increased nonguaranteed debt, has privatized the public fisc, and has devolved the authority to lay and collect taxes ...


Cancellation-Of-Indebtedness Income And Transactional Accounting, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2009

Cancellation-Of-Indebtedness Income And Transactional Accounting, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

More than three-quarters of a century after the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Kirby Lumber established that the cancellation of a debt produces taxable income, there is still uncertainty - both in the courts and among commentators - concerning the rationale for the taxation of cancellation-of-debt (COD) income. Is the taxation of COD income based on the simple fact that the cancellation of a debt improves the taxpayer’s balance sheet, thus increasing the taxpayer’s net worth in the year of cancellation? Or is it based on a multi-year perspective, in which inclusion of the cancelled debt in ...


The Conscientious Legislator And Public Opinion On Taxes, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2009

The Conscientious Legislator And Public Opinion On Taxes, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines some of the difficulties of understanding public opinion on taxes, and offers some suggestions as to how the conscientious legislator might proceed in light of those difficulties. The essay begins by describing two contexts in which public opinion appears to contradict itself, and suggests how the apparent contradictions might be resolved. It then offers three suggestions for the conscientious legislator whose goal is to discern (rather than to manipulate) public opinion on taxes - to be neither unduly optimistic nor despairing about the potential for educating the public on tax policy issues, to understand and guard against the ...


Elimination Of The Deduction For Business Entertainment Expenses, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled Jan 2009

Elimination Of The Deduction For Business Entertainment Expenses, Richard L. Schmalbeck, Jay A. Soled

Faculty Scholarship

The proposal is offered as a part of the Shelf Project, a collaboration by tax professionals to develop and perfect proposals to help Congress when it needs to raise revenue. Shelf Project proposals are intended to raise revenue without raising tax rates because the best systems have taxes that are unavoidable to reach the lowest feasible tax rates.

This proposal would deny deductions for all business entertainment expenses. Also, the definition of the term ‘‘entertainment’’ would be narrowed so that expenses that are incurred in a clear business setting and are deeply rooted in producing immediate income or in mining ...


Does Treasury Have Authority To Index Basis For Inflation?, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 1992

Does Treasury Have Authority To Index Basis For Inflation?, Lawrence A. Zelenak

Faculty Scholarship

In this article he examines the claim, which has been publicized in recent months, that the Treasury Department could unilaterally index the capital gains tax for inflation by a new regulation interpreting code section 1012. He concludes, in light of more than seven decades of administrative, judicial and legislative history, that such unilateral action would be invalid.


Book Review, Richard L. Schmalbeck Jan 1983

Book Review, Richard L. Schmalbeck

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.