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Death, Taxes, And Clean Energy: How The Inflation Reduction Act Harnesses Tax Law To Revitalize American Clean Energy, James A. Ferguson Jun 2024

Death, Taxes, And Clean Energy: How The Inflation Reduction Act Harnesses Tax Law To Revitalize American Clean Energy, James A. Ferguson

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This article explores the nature and impact of the IRA’s historic tax reform on U.S. clean energy markets, emphasizing its significance for businesses, American workers, the global community, and the climate. It begins with an overview of federal tax credits for clean energy, comparing German and American approaches to incentivizing clean energy investments. The article then details five key provisions of the IRA, including extensions of the ITC and PTC, creation of new credits, transferability of tax credits, prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements, and additional tax credits for domestic content and siting. It further analyzes the IRA’s practical implications for …


The Immigration Court System: Unconstitutionality At The Hands Of The Executive To Push Nativism, Chloe Wigul Jul 2023

The Immigration Court System: Unconstitutionality At The Hands Of The Executive To Push Nativism, Chloe Wigul

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

The United States’ immigration court system is located within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review and operated under the power of the attorney general. Consequently, the attorney general can review and overrule decisions made by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the immigration appellate body. If the attorney general uses this authority, his decision cannot be reconsidered, and his opinion becomes precedent. Immigration courts are unique in that no other court system is located within or controlled by the executive branch. Focusing on key historical eras, this Comment compares the development of immigration law and policy with …


Severity Under Scrutiny: The U.S. Supreme Court Battle Over The Fbar Penalty, Beckett Cantley, Geoffrey Dietrich Jul 2023

Severity Under Scrutiny: The U.S. Supreme Court Battle Over The Fbar Penalty, Beckett Cantley, Geoffrey Dietrich

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

In recent years, Congress strengthened federal regulation of foreign bank accounts held by United States citizens. In 1970, Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), requiring U.S. citizens to report their foreign bank accounts using a form called the Foreign Bank Account Report, or “FBAR.” However, the Treasury Department rarely enforced this requirement. After the Patriot Act’s passage came the Bank Secrecy Act 2004 amendment, allowing the Treasury Department to delegate enforcement of U.S. foreign bank account reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the FBAR. The amendment’s major change to the law concerned new penalties for non-willful FBAR …


The Tax Gap: Do Billions In Uncollected Income Taxes Speed Up Economic Downturn During A Global Pandemic?, Offiong Ekah Jan 2022

The Tax Gap: Do Billions In Uncollected Income Taxes Speed Up Economic Downturn During A Global Pandemic?, Offiong Ekah

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

Section I will explore how maximizing taxpayer compliance will be a crucial component of closing the tax gap, and what initiatives the IRS implements to garner compliance; Section I will also examine how past and current Tax Code affects levels of compliance—the goal always being compliance optimization. Section II will explore the CARES Act of 2020, and how the Act fared as a response to the onset of COVID-19. This section will also discuss how the concerns of the IRS are accentuated by the tax gap, and how a lack of governmental funding, particularly relating to detailed exclusions enumerating within …


Partnership Tax Provisions Of The Tcja As Illustrations Of Planning Simplification Versus Compliance Simplification Trade-Offs, Emily Cauble Sep 2021

Partnership Tax Provisions Of The Tcja As Illustrations Of Planning Simplification Versus Compliance Simplification Trade-Offs, Emily Cauble

Pepperdine Law Review

Oftentimes, efforts to simplify the process of reporting the tax consequences of events that have already occurred exacerbate complexity faced by taxpayers at the stage in time when they are deciding how to act. Efforts to simplify reporting include, for instance, provisions that obviate the need to value assets prior to their sale or methods for determining tax consequences that reduce the number of computational steps used when determining tax liability. While such efforts may, to a degree, simplify tax compliance, they can also set traps for unwary taxpayers at the planning stage. Avoiding asset valuation or taking short-cuts when …


Taxing The Ivory Tower: Evaluating The Excise Tax On University Endowments, Jennifer Bird-Pollan Sep 2021

Taxing The Ivory Tower: Evaluating The Excise Tax On University Endowments, Jennifer Bird-Pollan

Pepperdine Law Review

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 introduced the first-ever excise tax imposed on the investment income of university endowments. While it is a relatively small tax, this new law is a first step towards the exploration of taxing non-profit entities on the vast sums of wealth they hold in their endowments. In this essay I take the new tax as a starting place for investigating the justification for tax exemption for universities and thinking through the consequences of changing our approach, both in the form of the new excise tax and possible alternatives. There remain reasons to be …


May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor: How The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Fortified The Great Wealth Divide, Phyllis Taite Sep 2021

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor: How The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Fortified The Great Wealth Divide, Phyllis Taite

Pepperdine Law Review

Have Americans become so desensitized to inequality that we have morphed into a state of dystopia, and vast inequalities have become normalized? Discussions of dystopia typically describe acts of oppression, tyranny, inequality, and an overall undesirable societal state. Dystopia analysis also requires a hard look at societal values to determine ways to avoid adverse outcomes that vast inequalities may produce. By identifying the undesirable outcome, there is an opportunity to avoid or reverse it by enacting laws to combat inequalities. The Hunger Games is a fictional tale of wealthy society members enjoying the rewards of high society while using the …


A Gilti Fix For An Employment Tax Glitch, Richard Winchester Sep 2021

A Gilti Fix For An Employment Tax Glitch, Richard Winchester

Pepperdine Law Review

Self-employed individuals who operate through a business entity can often dictate how much employment tax they pay, if any. That’s because the rules permit them to control whether their earnings count as labor income – which is subject to employment tax – or the returns on any capital invested in their business – which is not subject to the tax. The GILTI rules enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Act assume that capital investments generally earn a 10 percent annual rate of return. That same assumption can be used to allocate the earnings of a self-employed individual between the …


Intent, Inequality, And The Berlin Walls Of The Mind, Bobby L. Dexter Sep 2021

Intent, Inequality, And The Berlin Walls Of The Mind, Bobby L. Dexter

Pepperdine Law Review

Although acknowledging that various provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 appear responsive to normative arguments presented in tax literature, this article posits that, true to its core intent, the law aggressively advanced the persistent effort to shift the tax burden away from the nation’s wealthiest citizens to the great bulk of taxpayers of more modest financial means. Thus, those with political power successfully employed the tax law to protect, preserve, and enhance prevailing wealth and income inequality. With the election of President Joe Biden and the assumption of Democratic control in both chambers of Congress, however, …


Comparing Capital Income And Wealth Taxes, Ari Glogower Sep 2021

Comparing Capital Income And Wealth Taxes, Ari Glogower

Pepperdine Law Review

As part of the Pepperdine Law Review Symposium The Impact of the 2017 Tax Act on Income and Wealth Inequality: Lessons for 2020 and Beyond, this Essay compares two reform directions to rebuild the progressive tax system: an improved capital income tax—which would eliminate the benefit from deferring gains until a sale—or a wealth tax. The Essay first introduces the concept of a “rate-equivalent” wealth or capital income tax as a way to assess reform alternatives consistently and to identify the assumptions as to how the reforms would be structured. For any chosen capital income tax (or wealth tax) reform, …


Taxing The Robots, Orly Mazur Apr 2019

Taxing The Robots, Orly Mazur

Pepperdine Law Review

Robots and other artificial intelligence-based technologies are increasingly outperforming humans in jobs previously thought safe from automation. This has led to growing concerns about the future of jobs, wages, economic equality, and government revenues. To address these issues, there have been multiple calls around the world to tax the robots. Although the concerns that have led to the recent robot tax proposals may be valid, this Article cautions against the use of a robot tax. It argues that a tax that singles out robots is the wrong tool to address these critical issues and warns of the unintended consequences of …


A Practical Solution To The Marriage Penalty, Margaret Ryznar Jul 2017

A Practical Solution To The Marriage Penalty, Margaret Ryznar

Pepperdine Law Review

In the federal income tax code, there is a marriage penalty resulting from tax brackets that do not double upon marriage. This marriage penalty persists despite universal condemnation of it, penalizing a significant portion of married women who work and many same-sex couples. This Article proposes a novel way to deal with this marriage penalty by creating a filing status for dual income couples that earn an amount within a particular percentage of each other. This filing status would be the same as the current married filing status, except it would double the rates of single filers by accommodating two …


Words Of Wisdom From The Founding Fathers: Why The Internal Revenue Service Should Let Churches Be, Sophia Benavides Apr 2016

Words Of Wisdom From The Founding Fathers: Why The Internal Revenue Service Should Let Churches Be, Sophia Benavides

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

Part I of this comment will explore the foundations of the First Amendment, as the Constitution is a framework on which the United States continues to rest. An examination of the events contributing and leading to the drafting of the Constitution will illuminate the rationale behind the tenets put forth by the Founding Fathers. More specifically, this comment will devote emphasis to the Founding Fathers’ objectives regarding the state in relation to religion. This emphasis will provide insight into the perspective of the Founders at the time of drafting the First Amendment. Furthermore, this section will illustrate how the separation …


Redefining “Peril”—Abating The Interest On A Tax Deficiency For Good Faith Reliance On Irs Publications, Brady Cox Feb 2016

Redefining “Peril”—Abating The Interest On A Tax Deficiency For Good Faith Reliance On Irs Publications, Brady Cox

Pepperdine Law Review

Many taxpayers rely on guidance materials the IRS provides in order to comprehend the United States Tax Code and pay an accurate tax. However, many, if not all, of these taxpayers would likely be startled to learn that their reliance on these IRS guidance materials is perilous. That is, that reliance upon these guidance materials will not support a taxpayer’s tax treatment decisions if the IRS decides that the decisions were incorrect under substantive law. However, because the courts have not decisively concluded which financial consequences a taxpayer faces or escapes by relying on informal IRS guidance, “peril” remains undefined. …


King V. Burwell: What Does It Portend For Chevron’S Domain?, Leandra Lederman, Joseph C. Dugan Feb 2016

King V. Burwell: What Does It Portend For Chevron’S Domain?, Leandra Lederman, Joseph C. Dugan

Pepperdine Law Review

This short Essay considers what the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, 135 S. Ct. 2480 (2015), suggests about the future of Chevron deference. It first compares the Court’s approach in King with its approach in two other “extraordinary” nondeference cases, FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and Gonzales v. Oregon. It next situates King in a broader context of developments in the Court’s Chevron jurisprudence. The Essay concludes that, while King may simply be a sui generis case involving an important social program, it may also signal a fading appetite for deference among the Justices. - …


The (Perhaps) Unintended Consequences Of King V. Burwell, Kristin E. Hickman Feb 2016

The (Perhaps) Unintended Consequences Of King V. Burwell, Kristin E. Hickman

Pepperdine Law Review

The Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell surprised many people, not because of its outcome but because, even as the Court ultimately agreed with the IRS’s interpretation of the statute, the Court expressly denied the IRS Chevron deference. As regards that result, this Essay makes three points. First, the Chevron discussion in King was not incidental, but the IRS and taxes were not foremost on the Court’s mind. Rather, King reflects a careful effort by Chief Justice Roberts to accomplish, through alternative framing, a broader curtailment of Chevron’s scope that he advocated unsuccessfully two terms earlier in City of …


King V. Burwell: Where Were The Tax Professors?, Andy S. Grewal Feb 2016

King V. Burwell: Where Were The Tax Professors?, Andy S. Grewal

Pepperdine Law Review

King v. Burwell drew unusually wide attention for a tax case. Members of the public, the mainstream media, health care professionals, Washington think tanks, and constitutional, administrative, and health law professors, to name a few groups, all debated the merits of the challengers’ arguments. Everyone, it seems, had something to say about the case — except tax professors. This contribution to Pepperdine Law Review’s Tax Law Symposium explores three potential reasons for the tax professoriate’s reticence. It concludes that none of those reasons withstand scrutiny, and going forward, tax professors should play a more active role in cases like this.


Is The Chief Justice A Tax Lawyer?, Stephanie Hoffer, Christopher J. Walker Feb 2016

Is The Chief Justice A Tax Lawyer?, Stephanie Hoffer, Christopher J. Walker

Pepperdine Law Review

In our contribution to this symposium on King v. Burwell, we explore two aspects of the Chief Justice’s opinion where it is hard to ignore the fingerprints of a tax lawyer. First, in the Chief’s approach to statutory interpretation one sees a tax lawyer as interpreter with an approach that tracks tax law’s substance-over-form doctrine. Second, as to King’s sweeping administrative law holding, the Chief crafts a new major questions doctrine that could significantly cut back on federal agency lawmaking authority. Yet he seems to develop this doctrine against the backdrop of tax exceptionalism, and thus this development may have …


The Rise And Fall Of Chevron In Tax: From The Early Days To King And Beyond, Steve R. Johnson Feb 2016

The Rise And Fall Of Chevron In Tax: From The Early Days To King And Beyond, Steve R. Johnson

Pepperdine Law Review

Chevron is receding in tax, not because of any resurgence of tax exceptionalism but because it is receding everywhere. The case will continue to be cited by courts and masticated by commentators, but the unresolved – indeed worsening — conceptual, definitional, and practical incongruities of its doctrine rob it of operational force. King, which the Supreme Court conspicuously chose to resolve without “help” from Chevron, is another mile-marker on Chevron’s downward road. This article maps that road.


King V. Burwell And Tax Court Review Of Regulations, Ellen P. Aprill Feb 2016

King V. Burwell And Tax Court Review Of Regulations, Ellen P. Aprill

Pepperdine Law Review

In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court did not rely on Chevron to hold valid tax regulations allowing tax credits for taxpayers who enroll in an insurance plan through a federal rather than a state exchange. It instead concluded, relying in good measure on Brown and Williamson, that Congress had not delegated the question at issue to the IRS. It thus introduced a so-called Chevron Step 0. This essay reviews the Tax Court’s use of Chevron and Brown & Williamson to conclude that the Tax Court may well make use of King v. Burwell to review and reject tax regulations …


Foreword—King V. Burwell Symposium: Comments On The Commentaries (And On Some Elephants In The Room), David Gamage Feb 2016

Foreword—King V. Burwell Symposium: Comments On The Commentaries (And On Some Elephants In The Room), David Gamage

Pepperdine Law Review

As an introduction to the Symposium, this invited response essay reviews the pieces submitted for the Pepperdine Law Review symposium on the King v. Burwell case. The thrust of this essay’s response commentary is to praise the submitted essays for their excellence and insightfulness, but to suggest that the submitted essays nonetheless might benefit from focusing more on the role of the political mobilization that resulted in the King v. Burwell dispute. Ultimately, this essay suggests that what may have motivated the Supreme Court to develop and apply its new “deep economic and political significance” test in this this case …


Speak Up: Issue Advocacy In Increasingly Politicized Times, Sally Wagenmaker Nov 2014

Speak Up: Issue Advocacy In Increasingly Politicized Times, Sally Wagenmaker

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This article first provides a brief primer on current constraints affecting Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations' communications within the context of what has become known as “issue advocacy.” It then sets forth the problem of increasing politicization of nonprofits' issue advocacy activities. The article next evaluates related constitutional tensions for politically tinged issue advocacy, through the lens of the Supreme Court's free speech decisions. It concludes by addressing how the IRS's different content-based standards for issue advocacy are susceptible to abuse, are otherwise constitutionally suspect, and therefore warrant reform.


Reinvigorating The Reit's Neutrality And Capital Formation Purposes Through A Modernized Tax Integration Model, Simon Johnson Nov 2014

Reinvigorating The Reit's Neutrality And Capital Formation Purposes Through A Modernized Tax Integration Model, Simon Johnson

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

Efforts at reform have not spared the REIT arrangement, but have focused on objectives unrelated to its model of tax integration, despite its significant flaws. Owing to the interaction of several provisions, the model largely precludes capitalization through retained earnings. This increases the cost of REIT capital and limits its capacity to realize the neutrality and private real estate capital formation objectives Congress pursued in creating the arrangement. Accordingly, it is important to consider how to durably improve the REIT tax integration model. Ultimately, the article concludes that the shareholder allocation model, a complete integration model conceptually similar to the …


The Transfer Pricing Regs Need A Good Edit, Susan C. Morse May 2013

The Transfer Pricing Regs Need A Good Edit, Susan C. Morse

Pepperdine Law Review

The U.S. government has broad discretion to change the transfer pricing regulations as they apply to corporate multinationals, and these regulations need changing because they give too much leeway to taxpayers and will continue to serve an important function in the division of international tax jurisdiction regardless of the fate of pending reform proposals. Xilinx and Veritas illustrate that taxpayers whose transfer pricing is challenged can successfully defend themselves using arm’s length definitions in the government’s own regulations. U.S. tax administrators should write revised transfer pricing rules that afford taxpayers less contracting freedom. They should incrementally add formulaic elements to …


Putting The Reign Back In Sovereign, Allison Christians May 2013

Putting The Reign Back In Sovereign, Allison Christians

Pepperdine Law Review

In its first term, the Obama administration enacted two pieces of legislation, each designed to protect an increasingly vulnerable income tax base, and each of which had the potential to set a new and unprecedented course for no less than the regulation of the global economy by the nation-state. The first, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), sought to end global tax evasion through tax havens. The second, a little-noticed two-page addendum to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), sought to end the contribution of American multinationals to corruption in governance by codifying the transparency …


Passthrough Entities: The Missing Element In Business Tax Reform, Karen C. Burke May 2013

Passthrough Entities: The Missing Element In Business Tax Reform, Karen C. Burke

Pepperdine Law Review

Reform of the U.S. corporate tax system is again on the agenda. Despite important differences, many current proposals share two common goals: (1) reducing the statutory corporate tax rate to improve U.S. international competitiveness and (2) broadening the corporate tax base by reducing or eliminating business expenditures to offset revenue losses. Given the significance of the passthrough sector and the relationship between individual and corporate taxes, however, such reforms need to be considered within a broader context. Part I of this article discusses the growing significance of the passthrough sector, which now accounts for roughly half of net business income. …


Access To Tax Injustice, Francine J. Lipman May 2013

Access To Tax Injustice, Francine J. Lipman

Pepperdine Law Review

Every morning, Monday through Friday, school children across the United States raise their voices in unison and pledge allegiance to America, with liberty and justice for all. America, in turn, pledges to these children and the world that it is a nation of liberty, justice, and laws. Laws drafted by representatives intended to follow through on America’s promise of liberty and justice for all. Yet for more than 16 million of these children and 30 million adults living in poverty in 2011, America does not deliver on its promise of justice. In a recent global study, America ranked 27th out …


Tax Reform And The American Middle Class, Kirk J. Stark, Eric M. Zolt May 2013

Tax Reform And The American Middle Class, Kirk J. Stark, Eric M. Zolt

Pepperdine Law Review

This essay examines how concern for the economic plight of the middle class should influence debates over federal tax reform. It begins with an overview of data on two key developments in American economic life over the past quarter century. The first is the deteriorating economic position of the middle class, a long-term trend illustrated by stagnant income growth, job polarization, and more limited economic opportunities as compared to earlier eras. The second development is the declining federal tax burden of the American middle class, including historically low average tax rates and relative tax shares, not just for the federal …


The 535 Report: A Pathway To Fundamental Tax Reform, Dorothy A. Brown May 2013

The 535 Report: A Pathway To Fundamental Tax Reform, Dorothy A. Brown

Pepperdine Law Review

This Essay argues that current tax policies that include special tax rates, loopholes and deductions disadvantage most Americans in favor of income received by a select few – especially members of Congress. The majority of taxpayers of color as well as white taxpayers are not eligible for the loopholes and special tax breaks that currently exist in our tax laws. Tax reform that eliminates special deals as a means to lowering tax rates for all is the best way forward towards a fairer and simpler tax system. Such reform is unlikely to occur in the absence of a “focusing event” …


Application Of The Active Business Requirement To The Tax-Free Spin-Off Of Corporate Real Estate , Richard J. Albrecht May 2013

Application Of The Active Business Requirement To The Tax-Free Spin-Off Of Corporate Real Estate , Richard J. Albrecht

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.