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A Major Simplification Of The Oecd’S Pillar 1 Proposal, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2021

A Major Simplification Of The Oecd’S Pillar 1 Proposal, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In this report, Graetz suggests major modifications to the OECD’s pillar 1 blueprint proposal to create a new taxing right for multinational digital income and some product sales that would greatly simplify the proposal. The modifications rely on readily available existing financial information and would achieve certainty in the application of pillar 1, while adhering to its fundamental structure and policies.


Tax Complexity And Technology, David Walker Sep 2020

Tax Complexity And Technology, David Walker

Faculty Scholarship

The federal income tax code has become increasingly complex over time with the implication that many taxpayers no longer understand the connection between their life decisions and their taxes. Some commentators have suggested that increasing computational complexity may be attributable in part to the proliferation of tax preparation software that renders such complexity manageable at filing time, but otherwise does nothing to mitigate the “black box” nature of the tax system. While such complexity and opacity undercut explicit incentives embedded in the Code, make planning more difficult, and undermine political accountability for taxes, they may also reduce the inefficient distortion ...


Betting On Climate Policy: Using Prediction Markets To Address Global Warming, Gary M. Lucas Jr, Felix Mormann Feb 2019

Betting On Climate Policy: Using Prediction Markets To Address Global Warming, Gary M. Lucas Jr, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Global warming, sea level rise, and extreme weather events have made climate change a top priority for policymakers across the globe. But which policies are best suited to tackle the enormous challenges presented by our changing climate? This Article proposes that policymakers turn to prediction markets to answer that crucial question. Prediction markets have a strong track record of outperforming other forecasting mechanisms across a wide range of contexts — from predicting election outcomes and economic trends to guessing Oscar winners. In the context of climate change, market participants could, for example, bet on important climate outcomes conditioned on the adoption ...


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 ...


Cross-Subsidies: Government's Hidden Pocketbook, John Brooks, Brian Galle, Brendan S. Maher Jun 2018

Cross-Subsidies: Government's Hidden Pocketbook, John Brooks, Brian Galle, Brendan S. Maher

Faculty Scholarship

Governments can use regulation to pay for public goods out of the pockets of consumers, rather than taxpayers. For example, the Affordable Care Act underwrites care for women and the infirm through higher insurance premium payments by healthy men. Building on a classic article from Richard Posner, we show that these “cross-subsidies” between consumers are a common feature of modern law, ranging from telecommunications to intellectual property to employee benefits.

Critics of the ACA, and even some of its supporters, argue that taxes would be a better choice. Taxes are said to be more transparent, and to fit better with ...


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.


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 ...


Foreword – The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2018

Foreword – The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

By lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the 2017 tax legislation brought the U.S. statutory rate into closer alignment with the rates applicable in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, thereby decreasing the incentive for businesses to locate their deductions in the United States and their income abroad. Its overhaul of the U.S. international income tax rules simultaneously reduced preexisting incentives for U.S. multinationals to reinvest their foreign earnings abroad and put a floor on the benefits of shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions. The 2017 legislation also added an unprecedented, troublesome ...


Simplexity: Plain Language And The Tax Law, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky Apr 2017

Simplexity: Plain Language And The Tax Law, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, federal government agencies have increasingly attempted to use plain language in written communications with the public. The Plain Writing Act of 2010, for instance, requires agencies to incorporate “clear and simple” explanations of rules and regulations into their official publications. In the tax context, as part of its “customer service” mission, the Internal Revenue Service bears a “duty to explain” the tax law to hundreds of millions of taxpayers who file tax returns each year. Proponents of the plain language movement have heralded this form of communication as leading to simplicity in tax compliance, more equitable access ...


The Timing Of Tax Transparency, Joshua D. Blank Mar 2017

The Timing Of Tax Transparency, Joshua D. Blank

Faculty Scholarship

Fairness in the administration of the tax law is a subject of intense debate in the United States. As myriad headlines reveal, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has been accused of failing to enforce the tax law equitably in its review of tax-exempt status applications by political organizations, international tax structures of multinational corporations, and estate tax returns of millionaires, among other areas. Many have argued that greater "tax transparency" would better empower the public to hold the IRS accountable and the IRS to defend itself against accusations of malfeasance. Mandatory public disclosure of taxpayers' tax return information is often ...


The Great Etf Tax Swindle: The Taxation Of In-Kind Redemptions, Jeffrey Colon Jan 2017

The Great Etf Tax Swindle: The Taxation Of In-Kind Redemptions, Jeffrey Colon

Faculty Scholarship

Since the repeal of the General Utilities doctrine over 30 years ago, corporations must recognize gain when distributing appreciated property to their shareholders. Regulated investment companies (RICs), which generally must be organized as domestic corporations, are exempt from this rule when distributing property in kind to a redeeming shareholder. In-kind redemptions, while rare for mutual funds, are a fundamental feature of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Because fund managers decide which securities to distribute, they distribute assets with unrealized gains and thereby significantly reduce the future tax burdens of their current and future shareholders. Many ETFs have morphed into investment vehicles that ...


Latinos And The Internal Revenue Code: A Tax Policy Primer For The New Administration, Leo P. Martinez Jan 2017

Latinos And The Internal Revenue Code: A Tax Policy Primer For The New Administration, Leo P. Martinez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


"Gambling, Raffles, Door Prizes, And Competitions" From The Pop Culture Business Handbook For Cons And Festivals, Jon Garon Jan 2017

"Gambling, Raffles, Door Prizes, And Competitions" From The Pop Culture Business Handbook For Cons And Festivals, Jon Garon

Faculty Scholarship

This article is part of a series of book excerpts from The Pop Culture Business Handbook for Cons and Festivals, which provides the business, strategy, and legal reference guide for fan conventions, film festivals, musical festivals, and cultural events.Games of chance are highly regulated activities, whereas bona fide competitions are generally left unregulated. Both are big businesses. Competitions, drafts, and other events help support the popularity of trading card games. Many nonprofit organizations take advantage of their charitable status to raise funds through various indirect strategies, including raffles, bingo, games of chance, and competitions. For the games of chance ...


Heading Off A Cliff? The Tax Reform Man Cometh, And Goeth, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2017

Heading Off A Cliff? The Tax Reform Man Cometh, And Goeth, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

The major tax policy challenge of the 21st century is the need to address the nation’s fiscal condition fairly and in a manner conducive to economic growth. But since California adopted Proposition 13 nearly forty years ago, antipathy to taxes has served as the glue that has held the Republican coalition together. Even though our taxes as a percentage of our economy are low by OECD standards and low by our own historical experience, anti-tax attitudes have become even more important for Republicans politically, since they now find it hard to agree on almost anything else. So revenue-positive, or ...


R&D Tax Incentives--Growth Panacea Or Budget Trojan Horse?, Stephen E. Shay, J. Clifton Fleming Jr., Robert J. Peroni Dec 2016

R&D Tax Incentives--Growth Panacea Or Budget Trojan Horse?, Stephen E. Shay, J. Clifton Fleming Jr., Robert J. Peroni

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Rejecting Charity: Why The Irs Denies Tax Exemption To 501(C)(3) Applicants, Terri Lynn Helge Oct 2016

Rejecting Charity: Why The Irs Denies Tax Exemption To 501(C)(3) Applicants, Terri Lynn Helge

Faculty Scholarship

New charitable organizations generally must file an application for exemption (Form 1023) and await approval from the Internal Revenue Service. Unfortunately, the criteria the Internal Revenue Service uses to evaluate applications has not always been transparent. If an application is approved, the Internal Revenue Service determination letter and the application for exemption are required to be made publicly available and can be requested from the Internal Revenue Service or the organization itself. Prior to 2004, in the case of denials, neither the application nor the Internal Revenue Service’s correspondence setting forth its rationale for the denial were made publicly ...


Pension De-Risking, Paul M. Secunda, Brendan S. Maher Jun 2016

Pension De-Risking, Paul M. Secunda, Brendan S. Maher

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a retirement crisis, in significant part because defined benefit pension plans have been replaced by defined contribution retirement plans that, whatever their theoretical merit, have left significant numbers of workers unprepared for retirement. A troubling example of the continuing movement away from defined benefit plans is a new phenomenon euphemistically called “pension de-risking.”

Recent years have been marked by high-profile companies engaging in various actions designed to reduce the company’s exposure to pension funding risk (hence the term “pension de-risking”). Some de-risking strategies convert a federally-guaranteed pension into a more risky private annuity. Other ...


The Target Method For Partnership Special Allocations And Why It Should Be Safe-Harbored, Daniel S. Goldberg Jan 2016

The Target Method For Partnership Special Allocations And Why It Should Be Safe-Harbored, Daniel S. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The Treasury Regulations’ concept of “substantial economic effect” is the holy grail of partnership special allocations. Special allocations that have substantial economic effect will come within a safe harbor in the regulations and have assurance that the allocations that are provided in the partnership agreement will be respected. In order for the allocations to come within the substantial economic effect safe harbor, the partnership must (1) maintain capital accounts in accordance with the Treasury Regulations’ standard; (2) provide for liquidation in accordance with capital accounts in all events; and (3) either (a) provide for a deficit restoration obligation (DRO) on ...


The Hidden Costs Of Cliff Effects In The Internal Revenue Code And Proposals For Change, Manoj Viswanathan Jan 2016

The Hidden Costs Of Cliff Effects In The Internal Revenue Code And Proposals For Change, Manoj Viswanathan

Faculty Scholarship

Cliff effects in the Internal Revenue Code trigger a sudden increase of federal tax liability when some attribute of a taxpayer—most commonly income—exceeds a particular threshold value. As a result, two taxpayers in nearly identical economic situations can face considerably different tax liabilities depending on which side of the triggering criterion they fall. The magnitude of the equity and efficiency costs associated with cliff effects is significant: cliff effects are attached to tax provisions amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, the majority of which are targeted at low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Cliff effects have received little attention ...


Cross-Deductions In The Net Investment Income Tax Imposed On A Trust Or Estate With Separate Shares, Michael T. Yu Jan 2016

Cross-Deductions In The Net Investment Income Tax Imposed On A Trust Or Estate With Separate Shares, Michael T. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

Part I of this article first provides a general overview of §§ 1411 and 663(c) and the interaction between them and the respective regulations thereunder and then proposes a revised regulation to clarify the relationship between and among the two sections and their regulations. Part II discusses the possibility of certain cross-deductions under § 1411, in conjunction with §§ 661, 662, and 663(c). Finally, Part III presents and discusses a proposed calculation and allocation, to the separate shares of a trust or estate, of income and deduction items entering into the computation of NII and DNI of the trust or estate.


"Death Tax" Politics, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2016

"Death Tax" Politics, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In his Keynote Address “Death Tax” Politics at the October 2, 2015 Boston College Law School and American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Symposium, The Centennial of the Estate and Gift Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations, Michael Graetz describes the fight over the repeal of the estate tax and its current diminished state. Graetz argues that the political battle over the repeal of the estate tax reflects a fundamental challenge to our nation’s progressive tax system. This Address concludes that a revitalized estate tax is important for managing the national debt and reducing massive inequalities in wealth.


Silent Tax Changes: The Political Economy Of Indexing For Inflation, Alan Feld Sep 2015

Silent Tax Changes: The Political Economy Of Indexing For Inflation, Alan Feld

Faculty Scholarship

The federal income tax adjusts many but not all of its dollar components automatically to account for inflation. In this article I analyze the benefits and burdens this process confers on some taxpayers and the political logic behind them. I discuss the choice of the proper index for making the adjustments, as well as the effects of the failure to adjust specific dollar amounts. I conclude that some adjustments have become overly generous, while unadjusted provisions suffer slow repeal, sometimes intentionally. Indexation thus can have the effect of tax legislation by stealth.


Citizens United And Taxable Entities: Will Taxable Entities Be The New Stealth Dark Money Campaign Organizations?, Donald B. Tobin Jan 2015

Citizens United And Taxable Entities: Will Taxable Entities Be The New Stealth Dark Money Campaign Organizations?, Donald B. Tobin

Faculty Scholarship

The electoral process in the United States is going through a major transition as money increasingly pours into non-candidate independent groups (“IGs”). Before 2000, IGs could engage in significant electoral advocacy without having to disclose the IG’s donors or its expenditures. Congress sought to address the lack of disclosure by requiring section 527 political organizations to disclose their contributions and expenditures. IGs quickly sought an alternative organizational form for engaging in political advocacy. The alternative organizational form of choice has been the tax-exempt section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

In a 2007 article, I explored whether such tax-exempt ...


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 ...


Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley Jan 2015

Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Several prominent public corporations have recently embraced a noteworthy (and newsworthy) type of transaction known as a "tax inversion." In a typical inversion, a U.S. multinational corporation ("MNC") merges with a foreign company. The entity that ultimately emerges from this transactional cocoon is invariably incorporated abroad, yet typically remains listed in U.S. securities markets under the erstwhile domestic issuer's name. When structured to satisfy applicable tax requirements, corporate inversions permit domestic MNCs eventually to replace U.S. with foreign tax treatment of their extraterritorial earnings – ostensibly at far lower effective rates.

Most regulators and politicians have reacted ...


Reconsidering Corporate Tax Privacy, Joshua D. Blank Nov 2014

Reconsidering Corporate Tax Privacy, Joshua D. Blank

Faculty Scholarship

For over a century, politicians, government officials and scholars in the United States have debated whether corporate tax returns, which are currently subject to broad tax privacy protections, should be publicly accessible. The ongoing global discussion of base erosion and profit shifting by multinational corporations has generated calls for greater tax transparency. Throughout this debate, participants have focused exclusively on the potential reactions of a corporation’s managers, shareholders and consumers to a corporation’s disclosure of its own tax return information. There is, however, another perspective: how would the ability of a corporation’s stakeholders and agents to observe ...


Form 1023-Ez And The Streamlined Process For The Federal Income Tax Exemption: Is The Irs Slashing Red Tape Or Opening Pandora's Box, Manoj Viswanathan Jan 2014

Form 1023-Ez And The Streamlined Process For The Federal Income Tax Exemption: Is The Irs Slashing Red Tape Or Opening Pandora's Box, Manoj Viswanathan

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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.


Tearing Out The Income Tax By The (Grass)Roots, Lawrence A. Zelenak Jan 2014

Tearing Out The Income Tax By The (Grass)Roots, 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 ...