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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Surprising Significance Of De Minimis Tax Rules, Leigh Osofsky, Kathleen Delaney Thomas Apr 2021

The Surprising Significance Of De Minimis Tax Rules, Leigh Osofsky, Kathleen Delaney Thomas

Washington and Lee Law Review

De minimis tax rules—rules that eliminate tax burdens for low-income taxpayers or low-dollar transactions—abound in the tax law. Despite the prevalence of such rules, legal scholarship has treated them as—well—de minimis, or as mere rounding errors that do not merit sustained attention. This perspective is understandable. If de minimis rules address insignificant taxpayers or tax liabilities, aren’t the rules themselves likely to be insignificant?

Recent tax law developments have revealed that this conception of de minimis tax rules is deeply misguided. Major allocations of tax law liability, as well as accompanying questions about the fairness ...


Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu Feb 2021

Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu

Articles

The United States is the only large federal country that does not have an explicit way to reduce the economic disparities among more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign, and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize the ...


Something For Nothing: Universal Basic Income And The Value Of Work Beyond Incentives, Jonathan D. Grossberg Jan 2020

Something For Nothing: Universal Basic Income And The Value Of Work Beyond Incentives, Jonathan D. Grossberg

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Proponents and opponents of a universal basic income all acknowledge that the most significant political challenge to its adoption in the United States is that a universal basic income would not have a work requirement attached. Often, this is characterized as a problem involving incentives—the availability of a universal basic income would cause many people to stop working (or significantly curtail the number of hours that they work) and simply live off the universal basic income. This Article makes three contributions to the literature related to a universal basic income: First, it provides a typology for understanding the many ...


Eitc For All: A Universal Basic Income Compromise Proposal, Benjamin M. Leff Jan 2020

Eitc For All: A Universal Basic Income Compromise Proposal, Benjamin M. Leff

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Much has been written about a concept called universal basic income (UBI). With a UBI, the government gives every person a certain amount of money each year, or even each month. The UBI has broad appeal with thinkers on both the right and the left, but the appeal is partially because different thinkers have different visions of what the current state of affairs is with respect to government welfare policies and different theories about why these existing policies are inadequate or damaging. Reforming existing programs, rather than making a radical break with the past, could satisfy at least some of ...


Deferred Compensation Reform: Taxing The Fruit Of The Tree In Its Proper Season, Eric D. Chason Sep 2019

Deferred Compensation Reform: Taxing The Fruit Of The Tree In Its Proper Season, Eric D. Chason

Eric D. Chason

Executive pensions (or deferred compensation) grabbed headlines after Enron's collapse and fresh concerns over ever-increasing executive pay. They also grabbed the attention of Congress, which reformed executive pensions legislatively in 2004 with § 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 409A merely tightens and clarifies the doctrines that had already governed executive pensions, leaving the basic economics of executive pensions unchanged. Executives can still defer taxation on current compensation until actual payment is made in the future. Deferral still comes at the same price to the employer, namely the deferral of its deduction for the compensation expense. Thus, the timing ...


Converging Welfare States: Symposium Keynote, Susannah Camic Tahk Jul 2019

Converging Welfare States: Symposium Keynote, Susannah Camic Tahk

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Susannah Camic Tahk, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, speaks to the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 2018 symposium, Always with Us? Poverty, Taxes, and Social Policy. She addresses the following questions: To what extent do the particular advantages of the tax antipoverty programs persist as the tax antipoverty programs take center stage? Can tax programs, once distinguished from their direct-spending counterparts on the grounds of relative popularity and legal and administrative ease of access maintain those hallmarks as the tax-based welfare state grows in ...


United States Policy And The Taxation Of International Intangible Income, Stanley I. Langbein Apr 2019

United States Policy And The Taxation Of International Intangible Income, Stanley I. Langbein

University of Miami Inter-American Law Review

No abstract provided.


Taxing Combat, Samuel Kan Jan 2019

Taxing Combat, Samuel Kan

Dickinson Law Review

When you are being shot at or dodging landmines you are in a combat zone. Diplomatic niceties aside, these brave warriors are in danger because of the policies of their Government and we must take care of them. Quite frankly, we must act to insure that we do not have a repeat of what happened in Somalia. In Somalia, the families of the soldiers who lost their lives could not receive the benefits that should have gone to them under the Tax Code because the President never declared it a combat zone.

We don’t know exactly where we’re ...


Bc Ranch Ii V. Commissioner: A Flexible Approach To Perpetual Conservation Easements, Victoria Wolfe Jan 2019

Bc Ranch Ii V. Commissioner: A Flexible Approach To Perpetual Conservation Easements, Victoria Wolfe

Indiana Law Journal

Depending on the approach used in enforcement, there is the potential to encourage or discourage charitable donations of conservation easements. In Part I, this Note explores the federal charitable income tax deduction for conservation easements and the legislative purpose in enacting the perpetuity requirements. Part II examines the Fifth Circuit’s decision in BC Ranch II and the flexible approach to perpetuity adopted by the court. Finally, Part III considers the implications of the BC Ranch II decision, specifically authority to monitor conservation easements, valuation gaming of easements in the context of perpetuity, and congressional intent in allowing the conservation ...


Preventing Tax-Exempt Propaganda: The Case For Defining The Second Prong Of The Methodology Test, Jordanne Miller Jan 2019

Preventing Tax-Exempt Propaganda: The Case For Defining The Second Prong Of The Methodology Test, Jordanne Miller

Catholic University Law Review

Under current Treasury Regulations, various propaganda groups throughout the United States are exempt from paying federal income tax. This is so because the current test used by the IRS to determine tax-exempt eligibility, the methodology test, is incapable of separating wild propaganda from viewpoints supported by facts.

The IRS created the methodology test in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Since then, groups denied tax-exempt status have repeatedly challenged its validity. The IRS has responded, and the test has evolved. However, the second prong of the test remains undefined—it is still unclear what it means for facts to be “distorted ...


Called To Serve: Elevating Human-Performed Caregiver And Volunteer Work In An Era Of Ai-Robotic Technologies, Hilary G. Escajeda Jan 2019

Called To Serve: Elevating Human-Performed Caregiver And Volunteer Work In An Era Of Ai-Robotic Technologies, Hilary G. Escajeda

Journal Articles

Although the status quo of the traditional female caregiver has managed to muddle forward, it may begin to unwind as increasingly capable technologies dislodge humans from full-time employment and compel a redefinition of valuable work. Given this backdrop, this Essay seeks to open a dialogue for developing thoughtful, modem tax policies. Part I outlines the vocational endeavors of historically female community members who serve as caregivers and social volunteers. Next, Part II summarizes the economic value of volunteer and caregiver services. Part III examines whether tax policies should adopt a more expansive definition of beneficial occupations, as artificial intelligence (AI ...


The Misconstruction Of The Deductions For Business And Personal Casualty Losses, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2018

The Misconstruction Of The Deductions For Business And Personal Casualty Losses, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Scholarly Publications

Losses suffered on an individual's personally used property generally are not deductible. Even after the changes made by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in two circumstances an exception to this rule applies when "such losses arise from.fire, storm, shipwreck, or other casualty, or from theft." The principal issue that arises is determining the meaning of the term "other casualty." Taking what they deemed to be the common elements in the three explicitly identified casualties, the courts and the Internal Revenue Service determined that an event will qualify as an "other casualty" only if it is "sudden ...


The Inappropriateness Of The Bad Checks Penalty, Jeffrey H. Kahn, Douglas A. Kahn Nov 2017

The Inappropriateness Of The Bad Checks Penalty, Jeffrey H. Kahn, Douglas A. Kahn

Scholarly Publications

In this article, the authors argue that the penalty for sending a bad check to the IRS is excessive and that the reasonable cause exception should apply to any honest factual error.


How The 1 Percent Pays Taxes; How The 99 Percent Could: The Subchapter T Worker Cooperative Tax Loophole, Michael Haber Jan 2017

How The 1 Percent Pays Taxes; How The 99 Percent Could: The Subchapter T Worker Cooperative Tax Loophole, Michael Haber

Journal of Law and Policy

The ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granted Congress the right to tax income “from whatever source derived.” Since its inception, the tax code has become long and complicated, filled with broad taxation rules and innumerable exceptions. Over time, the tax code has been amended with the stated purpose of promoting “fairness, efficiency, and enforceability.” However, the complexity of the tax code has led to abuse of “tax loopholes” by wealthy taxpayers who want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. While abuse is likely to continue, as legislators remain intent on lowering taxes on ...


How The 1 Percent Pays Taxes; How The 99 Percent Could: The Subchapter T Worker Cooperative Tax Loophole, Michael Haber Jan 2017

How The 1 Percent Pays Taxes; How The 99 Percent Could: The Subchapter T Worker Cooperative Tax Loophole, Michael Haber

Journal of Law and Policy

The ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granted Congress the right to tax income “from whatever source derived.” Since its inception, the tax code has become long and complicated, filled with broad taxation rules and innumerable exceptions. Over time, the tax code has been amended with the stated purpose of promoting “fairness, efficiency, and enforceability.” However, the complexity of the tax code has led to abuse of “tax loopholes” by wealthy taxpayers who want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. While abuse is likely to continue, as legislators remain intent on lowering taxes on ...


Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg Jan 2017

Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg

Articles

Currently, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and permit the conduct of a business marketing of marijuana for that purpose. Eight of those states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. There is reason to believe that more states will decriminalize the marketing of marijuana. However, marijuana is listed in Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) which makes it illegal under federal law to manufacture or distribute marijuana even when it is legal to do so under local state law. In a ...


What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Complexity, Andrea Monroe Jun 2016

What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Complexity, Andrea Monroe

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

I learned most of what I know about being a lawyer, a teacher, and a scholar from Professor Douglas Kahn. For four months in the spring of 1997, Doug mesmerized and terrified me in the class that I feared would be my academic downfall—Partnership Taxation. In the years that followed, Doug has been a mentor and friend, encouraging and supporting me at every stage of my professional career. And my experience is not unique: Doug has inspired generations of law students in just the same way. There is no adequate way to thank Doug for everything he has given ...


Proposed Regulatory Change Of Treatment Of A Guaranteed Payment From A Partnership To A Partner, Douglas A. Kahn Jun 2016

Proposed Regulatory Change Of Treatment Of A Guaranteed Payment From A Partnership To A Partner, Douglas A. Kahn

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

A partnership pays no federal income tax. Instead, its income, deductions, and credits are allocated among its partners at the end of its taxable year. A partnership’s distribution of cash or property in kind to a partner will be characterized as one of three distinct transactions, each of which has its own tax consequences.


Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt Mar 2016

Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt

Seattle University Law Review

This Note will undertake to analyze bitcoin under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)—two important sources of commercial law—to see whether any existing asset categories adequately protect bitcoin’s commercial viability. This Note will demonstrate that although commercial law dictates that bitcoin should—nay must—be regulated as a currency in order to sustain its existence, the very definition of currency seems to preclude that from happening. Therefore, this Note will recommend that we experiment with a new type of asset that receives currency-like treatment, specifically designed for cryptocurrencies, under which bitcoin can ...


The Social Boundaries Of Corporate Taxation, Sloan G. Speck Jan 2016

The Social Boundaries Of Corporate Taxation, Sloan G. Speck

Articles

Historically, the tax law distinction between corporate and conduit treatment drew primarily on doctrinal understandings, treating state-law corporations as corporate for tax purposes and classifying unincorporated legal entities based on their resemblance to conventional state-law corporations. More recently, commentators and Treasury have abandoned these doctrinal touchstones in favor of efficiency, broadly construed, as the guiding principle in determining an entity’s tax classification. This Article argues that, while important, efficiency considerations should not function as the sole arbiter of the boundary between corporate and conduit tax treatment. First, classical corporate taxation is, in many ways, deeply embedded within a larger ...


Permitting Abused Spouses To Claim The Earned Income Tax Credit In Separate Returns, Fred B. Brown Jan 2016

Permitting Abused Spouses To Claim The Earned Income Tax Credit In Separate Returns, Fred B. Brown

All Faculty Scholarship

The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for federal income tax purposes that is generally available to lowincome taxpayers who have income from either employment or selfemployment. The EITC is currently the largest government program providing aid to low-income individuals. The subsidy provided by the EITC is of particular importance to individuals subjected to domestic abuse, given that such individuals are often impoverished, and the EITC can provide them with the financial resources necessary to improve, endure, or leave an abusive relationship.

Despite the importance of the EITC, married individuals subjected to domestic abuse face serious ...


Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2016

Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Scholarly Publications

No abstract provided.


Provisions Denying A Deduction For Illegal Expenses And Expenses Of An Illegal Business Should Be Repealed, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg Jan 2016

Provisions Denying A Deduction For Illegal Expenses And Expenses Of An Illegal Business Should Be Repealed, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg

Articles

Currently, the tax law denies a deduction for business expenses that violate a federal or state law (but only if the state law is generally enforced). In addition, losses, including business losses, cannot be deducted if they arise out of an illegal activity. For example, medical expenses are denied a deduction if they are illegal. Kickbacks, bribes, and rebates given in connection with the Medicaid or Medicare program are nondeductible. Any expenses, legal or not, incurred in connection with the conduct of a business of selling a controlled substance that is prohibited by federal law (or by the law of ...


Dodging The Taxman: Why The Treasury’S Anti-Abuse Regulation Is Unconstitutional, Linda D. Jellum Oct 2015

Dodging The Taxman: Why The Treasury’S Anti-Abuse Regulation Is Unconstitutional, Linda D. Jellum

University of Miami Law Review

To combat abusive tax shelters, the Department of the Treasury promulgated a general anti-abuse regulation applicable to all of subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Treasury targeted subchapter K because unique aspects of the partnership tax laws—including its aggregate-entity dichotomy—foster creative tax manipulation. In the anti-abuse regulation, the Treasury attempted to “codify” existing judicially-created anti-abuse doctrines, such as the business-purpose and economic-substance doctrines. Also, and more surprisingly, the Treasury directed those applying subchapter K to use a purposivist approach to interpretation and to reject textualism.

In this article, I demonstrate that the Treasury exceeded ...


Income Tax - Deductions For Facilitating Payments To Foreign Government Officials, Birney Bull Apr 2015

Income Tax - Deductions For Facilitating Payments To Foreign Government Officials, Birney Bull

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Structuring And Restructuring Deals In 2014 (And Beyond), Stephen L. Owen Nov 2014

Structuring And Restructuring Deals In 2014 (And Beyond), Stephen L. Owen

William & Mary Annual Tax Conference

No abstract provided.


Consistency Is Key: To Preserve Legislative Intent The Irs Must Afford Legal Recognition To Non-Marital Relationships In A Post-Doma World, Shane R. Martins Jan 2014

Consistency Is Key: To Preserve Legislative Intent The Irs Must Afford Legal Recognition To Non-Marital Relationships In A Post-Doma World, Shane R. Martins

Marquette Elder's Advisor

Although the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Windsor v. US allows for federal recognition of same-sex marriages, the Internal Revenue Service will only grant spousal recognition to couples residing in states that term same-sex unions as marriages. Consequently, spousal treatment will not be extended to non-marital relationships, even in states that treat their Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships as “marital equivalents.” Given that spousal recognition for federal tax purposes was intended to ensure geographic uniformity and horizontal equity, the IRS must grant spousal recognition to couples who are in relationships that their respective state identifies as a “marital equivalent”.


Financial Disability For All, T. Keith Fogg, Rachel E. Zuraw Jan 2014

Financial Disability For All, T. Keith Fogg, Rachel E. Zuraw

Catholic University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Understanding The Amt, And Its Unadopted Sibling, The Amxt, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue Jan 2014

Understanding The Amt, And Its Unadopted Sibling, The Amxt, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue

Articles

Four million Americans with extensive tax preferences are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). By taxing a broad definition of income, the AMT makes it possible to have a tax system that both encourages certain activities with generous tax preferences and maintains a semblance of distributional equity. The same rationale supports the imposition of an Alternative Maximum Tax (AMxT), which would cap tax liabilities of individuals with very few preference items and thereby afford Congress greater flexibility in designing the income tax. The original 1969 AMT proposal included an AMxT; it is difficult to justify imposing one without the ...


The New Starker: A Nonsimultaneous Exchange Expands Section 1031/ Collateral Estoppel Clarification, Robert B. Paysinger Feb 2013

The New Starker: A Nonsimultaneous Exchange Expands Section 1031/ Collateral Estoppel Clarification, Robert B. Paysinger

Pepperdine Law Review

The new Starker decision addresses the issue whether a nonsimultaneous exchange qualifies for section 1031 nonrecognition treatment. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in addressing this issue, also had to determine the appropriateness of the collateral estoppel "separable facts" doctrine under the facts in the case. The author provides an in-depth examination of the court's clarification of collateral estoppel and expansion of section 1031. The author, in agreeing with-the decision, welcomes the added flexibility the case lends to the real estate finance field.