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Tit For Tat: How Will Other Countries React To The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni Dec 2017

Tit For Tat: How Will Other Countries React To The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni

Law & Economics Working Papers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TRA17) represents the most comprehensive reform of US international tax rules since 1962. An important question in evaluating TRA17 is how US trading partners will respond to its provisions. In general, US trading partners may take steps to negate the competitive advantage gained by the US from the lower rate of corporate tax, expensing and the “patent box”. They may also take advantage of the participation exemption and the cross-crediting feature of GILTI to increase taxes on US multinationals. Finally, they are likely to copy the BEAT and apply it to US ...


The Triumph Of Beps: Us Tax Reform And The Single Tax Principle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Dec 2017

The Triumph Of Beps: Us Tax Reform And The Single Tax Principle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TRA17) as passed by the House on November 16 and by the Senate on December 2, 2017, contains multiple provisions that incorporate the principles of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) into domestic US tax law. Together with the changes in the 2016 model US tax treaty, these provisions mean that the US is following the EU and China in implementing BEPS and in particular its underlying principle, the single tax principle (i.e., all income should be subject to tax once: passive income at the residence state rate and active ...


Once More, With Feeling: The 'Tax Cuts And Jobs' Act And The Original Intent Of Subpart F, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien Nov 2017

Once More, With Feeling: The 'Tax Cuts And Jobs' Act And The Original Intent Of Subpart F, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien

Law & Economics Working Papers

For the first time since 1913, Congress is considering abandoning the principle that US residents should be subject to tax on all income “from whatever source derived.” Specifically, the House proposed tax reform legislation, the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, would completely exempt from US taxation dividends from “Controlled Foreign Corporations”. This is therefore a good occasion for considering the reasons we tax such dividends in the first place.

In the course of investigating the Stanley Surrey papers at the Harvard Law School Library, we discovered a remarkable report that support the view that the main impetus behind Subpart ...


What A Difference Thirty Years Make: A Comparison Of The Tax Reforms Of 1986, 2014 And 2017, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Nov 2017

What A Difference Thirty Years Make: A Comparison Of The Tax Reforms Of 1986, 2014 And 2017, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper compares the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, as passed by the House (TRA17H) and under consideration by the Senate (TRA17S) with two major previous efforts at comprehensive tax reform: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86) and the draft tax reform proposed by former Ways and Means Chair David Camp (R-MI) (TRA14). It shows that TRA14 was quite similar to TRA86, but that TRA17 is very different than both. Congress should abandon TRA17 and go back to considering TRA14 on a bipartisan basis.


Are Taxes Converging?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni Oct 2017

Are Taxes Converging?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni

Law & Economics Working Papers

Eduardo Baistrocchi’s outstanding new book on tax treaty disputes is the result of an intense five-year global collaborative project among international tax scholars, practitioners and administrators. The book provides an unprecedented set of information and offers the first global qualitative and quantitative analysis on one of the most important debates over international tax scholarship across the last decades, that is, whether an international tax regime exists and is binding upon states as a matter of customary international law.


Slicing And Dicing: The Structural Problems Of The Tax Reform Framework, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Oct 2017

Slicing And Dicing: The Structural Problems Of The Tax Reform Framework, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code” (the “Framework”) released by the “Big Six” group of Treasury, White House and Congressional leaders on September 27 has been the focus of a lot of commentary. Most of the comments have focused on the distributive aspects of the plan and on the proposed rate structure, as well as the impact on revenues and the federal deficit. In this comment, I plan to focus instead on the structural aspects of the plan and in particular on the various new lines that it draws, because these are more likely to be lasting.


Evaluating Beps, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu Aug 2017

Evaluating Beps, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu

Articles

This article evaluates the recently completed Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the G20 and OECD and offers some alternatives for reform.


Problems With Destination-Based Corporate Taxes And The Ryan Blueprint, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly Clausing Apr 2017

Problems With Destination-Based Corporate Taxes And The Ryan Blueprint, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly Clausing

Articles

With the election of Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s domination of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s blueprint for fundamental tax reform requires more careful analysis. The Ryan blueprint combines reduced individual rates with a destination-based cash flow type business tax applicable to all businesses. The destination-based business tax at the center of the blueprint has several major problems: It is incompatible with our WTO obligations, it is incompatible with our tax treaties, and it will not eliminate the problems of income shifting and inversions it is designed to address. In addition, these proposals generate vexing technical problems ...


International Tax Avoidance -- Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2017

International Tax Avoidance -- Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Tax avoidance and evasion is a hot topic. On the evasion (illegal activity by individuals) front, the various leaks culminating in the Panama Papers have once again revealed the scope of evasion by the global elite. Gabriel Zucman conservatively estimated the annual revenue loss at $200 billion. On the tax avoidance (legal activity by corporations) front, the OECD BEPS project has estimated the scope of avoidance by multinationals at between $100 and $240 billion per year. By comparison, total US corporate tax revenues are about $400 billion per year. The articles in this volume reflect various aspects of these troubling ...


Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze Mar 2017

Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze

Articles

Rules targeting specific known schemes are not the only tools available in the battle against tax avoidance. Legal systems also use measures that apply generally. The U.S. for example has tended to rely heavily on general doctrines. One such doctrine which is discussed in part 2 of this chapter is the “economic substance” doctrine. Yet as Xiong and Evans recently pointed out “although such judicial doctrines can be used to deal with various aspects of complicated tax abuse judges tended sometimes to limit and sometimes to enlarge the scope of jurisprudential interpretation leading to substantial uncertainty and risk.” One ...


Source, Character And Taxable Presence In A Digital World: International Taxation Of Online Advertising, Assaf Prussak Jan 2017

Source, Character And Taxable Presence In A Digital World: International Taxation Of Online Advertising, Assaf Prussak

SJD Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the application of the U.S. and international tax rules and norms to income derived from online advertising, to consider the challenges and problems that arise when these rules are applied to such a purely-digital type of income, to propose an alternative framework for the taxation of online advertising, and to discuss the legislative measures adopted by various countries in an attempt to tax this type of income (and other income derived from digital-based activities).


Citizenship Overreach, Peter J. Spiro Jan 2017

Citizenship Overreach, Peter J. Spiro

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article examines international law limitations on the ascription of citizenship and national self-definition. The United States is exceptionally generous in its extension of citizenship. Alone among the major developed states, it extends citizenship to almost all persons in its territory at the moment of birth. This birthright citizenship is constitutionally protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. At the same time that it is generous at the front end, U.S. citizenship is sticky at the back. Termination of citizenship on the individual’s part can involve substantial fees. Expatriation is contingent on tax compliance and, in some cases, will implicate ...


Defining Residence For Income Tax Purposes: Domicile As Gap-Filler, Citizenship As Proxy And Gap-Filler, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2017

Defining Residence For Income Tax Purposes: Domicile As Gap-Filler, Citizenship As Proxy And Gap-Filler, Edward A. Zelinsky

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this paper, I place the United States’ adherence to citizenship-based taxation in the context of the states’ tax systems. Forty-one states impose general income taxes on the worldwide incomes of their respective residents. These state tax systems are important repositories of experience that confirm the administrative benefits of citizenship-based taxation. Domicile today plays an important role in state tax systems as a gap-filler when more objective statutory residence laws fail to assign any state of residence to the taxpayer. Citizenship is an administrable proxy for domicile and serves a similar gap-filling role in the taxation of individuals whose income ...


Tax Symposium: Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2017

Tax Symposium: Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Michigan Journal of International Law

This issue of MJIL features four out of the many outstanding papers that were presented at a conference on Taxation and Citizenship held at Michigan Law in October 2015 and co-organized by Allison Christians and myself. The impetus for the conference was the realization that the unique U.S. practice of taxing its citizens on worldwide income, regardless of where they reside, has become a major flashpoint in the relationship between the United States and its citizens living overseas, and sometimes also between the United States and the country those citizens resided in.


A Global Perspective On Citizenship-Based Taxation, Allison Christians Jan 2017

A Global Perspective On Citizenship-Based Taxation, Allison Christians

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article contends that, with regard to individuals who reside permanently outside of the United States, the global assistance sought under FATCA to enforce U.S. income taxation solely on the basis of citizenship violates international law. It argues that insisting upon foreign cooperation with the FATCA regime, under threat of serious economic penalties, is inconsistent with universally accepted norms regarding appropriate limits to the state’s jurisdiction to tax, while also being normatively unjustified. Accordingly, FATCA should be rejected by all other nation states to the extent it imposes any obligations with respect to individuals who permanently reside outside ...


Minimalism About Residence And Source, Wei Cui Jan 2017

Minimalism About Residence And Source, Wei Cui

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this Article, I relate the discomfort with fundamental principles in taxing individuals’ worldwide income to a problem that has attracted greater attention in recent years: the assignment of geographical sources to income. I suggest that there is substantial similarity between critiques of residence rules (of which critiques of citizenship-based taxation are examples) and critiques of source rules. However, I argue that problematic residence and source rules are only symptoms, not causes, of unsatisfactory conceptual paradigms in international taxation. Many scholars portray source and residence rules as inadequate means for achieving purportedly given normative objectives in the age of intense ...


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 ...