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Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2021

Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

International Tax Law has extensive ramifications on the wealth gap between wealthy developed nations and poor developing nations. This divide in prosperity has been made clear again in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing nations are currently ill-equipped to adapt to, and regulate, an equitable system of taxation on a domestic level. A further challenge is the difficulty of ensuring that foreign investors, especially multinational corporations, are able to comply with tax regulations. Developed nations such as the United States and members of the European Union must continue to work with developing nations to reduce tax evasion and …


Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven Avi-Yonah Sep 2020

Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven Avi-Yonah

Articles

The COVID-19 Pandemic already feels like a historical turning point akin to Word Wars I and II and the Great Depression. It may signal the end of the second period of globalization (1980-2020) and a change in the relative positions of the US and China. It could also lead in the US to significant changes in tax policy designed to bolster the social safety net which was revealed as very porous during the pandemic. In what follows I will first discuss some short-term effects of the pandemic and then some potential longer-term effects on US tax policy.


A Positive Dialectic: Beps And The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Sep 2020

A Positive Dialectic: Beps And The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

This essay addresses the interaction between the changes in the international tax regime identified by Mason and U.S. international tax policy. Specifically, I will argue that contrary to the general view, the United States actively implemented the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Moreover, the changes of the TCJA influenced the current OECD effort of BEPS 2.0. Thus, the current state of affairs can be characterized as a constructive dialogue: The OECD moves (BEPS 1), the United States responds (TCJA), the OECD …


Does Capital Bear The U.S. Corporate Tax After All? New Evidence From Corporate Tax Returns, Edward Fox Mar 2020

Does Capital Bear The U.S. Corporate Tax After All? New Evidence From Corporate Tax Returns, Edward Fox

Articles

This article uses U.S. corporate tax return data to assess how government revenue would have changed if, over the period 1957–2013, corporations had been subject to a hypothetical corporate cash flow tax—that is, a tax allowing for the immediate deduction of investments in long-lived assets like equipment and structures—rather than the corporate tax regime actually in effect. Holding taxpayer behavior fixed, the data indicate actual corporate tax revenue over the most recent period (1995–2013) differed little from that under the hypothetical cash flow tax. This result has three important implications. First, capital owners appear to bear a large fraction of …


The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan Feb 2019

The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan

Articles

The 2017 tax legislation brought sweeping changes to the rules for taxing individuals and business, the deductibility of state and local taxes, and the international tax regime. The complex legislation was drafted and passed through a rushed and secretive process intended to limit public comment on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic policy enacted in recent history. This Article is an effort to supply the analysis and deliberation that should have accompanied the bill’s consideration and passage, and describes key problem areas in the new legislation. Many of the new changes fundamentally undermine the integrity of the tax …


Beps, Atap, And The New Tax Dialogue: "A Transatlantic Competition?", Reuven Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni Sep 2018

Beps, Atap, And The New Tax Dialogue: "A Transatlantic Competition?", Reuven Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni

Articles

Since its launch in 2013, the US actively participated in all aspects of the BEPS project. However, until recently, the general view was that following the conclusion of the BEPS negotiations and the change of Administration the US is stepping back from the BEPS process. While the EU was charging ahead with implementing BEPS through the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD), the US stated that it was already in compliance with all BEPS minimum standards and therefore other than Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) it had no further BEPS obligations. The US decided not to sign the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) to implement BEPS …


Does The United States Still Care About Complying With Its Wto Obligations?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2018

Does The United States Still Care About Complying With Its Wto Obligations?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”) contains a provision that on its face appears to be a blatant violation of the WTO’s Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) rules. New IRC section 250 applies a reduced 13.125% tax rate to “foreign derived intangible income” (FDII), which is defined as income derived in connection with (1) property that is sold by the taxpayer to any foreign person for a foreign use or (2) services to any foreign person or with respect to foreign property. In other words, this category comprises exports for property and services, including royalties from the …


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 that are …


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 …


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 …


Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer Oct 2016

Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer

Articles

Multinational firms with operations in high-tax countries can benefit the most from reallocating taxable income to tax havens, though this is sufficiently difficult and costly that only 20.4% of German multinational firms have any tax haven affiliates. Among German manufacturing firms, a 1 percentage point higher foreign tax rate is associated with a 2.3% greater likelihood of owning a tax haven affiliate. This is consistent with tax avoidance incentives and contrasts with earlier evidence for U.S. firms. The relationship is less strong for firms in service industries, possibly reflecting the difficulty of reallocating taxable service income.


Evaluating Beps: A Reconsideration Of The Benefits Principle And Proposal For Un Oversight, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu Jan 2016

Evaluating Beps: A Reconsideration Of The Benefits Principle And Proposal For Un Oversight, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu

Articles

The Financial Crisis of 2008 and Great Recession that followed have exacerbated income inequality within and between countries. In the aftermath of the economic turbulence, politicians have turned their attention to the twin problems of individual tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance. U.S. legislators enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), leading to the United States signing a series of Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) for the exchange of tax information. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed the Multilateral Agreement for Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAATM) and initiated the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project to …


All Or Nothing? The Obama Budget Proposals And Beps, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2015

All Or Nothing? The Obama Budget Proposals And Beps, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

There is a wide bipartisan consensus that the U.S. international tax regime is broken. We have the highest corporate tax in the OECD, which at 35 percent imposes a real burden on corporations earning mostly U.S.-source income. At the same time, U.S.-based multinationals pay very low effective tax rates on foreign-source income earned through their subsidiaries, leading to a strong incentive to shift profits out of the United States. Finally, the United States is among the few countries to fully tax dividends paid by foreign subsidiaries to their domestic parents, leading to the “trapped income” phenomenon in which $2 trillion …


Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2015

Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Articles

If a taxpayer borrows money, the borrowed funds are not included in the taxpayer's gross income. That treatment is proper even though the taxpayer has increased his assets by the amount he borrowed because he also has created a corresponding liability to pay back the loan. The taxpayer's net: wealth has not increased. 'The more difficult and interesting questions arise when the taxpayer fails to repay the loan. At first blush, it would appear that upon cancellation of a loan, the taxpayer should have income for the amount that was cancelled. However, the current tax treatment is not that simple. …


企業の社会的責任と戦略的租税行動 [Corporate Social Responsibility And Strategic Tax Behavior], Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Keisaku Koga Translator Jan 2015

企業の社会的責任と戦略的租税行動 [Corporate Social Responsibility And Strategic Tax Behavior], Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Keisaku Koga Translator

Articles

This paper addresses two questions. First, from the perspective of the corporation, should the corporation cooperate and pay the corporate tax, or should it engage in "strategic" tax behavior designed to minimize or eliminate its corporate tax burden? Second, from the perspective of the state, should the state use the corporate tax just to raise revenue, or should it also try to use it as a regulatory tool to steer corporate behavior in directions that it deems beneficial to society? The paper argues that whatever our view of the nature of the corporation and of the legitimacy of corporate social …


How Serious Is The Problem Of Base Erosion And Profit Shifting?, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2014

How Serious Is The Problem Of Base Erosion And Profit Shifting?, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

In recent years, the problem of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) by multinational corporations has entered the public consciousness as a potentially important impediment to tax collections. The purpose of this article is to identify the nature of BEPS, consider empirical evidence of its magnitude, and evaluate proposed policy responses. There is considerable evidence that multinational firms arrange their affairs in a tax-sensitive manner, from which it is easy—indeed, perhaps a little too easy—to infer that beps is a serious problem. There are journalistic accounts of apparently spectacular international tax-avoidance schemes used by multinational corporations, though these stories commonly …


Corporate Taxation And Corporate Social Responsibility, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2014

Corporate Taxation And Corporate Social Responsibility, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

This Article will address the question of whether publicly traded U.S. corporations owe a duty to their shareholders to minimize their corporate tax burden through any legal means, or if instead, strategic behaviors like aggressive tax-motivated transactions are inconsistent with corporate social responsibility (“CSR”). I believe the latter holds true, regardless of one’s view of the corporation. Under the “artificial entity” view, such behavior undermines the constitutive relationship between the corporation and the state. Under the “real view,” such behavior runs contrary to the normal obligation of citizens to comply with the law (even absent effective enforcement). And under the …


Arguments For And Against Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2013

Arguments For And Against Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The tax on dividends from the active income of controlled foreign corporations meets the criteria for a bad tax: It raises little revenue but significantly affects taxpayer behavior in undesirable ways.


Territoriality: For And Against, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2013

Territoriality: For And Against, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The tax on dividends from the active income of controlled foreign corporations meets the criteria for a bad tax: It raises little revenue but significantly affects taxpayer behavior in undesirable ways.


Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) offers an opportune moment to consider proposals for corporate and international tax reform. With the debate over individual tax rates for the income and estate tax settled for the present, the President and Congress are free to consider broader reforms. Few observers doubt that such reforms are sorely needed, for several reasons. First, the long-term budgetary outlook is unsustainable. Second, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Third, the current system raises relatively little revenue and large amounts of …


What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney Jan 2013

What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney

Articles

Under the Internal Revenue Code, certain nonprofit organizations are granted exemption from federal income tax (“tax-exemption”). Most tax-exemption rationales assume tax-exemption is a subsidy for organizations such as charities that provide some underprovided good or service. These theories assume there should be a tax on the income of nonprofit organizations but provide no justification for this assumption. This article contributes to the literature by examining the corporate income tax rationales as a proxy for why we might tax nonprofit organizations. The primary two theories hold that the corporate tax is imposed to: (1) tax shareholders (“shareholder theory”), and (2) regulate …


Slicing The Shadow: A Proposal For Updating U.S. International Taxation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jun 2012

Slicing The Shadow: A Proposal For Updating U.S. International Taxation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In the article Avi-Yonah proposed that the United States tax multinational corporations using a formulary apportionment system based solely on income derived from sales. The background for the article was drawn principally from Robert Reich’s The Work of Nations (1991), and the analysis was inspired by Stanley I. Langbein’s work on transfer pricing, especially his seminal article "The Unitary Method and the Myth of Arm’s Length," Tax Notes, Feb. 17, 1986, p. 625; see also Louis Kauder, "Intercompany Pricing and Section 482: A Proposal to Shift From Uncontrolled Comparables to Formulary Apportionment Now," Tax Notes, Jan. 25, 1993, p. 485.


Vive La Petite Difference: Camp, Obama, And Territoriality Reconsidered, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2012

Vive La Petite Difference: Camp, Obama, And Territoriality Reconsidered, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The recent tax reform proposals by House Ways and Means Committee Chair David Camp, R-Mich., and by President Obama seem to offer starkly contrasting visions of how to reform the taxation of foreign-source income earned by U.S.-based multinational enterprises.1 Both acknowledge the problem, which is that U.S.-based MNEs currently have more than $1 trillion of ‘‘permanently reinvested’’ income offshore, which they cannot bring back to the U.S. without incurring a 35 percent tax penalty. However, they seem to offer radically different solutions: Under the Camp proposal, a participation exemption will enable U.S.-based MNEs to bring back the income without paying …


Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori Jan 2012

Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori

Articles

In February, 2012, the Treasury and White House unveiled President Obama's Framework for Business Tax Reform. A major proposal was to abolish the deferral on income earned by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations ("CFCs").


The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav Jan 2012

The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav

Articles

The United States has the second highest statutory corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (after Japan).1 This has not always been the case. After the Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered the U.S. rate from 46% to 34%,2 the United States had one of the lowest statutory corporate tax rates in the OECD.3 In the past twenty-five years, however, the U.S. rate has remained essentially unchanged (it was raised to 35% in 1993),4 while most other OECD countries reduced their statutory rate so that the OECD average statutory corporate tax rate is 25.1%.


Beyond Territoriality And Deferral: The Promise Of "Managed And Controlled", Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2011

Beyond Territoriality And Deferral: The Promise Of "Managed And Controlled", Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In the new version of his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., once again proposed to modify the definition of residence for domestic corporations (IRC section 7701). Section 103 of the act seeks to: stop companies run from the United States claiming foreign status by treating foreign corporations that are publicly traded or have gross assets of $50 million or more and whose management and control occur primarily in the United States as U.S. domestic corporations for income tax purposes. [Emphasis in original.] This is not a new suggestion. In response to the inversions of the early …


The Case For Dividend Deduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir C. Chenchinski Jan 2011

The Case For Dividend Deduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir C. Chenchinski

Articles

The December 2010 compromise between President Barack Obama and the Republicans extended the 15% tax rate on dividends through the end of 2012. At that point, however, the rate may revert to the Clinton administration rate-39.6%-or be raised to 20%-as proposed by the Obama Administration. Thus, the United States may either abandon corporate-shareholder integration, maintain partial integration, or perhaps even adopt the George W Bush administration's 2003 proposal to exempt dividends altogether-as advocated by some Republicans in Congress. Given this uncertainty and the likelihood of additional Congressional action, now may be a good time to revisit the integration issue. Another …


Formulary Apportionment: Myths And Prospects - Promoting Better International Policy And Utilizing The Misunderstood And Under-Theorized Formulary Alternative, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Ilan Benshalom Jan 2011

Formulary Apportionment: Myths And Prospects - Promoting Better International Policy And Utilizing The Misunderstood And Under-Theorized Formulary Alternative, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Ilan Benshalom

Articles

This article seeks to re-examine the formulary alternative to transfer pricing by inquiring whether partial integration of formulary concepts into current practices would offer a reasonable alternative to transfer pricing rules. We believe that the key to achieving an equitable and efficient allocation of MNE income is to solve the problem of the residual, i.e., how to allocate income generated from mobile assets and activities whose risks are borne collectively by the entire MNE group. These assets and activities generate most of the current transfer pricing compliance and administrative costs, as well as tax avoidance opportunities. A limited formulary tax …


The Redemption Puzzle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2010

The Redemption Puzzle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

After the adoption of partial integration in 2003, there has been only a modest rise in dividends, but a sixfold increase in redemptions. This article argues that the explanation for that lies in the different treatment of dividends and capital gains to foreign shareholders and that Congress should respond by making sections 302 and 304 inapplicable to foreign shareholders.