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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 ...


Coronavirus, Telecommuting, And The ‘Employer Convenience’ Rule, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2020

Coronavirus, Telecommuting, And The ‘Employer Convenience’ Rule, Edward A. Zelinsky

Articles

New York's "convenience of the employer" doctrine overtaxes nonresident telecommuters on the days they work at their out-of-state homes. This doctrine was poor tax policy in normal times. It is particularly bad tax policy during the Covid-19 crisis, penalizing individuals who work at home.


Inter Vivos Transfers Of Ownership In Family Firms, James R. Hines Jr., Niklas Potrafke, Marina Riem, Christoph Schinke Apr 2019

Inter Vivos Transfers Of Ownership In Family Firms, James R. Hines Jr., Niklas Potrafke, Marina Riem, Christoph Schinke

Articles

This paper examines the determinants of inter vivos (lifetime) transfers of ownership in German family firms between 2000 and 2013. Survey evidence indicates that owners of firms with strong current business conditions transfer ownership at higher rates than others. When a firm’s self-described business condition improves from “normal” to “good,” the relative likelihood of an inter vivos transfer increases by 46 percent. Inter vivos transfer rates also rose following a 2009 reform that reduced transfer taxes. These patterns suggest that transfer taxes significantly influence rates and timing of inter vivos ownership transfers.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


The Fallacious Objections To The Tax Treatment Of Carried Interest, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jun 2017

The Fallacious Objections To The Tax Treatment Of Carried Interest, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Articles

“The tax treatment of carried interest has become a notorious bete noire for many politicians and some academicians and practitioners. Both 2016 presidential candidates denounced the current tax treatment and vowed to change it. President Obama described the current treatment as a "tax loophole" which should be closed. Others have also characterized the current tax treatment as an abusive loophole.' It is the thesis of this article that those criticisms are unfounded. To the contrary, the current tax treatment accords with sound tax policy and is proper and appropriate. Given the broad approval that attended the attacks on carried interest ...


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 ...


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

Articles

The states' income tax systems are important repositories of experience which 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 federal taxation of individuals whose income and activities straddle across national boundaries. The states' difficulties enforcing domicile-based taxation highlight the administrative benefits of citizenship-based taxation. As long as residence is understood for tax purposes in terms of domicile ...


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.


Hillenmeyer, "Convenience Of The Employer," And The Taxation Of Nonresidents' Incomes, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2016

Hillenmeyer, "Convenience Of The Employer," And The Taxation Of Nonresidents' Incomes, Edward A. Zelinsky

Articles

In Hillenmeyer v. Cleveland Board of Review, Ohio’s Supreme Court unanimously declared that Cleveland’s municipal income tax violated the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution by taxing a nonresident athlete under the “games-played” method rather than the “duty-days” method. According to the Ohio court, the games-played approach overtaxed Mr. Hillenmeyer by allocating to Cleveland Mr. Hillenmeyer’s compensation from the Chicago Bears using the percentage of the Bears’ games played in Cleveland. By this approach, Cleveland taxed Mr. Hillenmeyer extraterritorially, reaching income he earned from services he performed for the Bears outside of Cleveland’s borders ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2015

Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In 1997, I wrote an article on the international tax challenges posed by the then-nascent electronic commerce, in which I suggested that the international tax regime is based on two principles: the benefits principle and the single tax principle. The benefits principle states that active (business) income should be taxed primarily by the country of source, and passive (investment) income should be taxed primarily by the country of residence. This is the famous compromise reached by the four economists at the foundation of the regime in 1923 and is not particularly controversial. It is embodied in every one of the ...


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 ...


Why The Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge Requires Limitation Of The Estate Tax Charitable Deduction, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2014

Why The Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge Requires Limitation Of The Estate Tax Charitable Deduction, Edward A. Zelinsky

Articles

The Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge, under which wealthy individuals promise to leave a majority of their assets to charity, is an admirable effort to encourage philanthropy. However, the Pledge requires us to confront the paradox that the federal estate tax charitable deduction is unlimited while the federal income tax charitable deduction is capped. If a Giving Pledger leaves his wealth to charity, the federal fisc loses significant revenue since the Pledger thereby avoids federal estate taxation as charitable bequests are deductible without limit for federal estate tax purposes. Despite its laudable qualities, the Giving Pledge is a systematic (albeit inadvertent) threat ...


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 ...


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 ...


A Proposed Replacement Of The Tax Expenditure Concept And A Different Perspective On Accelerated Depreciation, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 2014

A Proposed Replacement Of The Tax Expenditure Concept And A Different Perspective On Accelerated Depreciation, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

Over 32 years ago, I published an article on accelerated depreciation in which I concluded that some amount of acceleration was consistent with normal tax principles and should not be classified as a tax expenditure. Over the intervening years, from time to time, I have exchanged comments with authors who have questioned that conclusion. It is time to revisit that topic and renew the consideration of how tax depreciation may properly operate. This Essay’s analysis of depreciation provides one example of how the tax expenditure budgets are flawed. The treatment of some accelerated depreciation as a tax expenditure is ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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").


Retirees Beware: Don't Worry About The British, 'Taxmageddon' Is Coming, Douglas A. Kahn, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 2012

Retirees Beware: Don't Worry About The British, 'Taxmageddon' Is Coming, Douglas A. Kahn, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

"Taxmageddon" is coming. Unless Congress extends the current rates or reaches an agreement on tax reform, dividends will then be taxed as ordinary income at a marginal rate as high as 39.6 % and net capital gains will then be taxed at 20%. For high-income taxpayers, a 3.8% Medicare surtax will be added to the taxation of net capital gains, dividend income, interest, and other investment income, bringing the highest marginal rate to 43.4%.


Narrowing The Tax Gap Through Presumptive Taxation, Kyle D. Logue, Gustavo G. Vettori Jan 2011

Narrowing The Tax Gap Through Presumptive Taxation, Kyle D. Logue, Gustavo G. Vettori

Articles

Can the United States government significantly reduce the federal tax gap? This question has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention over the years and has been the focus of numerous government reports. The "tax gap" is the official term for the Treasury Department's estimate of the difference between what American taxpayers should pay to the federal government in a given tax year (that is, the amount of tax they owe, based on a reasonable interpretation of existing tax laws as applied to particular taxpayers' circumstances) and what they actually pay. This estimate is derived from painstaking and detailed ...