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Full-Text Articles in Law

Taxing Digital Platforms, Andrew Hayashi, Young Ran (Christine) Kim Apr 2023

Taxing Digital Platforms, Andrew Hayashi, Young Ran (Christine) Kim

Articles

The proliferation of digital services taxes (DSTs) in Europe is generally understood as a way for those countries to claim taxing rights over the profits of large digital platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Under prevailing norms of international income taxation, these businesses had been able to avoid paying taxes in countries where they had no physical presence, even if they had many users in those countries. But the rise of big tech has generated a set of regulatory and political challenges, and tax is only one of these. The adoption of DSTs is not only about the fair …


Whose Debt Is It Anyway?, Luís Calderón Gómez Oct 2022

Whose Debt Is It Anyway?, Luís Calderón Gómez

Articles

Every year, companies issue hundreds of billions of dollars of debt with a feature carrying unclear tax consequences. So do individuals, who frequently tie their most significant financial asset to this type of instrument. Yet this instrument is not an exotic or innovative financial derivative, but is simple vanilla debt with two or more borrowers, or “co-obligated debt”. Co-obligated debt poses a conceptual problem for the law because it does not fit neatly into the simple and dyadic legal framework underlying the law’s conception of debt, where one creditor lends money to one borrower in exchange for a direct promise …


A Study Of Tax Lawyers Discussing Duties, Michael Hatfield, Michelle Kwon Jan 2022

A Study Of Tax Lawyers Discussing Duties, Michael Hatfield, Michelle Kwon

Articles

This Article reports the first qualitative empirical study of U.S. tax lawyers. We interviewed women lawyers who were tax planning specialists. Though this is the first such study of U.S. tax lawyers, this methodology has been used often to study the professional ethics of other tax practitioners around the world. We had three research questions that we sought to answer through dynamic conversations on topics such as the distinctions between good and bad tax plans and good and bad tax lawyers and also the joys and stresses of tax practice. Our first research question was as to the make-up of …


Critical Tax Theory: Insights From The Us And Opportunities For All, Anthony C. Infanti, Bridget J. Crawford Jan 2022

Critical Tax Theory: Insights From The Us And Opportunities For All, Anthony C. Infanti, Bridget J. Crawford

Articles

At a moment when Australia -- and the world -- finds itself at a "critical juncture" as it reckons with a global pandemic as well as the inequalities that COVID-19 has laid bare, voicing -- and listening to -- critical tax perspectives has become more vital than ever. The economic impact of COVID-19 has precipitated talk of tax reform as nations consider how to pay for aid distributed during the pandemic and how to restart their economies. But more than just a time of crisis, the pandemic can be seen as an unexpected opportunity to break with a past plagued …


Hegemonic Marriage: The Collision Of 'Transformative' Same-Sex Marriage With Reactionary Tax Law, Anthony C. Infanti Apr 2021

Hegemonic Marriage: The Collision Of 'Transformative' Same-Sex Marriage With Reactionary Tax Law, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Before there was a culture war in the United States over same-sex marriage, there was a battle between opponents and proponents of same-sex marriage within the LGBTQ+ community. Some opposed same-sex marriage because of the long patriarchal history of marriage and the more consequential need to bridge the economic and privilege gap between the married and the unmarried. Others, in contrast, saw marriage as a civil rights issue and lauded the transformative potential of same-sex marriage, contending that it could upset the patriarchal nature of marriage and help to refashion marriage into something new and better.

This Article looks back …


The Rise Of Law And The Fall Of Circular 230: Tax Lawyer Professional Standards, 1985-2015, Michael Hatfield Jan 2021

The Rise Of Law And The Fall Of Circular 230: Tax Lawyer Professional Standards, 1985-2015, Michael Hatfield

Articles

This third article focuses on the two issues that dominated discussions of professional responsibility standards for tax lawyers in the 1985-2015 period: return position standards and tax shelter opinions. It opens with consideration of the ABA’s 1965 opinion providing “reasonable basis” as the standard for undisclosed return positions, and then traces the response to that opinion as the response prods the development of the 1985 replacement with its “realistic possibility of success” standard. The Article documents the extensive interaction between Congress, the Treasury Department, and the tax bar over the next 30 years during which penalties are studied and revised …


Postpartum Taxation And The Squeezed Out Mom, Shannon Weeks Mccormack Jan 2017

Postpartum Taxation And The Squeezed Out Mom, Shannon Weeks Mccormack

Articles

Faced with too-short (or nonexistent) maternity leaves, inflexible work schedules, and the soaring costs of childcare in the United States, many new mothers temporarily leave the workforce to care for their young children. Although media attention has focused on the “opt-out” mom, many more mothers are squeezed out of the external workplace. But mothers that try to return to work may discover that it is difficult to do so, as employers have been shown to be less likely to hire mothers than others. A mother that does reenter may find that even short periods out of work cost (sometimes far) …


Branding Taxation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine Jan 2016

Branding Taxation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine

Articles

Branding is important not only to businesses,but also to the economy. The intellectual property laws and tax laws should thus further the legitimate goals of encouraging and protecting brand investments while maintaining a sound tax base. Intellectual property protections for branding depend on advertisement and enforcement, both of which demand significant amounts of private investment by firms. Although one would expect similar tax treatments of both categories of investment, the categories are actually treated as vastly different for federal income tax purposes. Additionally, tax distinctions also exist within each category. The result is that some branding investments are expensed and …


Comments On Proposed Treasury Regulations Defining Terms Relating To Marital Status, Anthony C. Infanti, The American Bar Association Dec 2015

Comments On Proposed Treasury Regulations Defining Terms Relating To Marital Status, Anthony C. Infanti, The American Bar Association

Articles

These comments respond to proposed Treasury Regulations defining terms relating to marital status in the Internal Revenue Code following the Supreme Court's decision in the Windsor and Obergefell cases. The comments applaud the Internal Revenue Service for reading gendered terms relating to marital status in a gender-neutral fashion. For a number of reasons, however, the comments recommend that the final regulations omit the proposed rule for determining an individual’s marital status and, in its place, codify the current deference to local law in determining marital status for federal tax purposes. Most importantly, the comments further recommend that the final regulations …


Victims Of Our Own Success: The Perils Of Obergefell And Windsor, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2015

Victims Of Our Own Success: The Perils Of Obergefell And Windsor, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

This short essay was spurred by the numerous celebrations of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage in all fifty states. Though the essay acknowledges the importance of both Obergefell and the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in United States v. Windsor, it highlights the significant perils that these decisions entail for the LGBT community. In the essay, I use tax as a lens for describing some of the lesser-known perils associated with these decisions in the hopes of making those perils more concrete and easily understood by a wide audience of (tax and nontax) …


Big (Gay) Love: Has The Irs Legalized Polygamy?, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2014

Big (Gay) Love: Has The Irs Legalized Polygamy?, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Within days in December, a federal judge in Utah made news by loosening that state’s criminal prohibition against polygamy and the Attorney General of North Dakota made news by opining that a party to a same-sex marriage could enter into a different-sex marriage in that state without first obtaining a divorce or annulment. Both of these opinions raised the specter of legalized plural marriage. What discussions of these opinions missed, however, is the possibility that the IRS might already have legalized plural marriage in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in United States v. Windsor, which …


Qualification Of Taxable Entities And Treaty Protection, Anthony C. Infanti, Bernard Moens Jan 2014

Qualification Of Taxable Entities And Treaty Protection, Anthony C. Infanti, Bernard Moens

Articles

This report was prepared for the 2014 International Congress of the International Fiscal Association. The general reporters for the Congress asked IFA branches around the world to prepare a report designed to provide information on how countries address (1) the question of when domestic and foreign entities are treated as transparent or taxable and (2) conflicts between different countries’ treatment of entities as transparent or taxable for treaty purposes. This report constitutes the IFA U.S.A. Branch’s submission to the general reporters.

The report is divided into two sections. The first section of the report provides a general description of how …


Lgbt Families, Tax Nothings, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2014

Lgbt Families, Tax Nothings, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

The federal tax laws have never been friendly territory for LGBT families. Before the enactment of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal tax laws turned a blind eye to the existence of LGBT families by tacitly embracing state law discrimination against same-sex couples. When it enacted DOMA in 1996, Congress ensured that it would be able to continue to turn a blind eye to LGBT families even if one or more states were to legally recognize families headed by same-sex couples. In a real sense, LGBT families have been, and continue to be, tax outlaws.

This overt …


The House Of Windsor: Accentuating The Heteronormativity In The Tax Incentives For Procreation, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2014

The House Of Windsor: Accentuating The Heteronormativity In The Tax Incentives For Procreation, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, many seem to believe that the fight for marriage equality at the federal level is over and that any remaining work in this area is at the state level. Belying this conventional wisdom, this essay continues my work plumbing the gap between the promise of Windsor and the reality that heteronormativity has been one of the core building blocks of our federal tax system. Eradicating embedded heteronormativity will take far more than a single court decision (or even revenue ruling); it will take years of work uncovering the subtle …


The Tax Import Of The Fasb/Iasb Proposal On Lease Accounting, George Mundstock Jan 2013

The Tax Import Of The Fasb/Iasb Proposal On Lease Accounting, George Mundstock

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Moonscape Of Tax Equality: Windsor And Behyond, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2013

The Moonscape Of Tax Equality: Windsor And Behyond, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

This essay takes a critical look at the tax fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which declared section three of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. The essay is important because, while other federal laws will apply to some same-sex couples some of the time, the federal tax laws are a concern for all same-sex couples all of the time. The essay is timely because it addresses the recently issued IRS guidance regarding the tax treatment of same-sex couples.

In this essay, I first describe the path that led to the decision …


Taxing Facebook Code: Debugging The Tax Code And Software, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine Jan 2012

Taxing Facebook Code: Debugging The Tax Code And Software, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine

Articles

This article sets out to analyze both intellectual property laws and tax systems as applied to computer software. It analyzes software within intellectual property's established doctrinal framework, a difficult task due to the fact that software can encompass some combination of the traits of copyrights, trade dress, patents, and trade secrets. It then examines both the federal and state tax systems governing software. It shows that fitting software within current tax schemes presents unique challenges, as software contains both tangible and intangible elements, is subject to varying intellectual property protections, and can be delivered through various media. The article argues …


Tax Reform DisCourse, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2012

Tax Reform DisCourse, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Our tax system is supposed to serve the public good by fairly raising the revenue that we need to fund public expenditures — for example, the common defense, social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare, etc. But the tax reform debate has shifted away from discussing how best to distribute the burden of these common expenditures and instead has come to focus on how tax reform can be used to spur economic growth. Especially in times of economic crisis, these two goals — equitably funding public expenditures and spurring economic growth — sound equally important and somehow …


Lgbt Taxpayers: A Collision Of 'Others', Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2012

Lgbt Taxpayers: A Collision Of 'Others', Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

In this essay prepared for a symposium on the intersection of tax law with gender and sexuality, I explore the violent collision of these two concepts - or, more appropriately, these two “others.” I begin my exploration of this collision of “others” by first explaining how the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is a marginalized “other” in American society while, in contrast, tax is a privileged “other” in the realm of American law. Then, I turn to a close examination of a recent case, O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, to illustrate the collision of the otherness of LGBT individuals with …


Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family For Tax Purposes, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2011

Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family For Tax Purposes, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

Family can bring us joy, and it can bring us grief. It can also bring us tax benefits and tax detriments. Often, as a means of ensuring compliance with Internal Revenue Code provisions that turn on a family relationship, taxpayers are required to document their relationship with a family member. Most visibly, taxpayers are denied an additional personal exemption for a child or other dependent unless they furnish the individual’s name, Social Security number, and relationship to the taxpayer.

In this article, I undertake the first systematic examination of these documentation requirements. Given the privileging of the “traditional” family throughout …


U.S. Defense Contracts During The Tax Expenditure Battles Of The 1980s, Susan J. Guthrie, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2011

U.S. Defense Contracts During The Tax Expenditure Battles Of The 1980s, Susan J. Guthrie, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

This paper considers the impact of the tax treatment of military contractors on the cost and timing of U.S. military procurement. Prior to the early 1980s, taxpayers were permitted to defer tax obligations on profits earned from long-term contracts. Legislation passed in 1982, 1986, and 1987 required that at least 70 percent of the profits earned on long-term contracts be taxed as accrued, thereby significantly reducing the tax benefits associated with long term contracting. Comparing contracts that were ineligible for these tax benefits with those that were eligible, it appears that between 1981–1989 the duration of U.S. Department of Defense …


Dissecting O'Donnabhain, Anthony C. Infanti Mar 2010

Dissecting O'Donnabhain, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

In O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner, a sharply divided Tax Court allowed a medical expense deduction for some costs related to sex reassignment surgery. This short commentary examines the opinions in the case and concludes that the taxpayer's victory rings hollow.


Foreword: On Publishing Anonymously, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Foreword: On Publishing Anonymously, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

In this foreword to the fall 2010 issue of the Pittsburgh Tax Review, I explain the troubling set of circumstances that led to our decision to publish one of the articles anonymously. All of the articles in this issue share a focus on suggestions for state and local tax reform in Pennsylvania. The circumstances surrounding the decision to publish this one article anonymously raise a host of questions regarding the extent to which tax professionals are free to make suggestions for tax reform without being subject to employer censorship.


Taxing Inheritances, Taxing Estates, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2010

Taxing Inheritances, Taxing Estates, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

This Article considers two aspects of converting the U.S. transfer tax system to one in which burdens are imposed on the basis of receipt rather than gift. The first aspect is the economic impact of distinguishing transfer tax liabilities by numbers of children in a family in addition to the total amount of transferred wealth. The second aspect is the nature of the event that triggers tax liability. Taxing on the basis of receipt raises complicated issues about generation-skipping transfers, transfers to trusts, and transfers that involve foreign as well as domestic parties, all of which are potentially influenced by …


Equity And Efficiency In Intellectual Property Taxation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine Jan 2010

Equity And Efficiency In Intellectual Property Taxation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine

Articles

This article examines the federal income tax regime governing intellectual property using normative criteria in evaluating taxes: equity and efficiency. The article first evaluates the current intellectual property tax scheme in terms of horizontal equity, identifying differences in tax treatment of what appear to be similar intellectual property activities. It argues that disparate tax treatments between seemingly similar intellectual property owners signal that flaws may exist in the tax system. The article then assesses the efficiency of the intellectual property tax system, examining numerous tax subsidies for intellectual property and their effectiveness in promoting economic growth. It argues that many …


Decentralizing Family: An Inclusive Proposal For Individual Tax Filing In The United States, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Decentralizing Family: An Inclusive Proposal For Individual Tax Filing In The United States, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

The debate in the United States over individual versus joint federal income tax filing is at something of a crossroads. For decades, progressive - and, particularly, feminist - scholars have urged us to abolish the joint return in favor of individual filing. On the rare occasion when scholars have described what such an individual filing system might look like, the focus has been on the ways in which the traditional family must be accommodated in an individual filing system. These descriptions generally do not take into account - let alone remedy - the tax system’s ongoing failure to address the …


Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

In this article, I take a novel approach to the question of what constitutes a "tax." I argue that the unique burdens placed on same-sex couples by the federal and state "defense of marriage" acts (the DOMAs) constitute a tax on gay and lesbian families.

Classifying the DOMAs as a "tax" has important substantive and rhetorical consequences. As a tax, the DOMAs are subject to the same constitutional restrictions as other taxes. This opens them to challenge under the federal constitution's direct tax clauses and the uniformity clauses present in many state constitutions. Where such constitutional challenges are unavailable or …


Bringing Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Into The Tax Classroom, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2009

Bringing Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Into The Tax Classroom, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

A recent piece in the Journal of Legal Education analyzing student surveys by the Law School Admission Council reports that, despite improvement in the past decade, LGBT students still experience a law school climate in which they encounter substantial discrimination both inside and outside the classroom. Included among the list of "best practices" to improve the law school climate for LGBT students was a recommendation to incorporate discussions of LGBT issues in non-LGBT courses, such as tax. In a timely coincidence, the Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues held a day-long program at the 2009 AALS annual meeting …


Acquiring Innovation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine Jan 2008

Acquiring Innovation, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Jeffrey A. Maine

Articles

In recent years, the innovation market has witnessed a new business model involving companies that are mere patent holding shells and not operating entities. They have no customers or products to offer, but they do have an aggressive tactic of using patent portfolios to threaten other operating companies with potential infringement litigation. The strategy is executed with the end goal of extracting handsome settlements. Acquisitions of patents for offensive use have become a major concern to operating companies because such acquisitions pose the threats of patent injunction, interrupting the business and crippling further innovation.

While many operating companies today know …


Book Review Of 'Havens In A Storm: The Struggle For Global Tax Regulation', Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2008

Book Review Of 'Havens In A Storm: The Struggle For Global Tax Regulation', Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

This short essay is a review of J.C. Sharman's book Havens in a Storm: The Struggle for Global Tax Regulation. In the essay, I first provide a brief overview of Sharman's book, which approaches the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's struggle with tax havens over harmful tax competition from a political science perspective. I then describe how the book (and, by extension, this review) will be of interest not only to those in the fields of international tax and international relations, but also to those concerned more generally with the dynamics of struggles between the powerful and the weak. …