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Law & Economics Working Papers

Tax Law

Taxation

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Profits V. Purpose: Hybrid Companies And The Charitable Dollar, Rachel Culley, Jill R. Horwitz Nov 2014

Profits V. Purpose: Hybrid Companies And The Charitable Dollar, Rachel Culley, Jill R. Horwitz

Law & Economics Working Papers

Social entrepreneurship -- a catch-all term meaning harnessing business practices for social good -- has attracted people who want to “do well while doing good” for decades. Advocates of the idea have succeeded in blurring the boundaries among legal ownership types and inspired nonprofit/for-profit joint ventures, public-private partnerships, and the widespread privatization of traditional government functions and activities. The most recent manifestation of this trend is the creation of hybrid non-profit/for-profit firms. In the United States, the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company (L3C) is growing, and there are similar firms in the United Kingdom and Canada. In this paper we address …


U.S. Treaty Anti-Avoidance Rules: An Overview And Assessment, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Oz Halabi Jan 2012

U.S. Treaty Anti-Avoidance Rules: An Overview And Assessment, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Oz Halabi

Law & Economics Working Papers

In this article, the authors provide a summary of the anti-avoidance rules in the United States that relate to bilateral tax treaties. Specifically, they focus on treaty-based anti-avoidance rules and discuss whether or not a General Anti-Avoidance Rule would be appropriate in this context.


The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav Oct 2011

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

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper compares the effective tax rates of the 100 largest US multinationals to the 100 largest EU multinationals for the period 2001-2010, based on financial disclosures. The paper finds that despite the higher US statutory rate the effective tax rates are comparable and that EU multinationals tend to have a higher effective tax rate. The likely explanation is that EU corporate taxes have a broader base. The paper concludes that current US tax law does not subject US based multinationals to a competitive disadvantage against their EU based competitors.


Exclusion From Income Of Compensation For Services And Pooling Of Labor Occurring In A Noncommercial Setting, Douglas A. Kahn Jul 2011

Exclusion From Income Of Compensation For Services And Pooling Of Labor Occurring In A Noncommercial Setting, Douglas A. Kahn

Law & Economics Working Papers

Compensation for services, regardless of the form, constitutes income to the recipient. Consequently, the exchange of services by two individuals is treated as income to each. However, there are numerous examples of an exchange of services that the IRS has never sought to tax. The most common example is an exchange of services by a married couple who divide the household chores between them. The focus of this article is to propose a principled reason for not taxing those exchanges and to explore the limits of that exclusion. The author contends that the income tax operates exclusively on commercial transactions, …


Real Time Audit – It Is The Time To Act?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Oz Halabi Jun 2011

Real Time Audit – It Is The Time To Act?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Oz Halabi

Law & Economics Working Papers

The U.S. is facing one of its hardest economic crises. Its economy has not recovered from the 2008 downturn, and the light at the end of the tunnel is far, far away. The government and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) are seeking revenue sources in order to reduce its budget deficit. However, raising the income tax rates is politically difficult and may lead to further loss of jobs. In this political situation, it is important to try to find ways to raise more revenue without raising tax rates. One possibility of doing so is “real time audit”: Auditing transactions when …


Money On The Table: Why The U.S. Should Tax Inbound Capital Gains, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jun 2011

Money On The Table: Why The U.S. Should Tax Inbound Capital Gains, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

In 1992, Chairman Rostenkowski introduced legislation that imposed US capital gains tax on foreign sellers of large blocks of shares (10 percent or more) in US corporations. The legislation was not a treaty override, although it added an anti-treaty shopping provision similar to those adopted for the branch profit tax in 1986. It also had anti-abuse provisions that addressed holding company structures. Today, the US faces a large budget deficit and seeks to impose higher burdens on its own multinationals. While that is also justified, there is no reason to let foreigners off the hook, especially since there is much …


Déjà Vu All Over Again? Reflections On Auerbach's 'Modern Corporate Tax', Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Dec 2010

Déjà Vu All Over Again? Reflections On Auerbach's 'Modern Corporate Tax', Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper comments on Alan Auerbach's "A Modern Corporate Tax" (Hamilton Project/CAP, December 2010) and argues that it is not a significant improvement over previous proposals to replace the corporate tax with a cash flow tax.


The Case For Dividend Deduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir C. Chenchinski Sep 2010

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

Law & Economics Working Papers

There have been various proposals made in the past two decades to integrate the corporate and shareholder tax, including dividend exemption, imputation, and the Comprehensive Business Income Tax (CBIT). In our view, the problem with all of these proposals is that they omit to ask the crucial question of why we should tax business entities in the first place. Taxes, the economists tell us, are always borne by human beings, not by legal entities. Why should legal entities, be they corporations or other forms of business entity, be subject to tax at all? Would it not be easier to just …


Taxation As Regulation: Carbon Tax, Health Care Tax, Bank Tax And Other Regulatory Taxes, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2010

Taxation As Regulation: Carbon Tax, Health Care Tax, Bank Tax And Other Regulatory Taxes, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper addresses three questions: 1. Is regulation a legitimate goal for taxation? 2. Which tax is best suited for regulation? 3. Would it be better to allocate just one goal per tax among the major taxes (individual and corporate income tax and VAT)? It then analyzes the proposed bank tax and the enacted health care tax as regulatory taxes, and concludes that the first is desirable (as is a carbon tax) but the second is not.


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

The Redemption Puzzle, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Following the adoption of partial integration in 2003, there was only a modest increase in dividends during the period 2004-7, from about 300 to about 500 (if 1987 levels are set at 100). Redemptions, however, showed a remarkable increase, jumping from about the same as dividends (300) to 1,800. This, therefore, leads to a new puzzle: Why the sudden sharp increase in redemptions following 2003?

Like the dividend puzzle, the redemption puzzle is susceptible to several explanations. For example, Bratton and Wachter note that managers who hold stock options tend to favor redemptions over dividends. But in this case, I …


The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2010

The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The US is the only developed country to tax citizens living permanently overseas on their worldwide income. This rule was created at a time when the income tax applied only to the rich and when some of the rich moved overseas to avoid the draft. We do not have a draft any more, the income tax applies to the middle class, and many more US citizens live permanently overseas for non-tax reasons. In a globalized world, citizenship-based taxation is an anachronism which should be abandoned.


Narrowing The Tax Gap Through Presumptive Taxation, Kyle D. Logue, Gustavo G. Vettori Mar 2010

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

Law & Economics Working Papers

This Article highlights the primary tax enforcement problem in the United States, that of noncompliant small and medium-sized businesses (“SMBs”), and it explores the possibility of a radical solution: shifting away from the current system, which attempts to tax the actual income of each business, and toward a system that taxes only a rough approximation (or probabilistic estimate) of business income. This sort of presumptive tax approach has been used for years in developing economies, where the problem of SMB noncompliance is even worse than in the U.S. This Article argues that the time has come to at least consider …