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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Major Simplification Of The Oecd’S Pillar 1 Proposal, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2021

A Major Simplification Of The Oecd’S Pillar 1 Proposal, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In this report, Graetz suggests major modifications to the OECD’s pillar 1 blueprint proposal to create a new taxing right for multinational digital income and some product sales that would greatly simplify the proposal. The modifications rely on readily available existing financial information and would achieve certainty in the application of pillar 1, while adhering to its fundamental structure and policies.


Tax Expenditure And The Treatment Of Tax Incentives For Investment, Agustin Redonda, Santiago Diaz De Sarralde, Mark Hallerberg, Lise Johnson, Ariel Melamud, Ricardo Rozemberg, Jakob Schwab, Christian Von Haldenwang Jul 2018

Tax Expenditure And The Treatment Of Tax Incentives For Investment, Agustin Redonda, Santiago Diaz De Sarralde, Mark Hallerberg, Lise Johnson, Ariel Melamud, Ricardo Rozemberg, Jakob Schwab, Christian Von Haldenwang

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Governments use tax expenditures to boost investment, innovation and employment. However, these schemes are largely opaque, costly and often ineffective in reaching their stated goals. They also frequently trigger unwanted side effects. In order to improve the performance of these tools, the authors present three concrete policy proposals: First, governments should increase transparency on tax benefits. G20 members should take the lead on this with frequent and comprehensive tax expenditure reports. Second, G20 governments should improve the design of tax incentives with the aim of minimizing the generation of windfall profits and negative spillover effects within and across (in particular ...


Foreword – The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2018

Foreword – The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

By lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the 2017 tax legislation brought the U.S. statutory rate into closer alignment with the rates applicable in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, thereby decreasing the incentive for businesses to locate their deductions in the United States and their income abroad. Its overhaul of the U.S. international income tax rules simultaneously reduced preexisting incentives for U.S. multinationals to reinvest their foreign earnings abroad and put a floor on the benefits of shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions. The 2017 legislation also added an unprecedented, troublesome ...


Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum Oct 2017

Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in ...


Heading Off A Cliff? The Tax Reform Man Cometh, And Goeth, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2017

Heading Off A Cliff? The Tax Reform Man Cometh, And Goeth, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

The major tax policy challenge of the 21st century is the need to address the nation’s fiscal condition fairly and in a manner conducive to economic growth. But since California adopted Proposition 13 nearly forty years ago, antipathy to taxes has served as the glue that has held the Republican coalition together. Even though our taxes as a percentage of our economy are low by OECD standards and low by our own historical experience, anti-tax attitudes have become even more important for Republicans politically, since they now find it hard to agree on almost anything else. So revenue-positive, or ...


"Death Tax" Politics, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2016

"Death Tax" Politics, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In his Keynote Address “Death Tax” Politics at the October 2, 2015 Boston College Law School and American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Symposium, The Centennial of the Estate and Gift Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations, Michael Graetz describes the fight over the repeal of the estate tax and its current diminished state. Graetz argues that the political battle over the repeal of the estate tax reflects a fundamental challenge to our nation’s progressive tax system. This Address concludes that a revitalized estate tax is important for managing the national debt and reducing massive inequalities in wealth.


Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley Jan 2015

Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Several prominent public corporations have recently embraced a noteworthy (and newsworthy) type of transaction known as a "tax inversion." In a typical inversion, a U.S. multinational corporation ("MNC") merges with a foreign company. The entity that ultimately emerges from this transactional cocoon is invariably incorporated abroad, yet typically remains listed in U.S. securities markets under the erstwhile domestic issuer's name. When structured to satisfy applicable tax requirements, corporate inversions permit domestic MNCs eventually to replace U.S. with foreign tax treatment of their extraterritorial earnings – ostensibly at far lower effective rates.

Most regulators and politicians have reacted ...


Accepting The Limits Of Tax Law And Economics, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2012

Accepting The Limits Of Tax Law And Economics, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the limits of tax law and economics, attributing them to the unique complexity of the tax optimization problem. Designers of the optimal tax system must account for the impossibility of deterring socially undesirable behavior, provide for redistribution, and minimize social costs on the basis of assumptions that are laden with deeply contested value judgments, pervasive empirical uncertainty, or both. Given these challenges, it is hardly surprising that economic theory has a much weaker connection to the content of our tax laws and their enforcement than it does to the content and enforcement of many other legal regimes ...


Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer Jan 2012

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

We face a time of stagnant economic growth, severe unemployment, massive budget deficits, and an increasingly competitive global economy. These daunting challenges are the legacy of a number of unwise policy decisions in both the public and private sectors. Although the good news is that unsound policies can be changed, the bad news is that no single step will do the trick. It is a challenge to rely on monetary policy when interest rates are near zero. There also is uncertainty – and a heated debate among economists – about the effectiveness of a Keynesian stimulus. One thing we know is that ...


Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jan 2011

Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren

Faculty Scholarship

In previous articles, we have argued that European Court of Justice’s reliance on nondiscrimination as the basis for its decisions did not (and could not) satisfy commonly accepted tax policy norms, such as fairness, adminstrability, production of desired levels of revenues, avoidance of double taxation, fiscal policy goals, inter-nation fiscal equity, and so on. In addition, we argued that the Court cannot achieve consistent and coherent results by requiring nondiscrimination in both origin and destination countries for transactions involving the tax systems of more than one member state. We demonstrated that – in the absence of harmonized income tax bases ...


Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jr. Jan 2011

Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In previous articles, we have argued that the European Court of Justice's reliance on nondiscrimination as the basis for its decisions did not (and could not) satisfy commonly accepted tax policy norms, such as fairness, administrability, economic efficiency, production of desired levels of revenues, avoidance of double taxation, fiscal policy goals, inter-nation equity, and so on. In addition, we argued that the court cannot achieve consistent and coherent results by requiring nondiscrimination in both origin and destination countries for transactions involving the tax systems of more than one member state. We demonstrated that – in the absence of harmonized income ...


Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer Jan 2011

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

We face a time of stagnant economic growth, severe unemployment, massive budget deficits, and an increasingly competitive global economy. Monetary policy is tapped out, and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the effectiveness of a traditional Keynesian stimulus – and, not surprisingly, a heated debate among economists. One thing we do know is that a stimulus is quite difficult to execute effectively. For example, it is a challenge to identify “shovel ready” projects that contribute to long-term economic growth, particularly on short notice. There is no uncertainty, though, about the need to address a broad range of specific problems ...


A Multilateral Solution For The Income Tax Treatment Of Interest Expenses, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2008

A Multilateral Solution For The Income Tax Treatment Of Interest Expenses, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

Recent developments – including greater taxpayer sophistication in structuring and locating international financing arrangements, increased government concerns with the role of debt in sophisticated tax avoidance techniques, and disruption by decisions of the European Court of Justice of member states' regimes limiting interest deductions – have stimulated new laws and policy controversies concerning the international tax treatment of interest expenses. National rules are in flux regarding the financing of both inbound and outbound transactions.

Heretofore, the question of the proper treatment of interest expense has generally been looked at from the perspective of either inbound or outbound investment. As a result, the ...


Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen Jan 2006

Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

If charity begins at home, scholarship on the charitable deduction has stayed at home. In the vast legal literature, few authors have engaged the distinction between charitable contributions that are meant to be used within the United States and charitable contributions that are meant to be used abroad. Yet these two types of contributions are treated very differently in the Code and raise very different policy issues. As Americans' giving patterns and the U.S. nonprofit sector grow increasingly international, the distinction will only become more salient.

This Article offers the first exploration of how theories of the charitable deduction ...


100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Fresh Start For The U.S. Tax System, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2002

100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Fresh Start For The U.S. Tax System, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

We are now in a quiet interlude awaiting the next serious political debate over the nation's tax system. No fundamental tax policy concerns were at stake in the 2002 disputes over economic stimulus or the political huffing and puffing about postponing or accelerating the income tax rate cuts of the 2001 Act. Those arguments were concerned principally with positioning Democratic and Republican candidates for the 2002 congressional election, not tax policy.

But the coming decade, with its paint-by-numbers phase-ins and phaseouts of 2001 Act tax changes, the tax cuts waiting to spring into effect, and the sunset of the ...


An Open Letter To Congressman Gingrich, Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar, Jack Balkin, Susan Low Bloch, Philip Chase Bobbitt, Richard Fallon, Paul Kahn, Philip Kurland, Douglas Laycock, Sanford Levinson, Frank Michelman, Michael Perry, Robert Post, Jed Rubenfeld, David Strauss, Cass Sunstein, Harry Wellington Jan 1995

An Open Letter To Congressman Gingrich, Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar, Jack Balkin, Susan Low Bloch, Philip Chase Bobbitt, Richard Fallon, Paul Kahn, Philip Kurland, Douglas Laycock, Sanford Levinson, Frank Michelman, Michael Perry, Robert Post, Jed Rubenfeld, David Strauss, Cass Sunstein, Harry Wellington

Faculty Scholarship

We urge you to reconsider your proposal to amend the House Rules to require a three-fifths vote for enactment of laws that increase income taxes. This proposal violates the explicit intentions of the Framers. It is inconsistent with the Constitution's language and structure. It departs sharply from traditional congressional practice. It may generate constitutional litigation that will encourage Supreme Court intervention in an area best left to responsible congressional decision.

Unless the proposal is withdrawn now, it will serve as an unfortunate precedent for the proliferation of supermajority rules on a host of different subjects in the future. Over ...


Are We A Nation Of Tax Cheaters? New Econometric Evidence On Tax Compliance, Jeffrey A. Dubin, Michael J. Graetz, Louis L. Wilde Jan 1987

Are We A Nation Of Tax Cheaters? New Econometric Evidence On Tax Compliance, Jeffrey A. Dubin, Michael J. Graetz, Louis L. Wilde

Faculty Scholarship

In 1982, then Commissioner of Internal Revenue Roscoe Egger reported to Congress that legal sector noncompliance with the Federal Income Tax statutes generated an "income tax gap" of $81 billion in 1981, up from $29 billion in 1973. He further projected a gap of $120 billion for 1985 (U.S. Congress, 1982). Perceptions of accelerating noncompliance inspired a crisis mentality within the Internal Revenue Service, Congress, and the tax bar.

The IRS responded in part by funding a major independent study of tax noncompliance via the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Bar Foundation initiated an investigation of its ...


Assessing The Distributional Effects Of Income Tax Revision: Some Lessons From Incidence Analysis, Michael J. Graetz Jan 1975

Assessing The Distributional Effects Of Income Tax Revision: Some Lessons From Incidence Analysis, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years public attention to issues of tax equity has increased dramatically. The testimony in January 1969 of outgoing Secretary of the Treasury Joseph Barr that 154 individuals who had adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000 in 1966 paid no federal income tax intensified public awareness and concern about the equity of the tax system. Tax reform has remained a central issue of public policy.

At the same time, scholars working in the tax field have refined their methods of analyzing the impact on individuals and classes of individuals of tax laws and tax changes. Theoretical advances ...