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Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu Feb 2021

Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu

Articles

The United States is the only large federal country that does not have an explicit way to reduce the economic disparities among more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign, and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize the ...


Political Justice And Tax Policy: The Social Welfare Organization Case, Philip Hackney Jan 2021

Political Justice And Tax Policy: The Social Welfare Organization Case, Philip Hackney

Articles

In addition to valuing whether a tax policy is equitable, efficient, and administrable, I argue we should ask if a tax policy is politically just. Others have made a similar case for valuing political justice as democracy in implementing just tax policy. I join that call and highlight why it matters in one arena – tax exemption. I argue that politically just tax policy does the least harm to the democratic functioning of our government and may ideally enhance it. I argue that our right to an equal voice in collective decision making is the most fundamental value of political justice ...


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 ...


Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To Internal Revenue Service (Jan. 16, 2020) On Proposed Regulations Reg-100956-19, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz Jan 2020

Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To Internal Revenue Service (Jan. 16, 2020) On Proposed Regulations Reg-100956-19, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz

Articles

No abstract provided.


The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney Jan 2020

The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney

Articles

Fifty years ago, Congress enacted the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to regulate charitable activity of the rich. Congress constricted the influence of the wealthy on private foundations and hindered the abuse of dollars put into charitable solution through income tax rules. Concerned that the likes of the Mellons, the Rockefellers, and the Fords were putting substantial wealth into foundations for huge tax breaks while continuing to control those funds for their own private ends, Congress revamped the tax rules to force charitable foundations created and controlled by the wealthy to pay out charitable dollars annually and avoid self-dealing. Today ...


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 ...


Transitioning From Gilti To Fdii? Foreign Branch Income Issues, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz Jan 2019

Transitioning From Gilti To Fdii? Foreign Branch Income Issues, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz

Articles

In this article, Kadet and Koontz explain the risks and benefits multinationals must consider in deciding whether to transition some operations conducted within a controlled foreign corporation (along with the associated income) into a domestic group member to achieve a structure that qualifies for foreign-derived intangible income.


Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To Internal Revenue Serv. (Aug. 20, 2019) On Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking: Classification Of Cloud Transactions And Transactions Involving Digital Content, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz Jan 2019

Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To Internal Revenue Serv. (Aug. 20, 2019) On Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking: Classification Of Cloud Transactions And Transactions Involving Digital Content, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz

Articles

No abstract provided.


Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet To Internal Revenue Serv. (Oct. 6, 2019) On Notice 2019-30, 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan - Sourcing Of Cloud Services Income, Jeffery M. Kadet Jan 2019

Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet To Internal Revenue Serv. (Oct. 6, 2019) On Notice 2019-30, 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan - Sourcing Of Cloud Services Income, Jeffery M. Kadet

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To The Internal Revenue Serv. (June 5, 2018) On Notice 2018-43, 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan Regulatory And Ruling Guidance Concerning Various International Tax Issues, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz Jan 2018

Letter From Jeffery M. Kadet And David L. Koontz To The Internal Revenue Serv. (June 5, 2018) On Notice 2018-43, 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan Regulatory And Ruling Guidance Concerning Various International Tax Issues, Jeffery M. Kadet, David L. Koontz

Articles

A principal focus of our suggestions is the modernization and updating of regulations as well as providing guidance that will affect the many multinational corporations (MNCs) whose operations take place partially or wholly within the U.S. Many of these MNCs have embarked on complicated and legalistic schemes whose primary purpose is to shift profits without any real operational changes and to record those profits within zero- and low-taxed foreign members. Importantly, this includes not only U.S.-based MNCs, but also the many inverted MNCs that structured their inversions to remain untouched by the §7874 anti-inversion rules.


Effects Of The New Sourcing Rule: Eci And Profit Sharing, David L. Koontz, Jeffery M. Kadet Jan 2018

Effects Of The New Sourcing Rule: Eci And Profit Sharing, David L. Koontz, Jeffery M. Kadet

Articles

For the first time in eons, Congress has seen fit to change a basic rule for the sourcing of income. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) minced few words in its addition of a single sentence to section 863(b) that applies to sales or exchanges of inventory property (1) produced in whole or in part by the taxpayer in one country, and (2) sold or exchanged in another country. The United States can either be the country where the inventory property is produced or the country where it is sold.

With this change, income from the ...


Sourcing Rule Change: Manufacturing And Competitiveness, Jeffery M. Kadet Jan 2018

Sourcing Rule Change: Manufacturing And Competitiveness, Jeffery M. Kadet

Articles

In this article, Kadet explains how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act favors foreign-based manufacturers selling through a U.S. sales branch over comparable U.S. manufacturers, and he recommends legislative fixes.


The Economics Of American Higher Education In The New Gilded Age, Paul Campos Jan 2018

The Economics Of American Higher Education In The New Gilded Age, Paul Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Simplexity: Plain Language And The Tax Law, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky Jan 2017

Simplexity: Plain Language And The Tax Law, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky

Articles

In recent years, federal government agencies have increasingly attempted to use plain language in written communications with the public. The Plain Writing Act of 2010, for instance, requires agencies to incorporate "clear and simple" explanations of rules and regulations into their official publications. In the tax context, as part of its "customer service" mission, the Internal Revenue Service bears a "duty to explain" the tax law to hundreds of millions of taxpayers who file tax returns each year. Proponents of the plain language movement have heralded this form of communication as leading to simplicity in tax compliance, more equitable access ...


Achieving American Retirement Prosperity By Changing Americans' Thinking About Retirement, Peter H. Huang Jan 2017

Achieving American Retirement Prosperity By Changing Americans' Thinking About Retirement, Peter H. Huang

Articles

There are many decisions that Americans have to make about retirement before, at, and after retirement. For example, Americans have to decide when to start saving for retirement, how much to save, how to invest those savings, when to retire, when to claim social security, and how to take required minimum distributions from 401(k) plans or Individual Retirement Accounts. Different things can go wrong at each of these decisions for different reasons. Many Americans, for various reasons, including insufficient energy, money, motivation, time, and understanding, do no retirement planning. Some Americans do some retirement planning, yet worry they are ...


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 ...


Country By Country Reporting And Corporate Privacy: Some Unanswered Questions, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Dec 2016

Country By Country Reporting And Corporate Privacy: Some Unanswered Questions, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Corporate privacy is an oxymoron. Individuals have a right to privacy, which the Supreme Court has recognized at least since Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Warren and Brandeis’ famous defense of the right to privacy (1890) clearly applied only to individuals, because only individuals have the kind of feelings that are affected by invasions of privacy. Corporations are legal entities, and the concept of privacy does not apply to them, as the Supreme Court held in 1906. Thus, any objection to making corporate tax returns public cannot rest on the right to privacy. In fact, corporate returns were made public in ...


Tax Planning And Policy Drift, Sloan G. Speck Jan 2016

Tax Planning And Policy Drift, Sloan G. Speck

Articles

This Article proposes a framework for analyzing how private-sector legal interpretations influence public policy. Political scientists and legal scholars use the terms “bureaucratic drift” and “legislative drift” to describe how administrative agencies and future legislative coalitions affect public policy enacted by Congress. This Article identifies a third category of policy drift: “planning drift.” Planning drift describes deviations from an enacting legislature’s policy preferences that result from private experts’ interpretations of existing law. After Congress enacts a statute, the first people to interpret and apply the new legislation generally are not regulators or judges, but instead are private experts, such ...


The Social Boundaries Of Corporate Taxation, Sloan G. Speck Jan 2016

The Social Boundaries Of Corporate Taxation, Sloan G. Speck

Articles

Historically, the tax law distinction between corporate and conduit treatment drew primarily on doctrinal understandings, treating state-law corporations as corporate for tax purposes and classifying unincorporated legal entities based on their resemblance to conventional state-law corporations. More recently, commentators and Treasury have abandoned these doctrinal touchstones in favor of efficiency, broadly construed, as the guiding principle in determining an entity’s tax classification. This Article argues that, while important, efficiency considerations should not function as the sole arbiter of the boundary between corporate and conduit tax treatment. First, classical corporate taxation is, in many ways, deeply embedded within a larger ...


Full Circle? The Single Tax Principle, Beps, And The New Us Model, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2016

Full Circle? The Single Tax Principle, Beps, And The New Us Model, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

This paper will argue that while there is some innovation in BEPS, it is in fact more of a continuation that a sharp break with the past. Like Alexis de Tocqueville’s French Revolution, BEPS represents both continuity and change. In particular, the single tax principle has formed the theoretical basis of much of the international tax regime from the beginning. And it is in fact this continuity rather than any sharp change that gives the final BEPS package its promise to, as Secretary General Gurria also promised, “put an end to double non-taxation.”


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 ...


Clean Energy Federalism, Felix Mormann Jan 2015

Clean Energy Federalism, Felix Mormann

Articles

Legal scholarship tends to approach the law and policy of clean energy from an environmental law perspective. As hydraulic fracturing, renewable energy integration, nuclear reactor (re)licensing, transport biofuel mandates, and other energy issues have pushed to the forefront of the environmental law debate, clean energy law has begun to emancipate itself. The emerging literature on clean energy federalism is a symptom of this emancipation. This Article adds to that literature by offering two case studies, a novel model for policy integration, and theoretical insights to elucidate the relationship between environmental federalism and clean energy federalism.

Renewable portfolio standards and ...


Charitable Organization Oversight: Rules V. Standards, Philip Hackney Jan 2015

Charitable Organization Oversight: Rules V. Standards, Philip Hackney

Articles

Congress has traditionally utilized standards as a means of communicating charitable tax law in the Code. In the past fifteen years, however, Congress has increasingly turned to rules to stop fraud and abuse in the charitable sector. I review the rules versus standards debate to evaluate this trend. Are Congressional rules the best method for regulating the charitable sector? While the complex changing nature of charitable purpose would suggest standards are better, the inadequacy of IRS enforcement and the large number of unsophisticated charitable organizations both augur strongly in favor of rules. Congress, however, is not the ideal institution to ...


Taxing The Unheavenly Chorus: Why Section 501(C)(6) Trade Associations Are Undeserving Of Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney Jan 2015

Taxing The Unheavenly Chorus: Why Section 501(C)(6) Trade Associations Are Undeserving Of Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney

Articles

Our federal, state, and local governments provide a subsidy that enhances the political voice of business interests. This article discusses the federal subsidy for business interests provided through the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) and argues why we should end that subsidy. Under the same section that provides exemption from income tax for charitable organizations, the Code also exempts nonprofit organizations classified as “business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues.” Theory supporting tax exemption states that we should subsidize nonprofit organizations that provide goods or services that are undersupplied by the market. A charitable ...


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 ...


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 ...