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Full-Text Articles in Law

Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney Jan 2024

Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney

Articles

Critics are increasingly calling for Congress to remove charity regulation from the IRS. The critics are wrong. Congress should maintain charity regulation in the IRS. What is at stake is balancing power between the state, charity as civil society, and the economic order. In a well-balanced democracy, civil society maintains its independence from the state and the economic order. Removing charitable jurisdiction from the IRS would blind the IRS to dollars placed in charitable solution increasing tax and political shelters and wealthy dominance of charities as civil society. A new agency without understanding of, or jurisdiction over, tax cannot act …


Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Growth Of The Tax-Exempt Sector And The Impact On The American Political Landscape (U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee On Oversight, December 13, 2023), Philip Hackney Dec 2023

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Growth Of The Tax-Exempt Sector And The Impact On The American Political Landscape (U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee On Oversight, December 13, 2023), Philip Hackney

Testimony

In written testimony before the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight on December 13, 2023, Professor Hackney emphasized three points about tax-exempt organizations and politics: (1) a diverse nonprofit sector that fosters civic participation and engagement is a gem of the United States -- we should maintain that; (2) the IRS budget for Exempt Organizations continues to NOT be sufficient to ensure the laws are equally and fairly enforced; and (3) there are simple things the IRS could do to enforce the law that it is not doing.


Public Good Through Charter Schools?, Philip Hackney Jan 2023

Public Good Through Charter Schools?, Philip Hackney

Articles

Should nonprofit charter schools be considered “charitable” under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be entitled to the benefits that go with that designation (income tax exemption, charitable contribution deduction, etc.)? Current tax law treats them as such; the question is whether there is a good rationale for this treatment. In addition to efficiency and equity, I consider political justice as a value in evaluating tax policy. By political justice, I mean a democratic system that prioritizes the opportunity for more people to have a voice in collective decisions (political voice equality or PVE). Thus, a tax policy …


A More Capacious Concept Of Church, Philip Hackney, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2023

A More Capacious Concept Of Church, Philip Hackney, Samuel D. Brunson

Articles

United States tax law provides churches with extra benefits and robust protection from IRS enforcement actions. Churches and religious organizations are automatically exempt from the income tax without needing to apply to be so recognized and without needing to file a tax return. Beyond that, churches are protected from audit by stringent procedures. There are good reasons to consider providing a distance between church and state, including the state tax authority. In many instances, Congress granted churches preferential tax treatment to try to avoid excess entanglement between church and state, though that preferential treatment often just shifts the locus of …


Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Laws And Enforcement Governing The Political Activities Of Tax-Exempt Entities (U.S. Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee On Taxation And Irs Oversight, May 4, 2022), Philip Hackney May 2022

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Laws And Enforcement Governing The Political Activities Of Tax-Exempt Entities (U.S. Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee On Taxation And Irs Oversight, May 4, 2022), Philip Hackney

Testimony

Are tax laws and IRS enforcement up to the task of overseeing the tax issues associated with the political activities of tax-exempt organizations? Though the tax laws governing the tax-exempt realm are wanting, our overall legal structure is not bad. It is justifiable at least. Where we fall down as a nation in this space is in the enforcement. We do not allocate enough resources to this arena, and we do not institutionally offer the support necessary to enforce these laws. These failures do not favor one party over the other but favor those interests in the country with the …


Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis Apr 2022

Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis

Faculty Publications

Tax has a choice problem. At all stages of the making of tax, choice plays a role. Lawmakers consider how tax will impact the range and appeal of choices available to an individual. Scholars critique how tax may drive an individual toward or away from a given choice. Courts craft stories of how an individual had either free or deeply constrained choice, using their perception of the facts to guide their interpretation of tax law. And yet for all the seeming relevance of choice to tax, we have no clear definition of what we mean when we talk about choice …


The Intergenerational Equity Case For A Wealth Tax, Daniel Schaffa Mar 2022

The Intergenerational Equity Case For A Wealth Tax, Daniel Schaffa

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Intergenerational equity is commonly set aside in favor of other policy objectives, perhaps because of the extreme challenges inherent in adopting and applying an intergenerational equity normative framework. Even when there is a near consensus that the choices of today will have substantial costs in the future, these costs are often downplayed or disregarded. This Article asks whether there are measures that might offer redress to a generation for the costs imposed on it by its predecessors and finds that a one-time wealth tax is a promising option. Although its analysis applies more generally, this Article focuses on the widely …


Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Donor Disclosure And Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents (Pennsylvania House Of Representatives, State Government Committee, February 7. 2022), Philip Hackney Feb 2022

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Donor Disclosure And Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents (Pennsylvania House Of Representatives, State Government Committee, February 7. 2022), Philip Hackney

Testimony

The following is written testimony provided to the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee for a hearing entitled Donor Disclosure and Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents held on February 7, 2022. In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta struck down as facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment a law in California requiring charities soliciting donations in the state of California to disclose substantial donors identified on Schedule B to the IRS Form 990. The Form 990 is the information tax return nonprofits must file annually to maintain their tax-exempt status. Schedule B collects …


Disabusing The Tax Aid Narrative: What Inter-National Tax Equity Really Means For "Poor" Countries And How To (Re)Frame It, Okanga Ogbu Okanga Jan 2022

Disabusing The Tax Aid Narrative: What Inter-National Tax Equity Really Means For "Poor" Countries And How To (Re)Frame It, Okanga Ogbu Okanga

PhD Dissertations

International tax regimes (e.g., the “double taxation regime”) are created by states with competing tax jurisdiction to coordinate their tax rules and, specifically, to address common efficiency problems like international double taxation. In developing such regimes, states attempt to balance competing tax policy priorities: efficiency, administrability, and equity. This work engages with equity, as a policy norm of international tax (inter-national tax equity). It is my thesis that the framing/articulation of inter-national tax equity suffers from a narrative problem that, perhaps, stems from its apparent conceptual unclarity and multifarious usage. This narrative problem is most evident in the articulation of …


May I Pay More? Lessons From Jarrett For Blockchain Tax Policy, Amanda Parsons Jan 2022

May I Pay More? Lessons From Jarrett For Blockchain Tax Policy, Amanda Parsons

Publications

In this article, Parsons examines Jarrett, t in which the taxpayers argue that blockchain reward tokens should be included in income only upon sale or exchange (a position that would raise their tax bills), and she explores why they sought this treatment and what implications it holds for policymakers trying to develop a tax regime for blockchain activities.


The Common Sense Of A Wealth Tax: Thomas Paine & Taxation As Freedom From Aristocracy, Jeremy Bearer-Friend, Vanessa Williamson Jan 2022

The Common Sense Of A Wealth Tax: Thomas Paine & Taxation As Freedom From Aristocracy, Jeremy Bearer-Friend, Vanessa Williamson

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

Thomas Paine’s writing helped spur the American colonies to independence and ensure that the new nation would be a republic, not a monarchy. In light of the renewed interest in wealth taxes, this article provides a close examination of Thomas Paine’s wealth tax proposal in the second volume of The Rights of Man. Unlike Paine’s proposal to tax inheritances, his 1792 proposal to tax wealth on an annual basis is often overlooked. The article identifies Paine’s various design specifications, provides original estimates of the impact of Paine’s wealth tax proposal within his own time period and as applied to billionaires …


Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis Jan 2022

Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis

FIU Law Review

Tax has a choice problem. At all stages of the making of tax, choice plays a role. Lawmakers consider how tax will impact the range and appeal of choices available to an individual. Scholars critique how tax may drive an individual toward or away from a given choice. Courts craft stories of how an individual had either free or deeply constrained choice, using their perception of the facts to guide their interpretation of tax law. And yet for all the seeming relevance of choice to tax, we have no clear definition of what we mean when we talk about choice …


Can Blockchain Revolutionize Tax Administration?, Orly Sulami Mazur Jan 2022

Can Blockchain Revolutionize Tax Administration?, Orly Sulami Mazur

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Experts predict that the use of smart contracts and other applications of blockchain technology could revolutionize the manner in which we do business. Blockchain technology promises the elimination of middlemen, increased trust and transparency, and improved access to shared information and records. Thus, it is no surprise that companies and entrepreneurs are developing blockchain solutions for an array of markets, ranging from real estate to health care. But can this new technology revolutionize tax administration?

This Article is the first to consider blockchain technology’s role in addressing the shortcomings of our current administration system— namely, a large tax gap, high …


Do Gilti + Beat + Bmt = Globe?, Mindy Herzfeld Jan 2022

Do Gilti + Beat + Bmt = Globe?, Mindy Herzfeld

UF Law Faculty Publications

The enactment by the United States in August 2022 of a minimum tax on the global book earnings of large corporations (the book minimum tax, or BMT) raises the question of how the US minimum taxes – including the global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI), the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (the BEAT) and the BMT – interact with the global minimum tax, or GloBE, agreed to by over 135 countries under an OECD framework. Particularly important are questions regarding the hierarchy in application of different regimes. In the context of multiple agreements for global minimum taxes, how to determine who …


Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2021

Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

International Tax Law has extensive ramifications on the wealth gap between wealthy developed nations and poor developing nations. This divide in prosperity has been made clear again in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing nations are currently ill-equipped to adapt to, and regulate, an equitable system of taxation on a domestic level. A further challenge is the difficulty of ensuring that foreign investors, especially multinational corporations, are able to comply with tax regulations. Developed nations such as the United States and members of the European Union must continue to work with developing nations to reduce tax evasion and …


A Different Unified Approach To Global Tax Policy: Addressing The Challenges Of Underdevelopment, Tarcisio Magalhaes, Ivan Ozai Jan 2021

A Different Unified Approach To Global Tax Policy: Addressing The Challenges Of Underdevelopment, Tarcisio Magalhaes, Ivan Ozai

Articles & Book Chapters

Experts from the North have long tried to teach countries in the South how to tax. For decades, they assumed the main challenges were domestic and there was a right answer to be found somewhere in the developed world that could be replicated everywhere else. Only more recently have they dedicated more attention to the international realm, yet their solutions remain tied to technical rules designed by a few specialists, as exemplified by the OECD Secretariat’s “Unified Approach” for the taxation of the digital economy. From a critical and historical socio-legal perspective, this Article argues that such technocratic approaches are …


Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney Jan 2021

Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney

Articles

The IRS ended a long-time practice of requiring most nonprofits to disclose substantial donor names and addresses on the nonprofit annual tax return. It is largely seen as a battle over campaign finance rather than tax enforcement. Two of the nonprofits involved, social welfare organizations and business leagues, are referred to as “dark money” organizations because they allow individuals to influence elections while maintaining donor anonymity. Many in the campaign finance community are concerned that this change means wealthy donors can avoid campaign finance laws and have no reason to fear being discovered. In this Article, I focus on whether …


A Response To Calls For Sec Mandated Esg Disclosure, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2021

A Response To Calls For Sec Mandated Esg Disclosure, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article responds to recent proposals calling for the SEC to adopt a mandatory ESG-disclosure framework. It illustrates how the breadth and vagueness of these proposals obscures the important--and controversial-- policy questions that would need to be addressed before the SEC could move forward on the proposals in a principled way. The questions raised include some of the most contested in the field of corporate and securities law, such as the value of interjurisdictional competition for corporate charters, the right way to conceptualize the purpose of the corporation, the proper allocation of managerial power as between the board and shareholders, …


Taxing Buybacks, Gregg Polsky, Daniel J. Hemel Jan 2021

Taxing Buybacks, Gregg Polsky, Daniel J. Hemel

Scholarly Works

A recent rise in the volume of corporate share repurchases has prompted calls for changes to the rules governing stock buybacks. These calls for reform are animated by concerns that buybacks enrich corporate executives at the expense of productive investment. This emerging antibuyback movement includes prominent politicians as well as academics and Republicans as well as Democrats. The primary focus of buyback critics has been on securities-law changes to deter repurchases, with only passing mention of potential tax-law solutions. This Article critically examines the policy arguments against buybacks and arrives at a mixed verdict. On the one hand, claims that …


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 …


Taxes As Pandemic Controls, Ashley C. Craig, James R. Hines Jr. Dec 2020

Taxes As Pandemic Controls, Ashley C. Craig, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

Tax policy can play important roles in limiting the spread of communicable disease and in managing the economic fallout of a pandemic. Taxes on business activities that bring workers or customers into close contact with each other offer efficient alternatives to broad regulatory measures, such as shutdowns, that have been effective but enormously costly. Corrective taxation also helps raise the revenue required to cover elevated government expenditure during a pandemic. Moreover, the restricted consumer choice that accompanies a pandemic reduces the welfare cost of raising tax revenue from higher-income taxpayers, making it a good time for deficit closure. Current U.S. …


Portrait Of A Tax Transplant Artist, Kim Brooks Jul 2020

Portrait Of A Tax Transplant Artist, Kim Brooks

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

This article explores the process of norm migration through the study of one tax expert, Victor Thuronyi. It situates the literature on the role of experts in tax norm migration and identifies core themes and gaps in the tax transplant literature; explores five themes, connected to the literature on the role of tax experts and tax transplants, that arise from a study of Victor Thuronyi’s contributions to tax transplantation; and concludes with some reflections on the benefits and challenges of having highly specialized, non-insider tax experts engaged in the exercise of drafting tax laws.


Into The "Vortex Of Legal Precision": Access To Justice, Complexity, And The Canadian Tax System, Colin Jackson May 2020

Into The "Vortex Of Legal Precision": Access To Justice, Complexity, And The Canadian Tax System, Colin Jackson

PhD Dissertations

This thesis is an exploration of access to justice issues in the Canadian tax system. Drawing on the work of Roderick Macdonald, it argues for a broad conception of access to justice based on the empowerment of individuals in all of the sites, processes, institutions where law is made, administered, and applied. It argues that tax law shows the usefulness of this comprehensive approach to access to justice. Using the comprehensive approach to access to justice, the thesis goes on to argue that legal complexity should be seen as an important access to justice issue in tax law. It lays …


Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The COVID-19 Pandemic already feels like a historical turning point akin to Word Wars I and II and the Great Depression. It may signal the end of the second period of globalization (1980-2020) and a change in the relative positions of the US and China. It could also lead in the US to significant changes in tax policy designed to bolster the social safety net which was revealed as very porous during the pandemic. In what follows I will first discuss some short-term effects of the pandemic and then some potential longer-term effects on US tax policy.


A Constitutional Wealth Tax, Ari Glogower Apr 2020

A Constitutional Wealth Tax, Ari Glogower

Michigan Law Review

Policymakers and scholars are giving serious consideration to a federal wealth tax. Wealth taxation could address the harms from rising economic inequality, promote equality of social and economic opportunity, and raise the revenue needed to fund critical government programs. These reasons for taxing wealth may not matter, however, if a federal wealth tax is unconstitutional.

Scholars debate whether a tax on a wealth base (a “traditional wealth tax”) would be a “direct tax” subject to apportionment among the states by population. This Article argues, in contrast, that this possible constitutional restriction on a traditional wealth tax may not matter. If …


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 bear a large fraction of …


A Taxing Feminism, Anthony C. Infanti, Bridget J. Crawford Jan 2020

A Taxing Feminism, Anthony C. Infanti, Bridget J. Crawford

Book Chapters

Feminist perspectives are not new to tax law. The first academic piece bringing a feminist perspective to bear on tax law dates to the early 1970s, when Grace Blumberg published “Sexism in the Code: A Comparative Study of Income Taxation of Working Wives and Mothers.” Contemporaneously, none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg (along with her tax lawyer husband Marty Ginsburg) brought a feminist perspective to bear on tax law when she argued Moritz v. Commissioner before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, as depicted in the movie On the Basis of Sex. Since then, numerous other contributions have been …


Tax Policy And Our Democracy, Clinton G. Wallace Jan 2020

Tax Policy And Our Democracy, Clinton G. Wallace

Michigan Law Review

Review of Anthony C. Infanti's Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform That Mirrors Our Better Selves.


The Ethical Tax Judge, Kim Brooks Jan 2020

The Ethical Tax Judge, Kim Brooks

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

This chapter advances the claim that judges have an ethical obligation of competence that requires them to enhance their knowledge about language (in the context of statutory interpretation) and income tax law design and policy. It articulates some of the foundational understandings that support that competence and provides a simple hierarchy of approaches to interpreting income tax law. It concludes by contending that greater competence is not only more ethical but also advances other important societal goals fulfilled by the imposition of income tax systems.


Taxing Residential Solar, Gregg Polsky, Ethan Yale Jan 2020

Taxing Residential Solar, Gregg Polsky, Ethan Yale

Scholarly Works

Residential solar systems are becoming commonplace in many regions of the United States. Use of such systems raises issues in tax doctrine and policy that are not well appreciated and have not yet been systematically analyzed. The goals of this article are threefold: (1) to identify the main issues and to organize them into a coherent framework, (2) to analyze the doctrinal and policy ramifications of present law, and (3) to suggest improvements to present law.