TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sex And Gender On The Christian Campus

MoodyNew York Times op-ed:  Sex and Gender on the Christian Campus, by Molly Worthen (North Carolina):

The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago seems like the last place in which to expect a scandal over Title IX.

Moody is one of the most conservative Christian colleges in the country, and Title IX’s authority is diminished these days. Last year, the White House rescinded the Obama administration’s stricter enforcement of the federal law against sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal financial aid. Moreover, under President Trump, the Justice Department seems disinclined to challenge conservative Christians’ insistence that the First Amendment exempts their institutions from the full force of anti-discrimination laws.

Yet recent events at Moody show that religious freedom does more than protect the dissenting views of minority groups — it encourages members of those groups to fight vigorously among themselves. In January, a former Moody communications instructor named Janay Garrick filed a suit in Federal District Court. She accused Moody of “discrimination and retaliation,” charging that the school fired her for such insubordinate acts as helping female students file Title IX complaints about the pastoral ministry program, which was then restricted to men and still excludes women from some parts of the major. She also counseled lesbian and transgender students and collected the testimonies of female students who reported sexual assaults and harassment, according to court documents. (Moody declined to comment.)

Moody, like many evangelical and fundamentalist schools, adheres to a “complementarian” theology of gender — meaning that God created men and women for separate, complementary roles in family and church life. “If a church or parachurch organization has no watchdog and will do as it will under religious freedom, and women are pulled down a slope, and told they can’t understand or handle religious texts, and they’re being harassed and raped, then our Christian liberty has gone too far,” Ms. Garrick told me.

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June 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list, with some reshuffling of the order of the papers within the Top 5:

  1. [277 Downloads]  The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, by Michael Graetz (Columbia)
  2. [229 Downloads]  IRC Section 678 and the Beneficiary Deemed Owner Trust (BDOT), by Edwin Morrow
  3. [217 Downloads]  Higher Education Savings and Planning: Tax and Nontax Considerations, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  4. [215 Downloads]  The New U.S. Tax Preference for 'Foreign-Derived Intangible Income', by Chris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania)
  5. [169 Downloads]  Code Sec. 1031 after the 2017 Tax Act, by Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

June 10, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

TorontoToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2018 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Toronto (program here):

Comparative Perspectives on Taxation I (Diane Ring (Boston College), Chair/Discussant)

  • Bradley Bryan (University of Victoria), The Evolution of First Nation Taxation in Canada: From Exemption to Governance after Bastien Estate v Canada
  • Carl MacArthur (Western Ontario), Re-Thinking Tax Professional Privilege in Canada
  • Theodore Seto (Loyola-L.A.), Modeling Changes in U.S. International Tax Rules

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June 9, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Simkovic: Law Schools Should Not Pressure Their Students To Go Into Low-Paying Public Service Jobs

Michael Simkovic (USC), Should Law Schools Pressure Their Students to Go Into Low Paid, Thankless Public Service Jobs?:

recent report by a Harvard law school alumnus, Pete Davis, points out that law schools like Harvard serve the interests of wealthy elites by training primarily future corporate lawyers. (See also here). This is consistent with the available evidence on graduates’ employment, notwithstanding widely publicized—and dubious—claims of law schools being liberal or left-leaning.  

Whether or not this is a problem, and whether schools like Harvard should try to do a better job of training future business lawyers or try to steer their students away from business law, is a matter for debate. Davis appears to believe that business lawyers are incapable of serving important collective interests of society—or at least do not do as good of a job as public sector lawyers. According to Davis, law schools therefore have an obligation to discourage students from pursuing careers in business law.

My view is that the path toward resuscitating the public sector will entail convincing the American people to collectively share the burdens of civilization by voting for higher taxes and higher pay for public servants. Until public servants are paid fairly, no one but the very wealthy should feel any obligation to work in the public sector or encourage their students to do so. ...

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June 9, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

ABA Moves To Consolidate Accreditation Lawsuits By Three InfiLaw Schools In Multidistrict Litigation

ACFLaw.com, Defending For-Profit Law School Suits, ABA Pushes for Multidistrict Litigation:

The American Bar Association has asked a federal panel to consolidate three accreditation lawsuits filed against it last month by InfiLaw and its for-profit law schools.

The suits, focused on the ABA’s sanctions against Florida Coastal School of Law, the now-closed Charlotte School of Law, and Arizona Summit Law School, raise nearly identical issues, according to a motion filed May 30 by the ABA to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Allowing the suits to proceed independently risks district courts reaching inconsistent rulings on how the ABA accredits law schools, according to the motion. That, in turn, would throw the ABA’s accreditation activities into chaos.

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June 9, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Speck Reviews Konrad's The Market For Corporate Tax Avoidance Advice

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado) reviews a new work by Kai A. Konrad (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance), Dynamics of the Market for Corporate Tax-Avoidance Advice (2018).

Speck (2017)Kai Konrad’s outstanding paper, Dynamics of the Market for Corporate Tax-Avoidance Advice, advances a formal economic model that explores the interactions between private-sector experts and public administrators in the struggle over tax compliance. In broad brush, these interactions are familiar: first, expert tax advisors develop a new tax-avoidance technique, which they sell to clients. Then, other advisors learn of and copy the technique, and avoidance runs rampant. Finally, outraged legislators or regulators shut down the technique. Tax shelters are born in obscurity, enter a promiscuous adolescence, and die young—the James Deans of the Internal Revenue Code. One of Konrad’s principal innovations is to explicitly model the delay between the promulgation of a particular tax avoidance technique and its denouement through government intervention. For virtually all reasonable delays, Konrad’s model yields “a permanent innovation/regulation loop”—stable equilibria with cycles of private-sector tax avoidance (ranging from moderate to obscene) and public-sector crackdowns (which may absorb significant resources). Both periods impose potentially significant social costs, which reinforces how pernicious tax avoidance likely is.

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June 8, 2018 in Scholarship, Sloan Speck, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

The Contextual Problem Of Law Schools

Eli Wald (Denver), The Contextual Problem of Law Schools, 32 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y ___ (2018):

Law schools have a contextual problem. They teach law universally, ignoring context. Through a traditional curriculum that has changed relatively little in over a century, law schools advance a universal approach to professionalism and professional identity preparing law students to enter a homogenous legal profession in which lawyers practice law performing similar tasks in similar practice settings representing similar clients. Except that unlike legal education, the practice of law has grown immensely complex and diverse over time. Far from universal, law practice and lawyers have become richly contextual. Context now matters in the practice of law: client identity, lawyer identity, tasks, subject matters and status inform and shape what lawyers do and their exercise of professional judgment. Law schools’ disregard of context thus constitutes a significant problem as it misleads students and fails to adequately prepare them for the practice of law.

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June 8, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

TorontoToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2018 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Toronto (program here):

Competing Goals of Tax Policy (Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh), Chair/Discussant)

  • Rory Gillis (Toronto), The Law and Political Economy of Tax Point Transfers
  • Ari Glogower (Ohio State), An Egalitarian Basic Income
  • Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Hurricanes and the Uninsured: Another Blow to the Middle Class
  • Camille Walsh (Washington), Race and Residency: Tuition and State Taxes in the 1960s

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June 8, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Colloquium Speakers At Top 50 Universities: 69% Male, 31% Female

Christine Nittrouer (Rice), Michelle Hebl (Rice), Leslie Ashburn-Nardo (Indiana), Rachel C. E. Trump-Steele (Rice), David Lane (Rice) & Virginia Valian (Hunter Colege), Gender Disparities in Colloquium Speakers at Top Universities:

Colloquium talks at prestigious universities both create and reflect academic researchers’ reputations. Gender disparities in colloquium talks can arise through a variety of mechanisms. The current study examines gender differences in colloquium speakers at 50 prestigious US colleges and universities in 2013–2014. Using archival data, we analyzed 3,652 talks in six academic disciplines. Men were more likely than women to be colloquium speakers even after controlling for the gender and rank of the available speakers.

Colloquia

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June 8, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Walmart Sues Former Head Of Tax For Jumping To Amazon

Amazon walmartBloomberg, Walmart Sues Its Former Head of Tax for Jumping to Amazon:

Walmart sued its former chief tax officer for violating her employment agreement by defecting to online rival Amazon, the latest broadside in the slugfest between the two retail giants.

Lisa Wadlin, Walmart’s senior vice president and top tax executive, wrongfully left the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain last month to move to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Walmart officials said Wednesday in a lawsuit. They’re seeking to stop Wadlin from taking the Amazon position until May 2020 and bar her from handing over “sensitive business information obtained at Walmart.”

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June 8, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools Are Failing Students of Color

The NationThe Nation, Law Schools Are Failing Students of Color:

Higher debt and lower employment rates create a “justice gap” that’s nearly impossible to escape.

Law school applications are up this year in what some are calling a “Trump bump,” since around a third of applicants were inspired to apply by Trump’s election. Nearly half of them identify themselves as members of a minority group. They’ve seen lawyers fighting Trump administration policies that discriminate against their communities and want to do the same. If these minority applicants succeed, they could change the balance of power in American society. If they fail, they will find themselves crushed under a lifetime of debt. But few are aware that they are taking this enormous gamble in a rigged game.

On average, minority students end up in lower-ranked law schools, which they pay more to attend than white students, resulting in higher debt burdens. Minority law graduates have lower bar-exam-passage rates, employment rates, and income levels. Given the intense competition for paid social-justice positions, few of them will end up in careers where they can support themselves while fighting for the ideals that brought them to law school in the first place.

Legal education has failed and will continue to fail minorities. This shouldn’t be surprising, since the entire American system of restricting admission to the practice of law has long been designed, explicitly or implicitly, to exclude minorities. Nowadays, of course, minorities are no longer simply prohibited from entering law school. Instead, the system loads many of them with staggering debt before killing their hopes, leaving them hanging from the very bootstraps they had hoped to use to rise. ...

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June 8, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Stephen Presser's Love Letter To Law Professors: 'We Are All Multicultural Progressives Now'

PresserJesse Merriam (Loyola), Stephen Presser's Love Letter to the Law, in Five Parts, 33 Const. Comment. 71 (2018) (reviewing Stephen B. Presser (Northwestern), Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law (West 2016)):

This book on law professors, Stephen Presser writes in the Preface, is a “love letter to the teaching of law” (p. v). But this is no mere “love letter.” The twenty-four chapters read more like a break-up letter, sounding with each successive chapter the ominous tone of a betrayed lover—more like Søren Kierkegaard’s regretful reflections on losing Regine Olsen to a more decisive suitor, and less like Kierkegaard’s earlier romantic confessions of adoration for Regine. Reading Law Professors, one gets the impression that, like Kierkegaard, Presser is writing his love letter with some bitterness, recalling the halcyon days of the legal academy when it was more insulated from the mass and welter of partisan politics.

Like all love letters contemplating the future of the relationship, Law Professors is essentially about change and loss, making it ideal for a course on social movements and legal change. These themes are all the more serious, given Presser’s prominent academic status, holding joint appointments at Northwestern University and having authored several casebooks—ranging from corporate law, to legal history, to constitutional law and theory—as well as two important, and controversial, books arguing for a reconsideration of various areas of constitutional law. Presser’s recent move to emeritus status gives this tome on law professors an even heavier tone, the ruminations of a legal giant on his thirty-plus years of experience in the legal academy.

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June 7, 2018 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Givati: Optimal IRS And SEC Whistleblower Rewards

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Of Snitches and Riches: Optimal IRS and SEC Whistleblower Rewards, 55 Harv. J. on Legis. 105 (2018):

The past decade has seen a dramatic shift in the enforcement of tax and securities laws, from an almost exclusive reliance on designated agents for the detection of violations of these laws, to a great reliance on whistleblowers, driven by the desire to obtain a reward. This shift has led to the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in whistleblower rewards by the IRS and the SEC in recent years. Although legal scholars have devoted much attention to this shift in law enforcement, this literature has failed to explore one central question relating to the use of whistleblower rewards: How much should the IRS and the SEC pay whistleblowers? This Article fills this gap in the literature by developing a new economic model to capture the deterrent effect of whistleblower rewards.

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June 7, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Board May Fire Southern Illinois President Today After Email Seeking To Shut Up Faculty 'Bitchers' Who Object To Transfer Of Funds From Carbondale To Edwardsville Campus

BitchersInside Higher Ed, A Coarse Email and a Likely Ouster:

After email about strategy to "shut up the bitchers" on the faculty, Southern Illinois University's system president appears likely to be placed on leave. He expresses surprise at the plan.

The board of the Southern Illinois University System has scheduled a special meeting of its Executive Committee for Friday.

The agenda states that the committee will meet in closed session, followed by an open session. The agenda for the open meeting includes only two items: "administrative leave of president" and "appointment of acting president."

Randy Dunn, the president, is listed in the document as among those who would receive the agenda. He told the Chicago Tribune that he had no plans for a leave, saying that the meeting “was not called in consultation with me or with my knowledge ahead of time.” He added that he would be "talking to my representation and seeing what I can find out."

Dunn has faced several controversies while leading the system, but support for him has deteriorated since an email he wrote to senior administrators was revealed to be urging them to help him “shut up the bitchers from Carbondale.”

The tensions with Carbondale, the larger of the two main campuses in the SIU system, come from a plan by Dunn and others to shift more than $5 million from its annual state appropriation to the smaller but growing Edwardsville campus.

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June 7, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tax Evasion And Illicit Cigarettes In California

James E. Prieger (Pepperdine) & Jonathan Kulick (NYU), Tax Evasion and Illicit Cigarettes in California: Part I – Survey Evidence on Current Behavior:

Data from a novel online survey of 5,000 English-speaking adult cigarette smokers in California in advance of a recent increase in the state’s cigarette excise tax indicate that slightly more than one-quarter of that population engaged in some legal tax-avoiding behavior in the previous month, while nearly one-fifth illegally evaded taxes. (The two behaviors overlapped substantially.) Candor-inducing indirect questioning via the item count technique substantially increased those figures. Smokers who roll their own cigarettes, e-cigarette users, younger smokers, and those with more income and education are all more likely to engage in at least some of the suspect market behaviors examined. There is a much lower incidence of counterfeit product and sales of single cigarettes.

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June 7, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Today's Law, Society & Taxation Panels

TorontoToday's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2018 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Toronto (program here):

Compliance, Transparency, and Tax Planning (Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama), Chair/ Discussant)

  • Kim Brooks (Dalhousie), Comparative Statutory Interpretation
  • Heather Field (UC-Hastings), Tax Lawyers as Tax Insurance 
  • Katerina Pantazatou (Luxembourg), Tax Avoidance and Corporate Governance: Duties and Liabilities
  • Diane Ring (Boston College) & Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College), The Transparency-Privacy Wars 

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June 7, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Galle: Grand Canyon University’s Misleading Non-Profit Status

GCUBrian Galle (Georgetown), Grand Canyon University’s Misleading Response to My Testimony:

Last week, on May 23, I testified at a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Institutional Quality and Integrity (“NACIQI”). Among my remarks were comments on what I described as the erroneous grant of nonprofit status to a new “charity,” Grand Canyon University. Following that testimony, GCU has issued a press release claiming that I misstated the facts and law related to its exemption application. GCU’s release is, as best I can tell, wrong in almost every respect. ...

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June 7, 2018 in IRS News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law School Leadership And Leadership Development For Developing Lawyers

Louis D. Bilionis (Cincinnati), Law School Leadership and Leadership Development for Developing Lawyers, 58 Santa Clara L. Rev. ___ (2018):

A growing number of legal educators are calling for greater attention to leadership development as an element of legal education at American law schools. Some make the case directly in the name of leadership education. Others see leadership development as part of a broader law school responsibility to provide purposeful support for students in the formation of their professional identity. For yet others, development of leadership skills figures in a law school’s appropriate commitment to the professionalism, professional development, or wellness of its students. These educators, though employing different locutions, constitute a “coalition of the willing” – law school faculty and staff who are adopting innovations to help advance their students in their development as professionals.They are promoting, at bottom, the same fundamental innovation: the institution of purposeful, more systematic educational effort by the law school to support each student’s formation of professional identity and purpose.

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June 7, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Expressive Theory of Tax

Kitty Richards, An Expressive Theory of Tax, 27 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 301 (2017):

The tax code is full of ineffective, inefficient, inequitable, or otherwise problematic provisions that make little sense when evaluated through the lens of traditional tax policy analysis, yet remain popular with citizens and legislators alike. The tax literature is equally full of carefully-researched, technically precise, and theoretically sound proposals for reform that nonetheless fail to get traction in the public debate. Why?

What tax scholarship is missing is the importance of social meaning: what do our tax laws say about our society’s values, and how is taxation being used to construct cultural ideals in contested spaces?

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June 7, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Facilitating Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools

Patrick Gaughan (Akron), Facilitating Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools, 16 U.N.H. L. Rev. 243 (2018):

Despite the widely recognized challenges and complaints facing U.S. legal education, very little is understood about how law schools can adapt faster and better. This Article uses institutional theory, behavioral economics, and psychology to explain why change has proven so difficult for U.S. law schools. Next, using institutional entrepreneurship, the Article explains the theoretical steps necessary to overcome the institutional resistance to change. The Article then discusses the characteristics of opportunities that are most likely to better meet the needs of law students while also providing sustainable benefits to the individually innovating law schools. Using management theory, the Article then proposes a seven-step change process model to enable individual law schools to systematically overcome institutional resistance, formulate unique strategies, and actually achieve meaningful change.

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June 6, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hemel & Kamin: The False Promise Of Presidential Indexation

Daniel Hemel (Chicago) & David Kamin (NYU), The False Promise of Presidential Indexation:

The Trump administration faces mounting pressure from conservative thinkers and activists—including calls from its own National Economic Council director—to promulgate a Treasury regulation that indexes capital gains for inflation. Proponents of such a move—which is sometimes called “presidential indexation”—make three principal arguments in favor of the proposal: (1) that inflation indexing would be an economic boon; (2) that the President and his Treasury Department have legal authority to implement inflation indexing without further congressional authorization; and (3) that in any event, it is unlikely that anyone would have standing to challenge such an action in court. This article evaluates the proponents’ three arguments and concludes that all are faulty.

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June 6, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Advice For Two-Lawyer Couples From Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Marty Ginsburg

RBGFollowing up on my previous post, 'Marty Was Always My Best Friend': Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Love Story: National Law Journal, Lawyering in Two-Lawyer Households: Balancing Brief-Writing and Bedtime:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a pathmaker, a cultural icon known as “The Notorious R.B.G.” The Supreme Court justice was a law student when women constituted only 3 percent of lawyers in the United States and co-founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and the leading advocate for gender equality.

Any one of these trailblazing achievements would be enough to explain why Ginsburg is a hero in my home—and why my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter has the T-shirts to prove it. But Ginsburg is a legal waypaver for another reason: While I do not have the data to support this hunch, I would guess that Justice Ginsburg and her late husband Marty Ginsburg were among the first two-lawyer families in the bar. Their story provides inspiration to today’s two-lawyer families. And boy do we need it.

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June 6, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Republican Congressman Leads Fight To Repeal New College Endowment Tax

Inside Higher Ed, Taking on the College Endowment Tax:

Bradley Byrne came to the U.S. Congress after a stint as the leader of Alabama’s community college system. But the Republican's signature higher education bill so far backs a priority of many private institutions: the repeal of a new tax on college endowments.

Byrne says the legislation, which he co-authored with Representative John Delaney, a Maryland Democrat, reflects his view on the proper role of the federal government in higher education.

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June 6, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

2018 ABA New Law School Deans Conference

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)Last year, I attended the 2017 ABA New Deans Conference after being a dean all of six days.  This year, I have the honor (with Lyrissa Lidsky (Missouri)) of addressing two dozen new law school deans at the 2018 conference about what we have learned about this job over the past twelve months.  The conference is a technology-free zone, so unfortunately I cannot play George Washington's words in One Last Times from Hamilton

I wanna talk about what I have learned
The hard-won wisdom I have earned ...

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration,
I am unconscious of intentional error,
I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects
not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.

The hope that my [law school] will view them with indulgence;
And that after [one year] of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal
The faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion.

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June 6, 2018 in Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

McGovern & Brewer: 2017 Federal Income Tax Developments

ABA Tax LawyerBruce A. McGovern (South Texas) & Cassady V. Brewer (Georgia State), Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation: The Year 2017, 71 Tax Law. ___ (2018) (139 pages):

These materials discuss as well as provide context to understand the significance of the most important judicial decisions and administrative rulings and regulations promulgated by the Service and Treasury during 2017. Amendments to the Code generally are not discussed except to the extent that they are of major significance, they have led to administrative rulings and regulations, or they have affected previously issued rulings and regulations otherwise covered by these materials. These materials focus primarily on topics of broad general interest — income tax accounting rules, determination of gross income, allowable deductions, treatment of capital gains and losses, corporate and partnership taxation, exempt organizations, and procedure and penalties.

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June 6, 2018 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Twitter Thread: When Are Associate Professors Ready To Go Up For Full Professor?

From Susan M. Dynarski (Michigan):

Dynarski

June 6, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gamage & Shanske: Why (And How) States Should Tax The Repatriation

David Gamage (Indiana) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Why (and How) States Should Tax the Repatriation, 88 State Tax Notes 317 (Apr. 23, 2018):

This essay analyzes how U.S. state tax laws should treat the repatriation income generated by the 2017 federal tax legislation.

June 6, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Chipotle Headquarters Move From Colorado To California Exposes Myth Of The Impact Of State Taxes On Decisionmaking

ChipotleLos Angeles Times:  The Myth About High State Taxes, by Michael Hiltzig:

Chipotle Mexican Grill provided its new chief executive, Brian Niccol, with the usual blandishments when it recruited him from Taco Bell back in February, including $3 million in guaranteed salary and bonus, another $1-million bonus upfront and $5 million in stock-based incentives.

But the best perk may have been the one not disclosed by the company until May 23: It’s moving its headquarters from Denver, where it’s been located for 25 years, to Newport Beach. ...

But it looks more like a personal gift to Niccol, who lives in Newport Beach. In fact, the relocation may even allow him to improve on the 20-minute commute he suffered through when he was CEO of Taco Bell, which is headquartered all the way over in Irvine. And he won’t have to uproot his family, which includes three school-age kids. That said, Chipotle’s relocation will cause countervailing problems for many of its 400 employees in Denver and New York offices, which will be closed. ...

But the really interesting aspect of Chipotle’s headquarters relocation is how it illuminates what goes into a major corporate decision. Among other things, it gives the lie to all that guff you’ve been fed about taxes being a crucial consideration. ...

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June 5, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (17)

When Do You Stop Being An Early-Career Scholar?

Chronicle of Higher Education, When Do You Stop Being an Early-Career Scholar?:

I had an experience recently that confirmed what I’d already suspected: I am no longer an early career scholar. Perhaps because of my age, or simply because I am pre-tenure, I had still considered myself to be "early" in my career until that moment.

It happened a week before my discipline’s biggest conference. As I was checking the online schedule for pre-meeting workshops, I found an intriguing one for "early career scholars of color." But after reading the agenda, I realized I wouldn’t benefit from the content. The lineup included sessions on developing career goals, publishing a dissertation, preparing for the job market, crafting a strong CV, negotiating a job offer, publishing your first book, finding a mentor. As an assistant professor, I’d already done those things. I read the list multiple times, searching, to no avail, for at least one applicable session. Then I posted on Facebook, asking the world: "When do you stop being an early career scholar?"

The consensus was clear: Ph.D.s are considered early career until we earn tenure and/or for the first five to seven years of our postgraduate career (whether or not we are in a tenure-track position). However, the professional-development opportunities for early career scholars mostly focus on graduate students and brand-new faculty members, and fail to address the professional concerns of people like me — an advanced assistant professor on the downward slope of the early career hill.

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June 5, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oei & Ring: Leak-Driven Law

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College), Leak-Driven Law, 65 UCLA L. Rev. 532 (2018):

Over the past decade, a number of well-publicized data leaks have revealed the secret offshore holdings of high-net-worth individuals and multinational taxpayers, leading to a sea change in cross-border tax enforcement. Spurred by leaked data, tax authorities have prosecuted offshore tax cheats, attempted to recoup lost revenues, enacted new laws, and signed international agreements that promote “sunshine” and exchange of financial information between countries.

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June 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Millennials In The Legal Academy: 'Innovative Narcissists Lead The Way'

Ashley Krenelka Chase (Stetson), Upending the Double Life of Law Schools: Millennials in the Legal Academy, 43 U. Dayton L. Rev. ___ (2018):

This article discusses Holloway and Friedland’s vision of the law school of 2025 [The Double Life of Law Schools, 68 Case W. Res. L. Rev. ___ (2018)], with a focus on the need for technology education and a cultural shift in the legal Academy and the law school curriculum. It surveys the landscape of millennials as both students and employees, briefly describing their strengths and weaknesses in both arenas.

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June 5, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Penn Is 1st Law School To Accept GMAT (19th To Accept GRE)

GMATGREPennsylvania is the first law school to accept the GMAT, and the ninteenth law school (joining Arizona, Brooklyn, BYU, Cardozo, Chicago Kent, Columbia, Florida State, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Northwestern, Pace, St. John's, Texas A&M, UCLA, Wake Forest, and Washington University) to accept the GRE:

Press Release, Penn Law To Accept GRE, GMAT In Pilot Program, In Addition To Accepting LSAT:

Beginning fall 2018, all applicants to the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s JD degree program will have the option to take the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT admissions tests as part of a pilot program launched by the school. ...

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June 5, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ring:  Corporate Migrations And Tax Transparency And Disclosure

Diane M. Ring (Boston College), Corporate Migrations and Tax Transparency and Disclosure, 62 St. Louis U. L.J. 175 (2017):

Migration, broadly defined, characterizes the movement of peoples and businesses across borders. The latter part of the 20th century saw notable business expansion across borders spurred by currency, capital, and investment restrictions and by the increased ability to manage global activities through technology and communications. Twenty plus years into this business globalization, we have witnessed the dramatic rise of transparency and disclosure rules and regimes. These regimes, which have dominated much of global international tax reform, include: (1) country-by- country reporting of tax information, (2) automatic exchange of tax rulings among jurisdictions, and (3) disclosure of beneficial ownership of entities. In this symposium essay, I suggest that the increased transparency and disclosure are the consequence of the increased business border flexibility.

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June 5, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

More On The Free Speech Wars At Stanford

Fund Managers Are Ditching Wall Street For Florida

Bloomberg, Fund Managers Are Ditching Wall Street for Florida:

Florida’s long-running effort to lure Wall Street hotshots is gaining traction thanks to a provision in the federal tax law that hits residents of high-tax states.

The Sunshine State’s most recent conquests are two of the founders of I Squared Capital, Sadek Wahba and Adil Rahmathulla, who are among executives relocating to Miami from New York, according to a person familiar with the moves. The private equity firm plans to open an office in Miami later this year, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. A company representative declined to comment on the relocation and the reason for it.

The former Morgan Stanley dealmakers, whose infrastructure firm will manage more than $12 billion in assets after its second fund closes later this year, stand to benefit tax-wise — as would any other executives from the financial industry who make the move from New York or Connecticut. That’s because Florida doesn’t have a state income tax and its property taxes are relatively low, whereas the tri-state area has among the highest property taxes in the country.

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June 5, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Should Washington & Lee University Change Its Name?

W&L University LogoInside Higher Education, Race, History and Robert E. Lee:

In recent years, many colleges have studied their histories, publicized their ties to slavery or segregation, and reconsidered symbols that strike critics as inappropriate for an era of inclusiveness. Statues have come down. Buildings have been renamed. New institutional histories have been published.

Washington and Lee University has not been immune. President George Washington provided an initial endowment for the college. Robert E. Lee was president of what was then Washington College from 1865, shortly after he surrendered his army, until 1870, when he died. As president, he led the college to financial stability and expanded the curriculum. His ideas are credited with the eventual development of the university's honor code. Shortly after he died, the board of the college changed the name of the institution to Washington and Lee. All presidents since Lee have lived in his house.

In 2014, the university apologized for having once owned slaves and said it would move Confederate flags near a statue of Lee in a chapel used for key university events. But if university leaders thought at the time that it had responsibly handled its history, they stopped thinking that last summer. The university has always promoted the view of Lee as flawed but worthy of honor. There has been more talk about his military genius and his work after the Civil War to promote reconciliation, and less talk about how he defended a system based on slavery, and participated in that system himself. ...

Will Dudley, president of Washington and Lee, said in a statement following the violence in Charlottesville that "W&L and Lexington have a complex history with regard to the Confederate symbols and figures around which these hateful groups are rallying. Lee, our former president and one of our namesakes, has become a particularly polarizing figure. This gives us a special obligation to be absolutely clear about what we stand for as an institution." The university then appointed a panel to study the university's history and symbols — with everything up for discussion, even the university's name.

That panel has now come forward with numerous recommendations that the university will now review. The panel suggests keeping the university name but making many other changes. Did the panel go too far or not far enough? It depends whom you ask, as the commission is already being criticized for (to some) unfairly diminishing Lee's legacy and (to others) continuing to glorify traditions that should be set aside.

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June 4, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Shuldiner: Did The TCJA Effectively Repeal The AMT?

Reed Shuldiner (Pennsylvania), Was the AMT Effectively Repealed?, 159 Tax Notes 495 (Apr. 23, 2018):

The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) was a much disliked feature of the tax law prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Yet, despite repeated promises to repeal the AMT as part of tax reform, the TCJA dropped AMT repeal in favor of increasing the AMT exemption and its phaseout threshold. The question raised by this development is whether the AMT changes should be viewed as yet another stop-gap tweak of the AMT or whether the changes should be viewed as returning the AMT to its roots as a tax on high-income taxpayers using excessive loopholes. In this essay I compare the AMT before and after the TCJA.

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June 4, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Student Ownership Over Continuous Professional Development/Self-Directed Learning

Neil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas), Leadership of Self: Each Student Taking Ownership Over Continuous Professional Development/Self-Directed Learning, 58 Santa Clara L. Rev. ___ (2018):

This article focuses on leadership of self and a commitment to continuous professional development as a foundational sub-competency of leadership. Scholarship on self-directed learning and self-regulated learning provides substantial insight into this foundational sub-competency. The article explores how a student’s commitment to continuous professional development demonstrates the competencies of initiative and ownership that legal employers want.

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June 4, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Aprill: Section 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Examining the Landscape of Section 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations, 21 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol'y ___ (2018):

This article will be part of a symposium issue on social welfare organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The articles in the symposium issue will cover many aspects of section 501(c)(4). This contribution gives an overview of the provision, including applicable law, legislative history, and, relying on some recent empirical work from the Urban Institute, a description of the many kinds of entities it includes.

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June 4, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Jefferson Law School Abandons Trophy Building, Rents 80% Less Space In Office Building In Bid To Keep Accreditation

Thomas Jefferson LogosNational Law Journal, Law School Touting New $90M Digs in 2011 Now Housed in Office Building:

Moving out of the school's custom-built campus after just seven years will reduce Thomas Jefferson School of Law's rent and possibly help it hang on to its accreditation.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law welcomed students to a gleaming $90 million downtown San Diego campus in January 2011, touting the brand new facility’s state-of-the-art technology and creature comforts, including a meditation room in the 40,000-square-foot law library. The eight-story campus would allow for a modest expansion of the school’s [1,066 J.D. students], officials said.

The timing could not have been worse, as 2011 proved to be the high point of law school enrollment in the United States. Over the next five years, the number of first-year students plummeted 27 percent, with Thomas Jefferson hit especially hard. The school had 521 J.D. students this fall, according to data from the American Bar Association, or just over half as many as 2011.

This week, the school announced it will vacate its custom-built law campus and relocate to a smaller space in a 24-story downtown San Diego office building. ... Thomas Jefferson Dean Joan Bullock characterized the move as “an important investment in strategic planning for the law school, streamlining the educational experience for students and faculty alike,” in a press release. Relocating will allow the school to put more money toward students and less toward rent, according to the announcement. ...

But Thomas Jefferson’s abandonment of its once-heralded campus offers a stark illustration of the struggles lower-tier law schools face amid sagging enrollment, dismal bar pass rates, and financial strain. Standalone law schools such as Thomas Jefferson lack the funding lifeline that comes with being part of a larger university, where the central administration can provide funds to address operating shortfalls.

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June 4, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Lesson From The Tax Court: A Haunting

Tax Court (2017)Four cases from the last couple of weeks illustrate the continued fallout from the Tax Court’s recent about-face in its reading of §6751(b)(1). Graev v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. No. 23 (Dec. 20, 2017)(commonly called Graev III because it was the Tax Court’s third published opinion regarding Mr. Graev’s case). The good folks at Procedurally Taxing have been following Graev III’s impact here, here and here (to name a few). These four cases add a new wrinkle.

In all four cases, the Service had failed to produce evidence in the initial trial that it had complied with §6751(b)(1). And for good reason. All four cases had gone to trial before the Court issued its opinion in Graev III. At the time of trial the Tax Court’s fully reviewed position on §6751(b)(1) was that consideration of penalty approval was premature when contesting an NOD.

In all four cases the Service asked the Tax Court to re-open the record to allow it to introduce the theretofore-unrequired-but-now-required evidence. The cases were heard by three different Tax Court judges. In two cases, the Court allowed the record to be reopened and in two cases the Court refused. Taken together, the cases illustrate how the fallout from the Tax Court’s Graev decision continues to elevate procedure over substance. As a result, similarly situated taxpayers receive very different outcomes based both on which IRS attorneys work the cases, what information the attorneys have, perhaps most importantly, which Tax Court judge decides. Four cases, three judges, two opposing outcomes, all in one discussion, waiting for you below the fold.

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June 4, 2018 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure | Permalink | Comments (1)

Who Are The Tax Professors?

The 4th Annual Texas Tax Faculty Workshop at Texas Tech on June 1st went splendidly with robust discussion fueled by plenty of caffeine and carbs.  I thought it would be fun to post a picture of the 11 of us when ended up being able to attend.  After all, tax profs are usually just names on a page.  But we are persons too!  Here's proof.  From left to right are: Bret Wells (UH); Bryan Camp (Texas Tech); Denney Wright (UH and NYU); Andy Morris (A&M); Bruce McGovern (South Texas); Cal Johnson (UT); Terri Helge (A&M) standing behind Dennis Drapkin (SMU); Bill Byrnes (A&M)(giving thumbs up); Steve Black (Texas Tech) standing behind Jack Manhire (A&M).

TT

June 4, 2018 in Bryan Camp, Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 3, 2018

NY Times: Stockton, California Is First U.S. City To Try Free Cash To Fight Income Inequality

Basic IncomeNew York Times, Free Cash to Fight Income Inequality? California City Is First in U.S. to Try:

Long plagued by poverty and desperation, Stockton, Calif., is testing universal basic income as a means of improving the lives of its residents.

This town in California’s Central Valley has long functioned as a display case for wrenching troubles afflicting American life: The housing bust that turned Stockton into an epicenter of a national foreclosure disaster and plunged the city into bankruptcy. The homeless people clustered in tents along the railroad tracks. Boarded-up storefronts on cracked sidewalks. Gang violence.

Now, Stockton hopes to make itself an exhibition ground for elevated fortunes through a simple yet unorthodox experiment. It is readying plans to deliver $500 a month in donated cash to perhaps 100 local families, no strings attached. The trial could start as soon as the fall and continue for about two years.

As the first American city to test so-called universal basic income, Stockton will watch what happens next. So will governments and social scientists around the world as they explore how to share the bounty of capitalism more broadly at a time of rising economic inequality.

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June 3, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Report Dings Tax Deduction For High-Income Grad Students

Inside Higher Ed, Report Dings Tax Deduction for High-Income Grad Students:

A new report from the Brookings Institution argues that the federal government is forgoing hundreds of millions in tax revenue each year through a tax credit that largely benefits graduate students with high incomes [Yes, There Really Is a Tax Break For Upper-Income Graduate Students and Congress Won’t Let It Expire].

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June 3, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Self-Care Strategy For Beleaguered Academics: Start A 'Be Kind Portfolio'

ChronicleChronicle of Higher Education, A Self-Care Strategy for Beleaguered Academics:

Every teacher needs a magic briefcase full of heartwarming student letters.

As a tenured faculty member at my college, I go through a periodic performance review every three years. For last year’s review, I had been saving materials — documenting my professional service and listing my community work in anticipation of sharing my passion for the profession. The meeting lasted only 20 minutes. My supervisor devoted the first 12 minutes to critiquing my paperwork — pointing out how I’d filled out the forms incorrectly, put things in the wrong order, failed to divide my "toolbox items" by academic year.

That left eight minutes to talk about my job performance. After we viewed my student evaluations, I showed her notes from two creative-writing students whose work had been published while taking my course. I also showed an invitation from another college to speak at its staff-development day, and an email from a suicidal student I’d taught who wanted me to know that she had finally walked across the stage at graduation. She wrote that I was a big reason she’d had the courage to come back, because "you believed in me when nobody else did."

The administrator brushed off those examples and moved on to discuss performance rubrics and websites I could use to better track my effectiveness in the classroom.

I was so disheartened.

At home, looking through my performance documentation, I realized where I’d gone wrong. I’d assumed that what I deemed to be indicators of success would be considered as such by a supervisor. How naïve.

I want to spend another 20 years in this profession. I do not want to burn out, get cynical, or despise administrators (and their processes). I knew I needed a personal survival tool.

So I made a "Be Kind Portfolio" — as a way to be kind to myself and remind myself why I teach and why I serve students. ... All the materials from my performance review went into my new portfolio, organized by semester. Then I dug through my filing cabinet and pulled out nearly a decade’s worth of certificates, letters, conference programs, thank-you notes, newspaper clippings, and fliers for events I had organized. They all went in, too.

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June 3, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)There is quite a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and a new paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. [262 Downloads]  The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy, by Michael Graetz (Columbia)
  2. [209 Downloads]  Higher Education Savings and Planning: Tax and Nontax Considerations, by Philip Manns (Liberty) & Timothy Todd (Liberty)
  3. [203 Downloads]  IRC Section 678 and the Beneficiary Deemed Owner Trust (BDOT), by Edwin Morrow
  4. [180 Downloads]  The New U.S. Tax Preference for 'Foreign-Derived Intangible Income', by Chris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania)
  5. [153 Downloads]  Code Sec. 1031 after the 2017 Tax Act, by Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

June 3, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)