TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2018 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

2018 U.S. News LawContinuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2017), here is the full list of the 197 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank

Peer Score

School

Overall Rank

1

4.8

Yale

1

1

4.8

Stanford

2

1

4.8

Harvard

3

4

4.6

Chicago

4

4

4.6

Columbia

5

6

4.5

NYU

6

7

4.4

Michigan

8

7

4.4

Virginia

8

7

4.4

UC-Berkeley

12

10

4.3

Penn

7

11

4.2

Duke

10

11

4.2

Northwestern

10

11

4.2

Cornell

13

14

4.1

Texas

14

14

4.1

Georgetown

15

16

3.9

UCLA

15

16

3.9

Vanderbilt

17

18

3.6

Washington U.

18

18

3.6

Emory

22

20

3.5

USC

19

20

3.5

Notre Dame

20

20

3.5

Minnesota

23

20

3.5

North Carolina

39

24

3.4

Iowa

20

24

3.4

Boston University

23

24

3.4

Geo. Washington

30

24

3.4

Wisconsin

30

24

3.4

UC-Davis

39

29

3.3

Boston College

26

29

3.3

UC-Irvine

28

29

3.3

Indiana-Bloom.

30

29

3.3

Ohio State

30

29

3.3

Fordham

36

29

3.3

Illinois

44

35

3.2

Arizona State

25

35

3.2

Alabama

26

35

3.2

Georgia

30

35

3.2

U. Washington

30

35

3.2

Colorado

36

35

3.2

William & Mary

41

41

3.1

Wash. & Lee

28

41

3.1

Wake Forest

36

41

3.1

Florida

41

41

3.1

Arizona

48

41

3.1

Tulane

50

41

3.1

UC-Hastings

54

47

3.0

Florida State

48

47

3.0

Maryland

48

49

2.9

Utah

44

49

2.9

BYU

46

51

2.8

Connecticut

54

51

2.8

American

86

51

2.8

Oregon

86

54

2.7

George Mason

41

54

2.7

Temple

53

54

2.7

Houston

54

54

2.7

Tennessee

57

54

2.7

Cardozo

65

54

2.7

Kansas

65

54

2.7

Denver

76

54

2.7

Miami

77

54

2.7

San Diego

77

63

2.6

SMU

46

63

2.6

Kentucky

57

63

2.6

Case Western

62

63

2.6

Georgia State

65

63

2.6

Loyola-L.A.

65

63

2.6

Missouri

65

63

2.6

Pepperdine

72

63

2.6

Pittsburgh

82

71

2.5

Nebraska

57

71

2.5

Richmond

57

71

2.5

Rutgers

62

71

2.5

UNLV

62

71

2.5

Oklahoma

72

71

2.5

Loyola-Chicago

82

71

2.5

Brooklyn

88

71

2.5

Indiana-Indy

88

71

2.5

Hawaii

100

80

2.4

Baylor

51

80

2.4

Seton Hall

57

80

2.4

Northeastern

65

80

2.4

Cincinnati

72

80

2.4

Arkansas-Fay.

77

80

2.4

Villanova

77

80

2.4

South Carolina

88

80

2.4

Chicago-Kent

92

80

2.4

Lewis & Clark

100

80

2.4

Howard

120

80

2.4

Seattle

120

80

2.4

Santa Clara

132

92

2.3

New Mexico

77

92

2.3

Penn State Univ.

82

92

2.3

St. Louis

88

92

2.3

Louisville

92

92

2.3

Syracuse 

92

92

2.3

Michigan State

96

92

2.3

Marquette

100

92

2.3

Hofstra

118

92

2.3

DePaul

120

92

2.3

Maine

139

102

2.2

St. John's

72

102

2.2

Texas A&M

92

102

2.2

LSU

96

102

2.2

West Virginia

96

102

2.2

Catholic

106

102

2.2

SUNY-Buffalo

106

102

2.2

Mississippi

109

102

2.2

UMKC

112

102

2.2

CUNY

127

102

2.2

Arkansas-L.R.

134

102

2.2

Vermont

134

113

2.1

Stetson

96

113

2.1

Idaho

109

113

2.1

Gonzaga

112

113

2.1

Baltimore

112

113

2.1

Drexel

112

113

2.1

Wyoming

112

113

2.1

Montana

120

113

2.1

Loyola-N.O.

142

121

2.0

Penn State-Dick.

65

121

2.0

Tulsa

82

121

2.0

New Hampshire

100

121

2.0

Albany

109

121

2.0

Creighton

120

121

2.0

Mercer

134

121

2.0

Suffolk

140

121

2.0

North Dakota

142

121

2.0

Willamette

142

130

2.0

San Francisco

Tier 2

130

1.9

Wayne State

100

130

1.9

Drake

106

130

1.9

New York Law S.

112

130

1.9

Texas Tech

118

130

1.9

Pace

120

130

1.9

Quinnipiac

127

130

1.9

Washburn

127

130

1.9

Chapman

134

130

1.9

Memphis

140

130

1.9

McGeorge

142

130

1.9

South Dakota

142

130

1.9

Southwestern

Tier 2

143

1.8

Florida Int'l

100

143

1.8

St. Thomas (MN)

120

143

1.8

Cleveland State

127

143

1.8

Duquesne

127

143

1.8

Toledo

132

143

1.8

Akron

134

149

1.7

Samford

147

149

1.7

N. Illinois

148

149

1.7

Dayton

Tier 2

149

1.7

J. Marshall (IL)

Tier 2

149

1.7

Mitchell-Hamline

Tier 2

149

1.7

Roger Williams

Tier 2

149

1.7

S. Illinois

Tier 2

149

1.7

Widener (DE)

Tier 2

157

1.6

Widener (PA)

148

157

1.6

Cal-Western

Tier 2

157

1.6

Elon

Tier 2

157

1.6

Golden Gate

Tier 2

157

1.6

N. Kentucky

Tier 2

157

1.6

Nova

Tier 2

157

1.6

South Texas

Tier 2

157

1.6

St.Mary's

Tier 2

157

1.6

Valparaiso

Tier 2

166

1.5

Campbell

Tier 2

166

1.5

Capital

Tier 2

166

1.5

Detroit Mercy

Tier 2

166

1.5

Dist. of Columbia

Tier 2

166

1.5

Mississippi C.

Tier 2

166

1.5

New England

Tier 2

166

1.5

NC Central

Tier 2

166

1.5

Ohio Northern

Tier 2

166

1.5

Oklahoma City

Tier 2

166

1.5

Texas Southern

Tier 2

166

1.5

Touro

Tier 2

166

1.5

U Mass.

Tier 2

178

1.4

Florida A&M

Tier 2

178

1.4

J. Marshall (GA)

Tier 2

178

1.4

Southern

Tier 2

178

1.4

St. Thomas (FL)

Tier 2

178

1.4

W. New England

Tier 2

178

1.4

Whittier

Tier 2

184

1.3

Belmont

Tier 2

184

1.3

Faulkner

Tier 2

184

1.3

Charleston

Tier 2

184

1.3

T. Jefferson

Tier 2

188

1.2

Appalachian

Tier 2

188

1.2

Ave Maria

Tier 2

188

1.2

Barry

Tier 2

188

1.2

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

188

1.2

La Verne

Tier 2

188

1.2

Liberty

Tier 2

188

1.2

Regent

Tier 2

188

1.2

W. Mich. Cooley

Tier 2

188

1.1

Western State

Tier 2

197

1.1

Ariz. Summit

Tier 2


Prior years' rankings:

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March 14, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Public Company Proximity To IRS Office Increases Audit Risk And Tax Avoidance

JournalThomas R. Kubicka (Kansas), G. Brandon Lockhart (Clemson), Lillian F. Mills (Texas & John R. Robinson (Texas A&M), IRS and Corporate Taxpayer Effects of Geographic Proximity, 60 J. Accounting & Econ. ___ (2017):

We investigate whether geographic proximity between corporate headquarters and IRS regional offices affects corporate tax avoidance and the likelihood and productivity of IRS examinations. Using geographic distance to represent information asymmetry, we find that corporations avoid more tax when located closer to the IRS unless they are close to an IRS industry specialist. This finding is consistent with taxpayers believing proximity provides them with an information advantage over the IRS.

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March 14, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Provost Reassures Students That Rumors Of Louisville Law School's Closing Are False

LouisvilleFollowing up on last week's post, Louisville's 5-Year Interim Dean Is Passed Over In Selection Of New Dean; Law School Fires Student Workers And RAs To Address Budget Deficit:

Insider Louisville, Interim UofL Law School Dean Removed From Consideration for Permanent Position:

Despite a reportedly strong recommendation from the search committee tasked with finding candidates for the permanent dean position at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, interim dean Susan Duncan — who has served in that role for five years — was removed as a candidate last week.

In an email to Brandeis faculty, Duncan announced that decision, in addition to broaching the subjects of student workers in the law school abruptly losing their jobs and supplies being removed from its offices due to budgetary reasons. The email set off an emergency meeting between concerned faculty and staff and interim Provost Dale Billingsley on Thursday, and then again on Friday.

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March 14, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Optimum Ratio Of Highest-To-Lowest-Compensated Partners in BigLaw Is 9-1, Not Traditional 3-1 (As With Law School Faculty)

American Lawyer, Is Your Firm's Partner Comp Spread Too Narrow?:

It is fast becoming an imperative for elite firms to widen the range of their partner compensation. Too narrow a range allows competitors with wider ranges to lure away the most commercially successful partners. We saw this in London when the U.S. firms arrived and undid the elite London firms’ lockstep models. We are seeing this increasingly in New York where firms like Kirkland & Ellis, who reportedly moved recently to a ratio of the compensation of their highest- to lowest-compensated partners of 9-1, pose a renewed threat to old-line firms with narrow, 3-1-type ratios.

Ratio 3

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March 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Shanske Presents Equitable Apportionment And The State Corporate Income Tax Today At UC-Irvine

Shanske (2017)Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) presents em>Equitable Apportionment and the State Corporate Income Tax: Past, Present and Possible Future at UC-Irvine today as part of its Tax Law and Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Omri Marian:

What a tough break for formulary apportionment. We are at a moment when there is apparently a real interest in reforming the federal corporate income tax in a way that, at least in theory, would broaden the base of the tax and encourage exporters. Shifting to the use of formulary apportionment with a single sales factor (SSF) could theoretically achieve these goals and there is at least one well-developed reform proposal to that end on the table. Moreover, over 40 states impose a corporate income tax and they have used formulas for a very long time, and so there is a track record and case law to work with. But this is not — yet — formulary apportionment’s moment.

This is the moment for the Destination-Based Cash Flow Tax (DBCFT), which relies on border tax adjustments (BTAs).

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March 13, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Partners Earn Second Largest Paychecks At BigLaw Firms

American Lawyer, Partner Compensation By the Numbers:

The findings below come from the most recent partner compensation survey from Major, Lindsey & Africa and ALM Intelligence; Am Law 200 annual financial reports; and ALM Intelligence consulting reports.

Partner Pay

 

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March 13, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Profs Sue For Retaliation, Hostile Work Environment After Denver University Failed To Respond To Complaints About Colleague's Masturbation In His Office

BlackInside Higher Ed, Dropping the Ball on Professor's Dropped Trou?:

In an eyebrow-raising lawsuit filed last week against Metro State University in Denver, two professors say they were retaliated against for reporting a colleague’s alleged sexual indiscretion with … himself. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission granted the plaintiffs right-to-sue notices, but the implicated professor denies all claims against him. The university also denies the allegations and plans a vigorous defense.

The complaint was brought by Kamran Sahami, a professor of physics and former president of the university’s Faculty Senate, and Kristin Watson, a former non-tenure-track professor of communications and business. Watson alleges that she saw Gregory Black [right], chair of marketing, masturbating in his office in 2011 but didn’t report the incident to administrators for several years, in part because she was “shocked and traumatized,” and because she lacked tenure and feared for her job.

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March 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tax Is A Feminist Issue

Economist Logo (2015)The Economist, Tax Is a Feminist Issue: Why National Budgets Need to Take Gender Into Account:

Designing fiscal policies to support gender equality is good for growth.

Like many rich-country governments, Britain’s prides itself on pursuing policies that promote sexual equality. However, it fails to live up to its word, argues the Women’s Budget Group, a feminist think-tank that has been scrutinising Britain’s economic policy since 1989. A report in 2016 from the House of Commons Library, an impartial research service, suggests that in 2010-15 women bore the cost of 85% of savings to the Treasury worth £23bn ($29bn) from austerity measures, specifically cuts in welfare benefits and in direct taxes. Because women earn less, rely more on benefits, and are much more likely than men to be single parents, the cuts affected them disproportionately.

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March 13, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Second International Conference On Taxpayer Rights Kicks Off Today In Vienna

More On The Proposal To Ban The UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on last week's post, State May Ban UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation:  Chapel Hill Herald-Sun editorial, UNC Legal Centers Help Students and Clients:

The late Jesse Helms used to refer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as "Pink Hill" and to suggest that it be set aside as a hippie reservation.

Since taking over the General Assembly and packing the university's Board of Governors with their own people, Republicans have set out to swat the liberal Chapel Hill gadfly once and for all.

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March 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1404: Attorney General Sessions Weighs Appointing Special Counsel To Investigate Obama's Justice Department Scandals

IRS Logo 2

Hugh Hewitt, Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

Hugh Hewitt:  Now let me switch to the Department itself, Mr. Attorney General. It had a bad eight years. I’m a proud veteran of the Department of Justice, as you are. But the IRS case, the Fast and Furious case, Secretary Clinton’s server, the Department of Justice came under great criticism. How about an outside counsel, not connected to politics, to review the DOJ’s actions in those matters with authority to bring charges if underlying crimes are uncovered in the course of the investigation, and just generally to look at how the Department of Justice operated in the highly-politicized Holder-Lynch years?

Jeff Sessions:  Well, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice. So we would have to consider whether or not some outside special counsel is needed. Generally, a good review of that internally is the first step before any such decision is made.

Hugh Hewitt:  Will you be looking at the IRS investigation specifically, because that left many of us thinking that the Department of Justice had laid down for a terrible abuse of political power?

Jeff Sessions:  It does. That circumstance raised a lot of questions in my mind, and when I was in the Senate. So it is a matter of real concern to me.

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March 13, 2017 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Settlement Finalized In University Of Houston And South Texas Houston Law Schools Trademark Dispute; Houston Astros Are On Deck

UHSTHA

Following up on last week's post, University Of Houston, South Texas Law Schools Settle Naming Rights Dispute:  Houston Chronicle, UH Naming Dispute Could Now Draw in Astros, Houston Community College:

The University of Houston has settled the score in a protracted trademark dispute with rival South Texas College of Law Houston, but the fight over naming rights may not be over.

On deck are two new potential opponents: the Houston Astros and Houston Community College.

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

As Deadlines Approach For College Financial Aid & Income-Based Loan Repayment, IRS Leaves Parents, Students & Graduates In Lurch By Taking Down Online Tax Return Data Retrieval Tool

FAFSAIRSJoint Statement of the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education:

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov is currently unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, at this time, the IRS anticipates the online data tool will be unavailable for several weeks.

Forbes, IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage Brings Applying For College Financial Aid To A Halt:

The IRS tool that sends parents' and students' tax data to the online filing system for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been taken offline for security concerns, derailing the aid application (FAFSA) process and causing a mess for students and colleges nationwide.

Fiscal Times, Leave More Time for Your Financial Aid Form This Year as IRS Shuts Down FAFSA Data Tool:

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. [1,526 Downloads]  The Known Unknowns of the Business Tax Reforms Proposed in the House Republican Blueprint, by Michael J. Graetz (Columbia)
  2. [450 Downloads]  How Donald Trump can Keep His Campaign Promises, Grow the Economy, Cut Tax Rates, Repatriate Offshore Earnings, Reduce Income Inequality, Keep Jobs in the United States, and Reduce the Deficit, by David S. Miller (Proskauer, New York)
  3. [407 Downloads]  Accounting for Behavioral Considerations in Business Tax Reform: The Case of Expensing, by Lily L. Batchelder (NYU)
  4. [325 Downloads]  Predicting Stock Market Prices with Physical Laws, by Jack Manhire (Texas A&M)
  5. [234 Downloads]  Important Developments in Federal Income Taxation, by Edward A. Morse (Creighton)

March 12, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bainbridge:  The Law And Economics Of Jesus’ Parable Of The Talents

Bainbridge 2Stephen M. Bainbridge (UCLA), The Law and Economics of the Parable of the Talents (slides):

On its surface, Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is a simple story with four key plot elements: (1) A master is leaving on a long trip and entrusts substantial assets to three servants to manage during his absence. (2) Two of the servants invested the assets profitably, earning substantial returns, but a third servant — frightened of his master’s reputation as a hard taskmaster — put the money away for safekeeping and failed even to earn interest on it. (3) The master returns and demands an accounting from the servants. (4) The two servants who invested wisely were rewarded, but the servant who failed to do so is punished.

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1403: Should Koskinen Remain, Resign, Or Be Fired?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Arizona Summit Law School Affiliates With Bethune-Cookman University To Diversify Legal Profession Despite 25% Bar Pass Rate

ABCFollowing up on my previous post, Arizona Summit Law School's Bar Passage Rate Plummets To Shocking 24.6% (Down From 96.7% In 2008):

Arizona Republic, Arizona Summit Law School Moves to Affiliate With a Private, Nonprofit University:

A for-profit law school in downtown Phoenix that is struggling with falling bar-passage rates is moving to affiliate with one of the country’s historically black colleges and universities.

Arizona Summit Law School has signed an affiliation agreement with the private, nonprofit Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida [2,136 miles away].

The law school, founded in 2004, once boasted bar passage rates of 97 percent but has seen its percentages drop to 25 percent among first-time test takers.

Arizona

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March 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mehrotra Posts Tax Papers On SSRN

SSRN LogoAjay K. Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation; Northwestern) has posted three tax papers on SSRN:

  • A Bridge Between: Law and the New Intellectual Histories of Capitalism, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 1 (2016):  "The American historical profession has in recent years witnessed a significant revival of two subfields that were once thought to be nearly dead. Both intellectual history and what is often referred to today as the history of capitalism are flourishing. In some cases, the two fields have converged. What role has law and legal history played in this revival and convergence? How have formal and informal laws, legal institutions, and legal actors and processes informed our conceptual understanding of the origins and development of modern American capitalism? This essay explores these historiographical and programmatic questions as part of a symposium directed at “Opportunities for Law’s Intellectual History.” This brief essay explores the role of law and legal history as a bridge between the two revived subfields. It does so in three parts. Part I briefly chronicles the recent revival of the two subfields. Part II explores why law, in its broadest sense, may be particularly well suited to help integrate the convergence between intellectual history and the new histories of capitalism. Why, that is, law has been and may continue to be a bridge between the two subfields. Part III uses the history of American tax law and policy as one example to show how law is vital to our understanding of the new intellectual histories of capitalism. The essay concludes with a modest set of observations on where the new literature on law and the intellectual histories of capitalism may be headed."

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March 11, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Law School Dean Announcement

The IRS Scandal, Day 1402: IRS Locates 7,000 Documents Related To Tea Party Targeting

IRS Logo 2Washington Free Beacon, Two Years Later, IRS Locates 6,924 Documents Related to Tea Party Targeting; Agency Will Not Commit to a Timeframe to Make the Documents Public:

The Internal Revenue Service has located 6,924 documents potentially related to the targeting of Tea Party conservatives, two years after the group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for them.

The watchdog group intended to find records regarding how the IRS selected individuals and organizations for audits that were requesting nonprofit tax status.

The agency will not say when it will make the documents available to the public.

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March 11, 2017 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekly Tax Highlight And Roundup

This week, Joe Kristan (CPA & Shareholder, Roth & Company (Des Moines, Iowa); Editor, Tax Update Blog) discusses how the House GPO Affordable Care Act replacement plan complicates 2016 tax filing.

KristanMandate no more? House Republicans released their Obamacare replacement plan yesterday. While the policy implications of the proposal are obviously interesting, this time of year my first question is, “does this affect the current tax season?”

Yes, big league.

The proposal would repeal both the individual mandate and employer mandate retroactive to the beginning of 2016. As we are in the middle of the filing season for 2016 returns, that’s a big deal.

Taxpayers and preparers had a filing season dilemma even before the House GOP announced their plan yesterday. After President Trump issued an executive order telling agencies to be forgiving on ACA enforcement, the IRS changed its plans to allow individuals to file returns without answering health coverage questions — making it possible to file returns ignoring the penalty for lacking ACA-compliant health coverage.

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March 10, 2017 in Tax, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup

This week, Ari Glogower (Ohio State) reviews a new article by J. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (BYU), Robert J. Peroni (Texas) and Stephen E. Shay (Harvard), Defending Worldwide Taxation With a Shareholder-Based Definition of Corporate Residence 2016 BYU L. Rev. 1681 (2017).

Glogower (2016)Fleming, Peroni, and Shay’s new work proposes a shareholder-based test for determining corporate residence.  Under this test, a foreign corporation would be treated as a U.S. tax resident for a taxable year if 50% or more of its shares were beneficially owned by U.S. residents at the end of the preceding year.  The corporation will be treated as presumptively satisfying this test if its shares are traded on a U.S. market or are marketed to U.S. investors.  The presumption can be rebutted by either the corporation or the IRS, with evidence that the U.S. beneficial ownership of the shares is in fact below the 50% threshold.  Finally, corporations organized under U.S. law would remain domestic residents, as under current law, regardless of the shareholder composition.

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March 10, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Pittsburgh Law Dean Boycotts Local TV Station That Refused To Allow Muslim Law Prof To Participate In Panel Discussion Of President Trump's Travel Ban

PittABA Journal, Pitt Law Dean Will No Longer Appear on TV Station Over Alleged Bias Against Middle Eastern Prof:

A University of Pittsburgh School of Law professor says he was passed over as a guest on a local CBS affiliate news show, because he is Iraqi-American and a Muslim. And in the wake of these allegations William M. Carter Jr., dean of the law school and a constitutional scholar, has said that he will no longer appear on KDKA-TV programming.

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March 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth: Corporate Tax Avoidance By Fortune 500 Companies, 2008 To 2015

New York Times, Profitable Companies, No Taxes: Here’s How They Did It:

Complaining that the United States has one of the world’s highest corporate tax levels, President Trump and congressional Republicans have repeatedly vowed to shrink it.

Yet if the level is so high, why have so many companies’ income tax bills added up to zero?

That’s what a new analysis of 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies that earned more than $3.8 trillion in profits showed [The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth: Corporate Tax Avoidance by Fortune 500 Companies, 2008 to 2015].

18 CorpsAlthough the top corporate rate is 35 percent, hardly any company actually pays that. The report, by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning research group in Washington, found that 100 of them — nearly 40 percent — paid no taxes in at least one year between 2008 and 2015. Eighteen, including General Electric, International Paper, Priceline.com and PG&E, incurred a total federal income tax bill of less than zero over the entire eight-year period — meaning they received rebates. The institute used the companies’ own regulatory filings to compute their tax rates. ...

How does a billion-dollar company pay no taxes?

Companies take advantage of an array of tax loopholes and aggressive strategies that enable them to legally avoid paying what they owe. The institute’s report cites these examples:

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March 10, 2017 in Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (6)

Louisville's 5-Year Interim Dean Is Passed Over In Selection Of New Dean; Law School Fires Student Workers And RAs To Address Budget Deficit

LouisvilleFollowing up on my earlier post, Louisville Dean Finalists Include 5-Year Interim Dean And Associate Dean With Experience Addressing 50% Enrollment Decline:  

Lousiville Courier-Journal, Acting U of L Law School Dean Told She Won't Get the Job:

The acting dean of the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law for five years was notified this week she won’t get the job permanently.

Susan Duncan gave faculty the news on Thursday that she has been eliminated as a candidate for the position. In an interview, Duncan said she was informed of the decision Tuesday by Provost Dale Billingsley, whom she said didn’t cite any reasons for it. ...

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March 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Annual Report

The IRS yesterday released (IR-2017-56) Program Report and 2017 Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List:

LITC

LITC Program Report
The Internal Revenue Service’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Office has issued its annual program report, which details how LITCs have provided representation, education, and advocacy for taxpayers who are low income or speak English as a second language (ESL).

During 2015, LITCs represented 18,751 taxpayers in disputes with the IRS and provided consultation or advice to an additional 18,810 taxpayers. LITCs helped taxpayers secure more than $4.3 million in tax refunds and eliminate more than $64 million in tax liabilities, penalties, and interest.

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March 10, 2017 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shay Presents 'A Better Way' Business Tax Reform Today At Duke

Shay (2014)Stephen E. Shay (Harvard) presents “A Better Way” Business Tax Reform: From Theory to Practical Complications (with J. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (BYU) & Robert J. Peroni (Texas)) at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

This article critically reviews the House GOP proposal to replace the income tax on corporate and individual business income with a hybrid consumption tax in the form of a subtraction method VAT. The proposal would constitute a radical change to the U.S. federal, state and local tax system, which would, as discussed below, (a) be highly regressive and worsen inequality; (b) be vulnerable to attack under international trade law by U.S. trading competitors (with unprecedented potential penalties), (c) be less advantageous for small and medium businesses than for large businesses, and (d) open substantial opportunities for avoidance.

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March 9, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Lipman Presents (Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed Today At UC-Davis

Lipman (2017)Francine J. Lipman (UNLV) presents (Anti)Poverty Measures Exposed at UC-Davis today as part of its Faculty Intellectual Enrichment Series:

Few economic indicators have the salience and far-reaching financial impact than the poverty rate, yet policymakers, researchers, and advocates struggle to understand its mechanics. This Article will build a bridge from in depth personal portraits of families living in poverty to the resource allocations that failed them by exposing the mechanics underlying the Census Bureau's official (OPM) and supplemental poverty measures (SPM). Too often when we address the problem of poverty the focus is on the plight of the poor, and not on ineffective antipoverty programs. The purpose of poverty measures should be to measure and expose the effectiveness or failure of antipoverty programs.

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March 9, 2017 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawmakers Ask Calif. Chief Justice To Cut State Bar Exam Score

California Bar ExamThe Recorder, Lawmakers Ask Calif. Chief Justice to Cut State Bar Exam Score:

Democratic members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to temporarily reduce the required passing score on the state bar exam.

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March 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Fleischer:  Subsidizing Charity Liberally

Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego), Subsidizing Charity Liberally:

Our Constitution enshrines two bedrock principles of Western liberal democracies: limited government and equal opportunity. This Chapter explores the extent to which the charitable tax subsidies reflect these principles, as expressed in the two theories of distributive justice respectively associated with them, libertarianism and resource egalitarianism. This analysis shows that the subsidies’ current structure is much broader than necessary to reflect libertarian ideals, even under the more permissive classical liberal theories.

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March 9, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seto:  Associates Promoted To Partner in 2016 — The Top California Schools

Seto (2014)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Associates Promoted to Partner in 2016: Top California Schools, by Theodore P. Seto (Loyola-L.A.):

According to the National Law Journal, the top 50 US law schools, ranked by the number of law firm associates promoted to partner nationally in 2016, included eight California schools:

Rank

School

Number

15

UCLA

20

22

UC-Hastings

16

22

USC

16

30

Santa Clara

14

30

UC-Berkeley

14

34

Loyola-L.A.

13

36

Pepperdine

12

42

Southwestern

11

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March 9, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

CBO:  International Comparisons Of Corporate Income Tax Rates

Congressional Budget Office, International Comparisons of Corporate Income Tax Rates:

In the United States, the top federal statutory corporate income tax rate (the rate set by law that applies to the highest corporate income tax bracket) has been 35 percent since 1993. Most corporate income is taxed at that rate. With state taxes added in, the top statutory rate is even higher; on average, that combined rate was 39.1 percent in 2012, among the highest in the world.

The statutory corporate tax rate is one of many features of the tax system that influence corporate behavior. Companies are likely also to consider other provisions of the tax system—including tax preferences, surtaxes, and noncorporate taxes— that affect the amount of taxes they owe. Among the alternative measures of tax rates that account for some of those provisions are the average and effective marginal corporate tax rates.

CBO1

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March 9, 2017 in Congressional News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Is Second Law School To Admit 1Ls Based On GRE Rather Than LSAT

GREHLSPress Release, In Pilot Program, Harvard Law Will Accept GRE for Admission:

Accepting the GRE is part of an HLS strategy to expand access to legal education.

Starting in the fall of 2017, Harvard Law School will allow applicants to submit either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to be considered for admission to its three-year J.D. program.

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March 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Repetti:  Taft v. Bowers — The Foundation For Non-Recognition Provisions In The Income Tax

James R. Repetti (Boston College), Taft v. Bowers: The Foundation for Non-Recognition Provisions in the Income Tax, 42 ACTEC L.J. 23 (2016):

Taft v. Bowers is a Supreme Court decision that is rarely studied in law schools or discussed by scholars. Yet, it is a case of vast significance. In the Taft decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that Congress may create non-recognition exceptions to the income tax that merely defer the recognition of income, rather than permanently exclude it.

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March 9, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Meet The 'Blog Emperor,' Pepperdine Law's New Dean

Pepperdine Law School (2016)The Recorder, Meet the 'Blog Emperor,' Pepperdine Law's New Dean:

Pepperdine University School of Law has chosen its next dean, and the name will sound familiar to anyone who keeps up with the legal blogosphere.

Paul Caron, founder of the popular TaxProf Blog and the Law Professor Blog, will take the reins of the Malibu law school on June 1. Caron has been on the Pepperdine faculty since 2013 and currently serves as the associate dean for research and faculty development. The tax law expert taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Law for 23 years before moving to Pepperdine.

Caron replaces former dean and Judge Deanell Tacha of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, who [is retiring June 1].

We caught up with Caron to discuss his goals for the law school, Pepperdine's recent dip in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, and what will become of his blog. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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March 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reuven Avi-Yonah Cancels Lateral Move To UC-Irvine, Stays At Michigan

Michigan Law Logo (2015)Following up on my previous post, Reuven Avi-Yonah Leaves Michigan For UC-Irvine (Sept. 1, 2016):

Brian Leiter reports (and I have independently confirmed) that Reuven Avi-Yonah has changed his mind and has decided to remain at Michigan and will not be making a lateral move to UC-Irvine.

March 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (4)

Fleming, Peroni & Shay:  Defending Worldwide Taxation

Clifton Fleming Jr. (BYU), Robert J. Peroni (Texas) & Stephen E. Shay (Harvard), Defending Worldwide Taxation with a ShareholderBased Definition of Corporate Residence, 2016 BYU L. Rev. 1681:

This Article argues that a principled, efficient, and practical definition of corporate residence is necessary even if some form of corporate integration is adopted, and that such a definition is a key element in designing either a real worldwide or a territorial income tax system as well as a potential restraint on the inversion phenomenon. The Article proposes that the United States adopt a shareholder-based definition of corporate residence that is structured as follows:

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March 8, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Full Citizenship Project For All Law Faculty' Launched To Correct Gender Disparities Among Law Profs

My Dean 3Press Release, On International Women's Day, Advocacy Groups Launch “Full Citizenship Project for Law Faculty”:

Professional associations unite to support full institutional citizenshipan effort to correct gender and related disparities among law faculty

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at correcting gender and related disparities among U.S. law faculty.  Organizers chose International Women’s Day (March 8) to launch the “Full Citizenship Project for All Law Faculty” because of the professional status challenges that continue to plague skills-based and academic support law faculty, who are predominantly women.

As law faculty status and salaries decrease, the percentage of women faculty increases. Based on available data, roughly—and only—36 percent of tenured or tenure track faculty are female, whereas 63 percent of clinical faculty and 70 percent of legal writing faculty are female. This disparity is due to faculty teaching in skills-based areas often being denied the opportunity to earn the same security of position and academic freedom that traditional law faculty enjoy. Yet security of position and academic freedom are needed for a robust classroom and innovative teaching in all areas of law.

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March 8, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (20)

NY Times:  Dartmouth Prof Accuses Caterpillar Of Tax Fraud In Report Commissioned By Federal Investigators

RobinsonFollowing up on Saturday's post, U.S. Agents Raid Caterpillar Over Offshore Tax Practices:  New York Times, Caterpillar Is Accused in Report to Federal Investigators of Tax Fraud:

For years, federal investigators have been scrutinizing Caterpillar’s overseas tax affairs with no resolution to the examinations of the complex maneuvers involving billions of dollars and one of the company’s Swiss subsidiaries.

Now, a report commissioned by the government and reviewed by The New York Times accuses the heavy-equipment maker of carrying out tax and accounting fraud. It is extremely rare to accuse a big multinational company of tax fraud, which could result in high penalties.

“Caterpillar did not comply with either U.S. tax law or U.S. financial reporting rules,” wrote Leslie A. Robinson, an accounting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the author of the report. “I believe that the company’s noncompliance with these rules was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price. These actions were fraudulent rather than negligent.”

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March 8, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Horwitz:  Some Suggestions For Dean Emperor Caron And The Buzzworthy New Regime At Pepperdine

Paul Horwitz (Alabama), Some Suggestions for Dean Emperor Caron and the Buzzworthy New Regime at Pepperdine:

As Brian Leiter enthusiastically announces, tax-law-blogger and blog-impresario Paul Caron, nicknamed in Frank Herbert fashion "Blog Emperor Caron," is about to become "Dean Emperor Caron" at Pepperdine Law School. Before taking a puckish turn with this post, let me say that of course I add my congratulations. I have found Paul lovely to talk with in person and via the occasional email and such. Among his many posts at TaxProf Blog over the years, a great number of them have evidenced his warm and caring relationship with his students and his abiding concern for them. I don't doubt he'll bring that same sensibility to his job as dean. Best wishes, Paul! 

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March 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Vows Estate Tax Repeal, But California Plans Its Own 40% Estate Tax

Robert W. Wood (Forbes), Trump Vows Estate Tax Repeal, But California Plans Its Own 40% Estate Tax:

California doesn't like Trump, but sure does like tax increases. At around the same time as President Trump was being elected, California was increasing state income taxes again. The state's high 13.3% California tax are only temporary though, just through 2030! Of course, that was back in November. It must be time for another tax hike. The latest is a move by the Golden State to tax estates, even if the feds do not.

If the federal estate tax law is repealed by President Trump and Congress, estates in California will still pay. A bill was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), asking voters to keep the estate tax after all. The proposal would have to go to voters. ...

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March 8, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Independent Law Schools And The Last Buggy Whip Manufacturer

Buggy WhipLawProfBlawg & TempDean, Independent Law Schools And The Last Buggy Whip Manufacturer:

LawProfBlawg and TempDean are both somewhat surprised that none of the recent closures have involved freestanding law schools. Freestanding law schools have been an important feature of the legal education landscape for the past century. ...

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March 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Future Of TaxProf Blog

Pepperdine Law School (2016)ABA Journal, Popular Blogger and Scholar Tapped as Pepperdine Law Dean; He Plans to Keep Blogging:

Paul L. Caron, a professor at Pepperdine School of Law, has been selected as its new dean. The tax law scholar also blogs at TaxProf Blog, and owns and publishes the Law Professor Blogs Network.

Besides tax matters, the Tax Prof Blog also has many posts on various challenges in legal education. In 2016, National Jurist named Caron the third most influential person in legal education.

Caron has not shied away from posting about controversial topics in legal education, including bar passage rates in California and elsewhere. When asked if he plans to continue blogging as dean, Caron said yes.

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March 7, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (14)

Fleischer Presents Tax Reform: The State of Play Today At Georgetown

Fleischer (2016)Victor Fleischer (San Diego; Co-Chief Tax Counsel, Senate Finance Committee Democrats) presents Tax Reform: The State of Play at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg.  Vic's talk will discuss several aspects of the House Republicans' tax reform blueprint, A Better Way for Tax Reform:

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March 7, 2017 in Colloquia, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York:  A Tax Haven For Art Collectors?

NYFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Wall Street Journal, A New Tax-Free Way to Store Art:

New York could become the latest tax haven for art collectors.

A pair of art shippers who for years watched collectors buy works in the city—only to store them tax-free in warehouses in Delaware or Switzerland—have won the right to turn a former parking lot in Harlem into a foreign-trade zone.

The shippers, Tom Sapienza and Kevin Lay, plan to open a 110,000-square-foot facility, called Arcis, that can store as much as $2.5 billion worth of art duty-free. Collectors will be able to buy art in New York, or anywhere in the world, and store it in Arcis’s four-story warehouse indefinitely without having to pay local or state taxes—although taxes will be due once the art leaves the site. Moving new purchases into storage can give collectors and dealers time to save up to pay the taxes later rather than right away—or time to resell the work while it’s in storage and thereby pass on the sales tax to someone else. Collectors can also choose to ship their work internationally and avoid paying local taxes altogether.

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March 7, 2017 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seto:  Does The Income Tax Cause Parents To Spend Too Much Time With Their Children?

Theodore Seto (Loyola-L.A.), Does the Income Tax Cause Parents to Spend Too Much Time with Their Children?: Rethinking Mirrlees:

In 1971, James Mirrlees published An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation, one of the most influential tax papers ever written. Unpacked, Mirrlees’ claim can be restated as follows: Assume that our undistorted decisions about how to allocate our time between paid and unpaid activities are welfare-maximizing. If so, any distortion of those decisions by the tax system is welfare-reducing. Unless the supply of labor is inelastic or income effects predominate, taxing income from labor will cause taxpayers to spend less time engaged in paid activities and more time in unpaid activities than would be welfare-maximizing. Because of the declining marginal utility of money, redistribution from high-income to low-income individuals is generally welfare-enhancing. Nevertheless, at some point the welfare losses from taxing labor income to effect redistribution outweigh the welfare gains produced by redistribution. This, in turn, (1) limits the overall amount of welfare-enhancing redistribution we can effect by taxing income from labor and (2) requires flat or declining marginal tax rates on such income.

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March 7, 2017 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)