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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Should Law Students Get A Lower Student Loan Interest Rate?

Student LoansBloomberg, Is the Government Charging Some People Too Much for Student Loans?:

For young people with good jobs, repaying student loans has probably never been easier. In the past four years a growing number of companies have begun offering to refinance people’s federal loans, which generally means buying the debt and then collecting payments from borrowers at a much lower interest rate than the government was charging.

The companies—which include startups and traditional banks alike—say this is an attractive business opportunity because certain graduates are bound to pay back their loans on time. Buying their debt now and collecting small, but virtually guaranteed, payments over time can be a profitable enterprise.

For the people whom these companies target—often graduate school alums—the deal has few drawbacks. Those who refinance public loans through a private company like Social Finance or CommonBond pay less interest over the long haul. They also give up the right to enter into government repayment plans, but it’s unlikely these particular folks would need to rely on such programs, which are aimed at struggling grads.

Sounds like a win-win scenario for all players, except for two: the U.S. government and, by extension, the taxpayer. As Bloomberg reported last week, the boom in student debt refinancing for a few could be bad for the masses. Taking the least risky borrowers—the ones with good jobs and high incomes—out of the pool of those who are repaying student loans makes that pool more risky overall.

Imagine a doomsday scenario (which is unlikely to occur, but still interesting) where private lenders manage to pluck every solvent borrower out of the group of students and graduates indebted to the government. That would leave the rest of us, who finance the loan program and perhaps count on college loans for ourselves or our children, dependent on a set of (theoretically) unreliable people to replenish the government’s coffers. Not fun.

So should the government get in on the refinancing game? Some say yes. The U.S. Department of Education, says Michael Simkovic, a law professor at Seton Hall University, is overcharging certain borrowers, given how unlikely they are to stop paying the debt back. He says it would make more sense to give lower interest rates to people who major in lucrative fields, or those who go to graduate school for certain professional degrees.

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June 19, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Douglas O'Donnell To Replace Heather Maloy As Commissioner, Large Business And International Division (LB&I)

MaloyHeather C. Maloy, Commissioner of the Large Business and International Division (LB&I), will leave her position at the IRS on July 10, 2015. Douglas W. O'Donnell, Deputy Commissioner (International), will become the new Commissioner of the Large Business and International Division:

Since November 2009, Heather has served as the Division Commissioner in the Large Business and International Division (LB&I) and has been responsible for providing executive leadership to the LB&I workforce as it accomplished its mission of ensuring tax compliance of corporations, subchapter S corporations and partnerships with assets greater than 10 million and delivery of service wide tax administration services for individuals in the area of international tax matters. During her tenure, she oversaw the successful expansion of the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP), championed the development, issuance and implementation of the Uncertain Tax Positions (UTP) and provided critical leadership to implement the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). During the summer of 2013, she acted as the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.

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June 19, 2015 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Crespi: The 'Tax Bomb' Facing Lawyers Who Enroll In Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans Is Even Bigger

IBRFollowing on last week's post, The 'Tax Bomb' Facing Lawyers Who Enroll In Income-Based Student Loan Repayment Plans:  Greg Crespi (SMU) reports that he has

substantially revised and greatly improved my IBR “tax bomb” draft paper that I sent to you on June 7, in response to a lot of very helpful feedback from other scholars and practitioners, and I have replaced my prior SSRN posting with this new draft (attached) .  This new draft has a much more accurate assessment of the actually quite limited significance of the DOE’s new REPAYE Plan (more limited than I had previously realized), and now includes significantly larger and probably much more accurate projections of the size of the problem.  I now project that by 2038 approximately 20,000+ lawyers will be impacted each year by this IBR or PAYE debt forgiveness tax liability (see p. 80-81), with an annual aggregate tax bill imposed upon these lawyers of approximately $800 million to $900 million (see p. 82-83).  According to SSRN many of your readers have downloaded my draft, and you may want to give them a heads-up as to this new and improved  draft with its more dramatic predictions as to the 2032 and later tax implications for high-debt law school graduates of the IBR program.

June 19, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 771

IRS Logo 2Investor's Business Daily, IRS' Latest Email Excuse Draws It Closer To Rogue Agency Status:

Lawlessness:  On Day 768 of the IRS scandal targeting political dissidents, the tax agency said it has more emails to release. Only it can't release them until September because it must ensure there are no duplicates. Baloney.

Missing yet another court-ordered deadline on June 12, the Internal Revenue Service has failed to release 6,400 new emails found on the hard drive of Lois Lerner, former tax exempt organization chief, pertaining to the agency's admitted targeting of administration critics. ...

Now, instead of that dog-ate-my-homework claim, the excuse is that the IRS only wants to make sure there are no duplicates in the bunch, a peculiar fastidiousness given how the agency has stopped answering most taxpayer phone calls .

Let's cut to the chase here: The IRS is obstructing justice because it doesn't want the truth to come out . The agency has been caught red-handed targeting opponents of the Obama administration, including the tea party, pro-Israel groups and conservative news media.

It purposely delayed issuances of tax-exempt status to nonprofit groups and held investigations entirely outside its own mandate.

What the IRS is hiding is bound to be the work of malicious political operatives cloaking themselves as impartial civil servants, plotting among themselves against their political enemies through email.

The stiff-arms given by the IRS at every juncture — from Lerner's invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a House hearing to this latest claim about preventing duplicates — is consistent with that scenario.

As a result, the IRS is moving closer and closer to rogue status — an agency so contemptuous of the law and confident of its impunity that it's becoming a law unto itself.

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June 19, 2015 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rand Paul Announces 'The Fair And Flat Tax': 14.5% Rate For Individuals & Businesses

RandWall Street Journal op-ed:  Blow Up the Tax Code and Start Over, by Rand Paul (R-KY):

Apply a 14.5% flat tax to personal income and to businesses. Cut deductions. Watch the economy roar.

Some of my fellow Republican candidates for the presidency have proposed plans to fix the tax system. These proposals are a step in the right direction, but the tax code has grown so corrupt, complicated, intrusive and antigrowth that I’ve concluded the system isn’t fixable.

So on Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this “The Fair and Flat Tax.”

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June 18, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (10)

NY Times: Put Lawyers Where They’re Needed

Liberated LawyeringNew York Times op-ed:  Put Lawyers Where They’re Needed, by Theresa Amato: (author, Liberated Lawyering: How Lawyers Can Change the World (forthcoming 2016)):

Millions of Americans lack crucial legal services. Yet enormous numbers of lawyers are unemployed. Why can’t the supply of lawyers match the demand? ...

To create the entire sector of sustainable, affordable legal service providers that the legal profession needs will take much more entrepreneurship. There’s no shortage of lawyers to bridge the justice gap. For the last four years, less than 60 percent of law-school graduates have found full-time jobs requiring a bar qualification.

The problem is twofold. First, school fees have consistently outpaced inflation over the last 30 years, and on average, 86 percent of law students graduate with six-figure debt. Without help, the drag of this debt makes it near-impossible for willing graduates to take lower-paying legal services jobs.

Second, even for those graduates who are able to serve those who lack affordable legal representation, the jobs are few and much fought-for — despite the often less than chic locales. Recent graduates rarely have the training or resources to create jobs for themselves. ...

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June 18, 2015 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Two Computer Monitors Just Don't Cut It Anymore

Monitor 2PC World, How to Create an Insane Multiple Monitor Setup With Three, Four, or More Displays:

Studies have shown that dual monitors can increase productivity [sometimes], but the jury’s still out on whether adding even more monitors means even more productivity. That aside, having multiple monitors (and I’m talking three, four, five, or even six) is just…awesome, and something you totally need in your life.

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June 18, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

William Byrnes Leaves Thomas Jefferson For Texas A&M

ByrnesWilliam H. Byrnes, IV, Associate Dean for Graduate and Distance Education Programs in International Tax and Financial Services at Thomas Jefferson Law School (and co-editor of our International Financial Law Prof Blog), has accepted a position as Executive Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Special Projects at Texas A&M Law School:

William Byrnes is a leading tax and financial crimes expert who has published numerous books and articles. Professor Byrnes pioneered online legal education twenty years ago and created the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school. He is formerly an Associate Dean at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange. As a tax attorney, he was a Senior Manager, then Associate Director of international tax for Coopers and Lybrand. He brings a unique set of qualifications, having successfully run distance education programs and built an international network that supports them.

June 18, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fennell: Do Not Cite Or Circulate

DNCCLee Anne Fennell (Chicago), Do Not Cite or Circulate, 18 Green Bag 2d 151 (2015):

This short essay ponders why legal scholars attach formulations such as "Do Not Cite or Circulate" to draft works. It argues against the practice in most circumstances, particularly for work posted on the internet.

June 18, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

North Carolina Senate Cuts $3 Million From UNC Law School Budget: 'The Gene Nichol Transfer Amendment'

North Carolina LogoWRAL News, Senate GOP Docks UNC Law $3M:

A last-minute amendment by Senate leaders Wednesday docked the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law budget by $3 million. Democrats say it's political payback for the school's employment of legislative critic Gene Nichol. ...

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June 18, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

TIGTA: IRS Budget Cuts Had Minimal Impact On Tax Collections

Washington Examiner, Watchdog: IRS Cuts Had Minimal Impact on Tax Collections:

The government watchdog released a report Wednesday indicating that the ability of the IRS to collect taxes hasn't been hurt too dramatically by sharp budget cuts the agency has seen since 2010.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's report said tax collection has softened somewhat, but data in the report shows that revenues haven't fallen that far in some cases, and that some revenues have increased over the last few years. ...

[T]he report showed that ACS collections were $3.2 billion in 2010, when there were 2,817 ACS workers, and $3.1 billion in 2014, when there were 2,234 ACS workers. The report admitted that's "slightly less" in collections after a more than 20 percent cut to the workforce. While collections fell to $2.8 billion in 2012, collections have actually been rising since then, and have been nearly flat over the entire period, even as the number of workers have fallen.

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June 18, 2015 in Gov't Reports, IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wal-Mart Has $76 Billion In Undisclosed Overseas Tax Havens

TheWalmartWeb-June-2015-FINALBloomberg:  Wal-Mart Has $76 Billion in Undisclosed Overseas Tax Havens, by Jesse Drucker & Renee Dudley:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns more than $76 billion of assets through a web of units in offshore tax havens around the world, though you wouldn’t know it from reading the giant retailer’s annual report.

A new study has found Wal-Mart has at least 78 offshore subsidiaries and branches, more than 30 created since 2009 and none mentioned in U.S. securities filings. Overseas operations have helped the company cut more than $3.5 billion off its income tax bills in the past six years, its annual reports show.

The study, researched by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and published Wednesday in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness, found 90 percent of Wal-Mart’s overseas assets are owned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, two of the most popular corporate tax havens.

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June 18, 2015 in News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Simkovic: Understanding Student Loans

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall), Understanding Student Loans (1 of 2):

A shorthand approach sometimes used to compare the cost and benefits of higher education—comparing student loan balances at graduation to first year earnings—can be seriously misleading.  The implication of this approach is that student loans have to be repaid in full shortly after graduation, and that graduates’ low initial earnings will persist for the rest of their lives.  

This is an apples to oranges comparison.  An investment in education pays dividends throughout one’s life. First-year earnings are one small, unrepresentative, slice of lifetime earnings. Comparing a lifetime investment to one year of expected returns on it feeds ignorance about how student loans and lifetime earnings actually work.  It thus risks misleading prospective students into making financially disastrous decisions to underinvest in education. ...

Because the benefits of education accrue over the course of a career—perhaps 40 years or more—and earnings typically do not peak until middle age, the costs of education should ideally also be spread over a similar time frame. 


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June 18, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

The IRS Scandal, Day 770

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2014-15 SALT Survey Of Law Professor Salaries

SALTThe Society of American Law Teachers has released its 2014-15 Law Professor Salary Survey (June 2015).  82 law schools responded to the survey with data on median base salaries for three faculty ranks (assistant professor, pre-tenure associate professor, and tenured professor (both associate and full)) and median summer stipends.  Here are the data for the 11 Top 60 law schools that responded to the survey:

School (Rank)


Pre-Tenure Assoc

Tenured (Assoc/Full)


Iowa (22)




Georgia (31)





Ohio State (34)




Florida (47)





Wake Forest (47)





Pepperdine (52)




Tennessee (52)




Nebraska (56)





Case Western (59)





Missouri (59)




UC-Hastings (59)





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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

NY Times: Carly Fiorina Shows Us Just How Weird America’s Tax System Is


New York Times:  Carly Fiorina Shows Us Just How Weird America’s Tax System Is, by Josh Barro:

Last week, Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign made an offer to reporters that was tantalizing to me, but probably to few other people on the planet: If we came in person to her campaign headquarters in Virginia, we could review her state income tax returns.

Ms. Fiorina had already put her and her husband’s federal income taxes for 2012 and 2013 online, along with a disclosure of financial assets that is much more detailed than required by law. (Ms. Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and her husband have a net worth of precisely $58,954,494.88, according to her disclosure forms.) But I was mostly interested in the Fiorinas’ state income tax returns because they demonstrate a distinct — and distinctly annoying — feature of American taxes: the way states clamber over one another, trying to tax the same income, often generating a lot of paperwork but not much revenue.

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June 17, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pasquale: The New York Times’ Curious War On Traditional Higher Education

Frank Pasquale (Maryland), The New York Times’ Curious War on Traditional Higher Education:

It’s a strange position for America’s “paper of record” to take. Despite its largely traditionally-college-educated readership, the New York Times is constantly publishing articles attacking the value of university degrees. Tom Friedman dismisses them as expensive merit “badges” oft-unrelated to the exact qualifications needed for jobs. The ubiquitous Tyler Cowen blasts ed sector costs and inefficiencies, despite international acclaim for US universities. The author of The End of College has had a high-profile platform at the Times‘s Upshot blog.

All three men tend to characterize traditional college degrees as mere signals, barely (if at all) related to the actual skills, habits, and qualities of mind and character that lead to successful, fulfilling lives. I’ve never seen them grapple with the extensive empirical literature on why education increases earnings. Nor do they tend to respond much to the hard data that their colleague David Leonhardt provides on the costs and benefits of college.

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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

BigLaw L.A. Divorce Gets Nasty As Ex-Wife (Sullivan & Cromwell, Finance) Cross-Examines Former Husband (Irell & Manella, Tax)

PixAbove the Law, Biglaw Divorce Gets Nasty As Ex-Wife Cross-Examines Former Husband:

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where this was a good idea.

Hydee Feldstein, a retired Sullivan & Cromwell [finance] partner, decided to cross-examine her ex-husband Peter Gregora, a former tax litigator at Irell & Manella, in their contentious divorce case — a case where Feldstein alleges Gregora stole nearly $20 million from her. They say a lawyer representing herself has a fool for a client. Well, Feldstein has outside counsel — indeed counsel from two firms, Miller & Ayala LLP and the Rudd Law Firm — yet it was Feldstein who cross-examined her ex in open court. After reading the resulting train wreck, perhaps there are fools on all sides of Feldstein’s defense. ...

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June 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kentucky Law Prof Retires After 50 Years: 'Shame On Us' For Explosion In Law School Tuition

LawsonLexington Herald-Leader, After 50 Years at UK, Professor Who Wrote Much of Kentucky Law and Investigated UK Athletics Is Retiring:

Robert Gene Lawson, who is retiring July 1, wrote much of Kentucky law and taught thousands of the people who practice it.

Lawson spent 50 years as a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, and he was dean twice. Among his students were U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Gov. Steve Beshear, U.S. Reps. Andy Barr and Ed Whitfield, and most of the Kentucky Supreme Court. ...

The son of a coal miner, Lawson was born in 1938 in a tiny Logan County, W.Va., community almost entirely owned by Island Creek Coal Co. His father urged him to escape the coal camp through an education. He worked his way through tuition-free Berea College and then earned a law degree at UK in 1963.

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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

IRS-TPC Research Conference Today On Improving Tax Administration Through Research-Driven Efficiencies

TPC-IRSThe IRS and Tax Policy Center are hosting a research conference today on Improving Tax Administration Through Research-Driven Efficiencies with these presentations and papers:

Session 1Innovative Methods for Improving Resource Allocation

Estimating Marginal Revenue/Cost Curves for Correspondence Audits
Ron Hodge, Alan Plumley, Kyle Richison, and Getaneh Yismaw (IRS, RAS), and Nicole Khoury, Matt Olson, and H. Sanith Wijesinghe (MITRE Corporation)

Examining the TDA Collectability Curve: How Does the Aging of TDA Delinquencies Impact Dollars Collected?
Joe Saldana, Jeff Wilson, and Tom Beers (IRS, Taxpayer Advocate Service)

Analysis of Flow-Through Entities Using Social Network Analysis Techniques
Rahul Tikekar, Ririko Horvath, and Larry May (IRS, RAS), Ashish Agarwal and Shannon Chen (University of Texas at Austin)

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June 17, 2015 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of California Bans Microagressions By Faculty (Support For Color Blindness, Meritocracy; Denial of Racism/Sexism/Heterosexism)

University of California (2015)Eugene Volokh (UCLA), UC Teaching Faculty Members Not to Criticize Race-based Affirmative Action, Call America ‘Melting Pot,’ and More:

One of the latest things in universities, including at University of California (where I teach) is condemning “microaggressions,” supposed “brief, subtle verbal or non-verbal exchanges that send denigrating messages to the recipient because of his or her group membership (such as race, gender, age or socio-economic status).” Such microaggressions, the argument goes, can lead to a “hostile learning environment,” which UC — and the federal government — views as legally actionable. This is stuff you could get disciplined or fired for, especially if you aren’t a tenured faculty member.

But of course this concept is now being used to suppress not just, say, personal insults or discrimination in hiring or grading, but also ideas that the UC wants to exclude from university classrooms. Here, from the UC Office of the President, Academic and Personnel Programs department’s site (promoted, for instance, here, here, and here), are some of what the UC wants to see stamped out, in classrooms and presumably elsewhere as well: ...

Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send

[Theme:] Color Blindness[:] Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to or need to acknowledge race.

[Microaggression Examples:] “There is only one race, the human race.”
“America is a melting pot.”
“I don’t believe in race.” …

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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

New Mexico Appoints Two Internal Candidates To Lead Law School As Co-Deans

PhotoPress Release, Mathewson, Pareja Appointed Co-deans at UNM School of Law:

After a rigorous internal search, University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah announced today the appointment of co-deans at the UNM School of Law. Alfred Mathewson and [Tax Prof] Sergio Pareja, both professors at the UNM School of Law, begin as co-deans Aug. 1, 2015.

“The more I learned about the needs of the UNM School of Law, the more my conviction grew that no one person can address the full spectrum of challenges of this period,” Abdallah said. “The combination of Professors Mathewson and Pareja in this role will provide the best possible combination of skills and support to assure success of this critically important and prestigious part of UNM.” ...

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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hiring Partners Reveal New Attorney Readiness For Real World Practice

Sponsored by LexisNexis

LexisNexisLaw Schools and individual faculty are in the process of revising their curriculum and classes to address the demand for more practice-ready graduates. But what are the most desired research, writing and transactional skills and how can law schools develop these skills most effectively? An independent survey was conducted by 5 Square Research, Inc. and funded by LexisNexis®, to answer these questions and more. 

The result is a new white paper, Hiring Partners Reveal New Attorney Readiness for Real World Practice, which shares the responses of 300 hiring partners and associates from small to large law firms practicing in litigation and transactional law. 

Key findings include:

  • 96% believe that newly graduated law students lack practical skills related to litigation and transactional practice.
  • 66% deem writing and drafting skills highly important with emphasis on motions, briefs and pleadings
  • Newer attorneys spend 40% – 60% of their time conducting legal research
  • 88% of hiring partners think proficiency using “paid for” research services is highly important
  • Students lack advanced legal research skills in the areas of statutory law, regulations, legislation and more…
  • The most important transactional skills include business and financial concepts, due diligence, drafting contracts and more…
  • A law firm spends approximately $19,000 per year, on average, to train a new associate

This study reveals the most important and most lacking practical skills desired by legal employers and will help inform law schools of the specific content and tasks they can integrate into applicable classes and experiential learning programs pursuant to employer demand and the new ABA standards.

Read the full article with charts, Hiring Partners Reveal New Attorney Readiness for Real World Practice, or view this Executive Overview Prezi*.  

*Chrome or Firefox is best for viewing Prezi

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June 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The IRS Scandal, Day 769

IRS Logo 2Judicial Watch Press Release, IRS Finds New Lois Lerner Emails:

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement in response to the IRS’ court filing Friday about 6,400 newly discovered emails from Lois Lerner’s account:

Late Friday afternoon, the Obama IRS finally complied with Judge Emmet Sullivan’s June 4 order requiring the IRS to provide answers by June 12 on the status of the Lois Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing on June 2, 2015, demanding answers about Lois Lerner’s emails, which had been recovered from backup tapes.

Our review of the seven-page filing shows that the IRS remains intent on stonewalling Judicial Watch and Judge Sullivan. Indeed, contrary to false representations to the court and Congress that the emails were lost and unrecoverable, the IRS finally admits that it has as many as 6,400 new Lois Lerner emails but won’t promise to turn them over to Judicial Watch. Even though the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration already identified and removed emails that are duplicates, the IRS is in ‘the process of conducting further manual deduplication of the 6,400’ emails, rather than reviewing them in response to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act requests that are more than two years old now. Our legal team will continue pursuing all necessary and available legal options to hold the IRS accountable for its flagrant abuse of power.

Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's June 12, 2015 Response (No. 1:13-cv-1559-EGS, June 12, 2015):

1.  Defendant Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) does not refute in its seven-page Response that the Treasure Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) was able to locate the Lois Lerner backup tapes within one day of its investigation or that the IRS never requested the backup tapes from its technicians before declaring that the emails were lost forever.

2.  IRS has still not disclosed whether TIGTA has produced to the IRS all emails it forensically recovered and when the IRS expects to produce them to Plaintiff in response to the FOIA requests submitted more than two years ago.

3.  Rather, it affirmed that the “Service is in the process of conducting further manual duplication of the 6,400 forensically-recovered emails to supplement the automated duplication conducted by TIGTA.” This is after TIGTA had already identified and removed emails that are duplicates of the recovered emails or those which the IRS had already produced to Congressional Committees. According to its Response, the IRS does not intend to begin producing any of the 6,400 emails until after it has completed its review and production of the Lerner emails that were not forensically recovered. ...

4.  The IRS has a statutory duty to search for and produce documents responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA requests in the shortest amount of time. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A); Order, Jason Leopold v. U.S. Department of State, Case No. 15-0123-RC (D.D.C. May 27, 2015) (DKT No. 17) (ordering the State Department to start producing Hillary Clinton’s emails every thirty days, rather than waiting to produce them at one time in January 2016).

5.  Plaintiff’s counsel is not concerned about receiving duplicate emails in this case. Lois Lerner’s emails are at the heart of Plaintiff’s FOIA requests. Plaintiff has waited more than two years to receive them and the IRS should start producing them now.

6.  Also, the IRS’s uncited statement that it is premature for TIGTA to publically disclose the status of its investigation in greater detail is directly contradictory to Congressman Chaffetz’s statement on June 12, 2015 that TIGTA is preparing to release the conclusion of its investigation about the Lois Lerner’s emails in the next several days. The fact that TIGTA’s conclusion of its investigation is expected in the next few days indicates (1) that the investigation is complete and (2) the report is basically in final form.

7.   Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to start producing any non-exempt, responsive emails contained within the 6,400 emails immediately and disclose whether they are all or a subset of the recovered emails from the 1,268 backup tapes.

8.  Further, Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to file monthly status reports about its progress of the production of non-exempt, responsive emails that were placed in the Congressional database two years ago, the 6,400 recovered emails and any additional emails that may be recovered by TIGTA from the 1,268 backup tapes.

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June 17, 2015 in IRS News, IRS Scandal | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

U.S. Charitable Giving Hits Record High

WSJWall Street Journal, Charitable Giving in U.S. Continues to Rise:

Mirroring growth in the domestic economy, charitable giving by Americans rose to a record $358.38 billion last year, surpassing a previous high of $355.17 billion in 2007, according to a closely watched annual report.

The study from the Giving USA Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit, uses data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Economic Analysis among other sources, and looks at all donations—from individuals to corporations, to churches and museums.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, total giving rose 5.4% over 2013, according to the report. As a percentage of gross domestic product—widely considered a factor in how much donors give to charity—giving was 2.1%. ...

Last year was the fifth straight year of growth for the charitable sector. ... About half of individual giving comes from 4% of the population. ...

Organizations devoted to the arts, health, animals and the environment saw the greatest gains in donations last year, with only giving to international-affairs causes dropping. Experts attributed that decline to the lack of a large international disaster, like a typhoon or earthquake, which typically draws American givers.

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June 16, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Walker: Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation

Christopher J. Walker (Ohio State), Inside Agency Statutory Interpretation, 67 Stan. L. Rev. 999 (2015):

The Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress, yet Congress grants expansive lawmaking authority to federal agencies. As positive political theorists have long explored, Congress intends for federal agencies to faithfully exercise their delegated authority, but ensuring fidelity to congressional wishes is difficult due to asymmetries in information, expertise, and preferences that complicate congressional control and oversight. Indeed, this principal-agent problem has a democratic and constitutional dimension, as the legitimacy of administrative governance may well depend on whether the unelected bureaucracy is a faithful agent of Congress. Despite the predominance of lawmaking by regulation and the decades-long application of principal-agent theory to the regulatory state, we know very little about how federal agencies interpret statutes.

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June 16, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Exclusive Hedge Fund Turbocharged Retirement Plan With Deft Tax Maneuvering

RenBloomberg:  How an Exclusive Hedge Fund Turbocharged Retirement Plan, by Richard Rubin & Margaret Collins:

It’s one of the sweetest employee perks in the hedge-fund world: a chance to invest in Medallion, the wildly profitable fund created by market legend James Simons.

Now, with deft legal maneuvers and a blessing from Washington, the firm Simons started is giving its employees an even richer opportunity -- a tax-advantaged, fee-free ticket to one of the world’s top-performing hedge funds.

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June 16, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Law Student's Guide To Meaningful Employment

RoadmapNeil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas), Roadmap: The Law Student's Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Successful Plan for Meaningful Employment (2015):

Professor Neil Hamilton, former interim dean of St. Thomas University School of Law, has developed a ground-breaking template for law students to use throughout all three years of law school in order to be fully prepared to find employment upon graduation. Hamilton established the core competencies desired by law firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental law departments, to demonstrate what competencies each student should be developing. Through a combination of one-to-one mentoring and student-driven growth plans, each student identifies specific competencies and career goals then demonstrates progress over the final five semesters before graduation. Hamilton’s method is already in use at several law schools, with spectacular results―both increased employment rates and elevated student understanding of the student’s role and path in obtaining employment.

This is the book for law students who want to take control of their law school education, and ensure a positive outcome upon graduation.

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June 16, 2015 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tax Malpractice Claims Are 1% Of All Legal Malpractice Claims

Tom Baker (Pennsylvania) & Rick Swedloff (Rutgers-Camden), Liability Insurer Data as a Window on Lawyers’ Professional Liability, 5 UC Irvine L. Rev. ___ (2015):

Using the best publicly available data on lawyers’ liability claims and insurance – from the largest insurer of large law firms in the U.S., the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability, and a summary of large claims from a leading insurance broker – this article reports the frequency of lawyers’ liability claims, the distribution and cost of claims by type of practice, the disposition of claims, and lawyers liability insurance premiums from the early 1980s to 2013. Notable findings include remarkable stability over thirty years in the distribution of claims by area of practice among both small and large firms, a large percentage of claims (64-70%) involving de minimus expense (less than $1000) in the small firm market, and in the large firm market a declining rate of “real claims” per 1000 lawyers, a declining rate of real average gross loss per claim, and stable real premiums per lawyer since the early 1990s. Because of data limitations, however, these results cannot be confidently generalized. Further advances in the understanding of lawyers’ liability and insurance will require qualitative research.

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June 16, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Weichsel: Alternative Perspectives On The Proposed Yahoo Spin-Off

WeichselTaxProf Blog op-ed:  Alternative Perspectives on the Proposed Yahoo Spin-Off, by Stuart Weichsel (Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann, New York):

There has been much discussion in the press (e.g., here and here) regarding how Yahoo! will proceed with its proposed tax-free spinoff of its shares is Alibaba (worth about $40 billion) and its shares in Yahoo Japan (worth about $7 billion), each valuation before any US corporate income tax is paid.

If Alibaba is dropped into a Spinco and distributed in a purported tax-free  distribution like TripAdvisors and Liberty Broadband, Yahoo is running a $14 billion federal tax risk.   Distributing Yahoo Japan would also run a $2.5 billion tax risk. 

There are two alternative transactions that run much less tax risk.

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June 16, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition

IFA Logo (2015)The International Fiscal Association is sponsoring the IFA USA Branch 2015 Writing Competition (rules here):

  • Subject:  Any topic relating to U.S. taxation of income from international activities, including taxation under U.S. tax treaties.
  • Open to:  All full or part-time students during the 2014-15 academic year pursuing a graduate degree.
  • Submission Deadline:  September 30, 2015.
  • Prize:  $2,000 cash, plus expenses-paid invitation to IFA USA Branch Annual Meeting on February 25-26, 2016 in Miami.

Here are the recent winners:

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June 16, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Community Groups Allege Wal-Mart Used Charitable Foundation To Boost Expansion

Walmart Logo (2013)Washington Post, Groups Allege Wal-Mart Used Charitable Foundation to Boost Expansion:

More than a dozen community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service Monday alleging that the Walmart Foundation violated its tax-exempt status by using charitable funds to advance the retailer’s entrance into urban markets including Washington.

The 22-page complaint, addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, details the retailer’s marketing and lobbying activities as it sought approval to open stores in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.

The groups allege that the foundation is completely controlled by the company and that it “appears to target its donations and influence its grantees primarily to assist Walmart to achieve those expansion goals, ultimately providing Walmart more than an incidental benefit. Walmart Foundation’s activities are impermissible under the Code.”

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June 16, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)


SketchyLaw, Law School Review:

Our video library of narrated lectures present legal concepts in more memorable spaces, allowing you to create your own visual memory palace with each scene. 

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June 16, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 768

IRS Logo 2Daily Caller, IRS Finds 6,400 New Lois Lerner Emails…Gives DUMBEST EXCUSE YET For Not Releasing Them:

The Internal Revenue Service found 6,400 more Lois Lerner emails — but they’re not handing them over in court.

The IRS’ latest excuses are nothing short of infuriating.

Department of Justice lawyers Geoffrey J. Klimas and Stephanie Sasarak, acting as counsel for the IRS, submitted a U.S. District Court filing June 12 in the case Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service. The court filing, provided to The Daily Caller, claims the IRS received new Lerner emails from the Treasury Department’s inspector general (TIGTA) but can’t fork over the emails to Judicial Watch, a nonprofit group suing to get the emails. Why? Because the IRS is busy making sure that none of the emails are duplicates  – you know, so as not to waste anyone’s time.

However, the inspector general already made sure that none of the emails were duplicates, so the IRS’ latest excuse falls flat.

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June 16, 2015 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (8)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Call For Review Essays: ABA Tax Section NewsQuarterly

ABA News QuarterlyFrom Linda Beale (Wayne State):

The ABA Tax Section’s NewsQuarterly is transitioning to an all-digital format. One new feature to be introduced in connection with the move to digital is reviews of books and articles on topics of interest to tax practitioners. Reviews serve the purpose of informing readers of recent publications pertaining to tax policy and emerging issues, as well as broader concerns about the interrelationship between tax policies and economic growth. Reviews may be of single books or articles or they may be review essays that discuss and compare two or more books and articles addressing the same topic, similar to such review essays in the New York Review of Books. Reviews will be considered for publication in each quarterly issue, with the first review appearing in the Winter 2016 issue.

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June 15, 2015 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jeff Harrison's Restyled Legal Education Blog

NY Times: Tax And Estate Planning Implications Of A Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Same-SexNew York Times, The Same-Sex Marriage Decision: What’s at Stake for Couples:

If the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, married gay couples will gain all the financial and legal rights and responsibilities of being married, regardless of which state they call home.

The highest court’s landmark decision in 2013, United States v. Windsor, already established that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. But two major federal agencies, Social Security and Veterans Affairs, must still look to the states to determine marital status, so couples living in nonrecognition states are generally cut off from receiving those benefits. Same-sex couples are not entitled to many state-conferred benefits either.

A pro-marriage ruling, however, would put same-sex couples on even ground with the rest of the married population in several significant ways:

Taxes.  Married same-sex couples would be able to file joint returns at both the federal and state levels. Without the ruling, couples living in states that do not recognize their unions may have to continue to prepare two sets of tax returns: a joint one for the federal government and individual ones for states.

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June 15, 2015 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. PIRG Seeks To Hire A Tax & Budget National Campaign Director

PIRG 2U.S. PIRG is seeking to hire a Tax & Budget National Campaign Director:

U.S. PIRG is hiring a National Campaign Director to lead our national Tax & Budget campaigns. We’re looking for an experienced political advocate who will be directing campaign strategy, influencing stakeholders, political organizing, coalition-building, evaluating policy choices, fundraising, and developing staff. ...

Qualifications:  Candidates must have at least 8 years of relevant professional experience. Advanced degrees like a JD or a master’s degree are preferred, but not required. Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to citizen-based social change, as well as a track record of leadership. We're looking for people who are goal-driven and results-oriented, who have excellent verbal, writing and analytical skills, the ability to speak persuasively in a charged atmosphere, and enthusiasm for the work. Experience with related policy issues and how Washington, DC or statehouses work preferred. ...

Application:  Please apply using our online application @ Direct your application to Andre Delattre, Executive Director of U.S. PIRG.

(Hat Tip: David Cay Johnston.)

June 15, 2015 in Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Student Loan News

June 15, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zelinsky: Preliminary Thoughts About The Enigma Of Wynne

ZelinskyTaxProf Blog op-ed:  Preliminary Thoughts About The Enigma of Wynne, by Edward Zelinsky (Cardozo):

Maryland’s county income tax does not grant a credit to Maryland residents for the out-of-state income taxes such residents pay on the income they earn outside of Maryland. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, the U.S. Supreme Court held that this failure causes the Maryland county income tax to violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Wynne perpetuates an inherent problem of the Court’s dormant Commerce Clause doctrine: The Court declares some, ill-defined taxes such as the Maryland county income tax unconstitutionally discriminatory while other, economically equivalent taxes and government programs are apparently acceptable under the dormant Commerce Clause. A decision as enigmatic as it is important, Wynne raises as many questions as it answers. Among these are the continuing viability (or not) of external consistency and apportionment, concepts which have been central to the Court’s formulation of the dormant Commerce Clause. Wynne also undermines the Supreme Court’s traditional tolerance of the double state income taxation of dual residents.

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June 15, 2015 in New Cases, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Bentley University Seeks To Hire A Tenure-Track Tax Prof

Bentley 2Bentley University, located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, is seeking to hire a full-time tenure-track Assistant Professor of Law and Taxation to start July 2016:

The chosen candidate will teach both undergraduate and graduate law courses with a business focus, and on occasion, as needed, graduate tax courses. The standard teaching load for the tenure-track years is 2-2 (two courses per semester). The chosen candidate will be expected to publish high quality and impactful scholarship in respected academic and/or practitioner journals. ...

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June 15, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

IRS Releases Final Estate Tax Portability Regulations

Estate Tax LogoThe IRS on Friday released T.D. 9725, Portability of a Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount:

This document contains final regulations that provide guidance under sections 2010 and 2505 of the Internal Revenue Code on the estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as on the applicable requirements for electing portability of a deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount to the surviving spouse and on the applicable rules for the surviving spouse’s use of this DSUE amount.

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June 15, 2015 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 767

IRS Logo, Rove’s ‘New’ Group Isn’t New, and That Could Be the Point:

Karl Rove and his colleagues at the dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS have a “new” 501(c)(4), and according to reports, they’re going to use it in much the same way they have used GPS itself — as a conduit for anonymous, political money in the 2016 elections.

But the group, One Nation, isn’t “new,” and that’s probably the point.

Virginia state incorporation records show that the operatives who run Crossroads simply took over an existing 501(c)(4), and they likely did so because the group had the one thing that has been elusive to Crossroads since its founding in 2010: An approved application for tax exemption from the IRS.

Grasping that fact is central to understanding why Crossroads would need to form a new 501(c)(4) to do what it — the largest of all politically active nonprofits — has done for nearly five years. Obtaining the more durable shield of IRS recognition likely has as much to do with this move by Crossroads as its reported aim of keeping the Crossroads brand relevant in a crowded field of GOP groups trying to influence the 2016 elections.

Over the last two weeks, media outlets have talked up One Nation as the “new nonprofit group” that will be spending millions on television and radio ads aimed at softening up voters in three states where Senate Republicans are vulnerable. This “new” group will work in tandem with a super PAC called Senate Leadership Fund to help the GOP hold its majority in the Senate. Essentially, Crossroads is taking a page out the playbook developed by Harry Reid and the Democratic operatives behind liberal dark money group Patriot Majority USA and its sister super PAC Senate Majority PAC.

But One Nation is as “new” as a 2010 Camry with $2 million in the trunk, a fresh coat of paint and a different driver behind the wheel. That’s because One Nation was, until recently, Alliance for America’s Future, a five-year-old 501(c)(4) social welfare organization formed by the GOP consultants that made up the “BK” in BKM Strategies — Barry Bennett and Kara Ahern, respectively. Mary Cheney was the “M” in the firm, and the Alliance for America’s Future had other ties to the Cheney network. But the group hasn’t made independent expenditures since the 2010 cycle, when it spent more than $700,000; it also spent heavily that cycle for ads promoting Nevada GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval.

While Crossroads GPS has been waiting for the IRS to approve its application for exempt status since Miley Cyrus was Hannah Montana, Alliance for America’s Future — which is represented by the same law firm and applied for an exemption the same month as GPS — was given the IRS seal of approval within weeks, in July 2010. Now, by taking the reins at Alliance for America’s Future, the folks at Crossroads are at the controls of a group that comes pre-packaged with an IRS exemption. And there’s already a link between the organizations: Crossroads helped fund the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee in 2010, a year when the governors’ group provided more than half the money spent by the Alliance for America’s Future — which Nevada courts found out when they forced AAF to disclose three years later.

Marcus Owens, a nonprofit tax lawyer at Loeb & Loeb and former head of the IRS Tax Exempt Division, agrees that the exemption could play a role in the decision by Crossroads operatives to take over the Alliance — particularly given the level of uncertainty that surrounds the Crossroads application for exemption.

“Having an already exempt fallback organization makes sense as a way to continue activities,” Owens said.

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, professor of nonprofit tax law at Notre Dame, calls the move “a well-known strategy in such situations,” going back at least to the Christian Coalition’s decision in 1999 to shift its operations to its Texas chapter, which already had exempt status, and rename it the Christian Coalition of America.

With One Nation under its wing, Crossroads GPS could engage in a similar shift. If it is denied status by the IRS — or if it decides to withdraw its application altogether — its operations can move seamlessly under the umbrella of another 501(c)(4) that already has the IRS’s seal of approval and whose legal gymnastics are already choreographed by the same law firm.

Owens and Mayer stressed that such a move doesn’t mean that the Crossroads operatives are free to engage in politics when they’re at the helm of One Nation; it just shifts oversight to the much less watchful eye of the agency’s auditors. “Such a shift doesn’t escape the possibility of IRS scrutiny,” Owens told OpenSecrets Blog, “but it moves the matter from the application context to the audit context, where the IRS capabilities are spread much more thinly.”

Thin indeed: a 2014 report by the Center for Public Integrity cited statistics showing that the IRS only audited 7 out of every 1,000 yearly returns in 2013. Compare that to the application process, which requires each 501(c) application to be approved or denied by an actual person, and it becomes clear why circumventing that process is such a boon to the operatives who run Crossroads.

The icing on the cake is that this move gives Crossroads a way to slide out from under its languishing application without being forced to pay the corporate income taxes it would have to pay if it received a denial from the IRS — a liability that already got smaller when the statute of limitations on its earliest activities ran out in April. Crossroads could withdraw its application and terminate, potentially without the repercussions of negative determination by the IRS.

This wouldn’t be a risk-free strategy on Crossroad’s part. As Owens points out, this kind of move from an active organization “has historically been an audit trigger.” Mayer says that “in theory the IRS could retroactively attempt to force the organization into 527 status for earlier years and require disclosure of contributors to the organization during those years,” but he doesn’t know of an instance where that has happened.

But while such a scenario poses uncertain risks for Crossroads GPS, those risks are not transferred to One Nation, because it is a separate organization, not technically affiliated with Crossroads.

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June 15, 2015 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Is The Case Western Dean Search A New Model: Co-Deans Selected From Among Internal Candidates With No Faculty Vote?

Case Logo (2014)Following the resignation of former dean Lawrence Mitchell amidst a tawdry sexual harassment scandal and resulting lawsuit (and settlement), Case Western's President and Provost have constituted a dean search committee. The parameters of the search are interesting in three respects:

  1. Only internal candidates will be considered.
  2. The committee will recommend finalists to the president and provost, with no faculty vote.
  3. The president and provost "are open to a model that includes co-deans; while the practice is not common, it has been implemented within both academia and the corporate sector. Our goal is to provide the school the best possible leadership at this moment in its history."

With Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf serving as Acting (Nov. 2013 -  Mar. 2014) and now Interim (Mar. 2014 -) co-deans, the search may result in their appointment as permanent co-deans.

June 14, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

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 #2:

  1. [335 Downloads]  Taxation of E-Commerce, by Orkhan Abdulkarimli (Baku State)
  2. [175 Downloads]  Trust Decanting: A Sale Without Gain Realization, by Jason Kleinman (Herrick, New York)
  3. [171 Downloads]  Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital, by James Kwak (Connecticut)
  4. [152 Downloads]  Citizenship Taxation, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)
  5. [135 Downloads]  What Does Voluntary Tax Compliance Mean?: A Government Perspective, by J. T. Manhire (U.S. Treasury Department)

June 14, 2015 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former University of Georgia President Michael Adams Named Pepperdine Chancellor

AdamsPress Release:

Michael F. Adams, who served as president of the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2013, has been named chancellor of Pepperdine University. Adams is an award-winning educator, political communication specialist, and former vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine University (1982-1988). He will assume his duties on August 1, 2015. ...

As chancellor, Adams will focus on cultivating existing relationships and developing new partnerships to extend Pepperdine’s reach throughout Southern California and around the globe. Following the recent success of the Campaign for Pepperdine, the chancellor will take a leadership role on major initiatives and help strengthen the University’s endowment. ...

Adams most recently held the titles President Emeritus and Regents’ Professor at the University of Georgia. Under his leadership, from 1997 to 2013, the university was recognized as one of the nation’s top 20 public research universities for eight out of 10 years by U.S. News & World Report. During his tenure, the university also attained its highest rankings ever, became the most selective in its history, and grew from an estimated 29,000 students to almost 35,000 students today. Prior to his term at the University of Georgia, he served as president of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, one of America’s top 40 liberal arts colleges, from 1989 to 1997. ...

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June 14, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 766

IRS Logo 2IRS, Response to Notice (No. 1:13-cv-1559-EGS, June 12, 2015):

In accordance with the Court's June 4, 2015, Order, the Internal Revenue Service ("Service") responds to Judicial Watch, Inc.'s Notice dated June 2, 2015:

15. On April 23, 2015, TIGTA provided approximately 6,400 forensically-recovered emails to the Service. 1 Certain of the emails forensically recovered by TIGTA were not readable, or not entirely readable, as initially provided to the Service. TIGTA subsequently provided some of these documents to the Service in readable form on May 8 and June 1, 2015. To date, TIGTA has not provided any other recovered emails to the Service.

16. Prior to providing the Service with the approximately 6,400 forensically-recovered emails, TIGTA identified and removed emails which appear to be duplicates of those which the Service has already produced to the Congressional Committees or were duplicates of other recovered emails. Such emails are also duplicates of those the Service has already retrieved in connection with responding to the FOIA requests at issue in this case. The Service is in the process of conducting further manual deduplication of the 6,400 forensically-recovered emails to supplement the automated deduplication conducted by TIGTA. TIGTA also is further reviewing the 6,400 emails to verify that they were not already produced to the Congressional Committees by the Service.

17. The Service expects to begin processing and reviewing the recovered emails immediately following its review and production of Lerner communications which were not forensically recovered. At this time, the Service is unable to estimate when it will finish processing and reviewing the forensically-recovered emails. 

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June 14, 2015 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

America’s Law School Applications And Enrollment Just Keep Falling

Quartz, America’s Law School Applications Just Keep Falling:

The great law school exodus continues, propelled by a weak job market for lawyers and securer, better paid opportunities in other professions. According to updated data from the US Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), as of June 5 the number of applicants to accredited American law schools are down 2.5% from the same point last year. ...

Where are people going instead? Engineering school, where graduates see some of the highest salary increases from investing in the degree. The numbers below somewhat understate the overall decline in law school enrollment, as they only include the subset of prestigious schools ranked by US News. Lower-tier law schools, which have much shakier career outcomes, have been the hardest hit by enrollment declines:

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June 13, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)