Tax Policy and Tax Administration for the 21st Century
The seventh Deals Roundtable, entitled “Tax Policy and Tax Administration for the 21st Century” took place on Friday, October 24, 2008 at Columbia Law School. The Roundtable focused on the critical tax policy and tax administration questions facing the new President, Congress, and the IRS in the coming years. It also celebrated the wonderful career of Willard Taylor who spent many productive years practicing tax law at Sullivan & Cromwell.
Edward Kleinbard, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, delivered a luncheon address focused on the Joint Committee’s efforts to reframe the tax expenditure analysis. Academics and practitioners used the opportunity to express their views and challenge the Joint Committee’s proposals.
After lunch, Michael Graetz (Columbia Law School) presented his plan for a fundamental tax reform described in his recently published book. He responded to comments from Fred Goldberg (Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom) and Mihir Desai (Harvard Business School).
Next, Dean David Schizer (Columbia Law School) and Thomas Merrill (Columbia Law School) discussed their proposal to use a revenue neutral gas tax to set a floor on gas prices. Louis Kaplow (Harvard Law School) started his comments by confessing that “he has never seen a carbon tax he didn’t like,” but followed by raising several challenges to the substance and the implementation of the proposal.
Finally, Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia Law School) lead a roundtable discussion examining the seemingly unconstrained enforcement discretion that may allow the IRS to have a major impact on the fundamental policy choices reflected in the U.S. tax system. Fed Goldberg, Thomas Merrill, and Michael Schler (Cravath Swaine & Moore) offered their views along with other Roundtable participants.
Roundtable Agenda (PDF Format)
Roundtable Papers (PDF Format)