Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tax Policy Advice for Barack Obama

In honor of his inauguration, Tax Prof Blog has collected other tax professors’ expert advice on tax policy for Barack Obama. A small portion of the entry can be read below, but the full version can be found here.

Beau Baez (Charlotte): Enact legislation recognizing the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board as a state compact, and eliminate the Quill physical presence requirement for states that are members in good standing in the new state compact.

Bryan Camp (Texas Tech):

1. Enable the IRS to administratively collect non-rebate erroneous refunds as I proposed in my article, The Mysteries of Erroneous Refunds. That article provides a specific legislative proposal to address a very real gap in tax collection policy. Aside from being a no-brainer as a matter of policy, heck, it's a revenue raiser!

2. Repeal judicial review of routine administrative collection decisions. Section 7433 already allows taxpayers to sue for IRS violations of collection statutes and should be retained. However, the judicial review allowed by section 6320 and 6330 for routine collection decisions has proven to be of no benefit to taxpayers, as my Indiana Law Review study of almost 1,000 judicial opinions between 2000 and 2006 demonstrates.

Paul Caron (Cincinnati): Remove estate planning uncertainty by freezing the estate tax exemption ($3.5 million) and rates (45%) at their 2009 levels.

Bridget Crawford (Pace):

1. Allow same-sex couples to file joint income tax returns (and to gift split, make tax-free wealth transfers, etc.).

2. Create a free, reliable and sophisticated on-line filing system that can accept all types of tax returns (estate, gift, etc.) from taxpayers of all levels of wealth, and reduce the statute of limitations on garden-variety audits from 3 years to 2 years.

3. Change the exclusion under Section 121 to an amount equal to the median home value in the metropolitan area (or another geographically-defined region) where the principal residence is located.

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