Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Publication Citation

103 Minnesota Law Review 1439 (2019)

Abstract

The 2017 tax legislation brought sweeping changes to the rules for taxing individuals and business, the deductibility of state and local taxes, and the international tax regime. The complex legislation was drafted and passed through a rushed and secretive process intended to limit public comment on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic policy enacted in recent history. This Article is an effort to supply the analysis and deliberation that should have accompanied the bill’s consideration and passage and describes key problem areas in the new legislation. Many of the new changes fundamentally undermine the integrity of the tax code and allow well-advised taxpayers to game the new rules through strategic planning. These gaming opportunities are likely to worsen the bill’s distributional and budgetary costs beyond those expected in the official estimates. Other changes will encounter legal roadblocks, while drafting glitches could lead to uncertainty and haphazard increases or decreases in taxes. This Article also describes reform options for policymakers who will inevitably be tasked with enacting further changes to the tax law in order to undo the legislation’s harmful effects on the fiscal system.

Comments

Other authors include the following:

Ari Glogower, The Ohio State University Moritz School of Law

Rebecca Kysar, Fordham University School of Law

Darien Shanske, UC Davis School of Law

Reuven Avi-Yonah, University of Michigan Law School

Lily Batchelder, NYU School of Law

J. Clifton Fleming, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Daniel Hemel, University of Chicago Law School

Mitchell Kane, NYU School of Law

David Miller, Proskauer Rose, LLP

Daniel Shaviro, NYU School of Law

Manoj Viswanathan, UC Hastings College of Law

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