You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Tax Policy Seminar – discussion papers


Here are some of the papers that we have been discussing in our Tax Policy Seminar at Harvard Law School (Current Issues in Tax Law, Policy & Practice), organized by Daniel Halperin and Mihir Desai. Having the opportunity to meet these authors and take part in high-level discussions with them, other professors (e.g., Louis Kaplow, Diane Ring) and students is a real privilege. 

1. Mitigating the Potential Inequity of Reducing Corporate Rates (Dan Halperin, Harvard Law School)
“Since the statutory marginal U.S. income tax rate on corporate income is higher than the marginal rate imposed by all of our trading partners except Japan, there have been a number of proposals to reduce the U.S. marginal corporate rate. At the same time, it seems likely that the top individual rate will be increased. However, a differential between marginal corporate and individual rates could reduce the overall rate of tax on corporate distributions and enable higher-income taxpayers to shelter their income from services or investments. This paper suggests that we can mitigate these problems if the lower corporate rate is denied to income from services or passive investments and if there is always a second tax on distributed income. The latter requires reducing the step-up in basis at death and the deduction for charitable contributions by the amount of undistributed earnings to prevent taxpayers from permanently escaping tax on earnings retained in the corporation. Nonetheless lower corporate rates allow reinvested corporate profits to earn a permanent higher rate of return. Setting the combined individual and corporate rates on corporate distributions higher than the top individual rate offsets this advantage and also reduces the risk that corporations will be used to shelter income.” 

2. Foundation or Empire? The Role of Charity in a Federal System
Brian D. Galle (Florida State University College of Law; GWU Law School).

This Article critiques the prevailing justification for subsidies for the charitable sector, and suggests a new alternative. According to contemporary accounts, charity corrects the failure of the private market to provide public goods, and further corrects the failure of government to provide goods other than those demanded by the median voter.
However, the claim that government can meet the needs only of a single “median voter” neglects both federalism and public choice theory. Citizens dissatisfied with the services of one government can move to or even create another. Alternatively, they may use the threat of exit to lobby for local change. Subsidies for charity inefficiently distort the operation of these markets for legal rules.
Nonetheless, there remains a strong case for subsidizing charity, albeit on grounds new to the literature. Charity serves as gap-filler when federalism mechanisms break down. For example, frictions on exit produce too little jurisdictional competition, and excessively easy exit produces too much competition – a race to the bottom. At the same time, competition from government constrains inefficient charities. Thus, charity and government each perform best as complements to the other.
Finally, this Article sketches the normative legal consequences of these claims. Most significantly, I respond to the claims by Malani and Posner that for-profit charity would be superior to current arrangements. That suggestion would fatally weaken competition between charity and government, defeating the only persuasive purpose for charitable subsidies.

3. Sovereignty, Integration, and Tax Avoidance in the European Union: Striking the Proper Balance
(Lilian V. Faulhaber, Havard Law School, Climenko Fellow Lecturer on Law)

As the need to raise revenue becomes more pressing and public opposition to tax avoidance increases, the European Court of Justice has made it more difficult for the twenty-seven Member States of the European Union to prevent tax avoidance and shape fiscal policy. This article introduces the new anti-avoidance doctrine of the European Court of Justice and analyzes it from the perspective of taxpayers, Member States, and the European Union legal order as a whole. This doctrine is problematic because it has created a legislative vacuum in Europe. No European Union institution has the authority to regulate direct taxation without the unanimous support of all twenty-seven Member States. As the European Court of Justice strikes down Member State efforts to prevent tax avoidance, no institution can step in to replace these Member State provisions. Member States are thus losing sovereignty over policing tax avoidance, but no legislative move toward an integrated approach is possible without the support of Member States. This article proposes several solutions to the problems posed by the doctrine.

3rd International Tax Law Congress


3rd International Tax Law Congress – Emerging Markets in the New Economic Order: International Tax Issues
(USP – University of São Paulo School of Law and IBDT – Brazilian Tax Law Institute. São Paulo, Brazil.)

“III Congresso de Direito Tributário Internacional: o IBDT promoverá, em conjunto com o Departamento de Direito Econômico, Financeiro e Tributário da Faculdade de Direito da USP, nos dias 17 e 18 de agosto, o III Congresso Brasileiro de Direito Tributário Internacional. Trata-se de evento acadêmico internacional ímpar em seu gênero, com a proposta de debater temas de vanguarda do Direito Tributário Internacional. O Congresso contará com a participação, já confirmada, de ilustres professores e especialistas estrangeiros e visa a proporcionar aos advogados, estudantes e professores pátrios uma oportunidade única de integração e discussão com os mais renomados especialistas do exterior na temática do direito tributário internacional.” (

International Trade Law – Programs & Center


Some programs, courses and resource centers devoted to the study and research of international trade law, international economic law and related areas.

  • Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) / World Trade Institute’s (WTI) Summer Academy:  “The World Trade Institute (WTI) is a centre of advanced studies and a forum for interdisciplinary research and teaching in international trade law, economics and international relations, fostering interaction between students and professionals, and allowing researchers and practitioners to pool their expertise.”






IFA Annual Congress: Vancouver, 2009 (30 Aug – 4 Sep.)


IFA Annual Congress:

2009 Vancouver, Canada (30 August – 4 September)

Welcome Message


The Canadian branch of IFA invites you to take part in the 63rd Congress of the International Fiscal Association in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada August 30 through September 4, 2009.

The annual IFA Congress is considered the most important IFA event of the year. The 2009 scientific programme has been designed to be of keen interest to tax practitioners, in-house tax advisors, academics and government officials. The main subjects are:

      Subject 1 – Is there a permanent establishment?
      Subject 2 – Foreign exchange issues in international taxation

Vancouver is one of the world’s most spectacular cities, sitting at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and nestled in and around the slopes of the towering Coast Mountain Range. A superb and diverse Social Events Program and tourist activities are planned. Each event is planned to provide you with the opportunity to experience the super natural beauty, rich and diverse culture of British Columbia.  We promise you and your family an exceptional experience.

The Canadian Organizing Committee for the 2009 Congress encourages you to mark your calendars and to make every effort to attend.  The warm hospitality of your Canadian colleagues awaits you.

We look forward to welcoming you to Vancouver in 2009! 

Albert Baker
Congress Co-Chair 

Robert Raizenne
Congress Co-Chair


Mot de bienvenue

La section canadienne de l’AFI vous invite cordialement à participer au 63Congrès annuel de l’Association fiscale internationale, qui aura lieu à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique, Canada du 30 août au 4 septembre 2009.

Le congrès annuel de l’AFI est vu comme l’un des plus importants événements annuels de cette Association. Le programme scientifique de 2009 a été conçu pour intéresser particulièrement les fiscalistes, les conseillers fiscaux privés, les professeurs d’université et les représentants des gouvernements. Les principaux sujets à l’ordre du jour seront :

      Sujet 1 – Interprétation de la définition d’établissement stable
      Sujet 2 – Problèmes de taux de change en fiscalité internationale

Vancouver, l’une des villes les plus spectaculaires du monde, est située au bord de l’océan Pacifique et nichée au pied des montagnes et sur les pentes de la chaîne côtière. Un programme des plus intéressants comportant une variété d’événements sociaux diversifiés et d’activités touristiques a été prévu. Chaque événement a été planifié afin de vous permettre de faire l’expérience de ces superbes beautés naturelles de la Colombie-Britannique et de sa culture riche et diversifiée. Nous vous promettons, à vous et à votre famille, une expérience exceptionnelle et tout à fait unique.

Le comité organisateur du Congrès 2009 vous incite à inscrire le congrès dans votre agenda dès maintenant et à faire tous les efforts possibles pour y assister.  Vos collègues canadiens vous accueilleront chaudement.

Nous vous attendons sans faute à Vancouver en 2009! 

Albert Baker
Co-président du congrès 

Robert Raizenne
Co-président du congrès




João Dacio Rolim Fundação Getulio Vargas Eduardo Baistrocchi Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Philip Postlewaite Northwestern University


Direito Tributário Internacional











June 3-5 – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

         Objectives of the program

            With a strong practical approach, the program is aimed at the study of cases involving investments from the USA, Latin America, Europe and Asia in Latin America and investments from Latin America in the USA, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The program will be dedicated to the exam of troublesome issues related to transfer pricing, operation of the Latin America treaty network and international tax planning.

LAITP III has as mission to offer professionals dedicated to tax matters an intensive and qualified program on International Tax Law. Tax professors, tax authorities, and tax consultants will share their experiences on the matter.




            First Day

June 3rd

Hours:8h                   Transfer Pricing. Controversial issues.Professors:



Eduardo Baistrocchi, Universidad Torcuato Di TellaJoão Dácio Rolim, Fundação Getúlio Vargas

Philip Postlewaite, Northwestern University

Tom O’Shea, London University


          Perspective of the Tax Administration:

ARG  Cecilia Ventura, Head of the International Transactions Department of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue

BRA  Marcos Valadão, General Coordinator of International Affairs of the Federal Revenue of Brazil

CHI   Ricardo Escobar, General Director of the Internal Tax Services

MEX Jorge Antonio Libreros Calderón, Central Administrator for International Rules of the Tax Administration Service

URU  Álvaro Romano, Director of Tax Advisory of the Income General Direction


            Perspective of the Taxpayers:

ARG    Sebastián López-Sansón, Estudio O`Farrell

BRA    Marcos Catão, Fundação Getútlio Vargas

CHI     Eduardo Lagos, Estudio Etcheberry

MEX   Luis Trillo, Trillo, Alonso & Fernández del Valle, S.C.

URU    Juan Ignacio Fraschini, Fraschini & Asociados

Moderator: Eduardo Baistrocchi, Universidad Torcuato di Tella


            Third Day

June 5th


8h                   International Tax Planning in Latin America. Tax consequences in Europe, the USA and Asia.Professors:


ARG  Eduardo Meloni, Professor of UTDT

BRA  Marcos Valadao, General Coordinator of International Affairs of the Federal Revenue of Brazil

Gilberto Ayres Moreira, Rolim, Godoi, Viotti & Leite Campos 

CHI   Eduardo Lagos, Estudio Etcheberry

UK     Tom O´Shea, London University

USA  Philip Postlewaite, Northwestern University

Moderator: Philip Postlewaite, Northwestern University

 Click here to order the program.                                                              




8:30 to 12:30h

14:30 to 18:30h


JW Marriott Hotel

Rio de Janeiro

Avenida Atlantica, 2600 Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Materials and Certificateof Conclusion

Program Information:


Tel: (55 21) 3543-1800Email:

Click Here to order the program.


Ana Lúcia Faruolo

Tel: (55 21) 3543-1800  


 Forum executive information (55 21) 3543-1800






Paolo di Capitani, Studio Uckmar Associazzione ProfessionaleSebastián López Sansón, Estudio O´Farrell

Luis Eduardo Schourei, Fundação Getúlio Vargas


        Perspective of the Tax Administration:

ARG Cecilia Ventura, Head of the International Transactions Department of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue


CHI   Ricardo Escobar, General Director of the Internal Tax Services

MEX Jorge Antonio Libreros Calderón, Central Administrator for International Rules of the Tax Administration Service

URU Álvaro Romano, Director of Tax Advisory of the Income General Direction


            Perspective of the Taxpayers:

ARG      Sebastián López-Sansón, Estudio O`Farrell

BRA      Elen Orsini, Orsini Consultoría – Tributação Internacional

CHI       Eduardo Lagos, Estudio Etcheberry

MEX     Luis Trillo, Trillo, Alonso & Fernández del Valle, S.C.

URU      Juan Ignacio Fraschini, Fraschini & Asociados

Moderator: João Dacio Rolim, Fundação Getúlio Vargas



            Second Day

June 4th


8h                   Double Tax Treaties Interpretation and Application in Developing Countries.

TaxLaw Blog


Welcome to TaxLaw Blog, hosted by Harvard Law School Weblogs!

It is the purpose of this blog to publish relevant information and uptades on Taxation, Fiscal issues, International Tax, Tax Planning and International Trade research conducted at Harvard Law School and other first-rate tax studies centers around the world. 

It was designed to be a hub of premier fiscal knowledge.

Academic programs, short courses and other tax-related events will also be given space.


Paulo Penteado de Faria e Silva Neto
(Harvard Law School LL.M. ’10 – expected)

Log in