Tax Law Program Newsletter

Fall 2017

ROI: Kirschbaum Scholarship Pays Off

UCLA Law’s Thomas A. Kirschbaum Scholarship in Tax Law pays dividends that keep on giving. The scholarship, named for tax specialist Tom Kirschbaum ’77, is awarded to UCLA Law students who show an aptitude for and interest in tax law. In addition to financial support, Kirschbaum scholars are provided direct access to UCLA Law’s network of tax practitioners, who mentor the scholars during law school and at the beginning of their careers. Each spring, Kirschbaum scholars return to UCLA Law for a luncheon with alumni, mentors and other scholars. “The great value of the scholarship is not the money,” said Jim Barrall ’75, a retired Latham & Watkins partner who established the scholarship and is senior fellow in residence at the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy. “It’s in the mentorship and family that it provides, which are hugely powerful.” The scholarship has been awarded annually since 2011. Past awardees are now at leading firms including Akin Gump; Latham; Paul Hastings; Rodriguez, Horii, Choi & Cafferata; and Sidley Austin. Currently, three UCLA Law students, Jordan David ’18, who is headed to Latham; Alex Farris’19, headed to Wilson, Sonsini; and Nicole Casey ’20, are Kirschbaum scholars.


Tax Experts Focus on Social Mobility

The nation’s leading tax scholars gathered at UCLA Law for  the Sixth Annual NYU/UCLA Tax Policy Symposium, “Tax Policy and Upward Mobility." Sponsored by UCLA Law’s Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, the October 2016 symposium examined how tax policies promote or frustrate individuals' ability to climb the income ladder. Featured speakres included Stanford University Professor of Economics Raj Chetty (at right), a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship whose groundbreaking work focuses on economic opportunities and access to healthcare for low-income families; and University of Ottawa Professor of Economics Miles Corak, who focuses on intergenerational income mobility. Five panels of scholars from around the country also addressed the ways that tax policy and public finance influence social and economic mobility. Watch the conference video here.

UCLA Law Student Wins Writing Competition in Tax Law

Shelby Miner '17 took top honors in Tax Analysts’ 2017 Student Writing Competition for her paper, “The Use Tax Problem: Practicality or Propriety?” In her paper, Miner proposes “a new method of determining whether a state has the authority to tax a company that has no physical presence within that state yet takes advantage of the state’s market to sell its goods.” In recognition of the award, Miner’s paper was published in State Tax Notes. Her paper was supervised by Eric M. Zolt, UCLA Law’s Michael H. Schill Distinguished Professor of Law. She also credited guidance from Kirk J. Stark, the Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy at UCLA Law.

Victor Fleischer on 'Tax Reform: The State of Play'

Victor Fleischer, the Senate Finance Committee’s co-chief tax counsel, spoke as part of the Business Law Breakfast series on the topic "Tax Reform: The State of Play." In April 2017 Fleischer provided an overview of tax reform efforts then in the House of Representatives and the Senate, including proposals for a border-adjustment tax and the reduction of corporate and individual tax rates. He discussed how these proposals would favor certain businesses, including exporters and some U.S. manufacturers, and disfavor other businesses, such as importers. Fleischer is a professor of law and the director of tax programs at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Hochman Award in Tax Law goes to Justin Casey '17

In May 2017, UCLA Law awarded Justin Casey ’17 the Bruce I. Hochman Award for Excellence in the Study of Tax Law. The $15,000 award is presented annually by UCLA Law tax faculty to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding proficiency.  Casey graduated Order of the Coif, and earned a certificate in the Business Law and Policy specialization offered by UCLA Law's Lowell Milken Business Law and Policy. He also served as president of UCLA School of Law's Sports Law Federation. In November, he will join the Century City office of Proskauer Rose, working  in the firm's corporate practice. The award honors Bruce I. Hochman, a leading tax practitioner who was a member of the first UCLA Law graduating class of 1952.

VAT and Beyond: '17 Tax Policy & Public Finance Colloquium


Each spring, the UCLA Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosts leading scholars who address cutting-edge issues in tax policy and public finance. The 2017 colloquium included experts from around the country on issues including economic mobility, value-added taxes, the Ryan blueprint for tax reform, ties between tax policy and investment behavior, and more. Speakers included Reuven Avi-Yonah of University of Michigan Law School; Youssef Benzarti of the UCLA Department of Economics; Lilian Faulhaber of Georgetown University Law Center; Daniel Hemel of University of Chicago School of Law; Anders Jensen of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Lucy Martin of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Department of Political Science; Danny Yagan of the UC Berkeley Department of Economics; and Eric Zwick of University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Terrific Opportunities in Tax Law

At UCLA School of Law, J.D. and LL.M. students have access to an expansive tax law curriculum, including courses, seminars and experiential learning opportunities focusing on executive compensation, property transactions, state and local taxation, nonprofit law and policy, and income taxation on entertainers, athletes and artists. J.D. students may pursue the tax law track within the Business Law and Policy specialization and LL.M. students can take the LL.M. track for tax law specialists, which is open to both domestic and foreign students. Students can serve as externs through a relationship with the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at Bet Tzedek, which offers free legal representation and advice on certain income tax disputes, and can participate in tax policy debates as part of the UCLA Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium.

UCLA Law Magazine Fall 2017

UCLA Tax Faculty Scholarship and Activities

Steven A. Bank
Paul Hastings Professor of Business Law

Professor Bank presented "Tax Planning in an Era of High Tax Rates" at the conference "Global Histories of Taxation and State Finances Since the Late 19th Century,"hosted by the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in December 2016. He commented frequently in media outlets including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal on topics including executive compensation, corporate tax plans, gender inequality in pay, and potential tax reforms under President Trump. 


"Corporate Taxation and the Regulation of Early Twentieth-Century American Business," with Ajay K. Mehrotra, in Corporations and American Democracy, edited by Naomi R. Lamoreaux and William J. Novak, Harvard University Press (2017).

"Shareholder Protection Across Time," with Brian R. Cheffins and Harwell Wells, 68 Florida Law Review 691 (2016).

"When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable?" 71 Tax Law Review (forthcoming 2018).

Jill Horwitz
Professor of Law

As co-reporter of the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law, First, Charitable Nonprofit Organizations, Professor Horwitz's Tentative Draft 2 was approved by the ALI's membership in May 2017. She delivered the talk "Technology Regulation Reconsidered: The Effects of Certificate of Need on MRI Access, Quality, and Cost" at University of Virginia School of Law in March 2017 and at UCLA Law in November 2016. She has been quoted extensively in Marketplace and a variety of print publications on the implications of proposed reforms to the Affordable Care Act and on the interaction between healthcare regulation and the opioid crisis.


“State Legal Restrictions and Prescription-Opioid Use Among Disabled Adults,” 375 New England Journal of Medicine 44 (2016).

“Are PILOTs Property Taxes for Nonprofits?” 94 Journal of Urban Economics 109 (2016).

“The Role of Hospital and Market Characteristics on Invasive Cardiac Service Diffusion,” Review of Industrial Organization (forthcoming).

“Complying with the Effect of Changes in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA): Challenges and Solutions,” Journal of Health Care Risk Management (forthcoming).

Jason Oh
Professor of Law

Professor Oh serves as a faculty coordinator of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy & Public Finance. His scholarly interests focus on taxation and public finance, with a particular emphasis on the political economy of taxation. This past year he presented his work at UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, and NYU. His article, “Are Progressive Rates Progressive Policy,” was selected for presentation at the National Tax Association Annual Meeting. Professor Oh has been quoted on NPR and in Bloomberg regarding the implications of tax reform.


"Are Progressive Tax Rates Progressive Policy?" 92 NYU Law Review (forthcoming 2017).

"Will Tax Reform Be Stable?" 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1159 (2017).

"How Will the Taxation of Individuals Change Under Trump?" with Chris Tausanovitch, 154(9) Tax Notes 1123 (2017).

Kirk Stark
Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy

Professor Stark offered talks on the implications of tax reform, tax policy and social mobility, state tax policy and other topics at numerous conferences and events. Presentations made to policymakers and jurists included "Multistate Dimensions of Income and Sales Taxation" at the Conference of State Tax Judges in Portland, Oregon, in September 2016; "Regional Public Financing and Affordable Housing in Southern California" at the Southern California Association of Governments' Summit on Affordable Housing in Los Angeles in October 2016; and "Implications of Federal Tax Reform for California" to state legislative staff at the UC Center in Sacramento in June 2017.


"Reforming Proposition 13 to Tax Land More and Buildings Less," California Policy Options (2016).

"Tax Policy and the (Dying?) American Dream," 70 Tax Law Review 409 (2017).

"Upward Mobility and State-Level EITCs: Evaluating California's Earned Income Tax Credit," with Kim Rueben and Frank Sammartino, 70 Tax Law Review 477 (2017).

Federal Income Taxation, with Joseph Bankman, Daniel N. Shaviro and Edward D. Kleinbard, Seventeenth Edition, Aspen (2017).

Eric Zolt
Michael H. Schill Distinguished Professor of Law

Professor Zolt was appointed to a two-year term on the Eminent Expert Group on Tax Policies and Public Expenditure Management for Sustainable Development for the U.N.'s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. He delivered presentations around the world, including "Overview of the U.S. Federal Income Tax System" at the Vienna University of Economics and Business International Tax Program in Vienna, Austria, in June 2017.


"Tax Incentives in Developing Countries: Maximizing the Benefits and Minimizing the Costs," in United Nations Handbook on Selected Issues in Protecting the Tax Base of Developing Countries (2017).

"Wealth Taxes in Developing Countries," in Winning the Tax Wars: Global Solutions for Developing Countries, with Richard Murphy, World Bank (2017).

"Foreword" for the 4th Annual NYU/UCLA Symposium on Tax Policy, "Tax and Entrepreneurship," with Deborah H. Schenk, 69 Tax Law Review 311 (2016).