This textbook is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise; rather, it is intended to be far more useful than that for beginning tax law students by equipping the novice not merely with unmoored detail but rather with a rich blueprint that illuminates the deeper structural framework on which that detail hangs (sometimes crookedly). Chapter 1 outlines the conceptual meaning of the term “income” for uniquely tax purposes (as opposed to financial accounting or trust law purposes, for example) and examines the Internal Revenue Code provisions that translate this larger conceptual construct into positive law. Chapter 2 explores various forms of consumption taxation because the modern Internal Revenue Code is best perceived as a hybrid income-consumption tax that also contains many provisions—for wise or unwise nontax policy reasons—that are inconsistent with both forms of taxation. Chapter 3 then provides students with the story of how we got to where we are today, important context about the distribution of the tax burden, the budget, and economic trends, as well as material on ethical debates, economic theories, and politics as they affect taxation. Armed with this larger blueprint, students are then in a much better position to see how the myriad pieces that follow throughout the remaining 19 chapters fit into this bigger picture, whether comfortably or uncomfortably. For example, they are in a better position to appreciate how applying the income tax rules for debt to a debt-financed investment afforded more favorable consumption tax treatment creates tax arbitrage problems. Congress and the courts then must combat these tax shelter opportunities (sometimes ineffectively) with both statutory and common law weapons. Stated another way, students are in a better position to appreciate how the tax system can sometimes be used to generate (or combat) unfair and economically inefficient rent-seeking behavior.
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, members of the Coast Guard stand near seized cocaine in Los Angeles. The nation's drug addiction crisis has been morphing in a deadly new direction: more Americans struggling with meth and cocaine. Now the government will allow states to use federal money earmarked of the opioid crisis to help people addicted to those drugs as well. The change to a $1.5 billion opioid grants program was buried in a massive spending bill that Congress passed late in 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file) WASHINGTON (AP) ” Alarmed by a deadly new twist in the nation's drug addiction crisis, the government will allow states to use federal money earmarked for the opioid epidemic to help growing numbers of people struggling with meth and cocaine. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
The U.S. flag flies over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) WASHINGTON (AP) ” Legal filings to the Senate have laid out the arguments that will be made in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, where he faces two distinct allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks to reporters just after the start of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at the Iowa State Education Association Candidate Forum, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]