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Tax Conference: The Carter Commission 50 Years Later

Friday September 28 & Saturday September 29, 2012

Schulich School of Law
Weldon Law Building
6061 University Avenue, Halifax NS

Registration now closed.

2012 Conference Program

The Carter Commission 50 Years Later: A time for reflection and reform 

Friday September 28th

12:30 - 2 pm           TAX REFORM
                              Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University, Room 204

* Neil Brooks - The Carter Report: Brilliant, Imaginative and One of a Kind
* Ajay Mehrotra - The VAT Laggards: A Comparative History of US and Canadian Resistance to the Value-Added Tax
* Miranda Stewart - Tax Reform and Legitimacy in the Global Era

2:00 - 2:15 pm         break

2:15 - 3:45 pm         TAX AND HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS I
                               
Room 204

* Faye Woodman - Should the Tax Burden on Babyboomers Be Reduced Because They are Getting Older?: The Age Tax Credit, the Pension Income Credit, and Income Splitting of Pension Income
* Claire Young - Beyond Conjugality: Time for the Tax System to Take that Concept Seriously

2:15 - 3:45 pm        REDISTRIBUTION
                              Room 207

* Allison Christians - Drawing the Boundaries of Tax Justice
* Peter Dietsch - Fiscal Obligations to Redistribute in an International Setting
* Thaddeus Hwong - A Comparison of Trends in Tax Levels and Tax Mixes in Canada and Other OECD Countries Before and After Carter

3:50 - 4:50 pm        TAX AND HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS II
                             
Room 204

* Chris Sprysak - Taxing Me or We: Yet Another Look at the Carter Commission’s Recommendation for Joint Returns
* Tamara Larre - Dependency Under Canada’s Income Tax System

3:50 - 4:50 pm        CORPORATE TAX REFORM
                              Room 207

* Kirk Collins - Capital Markets, Interest Imputation, and the Carter Report’s Proposed System of Full Integration of the Corporate-Shareholder Income Taxes
* Martha O’Brien - Corporate Group Taxation: Here and Now, There and Then

Saturday September 29th

9:00 - 10:00 am      INTERNATIONAL TAX
                             Room 204

 * Jinyan Li - Would Mr. Carter be Happy with the International Tax Developments in Canada?
* Yan Xu - Enduring Echoes in a Changing Landscape: China’s Tax History?

9:00 - 10:00 am       TAX PLANNING
                              Room 207

* Carl MacArthur - From Carter to Copthorne: Judicial Inactivism and the Rise of the GAAR
* Michelle Markham - Advance Pricing Arrangement Reform in Australia – Is this Relevant to any Future Reform in Canada?

10:00 - 10:15 am     break

10:15 - 11:45 am     TAX  EXPENDITURES
                              Room 204

* Kathrin Bain - Research and Development Tax Incentives: What can Canada learn from Australia’s experiences?
* Steven Dean - Tax Apps: 50 Years of Tax Expenditures
* Lisa Philipps - The Role of R&D Tax Expenditures in Canada’s Innovation Strategy: From Carter to Jenkins

10:15 - 11:45 am      TAX TRANSPLANTS
                               Room 207

* Michael Livingston - Convergence, Divergence, and the Limits of Globalization in Tax Matters: The Canadian Experience
* William McCarten - Provincial Strategies for Corporate and Personal Income Tax Design: Positive, Zero, or negative Sum Games?
* Kathryn James - The Carter Commission and the Value Added Tax

11:45 am - 1:00 pm  lunch
                               
Student Lounge

1:00 - 2:30 pm         BEYOND THE TAX NET
                              Room 204

* Lori McMillan - The Non-charitable Non-profit Subsector in Canada: An Empirical Examination
* Richard Schmalbeck - The Income Taxability of Gifts: Haig-Simons, the Carter Commission, and the Real World
* Shu Yi Oei - Who Wins When Uncle Sam Loses? Social Insurance and the Forgiveness of Tax Debts

1:00 - 2:30 pm         TAX AND POLITICAL CHANGE
                              
Room 207

* Catherine Brown - Revisiting the Carter Commission's International Tax Policy Analysis
* Elsbeth Heaman - The Personal Income Tax in Canada Before 1917
* David Tough - Carter and Company: The Commission’s Critique of Inequality in the Context of Canada’s Rediscovery of Poverty in the 60s

2:30 - 2:45 pm        break

2:45 - 4:45 pm        FUNDAMENTALS
                              Room 204

* Neil Buchanan - The Trinity without the Holy Ghost: Tax Scholarship Without the Illusory Goal of Efficiency
* David Duff - Haig, Simons, and Carter: Rethinking the Concept of Income in Tax Law and Policy
* Richard Krever - What is an “Enterprise” in GST Law?
* Shirley Tillotson - The Politics of Carter-Era Tax Reform: A Revisionist Account

2012 Speaker Biographies

Kathrin Bain (MTax (UNSW), LLB (Hons1) BBus (Accounting) (Griffith)) is a lecturer in the School of Taxation and Business Law (Atax) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Kathrin commenced employment at UNSW as a research assistant in 2009 before moving to a full-time academic position from January 2010. She teaches a range of Australian and international taxation subjects to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Prior to her employment with UNSW, Kathrin was a senior tax consultant at KPMG, where she specialised in corporate taxation and the research and development tax concession.

Neil Brooks has taught tax law and policy at Osgoode Hall Law School for almost 40 years where he is the Director of the Graduate Program in Taxation.

Catherine Brown is a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary where she has been teaching in the areas of tax, trade and business planning since 1981. Her current research explores the interaction of tax and trade agreements in regulating tax discrimination. Over her academic career she has travelled and written extensively in pursuit of these interests. She was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto 1985, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore) (1985), a Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Professor at Stanford University, 1994/95, and Visiting Scholar at UCLA Law School in 2008. In 1999 she was appointed to the Indicative List for Canada to the Dispute Resolution Body of the World Trade Organization and to the International Tax Advisory Committee to the Canada Customs & Revenue Agency. Catherine is also the author of the text Taxation and Estate Planning as well as numerous Canadian Tax Foundation and Estate Trust and Pension Journal publications. She has presented dozens of papers to professional forums on tax and related issues including the Canadian Tax Foundation, Canadian Bar Association, the Society of Tax and Estate Planning Practitioners and the International Fiscal Association. Her consulting work includes the Department of Justice, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance. She is a member of the Ontario and Alberta Bars and a past Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation. In 2011 she was the recipient of The Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association - Distinguished Service Award for Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship.

Neil H Buchanan, a legal scholar and an economist, is Professor of Law at The George Washington University. His work focuses on the uses, misuses, and abuses of economic concepts in legal scholarship. He has written extensively on long-term public budgeting issues in the United States, demonstrating that federal deficits and debt, although a matter of real concern, are often inappropriately used as an excuse to curtail or eliminate socially and economically beneficial government programs.

Allison Christians is Associate Professor and H Heward Stikeman Chair in Tax Law at McGill University Faculty of Law where she teaches and writes on topics of national and international tax law and policy. She holds a JD from Columbia University and an LLM in Taxation from New York University.

Kirk Collins is a faculty member in the Schwartz School of Business at St Francis Xavier University, where he teaches courses in finance and taxation. Prior to joining St FX, Professor Collins was a faculty member in the Management and Organizational Studies Program at Western University for six years. His research interests include taxation and tax policy, financial economics and the economic analysis of law. He has published in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Tax Journal and Canadian Public Policy, among others. Professor Collins’ research has been funded by SSHRC, the Department of Finance, Industry Canada and the CD Howe Institute. He has also served as a consultant for the Department of Finance.

Steven Dean teaches tax law and policy courses. His scholarship focuses on domestic and international tax policy, addressing issues such as tax expenditures, tax havens, tax shelters and tax simplification. His articles have appeared in the New York University Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the Tulane Law Review, the Hastings Law Journal and the Virginia Tax Review. Professor Dean is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Tax Section. Before joining the Brooklyn Law School faculty he worked as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Peter Dietsch is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Université de Montréal. He works on questions of economic justice, with a current focus on international tax justice. His publications have appeared in journals including the Journal of Political Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy & Economics, the Journal of Moral Philosophy, and the Journal of Social Philosophy.

David G Duff is Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of areas of tax law and policy, environmental taxation, comparative and international taxation, and distributive justice. Prior to joining UBC Law in 2009, Professor Duff was a faculty member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law for thirteen years. Before that, he was a tax associate at the Toronto office of Stikeman, Elliott. He was also employed as a researcher with the Ontario Fair Tax Commission from 1991 to 1993 and as a tax policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 1994. He is a member and former Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation, a member of the International Fiscal Association, an International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, and has been a visiting scholar at the law faculties at Auckland University, McGill University, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.

Elsbeth Heaman was educated at McGill University and the University of Toronto and she is an associate professor of history at McGill University. She is currently working on a history of taxation in Canada 1867-1917.

Thaddeus Hwong models interactions between tax law and social policy that affect the financing of a more equal society. He is cross-appointed to School of Public Policy and Administration and School of Administrative Studies at York University. His current empirical research projects explore costs and benefits of progressive income taxation and tax expenditures amidst globalization as well as attitudes towards taxpaying and redistribution. His research informs his teaching in income tax, public finance, social policy as well as law and politics.

Kathryn James is a lecturer with the Faculty of Law, Monash University. Kathryn completed her doctoral thesis in 2012. The dissertation explored the rapid rise of value added taxes. In 2007, Kathryn was awarded the Graham Hill International Fiscal Association Research Prize for outstanding quality of this doctoral research. She has published on tax law and policy including publications in the British Tax Review and Theoretical Inquiries in Law. Kathryn has presented a number of papers on tax law and policy both in Australia and internationally including Cambridge University, UCLA and Humboldt University.

Richard Krever is Head of the Department of Business Law and Taxation at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Apart from his academic experience, Richard has been seconded to a number of national and international organizations including the Australian Treasury, Australian Taxation Office and International Monetary Fund.

Tamara Larre is an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. Her research and teaching focuses on tax law and policy. Professor Larre has published on topics including the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, the taxation of migrant workers, the taxation of personal injury damages, and farm tax law.

Jinyan Li is a professor, and former interim dean, of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Her main publications include: International Taxation in the Age of Electronic Commerce: A Comparative Study (2003); Principles of Canadian Income Tax Law (7th ed) (Hogg, Magee and Li, 2010); International Taxation in Canada: Principles and Practices (Li, Cockfield and Wilkie, 2011). She was a member of Transfer Pricing Subcommittee of Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Tax System (2008). She is currently a governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Michael A Livingston is professor of law at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law in Camden, NJ USA. Professor Livingston attended Cornell University and the Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1981. Before entering the academy he practiced law at Proskauer Rose in New York and worked as a legislation attorney at the Joint Committee on Taxation, United States Congress. Professor Livingston has published extensively on tax policy, statutory interpretation, and comparative legal history, with a special interest in the problem of tax culture and the limits to globalization in tax matters. He also reports that many of his best experiences have taken place in Canada, perhaps resulting from the fact that his wife, but not his children, has accompanied him on most of his Canadian adventures.

Carl MacArthur is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick, where he teaches Personal Taxation, Corporate Taxation, Business Organizations and Corporate Finance. Prior to joining the UNB Faculty of Law in July of 2008, Professor MacArthur spent several years in private practice as a tax partner with a major law firm in Toronto. Professor MacArthur obtained an LLM specializing in tax law from Osgoode Hall Law School. He also holds an LLB and MBA from Osgoode Hall and the Schulich School of Business and a BA (Spec Hons) in International Economics and Business from York University. Professor MacArthur’s primary research interests include international and corporate tax, with a particular focus on tax avoidance.

Michelle Markham is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law at Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. She obtained a BA, an LLB and an LLM degree at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, a Higher Diploma in Tax Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and a PhD at Bond University. Michelle currently teaches Principles of Taxation, Taxation of International Business and Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct. She has also taught at the University of Natal, at Griffith University, Gold Coast, at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane and at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

William McCarten, PhD (Duke), is an Assistant Professor, Political Science and Economic, Royal Military College, and a public finance consultant and retired World Bank senior economist. Mr McCarten spent the formative part of his career as a senior economist in the Tax Policy Branch of the Federal Department of Finance. In 1991 he joined the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund as a fiscal economist, specializing in Fund program work for Africa. In 1993 he moved to the South Asia Region of the World Bank, where his work focused on fiscal reforms at the subnational level in India as well as fiscal and public sector management issues for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. He has published articles on fiscal federalism, tax administration, and tax policy. He has taught economics at Acadia, Duke, Carleton, and Trent Universities.

Lori McMillan received a Master of Laws in International Taxation from New York University School of Law. Before joining the faculty at Washburn University School of Law, Professor McMillan was a visiting professor at Queen's University at Kingston Law School, International Study Centre, where she taught international taxation law. She also taught business law to students at Ryerson University School of Business, and was an instructor in the Legal Research and Writing Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. Professor McMillan also was an associate lawyer with the Taxation Group of the law firm of Fasken Campbell Godfrey/Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, and worked as tax counsel to Arthur Andersen & Co (in both US and Canadian tax law), after starting her legal career at Goodman & Goodman/Goodman Phillips and Vineberg. She has worked extensively in and with foreign legal offices and clients, involved in tax planning for inbound and outbound transactions, both from a domestic US and Canadian tax perspective, as well as from an international and tax treaty standpoint.

Ajay Mehrotra teaches law and history at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University – Bloomington. His research and teaching focus on taxation and the history of American law and political economy. His writings have appeared in several law reviews and interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, as well as national news outlets. He is a co-editor and contributor to a collection of essays entitled The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective. He is currently in the process of completing a book manuscript on the rise of progressive taxation and American state-formation at the turn of the twentieth century. At Indiana University, he regularly teaches the Federal Individual Income Tax course, classes on tax policy, and seminars in American legal history.

Lisa Philipps is Associate Vice-President Research at York University and a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She joined Osgoode in 1996 after holding appointments in the Law Faculties at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. Lisa’s research in tax law, fiscal policy and feminist legal studies has been funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Law Commission of Canada and others. She has published widely on topics such as tax expenditures, tax and development, fiscal transparency, tax treatment of family relationships, gender budgeting, the distributional impact of tax cuts, and the tax treatment of unpaid work. She is co-editor of Tax Expenditures: State of the Art (Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation, 2011, with Neil Brooks and Jinyan Li) and Challenging Gender Inequality in Tax Policy: Comparative Perspectives (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2011, with Kim Brooks, Asa Gunnarsson and Maria Wersig). Philipps is a regular media commentator on tax issues and has provided tax policy expertise to parliamentary committees, women’s groups, public agencies, and law firms.

Martha O’Brien is a professor of law at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. She holds an LLB from the University of Victoria (1984) and an LLM in Law of the European Union from the Université libre de Bruxelles (1992). She practised Canadian and international tax law in Vancouver with leading Canadian national firms from 1992 to 2000. Professor O'Brien teaches three courses in Canadian and international taxation, corporate law and EU Law, and has published widely on taxation and EU law subjects in Canadian and European journals.

Shu-Yi Oei joined the Tulane Law School faculty in 2009. Professor Oei graduated from Harvard Law School in 2003. She also holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to Tulane, Professor Oei practiced tax law at Bingham McCutchen in Boston, Massachusetts, from 2003 until 2009. From 2008 to 2009, Professor Oei also held a post-graduate research fellowship at Harvard Law School. Professor Oei's research interests are in taxation, tax policy, bankruptcy law, and commercial law. Her current research projects explore the role that tax collections policy plays in ensuring economic security or managing financial risks. She has presented her work at various workshops and conferences, including the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Tax Policy Colloquium, the Northwestern University School of Law Colloquium on Advanced Topics in Taxation, and the Tulane Tax Roundtable.

Richard Schmalbeck is the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Professor of Law at Duke University. He has also served as dean of the University of Illinois College of Law, and as a visiting professor on the University of Michigan and Northwestern University law faculties. His recent scholarly work has focused on issues involving non-profit organizations, and the federal estate and gift taxes. He has also served as an advisor to the Russian Federation in connection with its tax reform efforts. The third edition of his federal income tax casebook, co-authored with Lawrence Zelenak, was released by Aspen Publishers in 2011. He graduated from the University of Chicago, and later from its Law School, where he served as associate editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. Prior to beginning his teaching career, he practiced tax law in Washington, DC.

Chris Sprysak is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. He holds an LLB from the University of Alberta and an LLM (in International Taxation) from New York University, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. He is also a Chartered Accountant. While Professor Sprysak teaches (or has taught), Taxation, Estate Planning, Corporate Taxation, Specialized Tax Topics, Corporate Law and Professional Responsibility, he is primarily interested in taxation law and policy, particularly involving individuals and families. He has published articles on taxation in academic and practitioner journals.

Miranda Stewart is a Professor of Law and Director of Tax Studies at the Melbourne Law School, where she has held a position since 2000. Miranda is a coauthor of leading tax treatise, Cooper Krever Vann’s Income Taxation Commentary and Materials (7th ed 2012: Thomson Reuters), Death and Taxes (4th ed, 2012: Thomson Reuters) and editor of Housing and Tax Policy (2010: Australian Tax Research Foundation) and Tax Law and Political Institutions (2006: Federation Press). Miranda’s research is wide ranging and includes the politics and policy of budgeting and tax reform nationally and globally. She has authored many book chapters and refereed articles in leading national and international journals including the British Tax Review, Tax Law Review (US), Australian Tax Forum, Harvard International Law Journal, Melbourne University Law Review. Miranda previously taught at New York University Law School, and worked in tax policy and legislation in the Australian government and tax advising with Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks and Greenwoods & Freehills.

Shirley Tillotson is a professor in the Department of History at Dalhousie University. She is the author of The Public at Play and Contributing Citizens. Her current research is in the cultural history of taxation in Canada between 1919 and 1971. This project forms part of a collaborative project with several other historians working in Canadian and colonial history. Tillotson's work in taxation forms part of her larger career project of understanding change over the period 1900 to 1970 in the relations of state and society. She studies the history of power as it forms and reforms in the interplay of families and markets, images and institutions, stories and statutes.

David Tough is a PhD student in history and political economy at Carleton University in Ottawa. His SSHRC supported dissertation argues that the idea of federal income taxation played a key role in modernizing political language in Canada in the early 20th century, normalizing the left-right spectrum as a representation of political difference. His next major research project will trace the contours of anti-poverty in the 1960s, with particular attention to its critique of the redistributive effects of the universalist income tax funded welfare state.

Faye Woodman is a baby boomer who has worked and written in the areas of taxation, elder law and pensions. Hence the topic of her paper for this conference. She is a Professor of Law at the Schulich School of Law and most recently has been a visitor at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly in Toronto. She is chair of the pension advisory committee of Dalhousie University.

Yan Xu is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She joined the Faculty from the University of Hong Kong where she taught and researched Chinese tax law and policy. She has published in a range of international journals, presented papers at conferences in four continents, and been invited as article reviewers for journals and books. Her research interests include constitutional development and tax reforms, PRC tax law and policy, and comparative tax law and tax history.

Claire Young is a Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia, Canada. She teaches, researches and writes on tax law and policy issues, and is currently engaged in work that focuses on tax expenditures for retirement savings. Her other research interests include feminist legal theory and sexuality and the law. In 2004 she was awarded the Therese Casgrain Fellowship in recognition of her work on women and economic issues.