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Seminar Series

Every year the Center for Tax Law and Policy invites a selection of the nation’s leading tax scholars to present their best new work in the Center’s Tax Policy Seminar Series. The series also invites prominent tax policy personnel from nearby Washington D.C. to talk about the practical application of policy principles. This year the seminar series is being organized by Center Co-Directors Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner.

Seminars are announced by email invitation. Papers are posted ahead of time. Penn Law students play a vital role in the seminar and those wishing to attend may register for Law School’s Tax Policy Seminar. Those wishing to be added to the email invitation list-including Penn students who have not signed up for the class-should email

Fall 2017

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are at 4:30 in Gittis 214

September 27

George Yin (University of Virginia School of Law)

Topic: “Codification of the Tax Law and the Emergence of the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation

October 4

David Walker (Boston University School of Law)

Topic: The Practice and Tax Consequences of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

October 11

Omri Marian (University of California Irvine School of Law)

Topic: “Is All Corporate Tax Planning Good for Shareholders?

October 18

Hon. James S. Halpern (US Tax Court)

Topic: “Litigation in the Tax Court

October 25

Elaine Maag (Urban- Brookings Tax Policy Center)

Topic: “Complex Families, Complex Taxes: Why Changing Family Dynamics are Making the Tax Code Obsolete,  Particularly for Low-Income Families” Main PaperSupplementary Paper

November 1

Fadi Shaheen (Rutgers Law School)

Topic: “Income Tax Treaty Aspects of Nonincome Taxes“ 

November 8

Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute)

Topic: “Taxes, Transfers, Progressivity and Redistribution

November 15

Benjamin Lockwood (Business, Economics and Public Policy Department, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania)

Topic: Regressive Sin Taxes

November 29

Chris William Sanchirico (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

Topic: “Expensing and Interest in the GOP Blueprint: Good Deal? Good Idea?

December 6

Mark Gergen (University of California Berkeley School of Law)

Topic: “The Securities Tax and Cross-Border Investment



Fall 2016

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are at 4:30 in Gittis 214

September 28

Joel Slemrod (University of Michigan, Ross School of Business)

Topic: “The Impact of Public Tax-Return Disclosure

October 5

Peter Merrill (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Topic: Innovation Boxes:  Patent Medicine?

October 12

Ruth Mason (University Of Virginia School of Law)

Topic: “Citizenship Taxation

October 19

Victoria Perry (International Monetary Fund)

Topic: “Taxing Transfers of Domestic Assets Through Offshore Indirect Ownership

October 26

Richard Ainsworth (Boston University School of Law)

Topic: “Blockchain to Stop VAT Fraud: VATCoin

Primary paper

Companion paper

November 2

Conor Clarke (Yale Law School)

Topic: “Income Inequality and the Corporate Sector: 1913 - 2012“ 

November 9

Gregg Polsky (University of Georgia Law)

Topic: “The Up-C Revolution”

Background Memo

November 16

Len Burman (Urban- Brookings Tax Policy Center)

Topic: Is U.S. Corporate Income Double-Taxed?”

November 30

Scott Dyreng (Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business)

Topic: “How Economic and Accounting Incentives Interact in the Tax Avoidance Activities of U.S. Multinationals

December 7

Itai Grinberg (Georgetown Law)

Topic: “Issues to Consider in the EU State Aid Investigations

Collected Writings on State Aid

Spring 2016

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are at 4:30 in Gittis 213

February 3

Alex Rees-Jones (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School)
Topic (co-Authored with Dmitry Taubinsky): Attention Variation and Welfare: Theory and Evidence from a Tax Salience Experiment

February 10

Donald Marron (Urban Institute)
Topic (Co-Authored with Maeve Gearing and John Iselin): “Should Government Tax Unhealthy Foods and Drinks?

Second Topic: “Should we Tax Internalities LIke Externalities?”

February 17 Alex Raskolnikov (Columbia Law School)
Topic: From Deterrence to Compliance: Legal Uncertainty Reexamined
February 24

Kevin Markle (University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business)
Topic (Co-Authored with Scott D. Dyreng): “The Effect of Financial Constraints on the Income Shifting of U.S. Multinationals”

March 2

Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall University School of Law)
Topic: The Knowledge Tax”

Topic: “Taxes, Subsidies, and Knowledge: A Reply to Professor Oei

March 9 Spring Break—No meeting
 March 16 Stephanie Sikes (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School)
Topic (Co-Authored with Robert Verrecchia): “Aggregate Corporate Tax Avoidance and Cost of Capital
March 23

Reed Shuldiner (University of Pennsylvania Law School)
Topic (Co-Authored with Chris William Sanchirico: The Deferral Effects of Passing Through Foreign Subsidiaries’ Passive Income

March 30 Sebastien Bradley (Drexel University, LeBow College of Business)
Topic (Co-Authored with Estelle Dauchy and Leslie Robinson): “Cross-Country Evidence on  the Preliminary Effects of Patent Box Regimes on Patent Activity and Ownership
April 6 Richard Prisinzano (US Treasury Department)
Topic (Co-Authored with Michael Cooper, John McClelland, James Pearce, Joseph Sullivan, Danny Yagan, Owen Zidar, and Eric Zwick):
Business in the United States: Who Owns it and How Much Tax Do They Pay?
April 13 William Gentry (Williams College, visiting University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School)
Topic: “Capital Gains Taxation and Entrepreneurship
 April 20 Michael Doran (University of Virginia School of Law)
Topic: The Puzzle of Non-Qualified Retirement Pay: Optimal Contracting, Managerial Power, and Taxes

Spring 2015

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are at 4:30 in Gittis 213

February 4

Chris Sanchirico, Penn Law
Topic: “As American as Apple Inc.: International Tax and Ownership Nationality”

February 18 Omri Marian, University of Florida School of Law
Topic: Home-Country Effects of Corporate Inversions
March 4 Jennifer Blouin, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton
Topic: “Does Organizational Form Affect Firms’ Foreign Operations? The Role of ‘Check-the-Box’ on Multinational Tax Planning
March 11 Spring Break - No Meeting
March 18 Holger Sieg, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Economics
Topic: “An Experimental Evaluation of Strategies to Increase Property Tax
Compliance: Free-riding in the City of Brotherly Love”
March 25 Wolfgang Schön, Max Planck Inst. for Tax Law and Public Finance &
Bok Visiting Professor, Penn Law
Topic: “Neutrality and Territoriality - Competing or Converging Concepts under European Tax Law”
April 8 Mitchell Kane, NYU School of Law
Topic: “A Defense of Source Rules in International Taxation”
April 15 Stephen Shay, Harvard Law School
Topic: “Designing a U.S. Minimum Tax on Foreign Business Income”


Spring 2014

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are at 4:30 in Silverman 280

January 22

Danielle Rolfes, International Tax Counsel
Topic: Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

February 5

Professor Reuven Avi-Yonah, Michigan Law School
Topic: Designing a Federal VAT: Summary and Recommendations

Taxation and Inequality

February 19 Professor Michael Graetz, Columbia Law School
Topic: Technological Innovation, International Competition, and the Challenges of International Income Taxation
March 5

Gerald E. Auten, Senior Research Economist, Office of Tax
Analysis, U.S. Treasury.
Topic: Income Distribution and Mobility

“New Perspectives on Income Mobility and Inequality”

April 2

Harry Grubert, Senior Research Economist, Office of Tax
Analysis, U.S. Treasury
Topic: Fixing the System: An Analysis of Alternative Proposals for the Reform of International Tax

April 9

Professor Richard Harvey, Villanova Law School
“Offshore Accounts: Insider’s Summary Of FATCA and Its Potential Future” and
 “Worldwide Taxation of US Citizens Living Abroad: Impact of FATCA and Two Proposals”

April 23 Professor Douglas Shackelford, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Topic: The Impact of Foreign Withholding Taxes on REIT Investors and Managers


Spring 2012

January 23

Harry L. Gutman, Principal-in-Charge, Federal Tax & Legislative
Services,Washington National Tax, KPMG
Topic: Tax Reform
(1:40-2:50 pm | Gittis 2)

February 8 Professor Victor Fleischer, University of Colorado Law School
Flesicher & Staudt. “Tax and the Boundaries of the Firm”
View Paper (pdf)
February 22 Professor Chris Sanchirico, University of Pennsylvania Law School
“Optimal Tax Policy and the Symmetries of Ignorance”
View Paper
March 14 Professor Jennifer Gravelle, Congressional Budget Office
“Corporate Tax Incidence: Review of General Equilibrium Estimates and Analysis”
View Paper (pdf)
April 4 Professor David Gamage, Berkeley School of Law
Gamage & Shankske.  “Three Essays On Tax Salience: Market Salience and Political Salience”
View Paper (pdf)
April 18 Eric Toder, Urban Institute
Topic: International taxation and competitiveness
View Paper (pdf)


Please note: All topics subject to change.

For a list of past Seminars, click here.