It’s my understanding that, if I wanted to capitalize on this weekend’s Super Bowl game and optimize my search engines, I’d do a post about what time the game starts. That, though, doesn’t strike me as an interesting question. (Also, there’s no reason to ask me, when Google will tell you without your having to click a link.)
But the game does raise a couple interesting non-start-time questions, and I thought I’d address two of them here. Continue reading
So mostly this blog is about tax. But I don’t spend all of my time thinking about tax: sometimes, I think about music. And, as 2014 comes to a close, I thought it would be worth laying out my top five albums of the year.
These aren’t necessarily the best albums of 2014—though my number one pick is, unequivocally, the best album of 2014—but they’re all great albums, and albums I find myself returning to over and over.[fn]
Of course, being a law professor, I have to add some complexity in. So there are six albums in my top five, plus three that might have made it only I haven’t listened to them enough, plus one that, while not in my top five, is probably the most interesting conceptual listen of the year that is also terrific fun to listen to.
And, without further ado: Continue reading
Last week, almost a year after a district court in Wisconsin declared the parsonage exemption unconstitutional, the Seventh Circuit has reversed her decision. And thus ends a (brief) chapter in the religious culture wars.
Or not . . . Continue reading
You’ve probably heard by now that Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall will soon be known as something other than “Avery Fisher Hall.”
Some background: in 1973, Avery Fisher (a music philanthropist and the founder of Fisher Electronics) donated $10.5 million (about $53 million in 2014 dollars) to the Lincoln Center to renovate the concert hall. In exchange, Lincoln Center agreed that his name would be on the building, programs, tickets, and the like in perpetuity. Continue reading
Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a fairly breathless story about Susan Crile, an acclaimed artist, and the Tax Court’s decision regarding her problems with the IRS. Ultimately, the Times says, this case is A. Big. Deal. The Times‘s lede:
If you say you are an artist, but you make little money from selling your art, can your work be considered a profession in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service?
Spoiler: the answer is yes. Spoiler that the Times is apparently unaware of: we’ve known that the answer was yes for a long, long time. That is, although the Times assures us that the case is “seen by many as an important victory for artists,”[fn1] they’re wrong. This is, at best, a marginal victory (that will ultimately lead to a loss) for Ms. Crile. Continue reading
I recently started reading Confidence Games by Tanina Rostain and Milton C. Regan, Jr. The book is an overview and history of the late-90s early-2000s tax shelter explosion; I’m not far enough yet to have gotten to the details of the shelters (and the period slightly pre-dates the mid-2000s start of my legal career), but I just read a couple pages that made me reflect on my training in the tax department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Continue reading
Are frequent flier miles income to U.S. taxpayers? On Tuesday, the Tax Court held that they are. Sometimes, anyway.
What does the Tax Court decision mean to you? Let’s explore the ramifications of the Tax Court’s decision in an Explainer.