At Temple, students can dive into tax in their first year of study – and nearly a third of them do just that, choosing Taxation as their 1L elective. Of the Class of 2016, 75% of students took at least one tax course, and 21% took more than one before graduation. And they have plenty of options from which to choose: Temple’s robust tax curriculum includes writing and experiential opportunities as well as Professor Alice Abreu’s groundbreaking Low Income Taxpayer Policy and Practice course.
Comprehensive Tax Curriculum
Temple Law students can graduate with a strong foundation in tax while taking no more than one tax course a semester. Their options include:
- Corporate Tax
- Partnership Tax
- International Tax
- Taxation II
- Low Income Taxpayer Policy and Practice
The Fogel Lecture, held each spring, is an opportunity for students to hear first-hand from leading tax policy-makers and judges working on some of the most pressing tax issues of the day. Prior Fogel lecturers have included Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, Former IRS Commissioner Larry Gibbs, Eric Solomon, George Yin, Kathryn Keneally, and Hank Gutman. The 2017 Fogel lecturer was the Hon. Cary D. Pugh of the United States Tax Court.
Low Income Taxpayer Policy and Practice is a groundbreaking course in which students learn about tax policy in the classroom and gain a greater understanding of its impact on low-income taxpayers through participation in the IRS’ VITA program. Course creator Alice Abreu explains how it works in the video below.
Critically Acclaimed Scholarship
Temple Law’s faculty publish regularly in leading law reviews and tax-related media. Here are some recent tax-related contributions by Temple Law faculty.
- Alice Abreu, Embracing the TBOR, 157 Tax Notes 1281 (2017) (with Richard K. Greenstein). This article develops three arguments is support of the proposition that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, enacted in 2015 as part of the Internal Revenue Code, is not a mere cosmetic but has the potential to transform tax administration.
- Alice Abreu, Tax as Everylaw: Interpretation, Enforcement, and the Legitimacy of the IRS, 69 Tax Law. 493 (2016). This article examines the way in which the unexamined assumption of tax exceptionalism – the idea that tax is different – has produced a situation in which the tax law and its administrators are viewed by tax professionals, and eventually by the taxpaying public, as interpreting and enforcing tax law in ways that are not understood, are therefore misperceived, and are ultimately judged illegitimate.
- Alice Abreu, The U.S. Taxpayer Bill of Rights: Window Dressing or Expression of Justice? (with Richard K. Greenstein), is forthcoming in the Journal of Tax Administration (2017). This article suggests that, far from serving as window dressing, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights generates a powerful normative force capable of changing the behavior of the IRS toward taxpayers.
- Andrea Monroe, What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Complexity, 5 Mich. Bus. & Entrepreneurial L. Rev.193 (2017). This essay offers some preliminary evidence of the pervasive influence of legal craft values in partnership taxation. Legal craft values shape our perception of the law, and they shape the law itself, orienting subchapter K toward partnership tax experts with little express appreciation for the costs this craft-based approach imposes on the mainstream of the partnership tax community.
- Andrea Monroe, Hidden in Plain Sight: IRS Publications and a New Path to Tax Reform, 21 Florida Tax Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2017). This article suggests that IRS publications can do more than help non-expert stakeholders navigate their annual tax filing obligations; these publications can also offer significant and unexpected value for experts in their world of legal scholarship and tax policy debates.
- Peter Spiro, Citizenship Overreach, 38 Mich. J. Int’l L. 167 (2017). This article examines international law limitations on the ascription of citizenship in the context of U.S. taxation of non-resident citizens. U.S. citizenship practice is exceptionally generous, extending citizenship to almost all persons in its territory at the moment of birth. At the same time that it is generous at the front end, U.S. citizenship is sticky at the back. Termination of citizenship on the individual’s part involves substantial fees and tax compliance.
- Harwell Wells, Executive Pay: What Worked?, 42 J. Corp. L. 59 (2016) (with S. Bank and B. Cheffins). This article examines executive pay from a longitudinal perspective and challenges the popular theory that high marginal income tax rates worked to keep CEO salaries in check.
Outstanding Tax Faculty
Alice Abreu is a prolific tax scholar, a leader in the national tax bar, and a gifted educator. She is a 2017 recipient of the Great Teacher Award, the highest honor conferred by Temple University upon its faculty.
Robert Bartow is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He teaches in Temple’s award-winning Integrated Transactional Program and Introduction to Transactional Skills in addition to teaching doctrinal courses in Taxation, Property, and Trusts & Estates.
Nancy Knauer is the Director of Temple’s Law & Public Policy Programs. She teaches in the areas of Taxation, Trusts & Estates, Law & Public Policy, Political & Civil Rights, and Property. Professor Knauer was selected as one of 26 law professors from across the nation to be featured in the book What the Best Law Teachers Do, published by Harvard University Press in 2013.
Kathy Mandelbaum teaches Estate Planning and Estate and Gift Taxation in Temple’s LL.M. in Taxation curriculum, and Introduction to Transactional Skills in the J.D. curriculum. She is the Director of the Graduate Tax Program, through which she supervises students pursuing their LL.M. in Taxation, J.D./LL.M. in Taxation, Estate Planning Certificate, or Certificate in Employee Benefits. She also supervises Temple’s Wills for Heroes program and works with students in Temple’s Disaster Relief Clinic.
Andrea Monroe teaches Taxation, Taxation II, Taxation of Partnerships and S Corporations, and Business Basics for Lawyers. In addition to being an influential scholar, she is the faculty director for Temple’s innovative Introduction to Transactional Skills program, an immersive experience that puts first-year law students on their feet as lawyers negotiating a business deal for their clients.