Boston University School of Law

JD799 Topics in Tax Policy (S)


This seminar will study some of the basic issues in the formulation of a broad-based tax system, including design criteria (equity, economic efficiency, administrability and simplicity); the historical development of the issues in the U.S. (and, to some extent, U.K.) context; and the central issues currently in play, especially the choice between taxing income, on the one hand, or other possibilities (such as consumption or wages); and the wisdom of graduated rates and progressive taxation. Particular attention will be paid to the study of underlying fundamentals (the process of discounting, in particular), and to reading some of the classics in the tax policy literature. PREREQUISITE: INTRODUCTION TO FEDERAL INCOME TAXATION. LIMITED WRITING OPTION: A limited number of students will be able to satisfy the writing requirement with a paper. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.