Monday, August 21, 2017

Yin Article on Codification and Emergence of JCT (8/21/17)

George Yin, Professor at the University of Virginia School of law (faculty bio here), has posted to SSRN this article (in SSRB's suggested format):  Yin, George K., Codification of the Tax Law and the Emergence of the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (August 1, 2017). Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2017-20; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2017-39. Available at SSRN:  George was previously chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation and is well situated to review its history and role.

As I note in my Federal Tax Procedure Book (both editions), the Joint Committee on Taxation plays a key role in tax legislation.  This new article provides interesting insight into how the JCT assumed the important role it plays today.

The SSRN Abstract is as follows:
In 1926, Congress created the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) and its staff. This article explains how, partly by design but largely by happenstance, the JCT staff helped change the nature of the legislative process. By serving at or near the intersection of three great divides in government — those between the parties, the houses of Congress, and the legislative and executive branches — the staff demonstrated the value of unelected professionals assisting directly in the formation of legislation and led Congress to rely more on its own resources in the legislative process rather than those of the executive branch. This article describes the emergence of the JCT staff from a modest conception much different from its eventual role. The staff’s work on a lengthy and highly technical project — a dozen-year effort to codify the tax statutes — contributed to the growth of its influence and the changes that would take place in the legislative process.
George's article led me to revise some portions of the working draft for the 2018 editions of the Federal Tax Procedure Book.  I have incorporated George's article particularly into the discussion of the U.S. Code system in the page at the right titled On the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26) and Statutes (8/21/17), here.

Also, George has previously written or spoken on the JCT and tax legislation in the following articles (which I cite in the Federal Tax Procedure Book:

  • George K. Yin, Preventing Congressional Violations of Taxpayer Privacy, 69 Tax Law. 103 (2015).
  • George K. Yin, James Couzens, Andrew Mellon, The "Greatest Tax Suit in the History of the World," and the Creation of the Joint Committee on Taxation and its Staff, 66 Tax L. Rev. 787 (2013).
  • George K. Yin, Let's Get the Facts of the Couzens Investigation Right!, 2013 TNT 165-12 (8/26/13).
  • Interview with George K. Yin, 25 ABA Tax Section News Quarterly 14, 17(Winter 2006).
These articles and other of George's articles can be found on George's SSRN author page, here.

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