TaxProf Weblog


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Tahk: Spillover Tax Precedent

Susannah Camic Tahk (Wisconsin; Google Scholar), Spillover Tax Precedent, 2021 Wis. L. Rev. 657: 

We all know that professional se litigants typically lose. Nevertheless, we all know virtually nothing concerning the circumstances wherein they win. One such circumstance, this Article finds, is once they can make the most of favorable precedent. This Article calls these favorable precedents for professional se litigants “spillover precedents.” Spillover precedents are instances with redistributive downward ripple results that subsequently profit professional se litigants. This Article is the primary to look at the potential redistributive results of precedent.

To focus the inquiry, the Article carried out an empirical examine of Tax Court docket instances from 2015-2019 wherein professional se litigants received. This evaluation revealed the foremost position of spillover precedent. The Article particulars how professional se taxpayers use spillover precedent, describing main examples and figuring out patterns in them. The Article then examines the normative implications of spillover precedent, suggesting coverage interventions, focusing significantly on the potential position of low-income taxpayer clinics, and contemplating the distinguishing options of the tax context.

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