“Taxing Capital Appreciation for Fairer Taxation, Constitutions and a Comprehensive Tax Base” by Professor Henry Ordower

The Cambridge Tax Discussion Group is a PhD student run meeting group with weekly discussions of wide-ranging tax-related topics. We have been meeting weekly during term-time since 2015 and hope to continue with engaging topics that are tax or tangentially tax-related topics! We are friendly, open to all and interdisciplinary. We sincerely hope you will join us on our next online meeting which will be on Thursday 2 July at 17:00 (British Summer Time). See our “Meetings” page for updated talks, links and previous topics covered.

This week’s talk can also be found on talks.cam along with an assortment of university-wide talks: http://www.talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/149806

This week, Professor Henry Ordower, from Saint Louis University, will be discussing tax fairness in an international context, under the title: “Taxing Capital Appreciation for Fairer Taxation, Constitutions and a Comprehensive Tax Base”. Further details are below.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

May Hen-Smith and Guy Mulley Co-convenors, Cambridge Tax Discussion Group


The presentation will start with a brief exploration of the realization question in the pending constitutional challenge to the peculiar US transition tax (IRC 965) and then contextualize the historical issue of realization and income and the comprehensive tax base. I will consider some of the justifications for a realization requirement and preferential treatment of capital gain and contrast them with some economic drawbacks to a realization-based system. The presentation will move to mark to market (with its trade-offs to overcome objections), the gradual abandonment of realization in the US and conclude by considering distributional fairness under a realization-based


2017 Marketing ShootHenry Ordower is Professor of Law at the Center for International and Comparative Law at Saint Louis University. His recent research has focussed on issues of tax distribution and the growing disparity of wealth between individuals. In addition to his academic research and teaching, he runs a tax consulting practice and he provides expert testimony in complex tax litigation matters. An avid traveller and linguist, Professor Ordower has visited more than 100 countries.


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