Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summary of our last meeting with Tarrant Green

Last week, Tarrant Green came to discuss  “An Interactive Seminar on the Law and Practice of Tax Investigations” where he discussed a particularly long and difficult case between a former client and HMRC that was fraught with administrative difficulties. We were given the opportunity to take a peek into a tax practitioner’s experience with HMRC but also a case that had elements of a criminal enforcement agencies’ involvement. The study of tax can be quite exciting when ‘tales from the front lines’ are brought to life through the discussion of a long-time practitioner’s personal experience of a case. It brings together several complexities that are sometimes hard to articulate to a general audience. I found Tarrant’s talk to be both interesting and engaging with the group of us who come from all sorts of disciplines. Looking forward to more exciting speakers and chats in the coming months. This is also an open invitation to any of our readers to come by for a meeting or social!

May

Cambridge.tax go to London

tax conf120160418_103151This past week, six of the Cambridge.tax group attended the Institue for Fiscal Studies / European Tax Policy Forum conference “ETPF/IFS Conference: BEPS and Beyond”. The conference was very well run and we gained some insight on the difficulty in identifying and sourcing intangible assets. IMG_9330

This is a candid photo of Chris Jenkins and Matteo Mantovani, PhD students in Law, on the tube en-route to the event.

Cambridge Centre for Tax Law Conference

Today the Cambridge Centre for Tax Law put on a spectacular 1-day conference on the role of judges in developing the context of tax law. The presenters and discussants provided some exceptional presentations and commentary on a range of topics. Dominic de Cogan did an excellent job of organizing this inaugural event. Chris Jenkins provided a thoughtful presentation on the role of judges in influencing tax outcomes. Ewa Plesnar presented a poster on tax and human rights. And Matteo Mantovani presented a poster on VAT and BEPs.

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Below is a summary of the conference outline:

Tax Policy Conference 2016: The role of judges in developing the content of tax law

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Lloyd’s Room, Christ’s College

10.00-10.30am: Registration and tea/coffee

10.30-11.15am: John Avery Jones (Pump Court/UT/FTT), ‘Is tax all the same?’
Chair: John Snape (Warwick)
Discussant: Judge Colin Bishopp (President, FTT)
Discussant: Judge Roger Berner (UT)

11.15-11.50am: Tobias Franz (Münster), ‘The General Anti-Abuse Rule proposed by the European Commission’
Discussant: Christiana HJI Panayi (QMUL)

1.50am-12.10pm: Tea/coffee break

12.10-12.45pm: Chris Jenkins (Cambridge), ‘Implied terms and taxation’
Chair: Judith Freedman (Oxford)
Discussant: Johann Hattingh (Cape Town)

12.45-1.45pm: Lunch

1.45-2.30pm: Judge Malcolm Wallis (Supreme Court of Appeal of SA), ‘Is tax really different’
Chair: Judith Freedman (Oxford)
Discussant: Sir Stephen Oliver QC (Retired president, FTT)

2.30-2.50pm: Tea/coffee break

2.50-3.25pm: Stephen Daly (Oxford), ‘Judicial review and tax exceptionalism: recent trends’
Chair: Penelope Tuck (Birmingham)
Discussant: Hans Gribnau (Leiden/Tilburg)

3.25-4.10pm: Kristin Hickman (Minnesota), ‘Treasury’s Retroactivity’
Discussant: Dominic de Cogan (Cambridge)

4.10-4.30pm: Closing discussion

 

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Tax and Bitcoin workshop in Rovigo, Italy

May Hen, Dr Garrick Hileman (Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance) and I travelled to Ferrara to speak at the workshop, Taxation in the Digital Age: Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. The workshop was held at the Rovigo campus of the University of Ferrara on April 12.

Taxation in the Digital Age brought together researchers with a diverse range of academic backgrounds. Dr Antonella Magliocco from the Bank of Italy described some of the legal challenges faced by European tax authorities relating to trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Garrick presented his recent paper, The Bitcoin Market Potential Index. This paper describes the potential of Bitcoin and related tehnologies to reduce financial transactions costs, with particular focus on emerging economies where these costs are currently very high. May’s presentation looked at how Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies are being used as stores of hidden wealth, and how they compare with traditional mechanisms for wealth storage including art and real estate. My presentation considered how digital monies including Bitcoin can be compared with traditional bank money and cash in the context of the economic theory of money as memory.

Special thanks to Prof. Marco Greggi for inviting us and hosting this excellent workshop.

Alfred Duncan

Summary of February 11th and 16th meetings

On February 11th we were joined by Morten Broberg, a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Nikodem Szumilo, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Land Economy. We discussed Nikodem’s work in real estate finance and the tax implications regarding property transfers.

DSC_6143On February 16th we were visited by Rodrigo Ormeno Perez, a Lecturer in the Department of Taxation and Accounting at the Birmingham Business School. His visit was sponsored by the Cambridge Centre for Tax Law. We discussed his research on elite formation in tax policy making, the nature of tax administrations, and the qualitative work he has done on tax authorities and effective policy-making.

We welcome the inclusion of our two new members are looking forward to having Rodrigo back again soon.

Tax and financial stability

In a new discussion paper titled “Objectives and Challenges of Macroprudential Policy” (University of Glasgow Economics Discussion Paper 2016-02, available here), Professor Charles Nolan and I discuss recent developments in the institutional frameworks of central banks. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, central banks have taken on wider “macroprudential” regulatory roles and responsibilities including but not limited to direct restrictions on mortgage lending.

The paper describes a link between the recent introduction of macroprudential policy regulations and seemingly counteractive tax policies. In the UK and in other countries, mortgage lending subsidies have been increased at the same time as mortgage lending restrictions have been imposed. We argue that the nature of this conflict between the treasury and the macroprudential policy authority is fundamentally different than those emerging under the standard operation of monetary policy by central banks. Consequently, it is necessary to consider the joint design of macroprudential institutions and macroprudential policies.

Alfred Duncan
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Welcome

cropped-dsc_5752.jpgWelcome to the homepage for the tax scholars group University of Cambridge! We meet weekly for an hour to talk about anything loosely related to tax. We are an open and interdisciplinary group and come from both academia, private sector, and public sector. Feel free to contact the group organizer, May, at hmh46@cam.ac.uk.