In the appeal of the Moore Transition Tax case, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to answer the following question:
22-800 MOORE V. UNITED STATES
DECISION BELOW: 36 F.4TH 930
CERT. GRANTED 6/26/2023
The Sixteenth Amendment authorizes Congress to lay “taxes on incomes … without apportionment among the several States.” Beginning with Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920), this Court’s decisions have uniformly held “income,” for Sixteenth Amendment purposes, to require realization by the taxpayer. In the decision below, however, the Ninth Circuit approved taxation of a married couple on earnings that they undisputedly did not realize but were instead retained and reinvested by a corporation in which they are minority shareholders. It held that “realization of income is not a constitutional requirement” for Congress to lay an “income” tax exempt from apportionment. App.12. In so holding, the Ninth Circuit became “the first court in the country to state that an ‘income tax’ doesn’t require that a ‘taxpayer has realized income.”‘ App.38 (Bumatay, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing enbanc).
The question presented is:
Whether the Sixteenth Amendment authorizes Congress to tax unrealized sums without apportionment among the states.
LOWER COURT CASE NUMBER: 20-36122
The appeal is clearly an attempt to prevent the imposition of wealth taxes. Professor Gabriel Zucman is a long time advocate of wealth taxes. In fact, his theories provided the foundation for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal.
On June 19, 2023 the Global Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad hosted Professor Gabriel Zucman to discuss “Fair Share Taxation And Tax Enforcement”. You may know that Professor Zucman is a strong advocate of wealth taxation. Senator Warren (in the specifics of her proposed wealth tax) appears to be a disciple of Professor Zucman’s views.
During the presentation Professor Zucman reinforced his view that “Fair Share Taxation” should include a wealth tax. Interestingly he recommends that FATCA be replaced by the CRS.
But, most interestingly he expressed his view that the current U.S. system of citizenship taxation (as it applies to most Americans living outside the United States) simply cannot be justified. Based on this video, I would say that Professor Zucman may be an ally in the fight to reform the taxation of Americans abroad.
I have put together a short twitter thread to highlight his main points. But, I do recommend that people watch the entire video. The discussion at the end is every bit as interesting (and revealing) as Professor Zucman’s presentation.
A threadreader version of the twitter thread is here:
A pdf version is here:
The live Twitter thread …
June 23 – Pro wing of @Demsabroad hosted @USWealthTax advocate @Gabriel_Zucman: 1. Explains why he DOESN'T agree with CURRENT US @citizenshiptax AND why for MOST #Americansabroad current #CBT NOT justified. 2. Says #FATCA should be replaced with #CRS. https://t.co/mvEzDPZiAK— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) June 28, 2023
Have a question? Contact John Richardson, Citizenship Taxation.
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