Follow up to Some Interesting Sources on Tax Legislation (and a Little Procedure Too)

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We have previously offered some suggestions for readers wanting additional insights on the major tax legislation Congress pushed through and President Trump signed into law last week. Here are some more interesting reads:


An update on the must read The Games They Will Play article that describes how the “final law introduces fundamental—and in our view insurmountable—structural problems to the income tax.” This is I think the most important tax article of the year and an essential read.

Tax and twitter maestro Professor Andy Grewal suggests that 2017 prepayment of 2018 property taxes may not generate a 2017 deduction;

Professor Ellen Aprill explains in a guest post on Medium why the new law imposing a 21% excise tax on highly paid University employees has a hefty technical glitch that seems to unintentionally exclude employees of public universities;

Forbes tax blogger Tony Nitti on the 20% deduction on pass through income, a major source of future game playing (and complexity). This is terrific;

Professor Sam Brunson over at Surly discussing the implications of the repeal of deductions for dependents as well as the trade offs from the law’s boosting the standard deduction and increasing the CTC. An important read for low and moderate income families—the comment exchange is also good;

A Law360 piece on another of the law’s big winners: tax professionals;

Professor Dan Shaviro offering some preliminary thoughts on the international provisions;

And finally on a completely unrelated topic, if you have had enough substance and want some procedure, Frank Agostino and his team have a new monthly tax controversy journal out, and it includes a practical and important discussion of the about to be implemented passport revocation rules.

Avatar photo About Leslie Book

Professor Book is a Professor of Law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.


  1. Most professional tax preparers these days are getting besieged by emails from their clients asking if they should prepay their real estate taxes. Here in Massachusetts our first half 2018 have been assessed, but in addition to what professor Grewal notes, additional reasons not to bother to pre-pay are: (1) these taxpayers are subject to AMT in 2017 and (2) most taxpayers pay RE taxes via their mortgage escrow and paying it directly will cause a lot of confusion that must then be sorted out.

    HOWEVER, taxpayers should strongly consider paying their January 1st mortgage payment NOW by having their mortgage company debit their checking account now (in December 2017) and try to get 13 months of interest in 2017. It’s not much but it’s something. It’s very possible that many taxpayers will not be itemizing again in the near future.

    In addition, the new Tax Act has eliminated personal home equity interest effective 1/1/2018. Thus, if you have a home equity loan, paying all the interest that you have accrued that one had the wherewithal to pay at this time is a logical thing to do. Typically such interest will be deductible without getting in details.

  2. Thanks Charles. As I am sure you have seen IRS issued an advisory discussing how in certain circumstances prepaid property taxes paid in 2017 may be deductible, with the focus being whether the taxes have already been assessed,

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