Economic Substance and the Laws of Interest: A Comparison of Jewish and U.S. Federal Tax Law

HANDBOOK OF JEWISH LAW AND ECONOMICS, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2009  

Adam Chodorow

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: July 28, 2009

Abstract

Both Jewish law and U.S. Federal tax law define interest broadly as a payment for the use of money. Nonetheless, the two systems diverge widely when determining whether particular transactions involve interest. In particular, while both systems struggle with the question of when to respect the form of a transaction and when to take account of the underlying economic reality, they often resolve the question differently. Comparing the different approaches to the laws of interest reveals how underlying goals, practical constraints, and structure of the legal system affect the development of the law.

Keywords: tax, taxation, interest, ribbis, halachah, ribbit, economic substance, comparative law, Jewish law

JEL Classification: H20, H24, K10, K34, P50, P51, Z10

Suggested Citation

Chodorow, Adam, Economic Substance and the Laws of Interest: A Comparison of Jewish and U.S. Federal Tax Law (July 28, 2009). HANDBOOK OF JEWISH LAW AND ECONOMICS, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1440294

Adam Chodorow (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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