Split Personalities: Tax Law and Critical Race Theory
9 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2014
Date Written: 1997
Unmasking racial and ethnic issues in the federal tax laws is a difficult and arduous task. Very few scholars have attempted to publish in this area. I understand why that phenomenon has occurred. First, tax law has a myth about it that suggests that it is different than other areas of the law. My tax colleague at Cincinnati, Professor Paul Caron, has eloquently referred to this phenomenon as "tax myopia," and observed that there are "serious consequences caused by the...myth that tax law is somehow different from other areas of the law."' One such consequence is perpetuating the myth that tax law is neutral and objective. To the extent that tax law is assumed to be different, it is not examined the way other areas of the law have been examined through racial and ethnic lenses. To the extent that tax law is assumed to be different, any disparate impact based upon race or ethnicity will continue unabated. My scholarship is dedicated to forever eradicating the belief that tax law is somehow different, that it has no differing impact based upon race, ethnicity, or any other characteristic.
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