The United States exhibits wider disparities of wealth than any other major developed nation. Over the past five decades, wealth has concentrated among the highest-income households, which are disproportionately white and male. In 2018, three white men held aggregate wealth greater than the aggregate wealth of one-half of all Americans. The median white household has 41 times more wealth than the median Black household and 22 times more wealth than the median Latinx household. On average women earn less than men in all industries. At the intersection of race and gender the gaps are even more shocking. Women of color are disproportionately poor suffering poverty rates of 21.4% Black women, 18.7% Latinas, and 22.8% Native American women, as compared to 7% for white men. Moreover, education, work, and marriage and other attributes that fall under the rubric of “personal responsibility” do not remedy these disparities.
In short, something must be done to reverse these racist trends. Tax and spending systems are the most profound fiscal tools under the government’s control. Many aspects of tax systems worsen inequality, especially the racial wealth gap. Three nationally recognized expert panelists will provide a deep dive into institutional racism in tax systems. The panel will begin with a broad overview focusing on racism in international and domestic tax systems targeting Black and Latinx taxpayers. The focus will then narrow further looking at the disparate impact of taxpayer audits on communities of color. Finally, panelists will suggest concrete strategies to start to remedy these wrongs.
Donnie Charleston is the Director of Policy & Advocacy for E Pluribus Unum, where he is responsible for developing the organization’s policy agenda and putting it to action, and overseeing public policy research partnerships for the organization. Donnie previously served as Director of State & Local Fiscal Engagement for The Urban Institute. Charleston also has extensive experience in state and local government. A native of North Carolina, Donnie currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Professor Francine J. Lipman brings to the Boyd School of Law an exceptional record as an accountant, a lawyer, a teacher, and a scholar. After working as a CPA in an international accounting firm and as the Chief Financial Officer for a chain of retail jewelry stores, Professor Lipman turned to the law. She served as the Editor in Chief of the UC Davis Law Review. She was recognized as an outstanding law student and a member of the Order of the Coif.
She was a tax law review scholar in NYU’s graduate tax law program, where she practiced law with O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Irell & Manella LLP. Professor Lipman joined Chapman University’s School of Business and Economics faculties in 2001 and the School of Law in 2003. Professor Lipman is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American College of Tax Counsel, the American Bar Foundation, and an editor and former committee chair for the American Bar Association’s Tax Section. She has been a visiting professor at UC Hastings College of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2016, Governor Brian Sandoval was appointed, and in 2020 Governor Steve Sisolak reappointed Professor Lipman to serve as Nevada Tax Commissioner. The Nevada Tax Commission consists of eight Nevadans with various professional and business backgrounds.
The Commissioners supervise the overall administration and operations of the Nevada Department of Taxation. Professor Lipman has written extensively on tax and accounting issues for legal journals, including the Wisconsin Law Review, Florida Tax Review, Virginia Tax Review, SMU Law Review, Nevada Law Journal, American University Law Review, Harvard Environmental Law Review, Harvard Latino Law Review, Harvard Journal on Legislation, The Tax Lawyer, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Taxes and Tax Notes. Professor Lipman is a frequent speaker on tax subjects to law and business groups.
Professor Dean’s legal scholarship explores the tension between neoliberal and progressive thought in domestic and international tax policy. He has written about tax shelters, tax havens, tax expenditures, and the importance of power and identity in international tax law. His work also examines the changing relationship between profit and mission evident in the emergence of social enterprise, impact investing, and unregulated philanthropy. His writing has appeared in publications such as the NYU Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. His collaborations include the books Federal Taxation of Corporations and Corporate Transactions (Aspen Publishers 2018, with Brad Borden) and Social Enterprise Law: Trust, Public Benefit and Capital Markets (Oxford University Press 2017, with Dana Brakman Reiser). He graduated from Yale Law School and earned his undergraduate degree in Political Economy at Williams College. He previously practiced tax law at Debevoise & Plimpton and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He has served as Vice Dean at Brooklyn Law School and as Faculty Director of NYU School of Law’s Graduate Tax Program. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Tax Section and its Committee on Professional Ethics. He is a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He also created and hosts The Tax Maven podcast.
Richard Winchester is a national authority on small business and federal employment tax policy. His articles have appeared in numerous academic journals, including Stanford Law & Policy Review, Mississippi Law Journal, and Nevada Law Journal. In addition, Congressional Reports on tax matters frequently cite his work, giving him an influential voice in contemporary policy debates. He spent most of 2012 in Tunisia as a Fulbright Scholar teaching Financing International Trade at the University of Carthage. His work in the employment tax field earned him admission to the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2010.
Before entering legal education, Professor Winchester spent ten years as a corporate tax planner, helping privately owned and publicly-traded companies structure their business operations and financial transactions. He ended his time in practice as an international tax attorney in the national tax office of PWC, where he advised both U.S. firms investing abroad and foreign firms investing in the U.S. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Professor Winchester is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law & Policy Review. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
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