The Temple Center for Tax Law and Public Policy, directed by Professor Alice Abreu, serves as a hub for the many tax related activities that take place every year at Temple. Its website, https://www2.law.temple.edu/taxcenter/, provides an easy place to locate the many opportunities that exist for current and prospective students, alumni, and members of the public.
Those activities range from the pursuit of a graduate degree in Taxation or obtaining a Certificate in a specialized area like Employee Benefits or Estate Planning, to attendance at the Fogel Lecture, given annually by a high ranking current or former government tax official. https://www2.law.temple.edu/taxcenter/speakers-events/the-frank-rose-fogel-lecture/. For example, this past academic year, the Fogel Lecture was delivered by Chief Judge Maurice Foley of the U.S. Tax Court. In 2020-21, the Fogel lecturer will be Caroline Ciraolo, former Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. Together with the Tax Section of the ABA, the Center also sponsors an annual program that features noted practitioners and alumni discussing the many paths to a Career in Tax. “Tax Goes to Hollywood,” which the Center expects to feature annually, introduced students to Marty Ginsburg, a distinguished corporate tax lawyer and late husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and showed how it was a tax case that prompted then-Professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg to undertake litigation that dismantled the network of laws that discriminate “On the Basis of Sex.” The Center also trains members of the Law School community to become certified to participate in the IRS’s Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA), providing free tax preparation for low income taxpayers on the Law School campus as well as throughout the city.
Together with the many tax courses that Temple offers, the Center exemplifies the range of tax practice and the reach and ubiquity of the tax law. It also offers innovative courses, such as the Tax Policy Colloquium led by Harry (“Hank”) Gutman (former Chief of Staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation) and Eric Solomon (Former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, among many other government positions) who lead students, interested tax practitioners, and academics through an immersive two-day examination of tax policy and the tax legislative process.
The animating principle behind the Center is the understanding that the tax law is about much more than the raising of revenue and the filing of the familiar and often dreaded Form 1040. Rather, the tax law reflects our deepest social values, both the positive and the negative. Not surprisingly, then, the Center both endorsed the statement issued by Dean Mandel condemning systemic racial injustice but also issued its own Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter. https://www2.law.temple.edu/taxcenter/. The Center aims to promote a deep understanding of the tax system so that socially conscious individuals can become agents for optimizing it, and tomorrow’s lawyers can serve their clients, in private practice or public service, with the highest level of technical and policy expertise. In short, the Center embodies Temple’s leadership and innovation in the study of tax law.
Professor Alice Abreu is the Director of the Temple Law School Center for Tax Law and Public Policy. Professor Abreu specializes in federal income tax law, with a special emphasis in the formulation of tax policy.