Temple announced the creation of a new Center for Tax Law and Public Policy with the aim of bringing together the law schools’ tax-related programs on Jan. 22.
“It allows us to have a website which provides a convenient portal for all the tax-related things we do,” said Alice Abreu, a Beasley School of Law professor who proposed the center in Summer 2018 and now directs it after it was approved in Spring 2019. “The impetus for a center was to provide a home for and greater access to these things.”
Nearly a third of Temple students choose taxation as their 1L elective and nearly a quarter enroll in more than one tax class before graduation, according to Beasley’s website.
“Temple law school has an exceptionally strong tax program,” Abreu said. “We have a student body unusual in the number of students who take tax, not only because they can take it in their first year, but also because we have a dynamic and strong tax faculty.”
The Center unites the first-year 1L course, graduate student work and Temple-backed initiatives, like student events with IRS officials and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which is managed by Ceiba, a community-run clinic, Abreu said.
The center will aim to “coordinate with the wider community” of both residents and tax law experts, Weiner said.
“We just got approval for holding a conference on international tax and Professor Weiner will take the lead role,” Abreu said.
The Center for Tax Law and Public Policy will hold the international tax competition either later this year or in Spring 2021, Abreu said.
Last week, two Temple students studying for advanced degrees at Temple’s Graduate Tax Program, Jennifer Breton and Joshua Runyan, won the national American Bar Association Law Student Tax Challenge.
Runyan and Breton were invited to present their analysis of a tax case, Runyan said.
Temple professors involved with the new center and local tax specialists helped prepare Runyan and Breton for their final presentation at the competition, Abreu said.
“It was humbling to present before some of the best-regarded tax practitioners in the country. That was difficult, but certainly in my wheelhouse,” Runyan said. “We submitted them to the competition and found out in mid-to-late December that we were finalists.”
Breton and Runyan had worked on this certain tax case in class but presenting before a national competition panel was more of a challenge, Breton said.
“It was intimidating to make these arguments in front of those people but we were able to do it well and we worked well together,” said Breton, who will be graduating this May.
Center for Tax Law and Public Policy will hold an event on Feb. 24 at 12 p.m. in room K1E to honor the work of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband Martin Ginsburg in tax law to combat sex discrimination, Abreu said.
“I think that tax is always part of the public discussion,” Weiner said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly called the Center for Tax Law and Public Policy a program. It is a center.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program as a department-sponsored program and described Temple as a VITA Center. The Beasley School of Law’s Sheller Center for Social Justice hosts a tax clinic managed by Ceiba, a community organization, staffed by students trained by Abreu, who directs the Tac Center. The Fox School of Business operates Temple University’s VITA program based on the Ambler Campus.
The article also incorrectly called the Center for Tax Law and Public Policy’s event later this year a conference. It will be a competition.
This story also misspelled Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s name.