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Showing posts from May, 2015

Activity Increases as Texas Legislative Session Nears End

The 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature ends on June 1st.As the session wraps up, there is a great deal of activity taking place.If you want to follow all the action and see which bills have passed or failed, there are a couple of great resources you can try:

Texas Tribune’s Texas Legislative Guide – This resource provides news stories regarding legislative action on a number of issues such as budget and taxes, energy, health and human services, higher education, and immigration and border security.You can also use the website to browse bills by category as well as by sponsor or committee.
Texas Legislature Online – The legislature’s website also provides a wealth of information regarding Texas bills.You can search for bills on various topics or you can look up a bill by number.Once you find the bill you want, you can read the text, view its status to see if it has been passed, or see an up-to-date list of the actions taken on the bill.

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U.S. Treasury Department Proposes Changes to the U.S. Model Income Tax Treaty

This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released five sets of draft revisions to the U.S. Model Income Tax Convention for public comment. The model tax conventions are not binding themselves, but they are very important because they provide the starting point for bilateral tax treaty negotiations between nations. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), United Nations, and the U.S. Model tax conventions are three main model tax conventions that are used, with the U.S. model being used by the United States in negotiating tax treaties with other nations. These drafts would make potentially substantial changes to the U.S. model tax convention and subsequently, to future bilateral tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries. Some of the changes to be made by the draft revisions include the following:
Discourage the use of corporate inversions to avoid tax by implementing full withholding on payments by "expatriated entities" such as dividends, inter…

Bloomberg BNA Federal Tax Guide

Tax attorneys are already familiar with the CCH Master Tax Guide by Wolters Kluwer and RIA Federal Tax Handbook by Thomson Reuters. These tax almanacs, published annually, are resourceful because they contain information about deadlines, tax tables, tax rate schedules, and ACRS and MACRS depreciation tables. They also provide quick information regarding virtually every tax subject ranging from capital gains and losses to credits and deductions. The summaries provide examples to illustrate concepts and include references to primary and secondary sources for further research. Bloomberg BNA has recently published the first edition of the Federal Tax Guide, which has a table of contents and index and features references to the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolios (a series of over 500 mini-treatises covering different tax topics and are authored by tax attorneys or scholars) and the Bloomberg BNA Tax Practice Series. The law library now has the Federal Tax Guide (KF6301.A329B57) in the…

Chicago Chosen to Host Obama Presidential Library

The Barack Obama Foundation has announced that the Obama Presidential Library will be located in Chicago.The winning bid by the University of Chicago will see the library located on one of several sites in the South Side of the city.
The presidential library system was established by the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955 (codified as 44 U.S.C. 2112 – Presidential Archival Depository) and modified by the Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 (100 Stat. 495).For legal researchers, presidential libraries are primarily valuable as repositories of documents preserved pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (codified as 44 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.).

New CRS Reports

We at Nota Bene have written before about Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports and where to find them online. The CRS prepares these reports to provide legislators with background information on issues that are being considered in the U.S. Congress. When researching an unfamiliar topic, a CRS report can be a very useful resource because it provides a brief but informative introduction. Here are links to a few recent CRS reports on matters of current interest.

·Iran Sanctions – In the recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, one of the key issues has been the question of how and when to ease sanctions on the country. This study looks at the history and effectiveness of various sanctions against Iran by the U.S. and other countries, and considers the possible effects of easing sanctions.
·Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate – This is a useful introduction to the current debate over regulation of the internet, including a summary of legislative…

New Project From EPIC Surveys State Privacy Laws

While there has been heightened public awareness of the law of privacy in recent years, much of the debate has focused on federal law and policy to the exclusion of the states. But state laws can provide civil liberties protections above and beyond the baseline guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, and in privacy law, as in many other areas, a state can provide what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called a “laboratory” for “novel social and economic experiments.”

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has taken those words of Justice Brandeis to heart with its new State Policy project, which tracks developments in privacy law among the states. The project’s website provides resources on state law in a number of issue areas: student privacy; drones and UAVs; consumer data security; data breach notification; location privacy; genetic privacy; the right to be forgotten; and auto black boxes (EDRs). In each issue area, EPIC also highlights what it calls an “exemplary law,” …