Daniel I. Halperin

Stanley S. Surrey Professor of Law, Emeritus

Langdell Library 319

617-496-5505

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760

Biography

Daniel Halperin has been a law professor for nearly 40 years and has been the Stanley S. Surrey Professor at the Harvard Law School since 1996. Halperin began his career in private practice in New York City and twice served in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department (from 1967 through 1970 and from 1977 through 1980). He was Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1978-80. Halperin began his academic career at Pennsylvania Law School (1970-1977) and taught for 15 years at Georgetown Law School from 1981-1996. Halperin is an Affiliated Scholar with the Urban Institute, a member of the advisory board for the Urban Institute's "Project on Tax Policy and Charities" and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Pension Rights Center. He has authored numerous law review articles specializing in the areas of qualified pension plans and retirement savings, nonprofit organizations and the timing of income and deductions under the Internal Revenue Code.

 

Areas of Interest

Daniel I. Halperin, Corporate Rate Reduction and Fairness to Passthrough Entities, 147 Tax Notes 1299 (2015).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Corporate
,
Taxation - Partnerships
,
Taxation - Personal Income
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Abstract
There is considerable support for reducing the corporate tax rate but not for a corresponding reduction in individual rates. Since it seems likely that corporate rate reduction would have to be financed by reduction or even elimination of many tax preferences for business income equitable treatment of pass-throughs is a vexing problem. The article suggests a possible approach to fairness to pass-throughs which follows from recognition of the actual benefit of reducing corporate rates that I described in 2010. I showed that under the assumption that the combined rate of tax on corporate income (the corporate level tax plus the tax on distributions) is equivalent to the individual marginal rate applied to partnership income, the impact of reduced corporate rates was SOLELY to permanently reduce the tax burden on the RETURN ON REINVESTED EARNINGS to the lower corporate rate, whether or not these earnings were distributed. The return on INVESTED CAPITAL would continue to be taxed in full at individual rates even if distribution is deferred. If this is so, we can achieve equivalent treatment of pass-throughs if we can identify earnings from the reinvestment of business profits and, similar to the treatment of capital gain, limit the tax rate on these earnings to no more than the corporate rate.
Daniel I. Halperin, Fifty Years of Pension Law, 6 Drexel L. Rev. 503 (2014).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Legal Profession
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Retirement Benefits & Social Security
,
Employee Benefits
,
Legal History
,
Biography & Tribute
,
Tax Policy
Type: Article
Daniel I. Halperin & Alvin C. Warren, Jr., Understanding Income Tax Deferral, 67 Tax L. Rev. 317 (2014).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Tax Policy
Type: Article
Abstract
The goal of this brief note is to clarify the role of deferral in income taxation by introducing a distinction between pure deferral and counterparty deferral. Pure deferral (such as a current deduction for a capital expenditure) is equivalent to an interest-free loan from the government and, under certain assumptions, to a tax exemption for investment income. Counterparty deferral (such as qualified or nonqualified deferred compensation) shifts taxation of investment income to another party or account, so the advantage depends on the counterparty’s tax rate. Failure to understand these relationships can lead to erroneous conclusions. For example, it is sometimes said that capital gain property will suffer a tax disadvantage if placed in a qualified retirement account because the gain will be subject to full ordinary rates on withdrawal. Similarly, deferral of the employer’s deduction is often said to offset the benefit of deferring an employee’s inclusion of nonqualified deferred compensation. The note demonstrates that both of these statements are erroneous under standard assumptions.
Daniel Halperin, Incentives for Conservation Easements: The Charitable Deduction or a Better Way, 74 Law & Contemp. Probs. 29 (2011).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Land Use
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Exemptions
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Abstract
Halperin talks about tax-policy concerns relating to the charitable deduction for conservation easement donations. The conflict of interest between charity and other owners raises a concern that the charitable deduction would not reflect the ultimate charitable benefit. The deduction for conservation easements is the principal exception to this rule despite the significant potential for abuse and the distinct possibility that the public benefit may be less than anticipated.
Daniel Halperin, Is Income Tax Exemption for Charities a Subsidy?, 64 Tax L. Rev. 283 (2011).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Taxation - Exemptions
,
Tax Policy
Type: Article
Abstract
Article considers whether income tax exemption for charities is consistent with normal income tax. It finds that exemption for contributions is not special treatment and that exemption for income from sale of goods or performance of services related to the purpose of the charity is special treatment only if profits are used for expansion. It concludes that a subsidy for expansion can be justified. Most importantly the article finds that exemption for investment income is a subsidy. It concludes that exemption for such income depends on a value judgment as to whether public policy should favor less accumulation and more current spending by charites. It suggests that the exemption for investment income and the charitable deduction should be limited in certain circumstances.
Daniel Halperin, Retirement Income Security After the Fall, in New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation 11-1 (Alvin D. Lurie ed., 2009).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Retirement Benefits & Social Security
,
Employee Benefits
,
Tax Policy
Type: Book
Daniel Halperin & Ethan Yale, Deferred Compensation Revisited, 114 Tax Notes 939 (2007).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Employee Benefits
,
Executive Compensation
,
Tax Policy
Type: Article
Abstract
The tax rules governing deferred compensation, codified at section 409A, are harsh and complex. The rules are focused on the least important policy considerations and overlook the most important. Professors Halperin and Yale suggest a different approach, one that would make the law simpler, fairer, and more effective.
Daniel Halperin, Income Taxation of Mutual Nonprofits, 59 Tax L. Rev. 133 (2006).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Corporate Law & Securities
Sub-Categories:
Nonprofit Organizations
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Exemptions
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Abstract
Section 501 of the IRC exempts at least twenty-eight categories of nonprofit entities from income tax. Most attention is paid to Section 501(c)(3). Many of the organizations exempt from income tax under Section 501(c), however, are what state law refers to as mutual benefit organizations, which exist primarily to serve their members. While many mutuals are exempt from income tax, contributions to mutuals are generally not deductible as charitable contributions, nor are mutuals entitled to other benefits, such as real estate or sales tax exemption or lower postal rates, generally available to organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(3). This suggests that the income tax exemption for mutuals would not be justified on the basis of benefit to the public. In the case of business mutuals, steps should be taken to eliminate or mitigate the deferral advantage. It is concluded that consumer mutuals generally ought to be taxed at least on their investment income and on profits from dealings with nonmembers, as is currently true of social clubs. Otherwise, members of consumer mutuals enjoy opportunities for untaxed consumption.
Daniel Halperin, Employer-Based Retirement Income -- the Ideal, the Possible, and the Reality, 11 Elder L.J. 37 (2003).
Categories:
Labor & Employment
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Employee Benefits
,
Retirement Benefits & Social Security
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Abstract
Based upon his presentation at the University of Illinois College of Law’s Elder Law Lecture, Professor Daniel Halperin provides a clear outline of goals for the future of employer-based retirement plans, which currently fall below ideal expectations and leave low- and moderate-income workers with inadequate savings for retirement. Professor Halperin argues for tougher standards regulating the private employer-based plans and additional government subsidies to retirement savings for low-income workers in order to make these goals possible. His proposals include widening coverage by requiring that all employees be eligible, limiting the role of integration with Social Security, restricting testing for discrimination by comparing projected benefits, preserving benefits for retirement by immediate vesting, and transferring investment risk to employers.
Daniel Halperin, A Charitable Contribution of Appreciated Property and the Realization of Built-in Gains, 56 Tax L. Rev. 1 (2002).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Taxation - Personal Income
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Daniel I. Halperin & Alicia H. Munnell, Ensuring Retirement Income for All Workers, in The Evolving Pension System: Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform 155 (William Gale, John B. Shoven & Mark J. Warshawsky eds., 2000).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Employee Benefits
,
Retirement Benefits & Social Security
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Federal
,
Taxation - Personal Income
Type: Book
Daniel Halperin, Commentary, A Capital Gains Preference Is Not EVEN a Second-Best Solution, 48 Tax L. Rev. 381 (1993).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Daniel I. Halperin, Special Tax Treatment for Employer-Based Retirement Programs: Is It "Still" Viable as a Means of Increasing Retirement Income? Should It Continue? 49 Tax L. Rev. 1 (1993).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Retirement Benefits & Social Security
,
Employee Benefits
,
Executive Compensation
,
Tax Policy
Type: Article
Daniel I. Halperin, Interest in Disguise: Taxing the "Time Value of Money", 95 Yale L.J. 506 (1986).
Categories:
Taxation
,
Labor & Employment
Sub-Categories:
Executive Compensation
,
Employee Benefits
,
Tax Policy
,
Taxation - Personal Income
,
Taxation - Federal
Type: Article
Daniel I. Halperin, Business Deduction for Personal Living Expenses: A Uniform Approach to an Unsolved Problem, 122 U. Pa. L. Rev. 859 (1974).
Categories:
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Taxation - Personal Income
,
Taxation - Federal
,
Taxation - Exemptions
Type: Article

Langdell Library 319

617-496-5505

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760