Ann F. Thomas
Otto L. Walter Distinguished Professor of Tax Law
Director, Graduate Tax Program
In 1992, Ann F. Thomas began a second career in academic law with a fellowship year at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, after 17 years (10 as partner) working in the corporate tax department at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Professor Thomas spent two years as an adjunct professor at Yale Law School and joined New York Law Schools faculty in 1995.
Professor Thomas, who teaches a range of tax courses and is Director of the Graduate Tax Program, was drawn to academia because of the chance to explore and develop a subject she views as fundamental to how societies function.
We need to promote greater tax literacy among lawyers. Teaching is very rewarding from that point of view, Professor Thomas says. Some students here are already working in tax and a good number are interested in the tax field executive and corporate practice and they really add to the fruitful discussion of tax issues.
Professor Thomas says her first love in taxation research is in the corporate and business context, but she also concentrates her scholarship on income tax and urges a re-examination of the assumptions about marriage and family that underlie current policy.
Our tax subsidies should work to promote the care and nurturing of children. In modern society, families can come in many different configurations. Tax policy should support family life and not just the traditional sole-earner household, says Professor Thomas.
In 1999, Professor Thomas organized a symposium for the New York Law School Journal of Human Rights on the subject of Women, Equity, and Federal Tax Policy: Open Questions. More than 20 experts from across the country legal scholars, economists, and activists spent a full day examining tax policy problems that diminish the financial security of women, including the possible marriage penalty within the income tax code. With the help of the Marjorie Cook Foundation, the Journal of Human Rights distributed the symposium volume to every member of Congress, key Treasury and White House staff, law professors, and economists. The timing coincided with fierce debates in both houses of Congress over marriage and income tax.
Although teaching tax law to future lawyers and practitioners is her primary mission, Professor Thomas uses her work in tax history to bring tax policy back to the citizens. As she sees it, tax literacy is the only way to ensure tax policies that reflect the needs of all citizens. We need to make the theory and the history of taxation more accessible so that voters can have a more informed view of our tax policy choices. Only then will they be able to set the agenda for future policy choices, she says.
Professor Thomas studies and teaches about comparative systems of corporate taxation around the world and sees a need in the increasingly global marketplace for an expansion of international cooperation on business and tax issues.
Professor Thomas is in the process of finishing a book examining the history of the U.S. tax system during the Progressive Era and the emergence of the modern income tax system in 1913.
Professor Thomas serves on the Board of Directors of the African American Policy Forum.
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
“Tax Considerations at the Intersections of Matrimonial and Bankruptcy Law.” Chapter in Bankruptcy Issues in Matrimonial Cases: A Practical Guide, R.L. brown, ed. Prentice Hall Law & Business, 1993.
“The Tax Treatment of Charities, Employee Benefit Trusts and Similar Institutions.” Chapter in International Tax Problems of Charities and Other Private Institutions with Similar Tax Treatment, Kluwer Law & Tax, 1985 (with A.A. Feder).
LAW REVIEW AND OTHER SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS
Foreword, “Symposium 1999: Women, Equity and Federal Tax Policy: Open Questions.” 16 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights i–v (1999).
“Marriage and the Income Tax Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: A Primer and Legislative Scorecard (Symposium 1999: Women, Equity and Federal Tax Policy: Open Questions).” 16 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 1–117 (1999).
“Introduction, Panel II: Exempt Organizations and the Corporate Charitable Deduction: Law, Policy, Theory (Symposium: Corporate Philanthropy Law: Culture, Education and Politics).” 41 New York Law School Law Review 831–834 (1997).
“Square Wheels: U.S. Pass-Through Taxation of Privately Held Enterprises in a Comparative Law Context (The Sixth Annual Ernst C. Stiefel Symposium).” 17 New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law 429–471 (1997).
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, PRACTICE MATERIALS, AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
“The Long Hello: Uncovering the Citizenship of Women.” Book Review of No Constitutional Right to be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship by Linda K. Kerber. H-Law, H-Net Reviews (June 1999). Available from: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=3184
Moderator, “Panel I: Observing Money, Marriage and Taxation (Symposium: Women, Equity and Federal Tax Policy: Open Questions).” 16 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 127–166 (1999).
Moderator, “Panel III: Child Care and Federal Tax Policy (Symposium: Women, Equity and Federal Tax Policy: Open Questions).” 16 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 203–216 (1999).
“Shifting the Burden of Proof: A Reckless Experiment.” 16 In Brief 16–17 (Spring/Summer 1998).
Moderator, “Panel II: Exempt Organizations and the Corporate Charitable Deduction: Law, Policy, Theory (Symposium: Corporate Philanthropy Law: Culture, Education and Politics).” 41 New York Law School Law Review 831–1007 (1997).
“Joint Tax Return Liability and Bankruptcy.” 14 Fair$hare 11–12 (March 1994).
“Women and Taxes: The Costly Connection.” 79 Radcliffe Quarterly (June 1993).
“Bankruptcy and Related Tax Issues in Matrimonial Law.” Outline in What Matrimonial Lawyers Need to Know About Bankruptcy, Tax and Corporate Law Issues. Practising Law Institute, 1992.
“Transactions Relating to Intercompany Stockholdings and Indebtedness.” Outline in Consolidated Tax Returns (H. Alpert, ed.). Practising Law Institute, 1983.