Center for Legal Reform

The Tax Foundation's Center for Legal Reform cultivates, explains, and advocates for tax legal reform. We develop innovative pro-growth ideas in tax law with leading experts, educate the legal community and the public about economics and taxpayer protections, and advocate that judicial and policy decisions on tax law promote simple, neutral, transparent, and stable tax policies.

Courts play an important role in developing tax policy, by interpreting tax codes, applying sections in individual cases, and dealing with circumstances unforeseen when legislation was drafted. Our legal team focuses on cases and issues involving one or more of the following areas:

Since its founding in 2005, the Tax Foundation’s Center for Legal Reform has filed briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and courts in 8 states. Key victories include invalidation of a $300 million tax in northern Virginia, a successful challenge to a “tax on a tax” in San Diego, and avoiding a judicial takeover of state education funding in Indiana. We filed briefs continuously as opportunities are presented.

Read more about court cases in which the Tax Foundation has filed briefs.

Major Publications


Legal Briefs and Research

Today in History: Income Tax Ruled Unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers Loan Trust Co.

April 8, 2013

Protecting Consumers by Eliminating the Business Deduction for Advertising

April 1, 2013

New York’s Highest Court Upholds “Amazon Tax” Against Facial Challenge

March 28, 2013

How Is the Money Used? Federal and State Cases Distinguishing Taxes and Fees

March 27, 2013

New York Budget Includes Tax Subsidy to “The Tonight Show”

March 22, 2013

Internet Sales Tax Collections Falling Far Short of Experts’ Estimates

March 18, 2013

Marketplace Fairness Act Introduced: Expands State Internet Sales Tax Authority with Some Simplifications

February 28, 2013

California Board Takes Back Tax Benefit, Demands Retroactive Payments and Interest

February 13, 2013

CBO Overly Optimistic about Economic Growth and the Federal Debt

February 12, 2013

A Stormwater “Fee” on Landlords is Actually a Tax: Banks v. City of Ocean Shores

January 15, 2013

Income Tax Code No Longer Favors Parking over Transit… For Now

January 7, 2013

Taxpayers’ Rights to Receive Full Refunds of an Illegally Collected Tax: McWilliams v. City of Long Beach

December 18, 2012

U.S. News & World Report: States Shouldn’t Collect Online Sales Tax

December 10, 2012

California Court Strikes Down Unequal Property “Parcel Tax”

December 10, 2012

Would the Romney Tax Plan Necessarily Reduce After-Tax Incomes for the Middle Class?

October 2, 2012

Responses to Questions from Rep. Melvin Watt on the Marketplace Equity Act

September 28, 2012

Responses to Questions from Rep. Jason Chaffetz on the Marketplace Equity Act

September 28, 2012

Taxpayer Wins Against Washington State Shakedown; State Appeals

September 27, 2012

D.C. Judge Rules Online Travel Companies Must Pay Hotel Tax on Their Services

September 26, 2012

Table: Obama, Romney, and Bowles-Simpson Tax Plans

September 6, 2012