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

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

Monday Map: State and Local Tax Deductions

August 27, 2012

A Global Perspective on Territorial Taxation

August 10, 2012

Streamlined Sales Tax Executive Denies Saying Reliable Products Aren’t Available

August 6, 2012

U.S. Senate Online Sales Tax Hearing Derails as Witnesses Show Collecting is Not Easy

August 1, 2012

Senate Considers Allowing State Taxation of Online Sales

August 1, 2012

Written Submission of Joseph Henchman – Hearing on Marketplace Fairness: Leveling the Playing Field for Small Businesses Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation U.S. Senate

August 1, 2012

Are Tax Credits the Proper Tool for Making Higher Education More Affordable?

July 25, 2012

Taxing the Uninsured: The Latest Estimates

July 24, 2012

Prepared Statement of Joseph Henchman Vice President, Legal & State Projects Tax Foundation Hearing on H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act of 2011 Before the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives

July 23, 2012

Taxing the Uninsured

June 29, 2012

Joe Henchman on the Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

June 28, 2012