Tax Student Writing Contest: Win An A

That’s right: My popular contest for tax students is back. So let’s get right to the good stuff.

Here’s how it works: Write an article about a hot tax policy issue. I’m not looking for a news or legal summary, I want a policy post. Pick an issue, take a position, and explain why it matters in the tax world. Some examples of policy topics include:

  • Should the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have the authority to license tax preparers?
  • Why should tax cuts be permanent (or temporary)?
  • Would a flat tax make sense?
  • Why should U.S. taxpayers have to report foreign assets?
  • Should the IRS pre-fill tax forms?

Don’t feel limited to those suggestions. There are, after all, plenty of words in the existing Tax Code and lots of news items focusing on tax issues like corporate inversions, the Fair TaxPanama Papers, to name a few. You can choose anything so long as it’s tax-focused and policy-oriented.
To be clear, I’m not asking for a treatise or a law review article. You don’t have to cite like crazy, though you need to credit any sources or quotes (attribution is essential). I’m looking for thought-provoking, well-written posts.

Entries should weigh in at between 500 and 1,500 words. I’ll tell you what a professor once told me: extra words don’t mean extra credit, they just mean extra words.

The student who writes the best entry, in my humble taxgirl opinion, wins:

  • A pound of coffee to help keep you awake during your study sessions;
  • A taxgirl mug (to drink the coffee, clearly);
  • Your post will be published on the site;
  • Bragging rights; and
  • I’ll write your tax professor and tell them to give you an A.

I’ll post the winning entry – and maybe some standouts – in mid-December.
Of course, I can’t really make your tax professor give you an A. You know this, and I know this. But if you win, I will send a note to your tax professor to give them a heads up about your article. Sometimes, a little push to let your professor know that you’re interested in a subject can go a long way. It could also serve as the basis for a tax policy paper for a writing course or a law review article.

As for bragging rights? A number of folks read my site. Taxgirl was named one of the top 100 legal blogs by the ABA Journal for several years and is listed in the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame. Tax lawyers, CPAs, EAs, IRS personnel, and folks on the Hill may stop by the site. And some of those eyeballs are in the position to hire students. Winning the contest could make for interesting conversation during job interviews and get you some exposure – the good kind, not the Kim Kardashian kind (that’s a whole other website).

And since I’m a lawyer and lawyers like rules, here what else you need to know:

  • Entries must be sent via email with “Law Student Submission” in the subject line to by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 10, 2018. I know finals are coming up. I figure this deadline gives you sufficient time to write in between studying and binge-watching Stranger Things.
  • Entries must be between 500 and 1,500 words – in English. And in case you think like my little brother and assume that writing in all caps or italics will get you noticed, you’re only half right. It will get you noticed and subsequently ignored.
  • Send your entry in plain text, either as a text file or just typed directly in the body of the email, or PDF. No other attachments or formats will be accepted – and for the love of S corporations, don’t send me any zip files.
  • You must be a part-time or full-time law student at an accredited US law school (an LL.M. student counts) or a part-time or full-time paralegal student participating in an ABA-accredited paralegal program. In response to your suggestions, I’m expanding the contest to include those part-time or full-time accounting or business majors who are in pursuit of a degree leading to a CPA, EA or other tax credential.
  • You must include your full name, your law school or paralegal program, and your email address with your entry. I won’t publish your email address, but I do need contact information for the winning entry. I respect your privacy, and I will not send you anything unrelated to your entry in this contest.
  • By entering the contest, you agree that I may post any part or all of your submission including your name and school, as a part of the contest announcements or promotions, except for your email address. Posts won’t be redacted or edited so write with care.
  • Like one of the most famous judges of our time (no, not Judge Learned Hand but Judge Judy), the decision will be at my sole discretion and is final.
  • The winner will have their entry featured on the site. I’ll post the winning entry – and maybe some standouts – in December.

So what are you waiting for? Enter today. The clock is ticking.

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