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News Posted on February 27, 2013

Professor Ventry Comments on Assembly Tax Bill for Daily Journal

Professor Dennis Ventry commented for the Daily Journal on a newly proposed bill in the California Assembly that would prevent businesses from deducting punitive damages payouts from their state taxes.  

Currently, businesses are permitted to treat punitive damage awards the same as other business expenses used to generate income including wages and salaries, rent, and utilities; in other words, to treat punitive damages payouts as the cost of doing business and to require taxpayers to foot a portion of the bill. Professor Ventry thinks this treatment is misguided, and is a supporter of the legislation. At the same time, he recognizes that the matter is complex with many damage awards that are classified as punitive damages also serving a compensatory function. Still, at the end of the day Ventry says, "The same way we can't assume all punitive damage awards are the result of wrongdoing, we can't say [they are] the same as [ordinary business expenses] like wages and salaries."

Professor Ventry is an expert in tax policy and legal ethics. His research interests include tax expenditure analysis, family taxation, professional responsibility and standards of care, tax filing and administration, tax compliance, public finance, and tax and legal history. In addition, he was recently added as a co-author on the casebook, Legal Ethics and Corporate Practice.