Big-Time Blogging: UC Law Professor Gains Millions of Readers, High Acclaim in Tax Circles
Paul Caron of the UC College of Law faculty has gained a devoted following in the world of taxes for his blog, TaxProf. Now he's made one publication's list of the top 10 most influential people in taxes in 2009.
Date: 1/5/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
UC College of Law Associate Dean of Faculty Paul Caron has invested years of diligent effort in cultivating his TaxProf blog
, and the payoff has been impressive: TaxProf recently passed the 8.5 million mark in visitors in just five years of existence, and now Caron has made it onto a list as one of 10 finalists considered for a top tax publisher’s “Person of the Year” award.
The weekly publication “Tax Notes” included Caron on its list of finalists for “Person of the Year” in the world of taxes, saying “anyone looking for a quick fix of the day’s major tax headlines, highlights of recently released papers from heavy hitters in the tax law community or news on other happenings in the academic world of tax law increasingly turned to Paul L. Caron’s TaxProf blog in 2009.”
Chosen to receive the award was Bradley Birkenfeld, the banker-turned-whistleblower whose efforts ignited a huge crackdown on international cross-border tax evasion schemes. Other finalists with Caron for the award included:
- Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman
- U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel
- U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Michael Mundaca
- Economist Alan D. Viard
- Tax attorney Charles P. Rettig
- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP partner Ken Kuykendall
- New York State Bar Association Tax Section Chair Erika W. Nijenhuis
- Employee stock ownership tax expert T. David Cowart
Of the honor, Caron was pleasantly surprised.
“I was thrilled to hear about it. When you’re a blogger, you hope your work is being noticed but don’t always know. It was neat affirmation that people are looking at it and that it is becoming influential in the tax world,” said Caron, who also holds the title of Charles Hartsock Professor of Law within the UC College of Law.
TaxProf has been a labor of love that has succeeded beyond anything Caron could have imagined when he started blogging in 2004. His prominence because of TaxProf helped also recently land him on the list of the “100 Most Influential People in Tax and Accounting” published by “Accounting Today.” It is the fourth straight time that Caron has been selected for the list.
TaxProf was also recognized in 2009 as the best overall law professor blog in rankings compiled by Dennis Kennedy, the technology columnist for the American Bar Association’s “ABA Journal.” It succeeds in part because it keeps its readers both informed and entertained.
When the blog finds a tax angle – as it often has – on topics from the popular news, such as the tax implications of some event involving a celebrity, that obviously has broad reader appeal. But there’s also the chance to contribute to discussions of serious news events.
When a commuter train accident in Washington, D.C., last year killed nine people, TaxProf was a key promoter of the case first made by Sarah Lawsky of the George Washington University Law School that a tax-advantaged sale-leaseback arrangement made by the commuter line operator helped prevent the replacement of older, unsafe train cars.
Caron says the blog is also still dedicated to its original idea for publishing – shedding light on important academic work coming from professors in the tax law field.
“If you look at the very first post on the blog, it said the idea behind it was to build a destination where tax academics could come every day to learn about current developments in tax scholarship, teaching and news,” Caron says. “The thought was, though, that if we did that right then other people could be interested – tax lawyers, government officials working in the tax field, tax accountants and tax students in law schools and business schools.”
The scope of the audience continues to expand. In the most recent year, TaxProf set a record with more than 3.5 million page views.
Caron’s newest honor comes from a source that also delivers a wide audience. TaxAnalysts, the parent company of “Tax Notes,” delivers a portfolio of publications devoted to tax topics that draws in 150,000 tax-interested professional daily. In the most recent ranking of tax journals by the frequency of their citation in cases and scholarly journals, "Tax Notes" ranked second (behind only "The Tax Law Review" published by New York University).