Scholars debate whether Congress should address nonrevenue objectives through the tax code. This Article furthers this research agenda by examining a case in which interested groups misinterpret Congress's limited objectives for targeted tax reduction. In this case of limited congressional objectives (tax reduction) but broader societal objectives (helping divorcing spouses and children of divorce), this Article questions whether these other nonrevenue objectives are furthered by the targeted tax reduction.
This examination of divorce-related taxation emphasizes the importance of narrowly tailoring tax policies to broader, nonrevenue goals as opposed to viewing tax reduction as an end in itself. If we want to reduce social and economic inequality, as is the focus of this Symposium, this Article concludes that tax reduction is not a valid substitute for measuring whether the law accomplishes these nonrevenue policy objectives.
Stephanie Hunter McMahon, Should Divorce Be More Taxing?: Structuring Tax Reduction to Reduce Inequality, 3 Ind. J.L. & Soc. Equality 74 (2015).