69: Winners of Student Tax Writing Contest Hint at the Bright Future of Finance


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By Kelly Phillips Erb. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In April, Kelly announced the first Bloomberg Tax & Accounting Insights student writing competition. The contest sought to highlight the very best of student writing. A panel of judges from the Bloomberg Tax team scored and reviewed every entry, and the winners from schools around the globe represent the best young talent in the tax profession.

The best and brightest young tax students submitted topical writing to Bloomberg Tax earlier this year. Today, Kelly speaks with two of the winners about their tax writing and commentary.

On today’s episode of the Taxgirl podcast, Kelly is joined by two student winners of the 2021 Bloomberg Tax writing competition: Elliot Bramham and Travis Nix. Elliot is a student at the University of East Anglia. Travis is a student of tax law at Georgetown Law. His tax commentary has been featured in Tax Notes, Fox News, National Review, and the Chicago Tribune.

Listen to Kelly, Travis, and Elliot talk about their tax writing:

  • Why did Elliot enter the Bloomberg Tax writing competition, and what about it was interesting and exciting to him?
  • The idea of citizen-based taxation, the topic of Elliot’s writing piece, is highly controversial in the US. He also touches on the subject of FBARs. What drew Elliot to writing about such nuanced tax topics?
  • Elliot says many institutions have been known to close accounts of American expats with capital still in the accounts. He tells Kelly he would be surprised if she could still easily file for an FBAR today as opposed to when she was a student studying abroad in England.
  • What are Elliot’s favorite aspects of studying tax? He says he’s most fascinated by international tax between countries, especially bilateral treaties that were established years ago but are now made more complicated by the introduction of new tech and financial products in the industry.
  • Has Elliot been following the OECD, and what are his thoughts on any potential resolution? He says it’s probably too early to tell about whether an agreement will be reached, but that there are so many international conversations taking place as a result.
  • Europe has widespread real time reporting, while the US decidedly does not. What are Elliot’s thoughts about the differences, and might it be easier to reach an agreeable conclusion if the US practiced real time reporting?
  • What does Elliot think he wants to do after school in the field? He shares he is most interested in financial planning, and is excited to head further into the profession when he’s finished with school.
  • What inspired Travis to enter the tax writing competition? He says he highly respects Bloomberg Tax as a publication and was excited to share his commentary with such a distinguished outlet.
  • Travis’s piece was very well received and featured a discussion about the gig economy. What sparked his interest in writing a gig economy piece from a tax lens?
  • Kelly says she feels it’s often understated how big the gig economy really is in the US. Travis agrees that so many people are gig workers in some way, whether part time or full time. But many gig workers aren’t fully aware of the reporting requirements for their circumstances.
  • What are Travis’s thoughts for increasing compliance for the gig economy, as well as making reporting easier for gig workers?
  • After one of Travis’s tax articles, Uber reached out to contact him and ended up distributing a form to its delivery drivers to better inform them about their reporting options and expectations.
  • Regarding a standard business deduction, what are Travis’s high-level thoughts for rolling out an ideal solution across the board, while keeping in mind that the gig economy is full of nuance?
  • Is corporate tax the most exciting part of the profession for Travis? From policy, to planning, to compliance, what area of tax does he hope to dive into after finishing his studies?

More about Kelly:

Kelly is the creator and host of the Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.

You can find out more about Kelly here and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.

To subscribe to the podcast (it's free!) using Apple, Spotify, or your favorite listening app, click here.


Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl

Elliot’s Winning Piece -- Updating Citizenship-Based Taxation

Elliot’s LinkedIn -- Elliot Bramham

Travis’s Winning Piece -- Taxing the Gig Economy

Travis’s Twitter -- @tnix113

90 episodes