When I was in law school, I took a federal income taxation class. An adage my professor quoted has stayed with me: “No man is required to arrange his affairs so as to pay the largest possible amount of tax.” Of course, the principle he was really suggesting was that every man naturally will go to great lengths to see that he pays the lowest tax possible, short of risking prosecution. I have often used that adage as an example of how lawyers are trained to think, especially when a legal obligation is perceived as arbitrary, not linked to any compelling personal motivation. In such cases it is rational to want to know precisely what the obligation is so we can comply in a formal sense while minimizing the accompanyi . . .
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