Being a tax professor often involves questions like whether a pre-transaction redemption should be taken into account when determining whether substantially all assets have been transferred so that the transaction can qualify as a C reorganization. The bottom line about these questions is: nobody cares. I mean, your client might care, and if you’re taking a corporate tax exam, your professor might care, but probably your mom doesn’t care (unless she’s a tax dork too, in which case, lucky you!).
But the tax code can be used not only to raise revenue, but also to provide incentives or disincentives for various activities and to express views and values. So in addition to the many important but sometimes obscure or technical questions always present in tax law, difficult moral issues–“hot” issues about which lots of people have immediate, strong views–can also get mixed up with tax.