Prominent tax scholar Paul McDaniel remembered

Paul McDaniel

Paul McDaniel

A tribute from colleagues, friends and family

Paul R. McDaniel, Emeritus James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar in Taxation and Professor of Law at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, passed away at his home in Gainesville on July 16 after a long illness.

“Professor Paul McDaniel, our colleague and dear friend, was a great scholar, but his professional career was devoted to our students,” said UF Law Dean Robert Jerry. “His affection for and commitment to them, both inside and outside the classroom, were extraordinary.”

McDaniel joined the faculty at UF Law in 2004. He had a long and distinguished career as a tax lawyer and professor, and was active as a full-time faculty member, teaching international tax classes and producing tax scholarship through the fall term of 2009 before being diagnosed with his final illness around the New Year.

He was an exceptional teacher and scholar, and he will be sorely missed by all who have known him as a colleague, teacher and friend.

“We were all very fortunate that Paul chose to spend the last six years with us,” said Graduate Tax Program Director Mike Friel. “He was a distinguished teacher and scholar of enormous international renown who always had time for his students and his colleagues – time to listen, to care and to inspire. He leaves behind a graduate tax program and law school community that are much the better for his having been among us, and he will be remembered with great gratitude and affection.”

McDaniel graduated from Harvard Law School in 1961 and his impressive academic career includes teaching at Boston College Law School and NYU School of Law, where he helped develop the LLM in International Taxation program and served as the director of the Graduate Tax Program. In 2004 he was named the James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar in Taxation and Professor of Law at UF Law. He published over 60 articles on U.S. and international taxation and co-authored 10 books on U.S. taxation, six of which are actively in use in law schools in the U.S. and abroad.

He was instrumental in developing the LLM in International Taxation program at UF Law, which has proved highly successful in attracting students from Latin America, Europe and Asia. A key element of the program is the close interaction between international students and U.S. students and faculty.

McDaniel is recognized as one of the most influential tax scholars of the past 50 years. The groundbreaking work he did with Stanley Surrey in developing the concept of tax expenditures in their important 1985 book, Tax Expenditures, remains one of the most significant developments in tax theory and continues to play a significant role in the evolution of tax law.

During his career, McDaniel also served as attorney adviser in the Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Treasury Department; acting associate tax legislative counsel for the Treasury Department; and was a partner at the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow. McDaniel remained active in the tax legislative process, both at the state and federal level, including as adviser to thengovernor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis and to Sen. Edward Kennedy. He proudly displayed on his office wall a photograph of himself working with Kennedy.

Throughout his life, McDaniel was also actively involved as a lay leader in the church. He served as Moderator of the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ in the early 1990s and was highly regarded for his preaching on social issues. His leadership was instrumental within the denomination to welcome gays and lesbians to full participation in the life of the church.

McDaniel’s greatest gift as a teacher and human being was nurturing relationships, and he is remembered fondly and with great respect by all his students and colleagues. McDaniel always went out of his way to welcome international students enrolled in the International Tax Program, hosting a welcoming reception for them and their families at his home each year and, when feasible, before the program grew to its now large size, hosting a Thanksgiving Day dinner at his home for the international students and their families.

Over the many years of his teaching career, McDaniel’s character and intellect inspired countless students to pursue careers in tax law, a number of whom he also inspired to follow in his footsteps as law school tax professors.

McDaniel is survived by his wife, the Rev. Virginia Ann McDaniel, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Alachua; a daughter, Alysa, and her husband, Craig Emden, and granddaughters Alix and Maia; a son, Kyle, and his wife, Barbara, and grandsons Aubyn and Rowan; a brother, Ron (Buzz), and his wife, Betty; stepchildren Kate and Andrew Mason; and his former wife, Joyce (Kirchner) McDaniel.

- Special thanks to Martin J McMahon Jr. for his contributions and assistance with this tribute.