Calvin H. Johnson

  • John T. Kipp Chair in Corporate and Business Law


  • JD Stanford
  • BA Columbia University

Calvin H. Johnson has been a member of the University of Texas Law School faculty since 1981. His research is currently focused around the Shelf Project, a collaboration to raise revenue by protecting the tax base, without rate increases. An inventory of Shelf Projects can be found at Professor Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College (New York) in Philosophy and his law degree from Stanford. Before entering teaching, he was a tax lawyer with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York City and with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He was a Fellow at the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of Brookings Institution and Urban Institute in Washington in 2011, and he was Visiting Professor at the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in 2007.

As a part of the shelf project he has recently published proposals, Settle Withholding by the Dollars, Not Control, 136 TAX NOTES 949 (Aug. 20, 2012),; Extend the Amortization Life for Acquired Intangibles from 15 to 75 Years, 135 TAX NOTES 1054 (May 21, 2012),; Partnership Allocations From Nickel-on-the-Dollar Substance, 134 TAX NOTES 873 (Feb. 13, 2012),; The Tax Explanation for the Romney Leveraged Buyouts, 136 TAX NOTES 579 (July 30, 2012),; Recognizing Built-In Gain on Contribution to a Partnership, 133 TAX NOTES 905 (Nov. 14, 2011),; Passing Estate Tax Values Through the Eye of a Needle, 132 TAX NOTES 939 (Aug. 29, 2011), (with Joseph M. Dodge), and Corporate Meltdowns and the Deduction of Credit Risk Interest, 131 TAX NOTES 513 (May 2, 2011), Outside of the Shelf Project, he has recently published The Tax Explanation for the Romney Leveraged Buyouts, 136 TAX NOTES 579 (July 30, 2012), and Taxing GE and Other Masters of the Universe, 132 TAX NOTES 175 (July 11, 2011),

Professor Johnson’s Righteous Anger at the Wicked States: The Meaning of the Founders Constitution (Cambridge University Press 2005) is a history of the adoption of the Constitution in terms of what the Founders were attempting to accomplish. In the constitutional area, he as recently published States Rights? What States’ Rights?: Implying Limitations on the Federal Government from the Overall Design, 57 BUFFALO L. REV. 225 (2009) and Really Cool Stuff: Digital Searches into the Constitutional Period, 25 CONST. COMMENTARY 51 (2008).

Recent Activities

  • Don’t Increase Holding Incentives

    August 10, 2015

    Reprinted from Tax Notes, August 10, 2015, p. 695. View Document.

  • Fellow, Tax Policy Center

    May 3, 2011 – December 31, 2011

    Washington, D.C

    Tax Policy Center is joint program of Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. I Will be working on the Shelf Project which is collaboration to raise revenue in ways that improve economic efficiency and reduce economic waste

Full activities list…