Monday, August 19, 2013

Michael J. McIntyre, "tax justice hero," 1942-2013

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael J. McIntyre, a tireless fighter for tax justice who has made many powerful contributions to the global movement for tax justice, and to the Tax Justice Network in particular, even prior to his role as Senior Adviser. His expertise in international taxation, his strong principles, his good humour and sense of humour will be deeply, sorely missed.
Michael J. McIntyre, 1942-2013
Michael J. McIntyre, 71, of Ann Arbor, MI, passed away on August 14, 2013 at his home after a long illness.
He was born in Attleboro, MA, on March 12, 1942, son of the late John and Margaret McIntyre. He is survived by his spouse, May Ping Soo Hoo, and his two sons, Devin and Colin McIntyre. He is also survived by his seven siblings, their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Michael graduated from Providence College in 1964 and then served in the Peace Corps in Bhopal, India, where he was a teacher of mathematics and English and a builder of windmills. He studied at Harvard Law School, graduating with a JD in 1969, and later returned to Harvard to become the Director of Training at the International Tax Program. In 1975 he became a Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit where he taught until his death. 

A recognized authority on taxation, and particularly international tax law, Michael was the founding editor of Tax Notes International, published a multitude of books and articles on a wide variety of tax topics, and was a frequent consultant to the United Nations, as well as to national governments on six continents (including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, Spain, United States and Vietnam).

At Wayne State he played a key role in the Law School academic senate, union negotiations, and on the university governing body. In 2012, he was elected to the Academy of Scholars in recognition of his academic achievements, and received the Wayne State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Service for his outstanding contributions to the university.
He was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and his favorite player of all time was Pedro Martinez.

A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, August 24th, at St. Mary’s Student Parish, 331 Thompson St., in Ann Arbor, MI. Family and friends are welcome to a gathering with refreshments downstairs immediately after the service. There is a parking garage next to the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Michael J. McIntyre to the Karmanos Cancer Institute at or at 4100 John R., NC06DS, Detroit, MI 48201.  Please designate specifically “for prostate cancer research;” the family is especially grateful to Dr. Elisabeth Heath and the entire staff at Karmanos who helped give Mike an extra seven years of life.
An obituary by Lee Sheppard in Tax Notes adds more, and we take the liberty of quoting it at length:
"My older brother, Mike, was my mentor and best friend," said Citizens for Tax Justice Director Robert McIntyre. "He's the reason that I've spent my career in tax policy."

"Over the past four decades, we collaborated on tax reform proposals that ran the gamut from international, to federal, to state and local, to American Indians. We were soul mates both in tax policy and in life," Robert McIntyre said. "He made the world a better place, not just for me, the rest of his large extended family, and his many friends, but also for the countless people here in the U.S. and around the world who benefited from the tax policies he promoted."

Michael McIntyre published a multitude of books and articles on a variety of tax topics. He served as a senior adviser to the Tax Justice Network (TJN) and was the editor of a Web page dedicated to taxation and policy issues for developing countries.

"Mike played a major role in shaping TJN's research and advocacy programs," said TJN Director John Christensen.

"He has been a trenchant critic of the OECD's dismal lack of progress over umpteen decades, while setting out a cogent case for more radical reform, especially in the direction of combined reporting," said Christensen. "Mike gave his time and expertise generously, and he'll be remembered fondly for his permanent smile and constant good humor."

David Spencer, a senior adviser to the Global Alliance for Tax Justice Coordinating Committee, noted that McIntyre was especially interested in tax justice and how the international tax architecture should be modified to better protect the interests of developing countries. A true professor, McIntyre was ready to consider and promote different solutions to issues in the international tax system, Spencer said.

"He was not satisfied with just being a formidable technical expert, a brilliant writer, or a clever guy," said James S. Henry, chair of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice Coordinating Committee. "He also felt a kind of professional civic duty to be a thorn in the side of established interests, to inspire his students and peers to reform the system -- especially by making it fairer to ordinary 'developing' individuals, businesses, and countries."

"His kind of tax professor unfortunately has become a rare and endangered species," said Henry. "Mike set a very high standard of intellectual achievement and public purpose, and we will have to work very hard to live up to it."

"I first met Mike in the context of the U.N. tax committee, where it was immediately obvious that he was a man held in the very highest regard by the international tax community," said Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research UK.

"This standing was rooted in his passion for tax justice and his willingness to share the resulting insights he'd developed with anyone wanting to understand the issues, which he willingly did with me," said Murphy. "Tax justice doesn't have that many heroes, but Mike was surely one of them."

Tracy A. Kaye of Seton Hall Law School remembered McIntyre as a dedicated teacher of tax law. "I got to know Mike through his self-published international tax materials. His wit and humor jumped off the pages," Kaye said. "He generously shared slides and resources as well as his time in countless discussions I enjoyed with him. I will sorely miss the man and our conversations."

"The world of international taxation has taken a huge loss with the passing of Mike McIntyre," said H. David Rosenbloom of Caplin & Drysdale, who also directs the international tax program at New York University School of Law. "He never forgot that there were many stakeholders in this important area, and he stood up for those of little or no voice."

"He was a man of high integrity who fought the good fight on the public interest side of tax law which, until recently, was a very lonely place to be," said Jack Blum, chair of the Tax Justice Network USA.
McIntyre's work will long continue to inspire the Tax Justice Network. His professional webpage is here. We will preserve this obituary permanently on our Offshore History page.


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