Donald Tobin

Professor of Law




(410) 706-5779

Photo of Donald Tobin


  • BA, 1989, Duke University
    JD, magna cum laude, 1996, Georgetown University Law Center


Donald B. Tobin recently stepped down as dean at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and continues his commitment to Maryland Carey Law as a member of the faculty. Tobin specializes in tax law and election law.

Prior to joining academia, Tobin worked on Capitol Hill as a professional staff member for U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D.-MD), the Senate Committee on the Budget, and the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. He went to law school at night while working on the Hill. Later, he served as a law clerk for The Honorable Francis Murnaghan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and as an appellate attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Justice Department. Prior to his deanship at Maryland Carey Law, Tobin was the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law and associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for faculty at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Tobin’s research concentrates on tax policy and the way the tax code is often used to drive other policy outcomes. In the last 15 years, his work has mainly centered on the interaction between the tax code and election law. His scholarship on the use of the tax code to regulate campaigns and tax-exempt entities has been featured in such publications as the Georgetown Law Journal, First Amendment Law ReviewElection Law Journal, and Georgia Law Review. He is also co-author, with Samuel A. Donaldson, of Federal Income Taxation: A Contemporary Approach, an interactive casebook. Tobin has testified before the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.


Federal Income Tax: A Contemporary Approach (3d ed. 2018) (with Samuel Donaldson). Read Full Text.

Principles of Federal Income Taxation (8th ed. 2017) (with Samuel Donaldson). Read Full Text.

Federal Income Tax: A Contemporary Approach (2d ed. 2014) (with Samuel Donaldson). Read Full Text.

Problems in Tax Ethics (2009) (with Richard Lavoie and Richard E. Trogolo). Read Full Text.

Principles of Federal Income Taxation (7th ed. 2005) (with Daniel Q. Posin Jr.). Read Full Text.


Citizens United and Taxable Entities: Will Taxable Entities be the New Stealth Dark Money Campaign Organizations?, 49 Valparaiso University Law Review 583 (2015). Read Full Text.

The Internal Revenue Service and a Crisis of Confidence: A New Regulatory Approach for a New Era, 16 Florida Tax Review 429 (2014). Read Full Text.

The 2013 IRS Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?, 142 Tax Notes 1120 (2014). Read Full Text.

Campaign Disclosure and Tax-Exempt Entities: A Quick Repair to the Regulatory Plumbing, 10 Election Law Journal 427 (2011). Read Full Text.

Congress Should Not Lower the Standard for Tax Return Preparers, 120 Tax Notes 471 (2008). Read Full Text.

Political Advocacy and Taxable Entities: Are They the Next "Loophole"?, 6 First Amendment Law Review 41 (2007). Read Full Text.

Political Campaigning by Churches and Charities: Hazardous for 501(c)(3)s, Dangerous for Democracy, 95 Georgetown Law Journal 1313 (2007). Read Full Text.

Taxpayer Standing and DaimlerChrysler v. Cuno: Where Do We Go from Here?, 110 Tax Notes 863 (2006) (with Kristin Hickman). Read Full Text.

Investing in Our Children: A Not So Radical Proposal, 73 University of Cincinnati Law Review 457 (2004). Read Full Text.

Regulate, Don't Eliminate, 527s, 46 The Exempt Organization Tax Review 31 (2004) (with Edward B. Foley). Read Full Text.

Tax Code Section 527 Groups Not an End-Run Around McCain-Feingold, 72 U.S. Law Week 2403 (2004) (with Edward B. Foley). Read Full Text.

Anonymous Speech and Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, 37 Georgia Law Review 611 (2003). Read Full Text.

Campaign Finance Disclosure and Section 527 of the Code: A Look at the District Court's Opinion in National Federation of Republican Assemblies, 38 The Exempt Organization Tax Review 43 (2002), reprinted in 97 Tax Notes 407 (2002). Read Full Text.

Less Is More: A Move Toward Sanity in the Budget Process, 16 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 115 (1996). Read Full Text.

The Balanced Budget Amendment: Will Judges Become Accountants? A Look at State Experiences, 12 Journal of Law & Politics 153 (1996). Read Full Text.

Note, The Tax Court Revisits the Golsen Rule: Lardas v. Commissioner, 47 Tax Lawyer 559 (1994). Read Full Text.