Kathleen DeLaney Thomas

Aubrey L. Brooks Distinguished Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Compliance
  • Contracts
  • Psychology and the Law
  • Tax Law
  • Taxation-Federal


Kathleen Thomas joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2013 and serves as the George R. Ward Term Professor of Law. Her teaching and research interests include federal income taxation, tax policy, and contracts law. In 2018, she received the Frederick B. McCall Award for Teaching Excellence from the graduating class. Thomas is the author of numerous articles on tax policy, and has written extensively on the intersection of tax compliance and behavioral law and economics, as well as the intersection of technology and the tax law. Her work has appeared in Virginia Law Review, Pennsylvania Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Boston College Law Review, UC Davis Law Review, University of Washington Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, and Tax Notes, among others.

Thomas received her B.S. in Mathematics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the College of William & Mary. She received a J.D., cum laude, from NYU School of Law and an LL.M. in Taxation from NYU School of Law. After law school, Thomas practiced tax law in New York for six years, working at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005-2007) and Cooley LLP(2007-2011). Immediately prior to joining Carolina Law, Thomas was an Acting Assistant Professor of Tax Law at NYU School of Law (2011-2013).


  • LL.M., Taxation, New York University Law School
  • J.D., New York University Law School
  • B.S., Mathematics, College of William and Mary

Selected Publications

Taxing Nudges, 107 VA. L. REV. 571 (2021).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein

The Surprising Significance of De Minimis Tax Rules (L. Osofsky, K. Thomas), 78 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 773 (2021).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein

The Modern Case for Withholding, 53 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 81 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Taxing the Gig Economy, 166 U. PA. L. REV. 1415 (2018).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Advocating a Carryover Tax Basis Regime (with R. Schmalbeck and J. Soled), 93 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 109 (2017).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Regulating Tax Return Preparation (with J. Soled), 58 B.C. L. REV. 151 (2017).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Revisiting the Taxation of Fringe Benefits (with J. Soled), 91 WASH. L. REV. 761 (2016).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

User-Friendly Taxpaying, 92 IND. L.J. 1509 (2017).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

The Psychic Cost of Tax Evasion, 56 B.C. L. REV. 617 (2015).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Presumptive Collection: A Prospect Theory Approach to Increasing Small Business Tax Compliance, 67 TAX L. REV. 111 (2013).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein

In the Media