This is a four credit course. No prerequisites. Federal Income Tax (FIT) presents an overview of the federal income tax, mostly as it applies to individuals. The aim of the course is to present the fundamental principles underlying the federal income tax and to convey the style and flavor of tax thinking. As a survey, FIT will touch on all the major issues, such as what is gross income, what expenditures are deductible, what is the appropriate taxable unit, what is the function of "basis," and what is the appropriate timing of income and deductions. Specific topics include: employee fringe benefits, business deductions (e.g., travel, entertainment, and education), hobby losses, personal deductions (e.g., medical expenses and charitable contributions), the exclusions for gifts, bequests, life insurance proceeds, and recoveries for personal injuries, income attribution, the taxation of the family (including divorce taxation), the tax treatment of loans, capital expenditures, methods of capital recovery (e.g., installment sales and depreciation methods), capital gains and losses, tax-free exchanges and rollovers, tax accounting (e.g., the cash and accrual methods), employee benefits, the at-risk rules, the "tax benefit" rule, and the alternative minimum tax.
Emphasis will be given to using the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations. Prior background in accounting, economics, math, or finance is not needed or expected.