Federal Income Taxation

Class Unique: 28850
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 that will be covered in reasonable depth 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 and carve-out sales and depreciation methods), capital gains and losses, tax-free exchanges and rollovers, the tax treatment of inventories, tax accounting (e.g., the cash and accrual methods), employee benefits, leasing and licensing transactions, tax shelters, the at- risk rules, the "tax benefit" rule, the passive loss rules, original issue discount and imputed interest, and the alternative minimum tax. Given the rapid evolution of tax law, many issues can be approached only with a policy framework. Some 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. Professor Johnson's approach differs from other teachers because he believes that the core concept is the effect of tax on an investment's return. Professor Johnson will teach the "internal rate of return" yardstick by which we measure investments and how to use Excel to find internal return easily. Clients usually evaluate what projects to invest in by after-tax intrenal rate of return. The internal rate of return concept provides insights, sometimes that even judges can not see, and is useful for investment decisions beyond tax.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 1:15 - 2:05 pm JON 5.208
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 12/12/16 1:30 pm A-Z

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed


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  • Federal Income Tax - Chirelstein & Zelenak
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      ISBN: 9781566419374   (required)
  • Select Federal Income Code and Reguations
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