SMNR: Tax Policy

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 3:55 - 5:45 pm TNH 3.115

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


Federal Income Taxation (LAW 354J or 454J or 393Q or 493Q) is an absolute prerequisite for this seminar. The professor will not waive this prerequisite.

PREREQUISITE: Federal Income Tax (354J or 454J or 393Q or 493Q). This seminar will examine some fundamental features of the U.S. federal income tax system and will focus on various tax policy considerations including fairness, efficiency, complexity/simplicity, the Executive Branch and legislative processes, and taxpayer behavior. The assigned readings and class discussions will focus on several key topics, including the proper timing for taxing income, progressive versus flat tax rates, taxing the family unit, the income tax treatment of property transferred at death or by gift, tax expenditures, the taxation of corporate income, and capital gains and losses. You and I will need to agree on your paper topic during the first month of class or so, and thereafter you must complete an outline of your paper that you submit to me for review and comment, then you must do a substantial draft of the paper that you will present in class and that I will give you comments on, and, finally, you must submit your final paper to me approximately two or three days before the deadline for spring grades (the precise deadline for the final paper will be given to you during or before the first week of classes in the spring semester). Your grade will be based on the final paper submitted (approximately 85 percent of the final grade) and class participation (approximately 15 percent of the final grade), including discussion of the assigned readings for 6 or 7 weeks of the seminar class sessions, the PowerPoint presentation of your draft paper in class, and your discussion of other students' draft papers during their PowerPoint presentations of them.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Tax Policy *
Oliver, Philip D. and Oliver, Philip
West Academic , edition: 3
ISBN: 978-1-59941-625-0


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
10/31/2023 Room(s) changed
10/19/2023 Instructor(s) updated