Boston University School of Law

TX917 Taxation of Financial Products: Policy and Theory

 

This course explores the financial characteristics and income taxation of financial instruments, with an emphasis on both policy and theory. We start with the building blocks of debt and equity, move on to the "derivatives" level of options and notional principal contracts (swaps), and conclude with exotica such as currency products. In each instance we will first look at the financial characteristics of the security (after the fashion of an MBA offering in corporate finance), and then study the tax rules governing each class of instrument. Because discounting (net present value) and "pay off" diagrams are so central to an understanding of financial instruments, the course incorporates a rigorous study of these mathematical tools. Also, when studying the tax rules applicable to financial products, we focus on the fundamental building blocks of taxation -- amount, timing, character, and source -- to reveal underlying policy and theory tensions that go to the very root of our income taxation system. The course is intended to complement TX 949 Taxation of Financial Products: Principles and Application, and may be taken either prior or subsequent to that class or on a stand alone basis. Pre or Co-requisite: Federal Income Taxation I and II.