Courses

The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the MyBU Student Portal for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • LAW TX 917: 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.
  • LAW TX 918: Life Cycle of a Business Venture
    The federal income tax laws significantly affect the way a business venture proceeds through the various stages of its life cycle. This course will explore the federal income tax aspects of: i) choosing the proper form of entity (typically, C corporation, S corporation or LLC) to carry on a business, ii) forming the entity that will carry on the business and issuing equity interests (and rights to acquire equity interests) in the entity to founders and other service providers, iii)financing the entity with debt and equity, iv) reporting the results of the entity's operations, v) purchasing and leasing assets, vi) buying out owners, vii) selling the business. Co- and prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation I, Federal Income Taxation II, Introduction to Corporate Tax and Partnership Tax I.
  • LAW TX 919: International Information Reporting and Withholding
    International information reporting and withholding are the future of tax work. They are a source of revenue for the IRS through penalties and a source of anxiety for many tax practitioners, especially with the expanded reporting requirements newly enacted as part of the TCJA. A strong grounding in international information compliance and withholding transactions can benefit every practitioner from the estate planner to the corporate tax advisor. This course will cover the reporting requirements for US taxpayers who hold non-US assets, and the withholding requirements when US payors make payments to non-US persons. Students will become familiar with the various forms associated with different assets, such as the Foreign Bank Account Report ("FBAR") which is used to report foreign assets. We will cover how and when to file, the basics of how to prepare the form, and the penalties for noncompliance. The course will comprehensively cover informational reporting forms to report all foreign assets including closely held business interests, foreign trusts, and the receipt of gifts from non-US persons. We will discuss how the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") created a worldwide network of information about non-US assets, and what individuals and fiduciaries need to know to remain compliant. Finally, in addition to covering the reporting associated with non-US ties, we will discuss withholding under Chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and identify when and how to withhold US tax from payments to non-US entities and non-US persons.
  • LAW TX 920: Tax Aspects of Buying and Selling a Business
    A comprehensive course on how business owners can buy and sell businesses with a minimum tax cost and maximum after-tax return. The strategies for selling a business are often implemented from the moment the business entity is originally formed. The course will examine the crucial strategies, from choice of entity, to conducting ongoing operations, to the correct way to change or restructure existing C corporations, S corporations and other entities. The course will also examine the best way to structure a sale of a particular business, based on both the form of legal entity and on the specific facts in a case. For example, the course will compare a sale of stock to a sale of assets; will compare a sale for cash to a tax free transaction or part-cash, part-stock transaction; and compare the differences between a sale with immediate payment versus a possible installment sale. Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation I and Federal Income Taxation II.
  • LAW TX 924: Corporate Reorganizations
    Income tax considerations relating to corporate tax free reorganizations including: review of the requirements for tax free treatment of acquisitive and time permitting divisive reorganizations; review of the tax treatment to all relevant parties to the transaction; consideration of special problems associated with certain types of reorganizations. Prerequisite: Introduction to Corporate Tax. Note: Limited enrollment.
  • LAW TX 925: Executive Compensation
    Study of the tax and ERISA aspects of various forms of executive compensation. Topics include traditional fringe benefits and deferred compensation arrangements, incentive and non-qualified stock option and restricted stock plans, stock appreciation rights, excess benefit arrangements, rabbi trusts, golden parachute agreements, split-dollar insurance arrangements, and special issues for tax-exempt organizations.
  • LAW TX 928: State and Local Taxation
    The course will expose students to the major types of United States state and local taxes,including personal income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes, and corporate taxes.We will explore the structure of each of these types of taxes, how the taxes are implemented in various jurisdictions, and some of the significant issues that arise in applying the taxes. We will also cover some special issues arising from the multi- jurisdictional nature of state and local taxation, and the principal aspects of United States federal law, both statutory and constitutional, that shape and constrain state tax systems. We will consider the application of basic state tax concepts to current issues facing state tax administrators and practitioners, including tax-advantaged business structures, and some of the legislative responses to such issues.
  • LAW TX 930: Partnership Tax I
    Presents an overview of subchapter K and the federal income tax treatment of partnerships and other entities, such as limited liability companies;. Topics include tax classification of a partnership versus a corporation or trust; considerations in choice of entity;basic partnership accounting and capital accounts, partnership formation and acquisition of partnership interests for property or services; determination of basis;basic rules allocations of income and loss ; taxation of normal partnership operations; distributions of cash and property; transactions between partners and partnership, including sales of partnership interests. Prerequisite or corequisite: Federal Income Taxation I and II, Introduction to Corporate Tax
  • LAW TX 933: Introduction to Corporate Tax
    Income tax considerations relating to transfers of assets and liabilities to a corporation (during incorporation and otherwise), non-liquidating distributions, stock redemptions, related party stock purchases and corporate liquidations. Includes an overview of the treatment of a corporate shareholder versus other shareholders. Prerequisite or corequisite: Federal Income Taxation I and II
  • LAW TX 934: Estate Planning- Advanced
    This course picks up the estate planning course (TX 935) leaves off. We will survey several "cutting edge" estate planning techniques-techniques that permit the transfer of large amounts of wealth at little or no gift tax or estate tax cost. We will zero in on valuation rules that apply to the estate tax and gift tax; we will discuss what to look for in appraisals; we will examine, in depth, the current status of planning involving family partnerships and LLCs; we will examine the rules that apply to GRATs, installment sales to "defective" grantor trusts, and how to structure transfers using these techniques; we will review the biases built into the actuarial valuation rules that the Internal Revenue Service requires us to apply; we will examine the effects of the UPC, the Uniform Trust Code, and will consider "decanting"; we will discuss some of the psychological aspects of estate planning including issues presented by parents' fears of making their children too wealthy too soon; and we will discuss trust design and the choice of trustees. There is no final exam but students will be required to write a 10 -- 15 page term paper. In addition there will be several quizzes throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Estate Planning and Estate and Gift Tax Recommended: Taxation of Trusts and Fiduciaries
  • LAW TX 935: Estate Planning
    This course will examine in depth the theoretical and practical aspects of a variety of estate planning strategies currently being used in the real world. The primary focus of the course will be on federal income, estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer tax issues which arise in the estate planning context, although other planning issues, including professional ethics, will also be considered. The course will use case studies of specific tax driven planning strategies, including grantor trusts, marital deduction trusts, post- mortem planning, and planning for incapacity. Prerequisite or corequisite: Federal Income Taxation I and Estate and Gift Tax
  • LAW TX 937: Taxation of Trusts and Fiduciaries
    Income tax consequences arising upon the death of a decedent and special income tax treatments of estates, trusts, and fiduciaries. Topics include determination of gross income and allocation between the decedent and the estate or trust; special problems with income in respect of a decedent; separate and conduit taxation of estates and trusts; allocation of tax attributes between an estate or trust and its beneficiaries; grantor trust rules, and other topics. Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation I.
  • LAW TX 939: Outbound International Tax
    This course examines the current outbound international tax rules, but will demonstrate that the law in this area is more than a collection of those rules. It is instead a process, ever evolving, to address its various contexts and constituencies. We will examine the relevant contexts -- Constitutional, international (WTO, OECD) and commercial -- and will engage in class discussions applying the rules within those frameworks. The objective is for students to gain enough grounding in the rules to start a path toward mastery, and to understand the drivers behind the rules so that students can apply them as they exist today, and analyze changes as they occur in the future. Pre or co- requisite: Tax Aspects of International Business (recommended)
  • LAW TX 951: US Transfer Pricing
    This course examines the US transfer pricing system. A close reading of the Code and regulations will be expected as well as a detailed consideration of the major transfer pricing decisions. There is no other assigned text. The theme of this course is to bring students to an understanding of how the law has developed in this area focusing closely on the interplay between case law and regulatory enactments. Students should expect to encounter a reasonable amount of supporting economic and accounting analysis as they work their way through the course, and come to an appreciation of how this area of the tax law relies considerably on the blending of these three analytical perspectives.
  • LAW TX 952: Comparative VAT
    This course considers the details of the world's leading Value Added Tax system, the E.U. VAT. Students should expect to acquire a good grounding in the major legal instruments of the community (regulations, directions and decisions) which have binding effect on the member states as well as the recommendations and opinions which do not. Case law will be considered primarily from the leading decisions of the European Court Justice, although an occasional decision or two from domestic courts will be included. Major developments in the E.U. VAT are expected to be covered, including: (1) the adoption of the "reverse charge" mechanism as a response to widespread carousel fraud, (2) the inclusion of a transfer pricing regime under Rationalization Directive, and (3) proposals for major changes in the place of supply rules in services and intangibles. There are no pre-requisites for this course.
  • LAW TX 953: Inbound International Taxation
    This course will cover the U.S. tax rules applicable to taxation of income from U.S. (and sometimes foreign) sources received by corporations and individuals that are non-residents of the United States. In some cases, such income will be derived from passive investments and be in the form of dividends, interest, rents, or royalties. In other cases, the income will arise from active business activities. The course will address the concept of residence and entity classification, the U.S. source of income rules, the U.S. withholding tax rules (including the obligations of withholding agents) with respect to non-business income, the types of activities that can generate a "trade or business" (tax nexus) in the U.S., the U.S. rules for determining income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business and thus taxable in the U.S., the branch profits tax, FIRPTA (foreign investment in U.S. real property) and the U.S. rules applicable to financing U.S. operations owned by non-U.S. taxpayers Finally, we will address the impact of tax treaties on the taxation of income of non-residents. This course will be of interest to students who will represent foreign resident taxpayers with economic operations in the United States. Prerequisite or corequisite: Federal Income Taxation I; Recommended: Tax Aspects of International Business
  • LAW TX 955: Taxation of Intellectual Property
    Intellectual property- from sophisticated aerospace technology to computer software and web applications to music and video rights- is one of the most important, challenging, and sophisticated areas of modern commerce. However, because the IP revolution has occurred in only the last 25 years, many of the traditional principles of income taxation are not easily applied to IP assets. This course will explore the tax aspects of creating intellectual property, buying intellectual property, exploiting IP through leases and licenses, and strategies for selling valuable IP rights with the best tax results. The course will also explore important international tax issues, including the so called "migration" of IP offshore, cost-sharing arrangements, and other mechanisms that seek to "locate" IP and the associated tax liabilities in tax-favorable jurisdictions. The course will teach the tax differences between copyrighting and patenting a software program, the right and wrong ways to license and sell a trademark, and the mechanisms for turning a "license" into a "sale" and thereby converting ordinary income into capitol gains.
  • LAW TX 958: International Estate Planning
    The course will cover international estate planning from two perspectives: (1) U.S. citizens residing outside of the U.S. or owning assets located outside of the U.S.; and (2) foreign citizens residing in the U.S. or transferring assets in or to the U.S. U.S. gift and estate tax laws applicable to both situations will be studied in depth in a practice-oriented manner. Planning techniques and vehicles utilized in international estate planning will be explored, in particular trusts and the special U.S. income tax rules applicable to foreign trusts with U.S. beneficiaries and off-shore U.S.-grantor trusts. The impact of non-U.S. transfer taxes and tax treaties will be considered, as well as non-tax foreign laws impacting on international estate planning. The course will also cover the U.S. tax and estate planning issues applicable to "mixed marriages" where one spouse is a U.S. citizen and the other is a non-U.S. citizen, and multi-jurisdiction situations of gifts or bequests from non-U.S. donors or decedents to U.S. beneficiaries. Finally, the course will also consider cultural and ethical issues peculiar to the area of international estate planning. Prerequisite or corequisite: Estate and Gift Tax, Estate Planning
  • LAW TX 968: Tax and Technology
    This course examines the convergence of technology solutions, in support of taxation, from two different angles: corporations and government. The course will also compare and contrast these movements in America with other countries, as US-headquartered companies expanding abroad face new realities, unfamiliar tax structures and increasingly complex regulatory environments; and legal and tax professionals must be prepared for these challenges. Rather than focus on technology per se, analyzing computer programming language and codes, the bias of this course is the real-life business perspective of technology when applied to taxation and fiscal policy. This course gives students exclusive access to tax software actually used by multinational corporations to determine indirect taxes in the US and nearly 200 other countries and foreign tax jurisdictions. This access will allow students to simulate domestic/international transactions and analyze their tax implications while becoming familiar with the mechanics of an Enterprise-class tax automation solution.
  • LAW TX 969: Business Succession Planning
    This course will cover the practical, tax, financial, accounting and ethical considerations in succession planning for the family business owner. It will propose strategies to deal with the psychological hurdles and pitfalls business owners face when doing this planning, such as giving up control or equity in the business during their lives and determining equitable ways to treat children actively involved in the business and children who will not participate in operating the family business. It will compare the various vehicles used in succession planning and discuss the different levels of protection and the fiduciary standards between using a trust, business entity and private trust company to encourage entrepreneurship. It will discuss ways to separate the business's control and equity for purposes of doing lifetime planning for the business owner as well as for benefiting children both inside and outside of the business. It will compare the typical estate planning strategies for family business owners, including life insurance trusts, buy-sell agreements, GRATs, sales to grantor trusts and freeze partnerships. It will also cover the ethical issues involved when working with business owners in their succession planning, including identifying who your client is, navigating conflicts when doing planning with the business in trusts or otherwise and provide best practice and practical tips for advisors to avoid these ethical dilemmas. The materials will also deal with passing on an operating business to key employees while retaining a portion to pass on to one's children. The materials will cover income tax planning that can be used when a senior family member intends to sell the family business for cash while still alive, when an earnout is part of the sale, the pre-sale due diligence a business owner should undertake before the business is offered for sale, and how the income tax costs in a lifetime sale can be reduced by integrating lifetime charitable planning. Prerequisites: TX901, TX902, TX930, TX933, TX904