Graduate Tax Program

The Graduate Tax Program is designed for lawyers who seek advanced training in the complexities of tax law. It draws a broad range of students—from recent law school graduates to mid-career attorneys seeking new expertise to seasoned lawyers from both the public and private sectors, including many from the nation’s leading law and tax consulting firms. International students include practitioners, in-house counsel, academics, and government officials.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • A foundational understanding of the US tax system, law, and procedures.

LLM in Taxation Degree Requirements

The LLM in Taxation requires successful completion of 24 credits. Students may enroll in the program on a full-time or part-time basis. The program may be completed in residence or online. Students may begin the program in September, January, or May. All students must complete five required courses and are encouraged to choose electives that suit their personal, academic, and professional needs. A full-time student completes the degree requirements in one academic year; a part-time student must complete the degree requirements within four years. Upon request, a student with the appropriate tax background may be excused from taking a required course or a prerequisite or corequisite course in order to take additional elective courses.

No thesis is required. However, students who are interested in completing a significant writing project under the supervision of a faculty member may do so by enrolling in the Tax Seminar course (TX 982). Additionally, a student may supplement the program with courses at other Boston University graduate or professional programs such as the Questrom School of Business or Metropolitan College. Upon approval, credit for these courses may be applied toward the LLM in Taxation degree.

An individual who has completed graduate work in taxation at another American Bar Association–approved law school may, upon application, be granted advanced standing in the full- or part-time program. However, a minimum of 18 credit hours must be completed at BU Law.

For more information regarding degree requirements, please refer to the Graduate Tax Program’s Academic Regulations.

Curriculum

Required Courses

  • Federal Income Taxation I (2 cr)
  • Federal Income Taxation II (2 cr)
  • Introduction to Federal Income Taxation (4 cr; part of the JD curriculum, this counts for Federal Income Tax I & Federal Income Tax II)
  • Introduction to Corporate Tax (2 cr) or Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders (3 cr; part of the JD curriculum)
  • Partnership Tax I (2 cr)
  • Tax Practice and Procedure (2 cr)

Elective Courses*

  • Business Succession Planning
  • Comparative Income Tax
  • Comparative Value Added Tax
  • Consolidated Corporations
  • Corporate Reorganizations
  • Criminal Tax
  • Elder Law
  • ERISA Regulation of Retirement Plans
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning: Advanced
  • Estate Planning & Drafting
  • Executive Compensation
  • Exempt Organizations
  • Inbound International Taxation
  • International Estate Planning
  • International Information Reporting and Withholding
  • Life Cycle of a Business Venture
  • Outbound International Tax
  • Opportunity Zones
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Tax Law of Accounting Methods
  • Tax Accounting for Financial Statements
  • Tax Aspects of Buying and Selling a Business
  • Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving
  • Tax Aspects of International Business
  • Tax and Technology
  • Tax Fraud and Technology
  • Tax Seminar
  • Transfer Pricing & Supply Chains
  • Taxation and Regulation of Cryptocurrency
  • Taxation of Bankruptcies and Workouts
  • Taxation of Financial Products: Policy and Theory
  • Taxation of Intellectual Property
  • Taxation of S-Corporations
  • Taxation of Trusts and Fiduciaries
  • US and International Tax Policy
  • US Transfer Pricing
  • World of Limited Liability Companies
  • Writing for Tax Practice

* Curriculum offerings will vary by semester; be sure to check the course schedule available on our website.

Concentrations and Emphasis Areas

Graduate Tax Program students are free to specialize their learning according to their own interest through concentrations and emphasis areas. Concentrations are composed of a certain number of required and elective courses, and the completion of a concentration is reflected on a student’s transcript. An emphasis area, on the other hand, is a series of courses that center around a particular theme in tax law, but does not have required courses, and is not listed on a student’s transcript.

Concentrations

Estate Planning

Students must complete all three of the required courses, and any of the three listed electives to earn the concentration in estate planning. Students merely interested in learning more about estate planning, but not willing to fulfill the requirements of the concentration, should look at the courses in the estate planning emphasis area.

Required Courses

  • LAW TX 904 Estate and Gift Taxation
  • LAW TX 935 Estate Planning
  • LAW TX 937 Taxation of Trusts and Fiduciaries

Elective Courses

  • LAW TX 918 Life Cycle of a Business Venture
  • LAW TX 920 Tax Aspects of Buying and Selling a Business
  • LAW TX 930 Partnership Tax I
  • LAW TX 933 Introduction to Corporate Tax
  • LAW TX 934 Estate Planning—Advanced
  • LAW TX 975 Estate Planning and Drafting
  • LAW TX 950 Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving
  • LAW TX 958 International Estate Planning
  • LAW TX 977 Elder Law
  • LAW TX 969 Business Succession Planning

Emphasis Areas

General Business Taxation

A student who has a background in basic federal income taxation and corporate taxation and who wishes to concentrate on business tax issues should consider the following elective courses:

  • Consolidated Corporations
  • Corporate Reorganizations
  • Executive Compensation
  • Life Cycle of a Business Venture
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Tax Accounting for Financial Statements
  • Tax Law of Accounting Methods
  • Tax Aspects of Buying and Selling a Business
  • Tax and Technology
  • Taxation of Bankruptcies and Workouts
  • Taxation of Intellectual Property
  • World of LLCs

Estate Planning

Students not able to commit to the full concentration in estate planning, but interested in learning more about it, should consider the following elective courses:

  • Elder Law
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning: Advanced
  • Estate Planning & Drafting
  • Executive Compensation
  • Life Cycle of a Business Venture
  • International Estate Planning
  • Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving
  • Taxation of Trusts and Fiduciaries
  • Business Succession Planning

International Taxation

Students interested in international tax should consider the following elective courses:

  • Comparative Income Taxation
  • Comparative VAT
  • Inbound International Taxation
  • International Information Reporting and Withholding
  • Outbound International Tax
  • Tax Aspects of International Business
  • Tax Fraud and Technology
  • Taxation of Intellectual Property
  • Transfer Pricing & Supply Chains
  • US Transfer Pricing
  • US and International Tax Policy

Note: Classes are subject to change and may not be offered every semester. Please consult the BU Law course website for updated class offerings.

Financial Services

Students interested in financial services should consider the following elective courses:

  • Inbound International Taxation
  • Outbound International Tax
  • Taxation of Financial Products: Policy and Theory
  • Taxation and Regulation of Cryptocurrency
  • Tax Fraud and Technology

Related Certificate

Students seeking exposure to estate planning topics, but not able to commit to a full degree program, should consider the Estate Planning Certificate.