ACC 355 Robinson Spring 11 Syllabus

ACC 355 Robinson Spring 11 Syllabus - INTRODUCTION TO...

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Unformatted text preview: INTRODUCTION TO TAXATION ACC 355 / 380K.11 Spring 2011 Tues/Thurs 8‐9:30 & 9:30‐11:00 (CBA 4.348) Professor: John Robinson [email: John.Robinson@mccombs.utexas.edu] Office: CBA 4M.226 (471‐5315): Office Hours are 2:00 ‐ 3:30 Mon., Tues., & Thurs. Assistant Lisa De Simone: Office Hours ‐ TBA _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Goals This course provides an introduction to taxation, and is tailored for students who intend to pursue careers in professional accounting. Specifically, this course is designed to develop the following: • • • • an understanding of basic tax concepts and their application to complex transactions, the ability to combine taxation and financial accounting standards to determine tax accruals, enhanced written and oral communication skills, and an appreciation of how taxation and accounting influences business decisions. Prerequisites Students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program, Business Administration 384T; students enrolled in the Master in Professional Accounting program, credit or registration for Accounting 381 or the equivalent. Required Text Spilker et al., Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities (McGraw‐Hill Irwin, 2011 edition). Grading Grades are a necessary means of motivating preparation and providing feedback. In this class, course grades are assigned based upon a cumulative point score from examinations, participation, and assignments. The following is the maximum number of points from each component: Examinations: Two midterm exams (100 points each) Final exam Participation Total points possible 200 200 100 500 Letter grades are assigned according to a traditional scale based upon the number of points accumulated during the semester. That is, a score of 450 points (90%) or more earns an 'A', a score of 400 points (80%) or more earns a 'B', a score of 350 points (70%) or more earns a 'C', and a minimum of 300 points is necessary to pass the course. I reserve the right, however, to add points to exam scores to compensate for unexpected difficulty. Beginning in Fall 2009, The University of Texas at Austin permits plus/minus grading—that is, A, A‐, B+, B, B‐, C+, etc., for all courses in which grades are awarded, including undergraduate as well as graduate courses. To foster consistency in grading across sections of ACC 380K.1, the faculty have adopted plus/minus grading as the standard for all sections of this course. The faculty believes that plus/minus grading permits us to better distinguish gradations in performance and provide better feedback to students on their performance. For more information, go to: http://www.utexas.edu/provost/planning/plus‐minus/. Exams All exams are closed book. The only outside aid permitted during an exam is a calculator. Scratch paper, present value tables, and depreciation schedules are provided with the exam. Students are prohibited from using words or formulas stored in programmable calculators, and students are prohibited from discussing the contents of an exam with students who have not yet taken the exam. Exams may consist of a variety of objective questions, essay questions, and multiple‐part problems. However, test questions are designed to reward comprehension rather than memorization. No make‐up exams are given for midterm exams. Medical/family emergencies are the only acceptable reasons for missing an exam, and supporting documentation (e.g., signed letter from a physician) must be provided. If a midterm exam is missed for a valid reason, subsequent exams are re‐weighted (e.g., miss first exam and the second and final exams will be re‐weighted to 133 points and 267 points, respectively). Absent a valid reason for missing an exam, a zero is the assigned grade on the missed exam (typically, this score severely complicates passing the course). Participation The goals of the class are ambitious and can only be achieved through “active” learning, and this portion of the course grade is designed to motivate daily preparation, monitor achievement, and provide regular feedback. Active learning is accomplished through the critical examination of concepts during problem solving. That is, understanding occurs with the discovery of how concepts lead to problem solutions. In order to facilitate learning, it is the responsibility of everyone in the class to prepare diligently and participate in class discussions. Introduction to taxation is a problem orientated course, and the problems and questions in the text will facilitate preparation. The recommended problems are intended to direct your attention, not limit your preparation. In other words, unless directed otherwise, all the material in each assigned chapter is potential exam material. Participation scores must be earned (there are no “automatic” participation points). Because class participation should serve to develop understanding and contribute valuable insights, participation scores are assigned daily based upon the quality rather than the quantity of the participation. Hence, it is important to exercise a degree of self discipline when volunteering because no credit is given for continually asking obvious questions or making ill‐conceived comments. Because it is important that everyone has an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the class at some point during the term, I reserve the right to call on students who have not previously participated. Finally, because class discussion is greatly enhanced by preparation before class, I reserve the right to use quizzes or other exercises as “participation opportunities” to encourage and reward timely preparation. In my opinion, preparation and class participation are the most important components of this course. Based on my experience, students who prepare and participate in class regularly tend to outperform students who often skip class or come unprepared. In addition, much of what I say in class is not repeated in the textbook, and I make a special effort during class to emphasize the material that is critical to comprehension. Web Site A web‐based, password‐protected class site on Blackboard is used to distribute notices and class resources. To access it, you’ll need a UT‐EID. Go to http://courses.utexas.edu. Class e‐mail rosters are a component of the site. Students who do not want their names included in these electronic class rosters must restrict their directory information in the Office of the Registrar, Main Building, Room 1. You should access the Blackboard site regularly to keep informed about class announcements and assignments. I also post problem solutions under course documents on Blackboard. Academic Integrity I adhere to the Policy Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty for the McCombs School of Business. For more information see: http://new.mccombs.utexas.edu/MPA/Student‐Codes‐of‐Ethics.aspx. Page 2 Schedule I will make every effort to adhere to the attached schedule, but I reserve the right to modify it as your interests and our time permits. The exam dates, however, will not be changed. Please note the dates that I will be out of town or unavailable. I have requested makeup classes, and I will announce the times and dates in class and on the web. Because attending a makeup class may be infeasible for some students, I have requested that these sessions be taped for viewing from the class web page. Professional Conduct You should endeavor to stand by your word, make good decisions, take responsibility for your actions, and respect the views of others. This does not mean that you must agree with your colleagues or the faculty (including TAs, program directors, and staff). However, even when you disagree, you should show courtesy and respect to fellow students and the faculty. In turn, you should expect the same courtesy and respect from your colleagues and the faculty. My specific expectations of you are: 1. I expect you to attend the section in which you are enrolled. If there is a particular reason that you must miss class (e.g., conflict with a doctor’s appointment), please let me know of your need to attend another section before that class meeting. If there is a last‐minute emergency, notify me as soon as convenient. This is not an attempt to micro‐manage your life, but rather to encourage accountability. Your classmates expect and deserve your participation, and it is more difficult for me to teach the class when students attend different sections. 2. I expect you to arrive at class on time. It is very disruptive to me and other students when you enter the classroom after class has begun. A search for a vacant seat interrupts the flow of the discussion and it wastes my time and the time of other students. Punctuality is an extremely valuable professional habit that will benefit you throughout your career. 3. I expect that all electronic devices will be turned off once class begins. Laptops, cell phones, pagers, Blackberries, Ipods, and other communication devices are to be turned completely off (including “vibrate mode”) during class time. Getting up in the middle of class to “take a call” or directing your attention to outside materials (including text messages) is unnecessary, disruptive, and disrespectful. This is a very common professional expectation. 4. I expect you to avoid unnecessary personal breaks during class. Of course, from time to time you might find it unavoidable to leave class. However, students leaving and returning during class is very disruptive, so please keep these disturbances to an absolute minimum. 5. I expect that you will not have unnecessary conversations or write notes back and forth during class. Multiple conversations are distracting and are very disrespectful of the speaker. 6. I expect that you will notify me or the TA if problems arise. Learning problems often arise unexpectedly and even a consummate professional can not anticipate every possibility in a complex and dynamic environment. Timing of assignments and the speed of content coverage can become especially acute problems in a fast‐paced survey class. Hence, I encourage you to contact me or the teaching assistant when you have difficulty comprehending the material or keeping up with assignments. Concluding Remarks My teaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of teamwork ‐ all of us are responsible for maintaining the proper ambiance for learning. Accordingly, I like class sessions to be interactive and informal. I enjoy teaching this class immensely, and I hope that a high level of enthusiasm for the material will evolve naturally. These quotes might give you a sense of where the class is headed: “Substance controls over form, except where form controls over substance.” Sheldon I. Banoff (tax guru) “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the tax law.” Albert Einstein (tax novice) Page 3 Introduction to Taxation ­ Tentative Spring 2011 Schedule Session Date Discussion Topic Reading Recommended Problems and Questions 1 1 ‐ 18 Introduction to tax law Chapter 2 10, 13, 20, 25, 33, 37‐38, 48, 60‐61 2 20 Concepts and tax formula Chapter 1 11, 16, 23, 34‐35, 44‐46 3 25 Tax planning Chapter 3 6‐8, 13‐14, 18‐21, 48, 51 4 27 Income & exclusions Chapter 5 5‐6, 10, 12, 14, 30‐33, 37‐38, 40, 62, 65 5 2 ‐ 1 Deductions Chapter 6 1‐3, 10, 21‐22, 24, 27‐31, 45‐46, 58‐59, 66 6 3 More deductions Chapter 4 4, 9‐10, 13, 16‐17, 19, 20‐22 8 No class 10 No class 7 15 SE & AMT Ch 7 (pp.8‐22) 13‐18, 22‐27, 30 8 17 Summary calculation Ch 7 (skim remainder) 60‐61 9 22 Review sample exam 10 24 Midterm exam #1 (in class) 11‐12 26 Makeup class: 10‐noon GSB 2.126 Chapter 8 13 3 ‐ 1 Accounting methods for taxable income 3 No class 14 8 Basis and cost recovery Chapter 9 10 No class Tax Holiday 15 22 Cost recovery limitations 16 24 Asset transactions Chapter 10 17‐18 26 Makeup class: 10‐noon GSB 2.126 TBA 19 29 Section 1231 and recapture 20 31 Deferral 21 4 ‐ 5 Review 22 7 Midterm exam #2 (in class) 23 12 Corporate income tax Chapter 16 24 14 Book‐tax differences 25 19 Income tax accruals Chapter 17 26 21 Valuation allowances 27 26 Uncertain tax positions 28 28 Corporate distributions (time permitting) Ch 18 () 29 5 ‐ 3 Other entities (time permitting) Ch15 (skim) 30 5 Cinco De Mayo & Review 14 Final exam 9am – noon (9:30 section) 17 Final exam 7­10pm (8:00 section) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ...
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