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Income Tax Courses and Classes Overview

Income tax courses are widely available for individuals interested in a career in accounting, law or tax consulting, or simply have a personal interest. Some courses include income taxation, corporate tax and estate planning.

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Essential Information

Certificate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs offer income tax courses for various audiences. Programs are generally open to anyone interested in learning how to prepare income taxes, but some classes may be required as part of a degree program. There are courses in graduate programs in business and law, independent courses in a school's continuing education division and classes as part of a tax preparation certificate program. Another education path to learn income tax is via online study and one's own pace. Here are common concepts taught in income tax courses:

  • Legislative history
  • Provisions
  • Ethics
  • Sources and procedures
  • Taxable income and tax research
  • Exemptions and allowances
  • Accounting methods

List of Income Tax Courses

Income Taxation Course

This introductory income tax course goes over the fine details required for a background in the complicated world of tax policy. The main topics in this course include individual tax law, corporate tax law, the Internal Revenue Code, valuation, accounting methods, deductions and reporting periods. This is the first income tax course offered and is mandatory.

Individual Tax Course

The primary topics covered in individual income tax courses include gross income, benefits, personal and charitable deductions, classes of income, the alternative minimum tax, second homes and non-statutory principles. Most schools also offer advanced individual income tax courses.

Corporate Tax Course

In this course, students learn about the incorporation, corporate operations, liquidation, proprietorships and S-corporations, financing and capital structuring, dividends and accumulated earnings taxes. This income tax course is always part of the core requirements of any program and is taken in the first or second semester; some programs offer two or three more advanced classes in corporate income tax for those interested in this specialty.

Tax Practice and Procedure Course

In this class, students learn about the administrative details which go into properly filing tax paperwork for both individuals and businesses. Topics discussed include regulatory agencies, tax appeals, penalties and responsibilities, assessment and litigation. In addition, many professors stress that students discuss ethical decisions related to income tax filings in this course. This class is usually mandatory and is offered in the first year of an income tax course program.

Estate and Gift Planning Course

Estate and gift planning go over the laws regarding transfers of property before or after death, reporting requirements for gifts, estate taxation, planning for the elderly and terminally ill and family business regulations. This class is usually offered as an elective during the second year of an income tax studies program.

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