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DeVry acct429 full course (discussions+research paper) latest 2016 november

Week 1 discussion
Does the Tax Code Need Fixing?
Here’s the perennial question: Should the current federal
income tax system be reformed? In answering this question, consider and discuss
a number of factors, such as (1) whether the current system is fair to all
taxpayers; (2) whether the system is too complex; (3) whether the system is too
expensive to administer; and (4) whether the current system is effective at
raising revenue while not impacting business, personal, and financial decisions
or operations adversely. These are the same general factors that courts and
Congress tend to consider. What do you think and why?
Progressive Taxation: Good or Evil?
We’ve all heard talk show hosts rail about this many times:
It’s unfair that the rich pay more in taxes than the poor or the middle class.
Is it? If not, why not? If so, why? In answering this question, apply some of
the theories and concepts that you’ve encountered so far in the course, and
don’t be shy about researching this question on the Internet!

Week 2 discussion
At-risk Rules and At-risk Limitations
Before the passage of the 1986 Act, Congress attempted to
impose restrictions on the abuses associated with the at-risk provisions of
1976 as set out in Code Section 465. In summary, the at-risk rules disallowed
losses in excess of the investment. Discuss the at-risk limitations relating to
individuals and closely held corporations.
So You Want to Own and Rent Real Estate?
Admit it. You’ve watched that late-night infomercial
describing how you can become a multimillionaire virtually overnight by
leveraging your good looks and sparkling personality (and little else…) to
invest in real estate. All joking aside, investing in real estate does present
some opportunity for the creation of wealth, much like any other investment
does. Taxation of rental real estate, however, does present some unique rules,
and these rules can have a dramatic impact on the investor’s realized gain or
loss from the real-estate rental activity. Let’s begin outlining the tax
consequences by describing the various capacities in which an individual can
own and rent real estate. Asked differently, are there distinctions in the tax
law that depend on the manner in which the property is held or used, such as
between those who rent real estate as a full-time business and those who merely
rent a vacation home? What are the rules that we follow in telling one type of
rental property or rental ownership from another?

Week 3 discussion
Basis: What Is It and Why Do We Care?
The notion of basis is crucially important in determining
the tax consequences that result from virtually any property-based
transactions, whether it is the sale of $100 of stock, or a $10,000,000,000
merger of two multinational corporations. It’s important, then, to answer one
key question: What exactly is basis? How is it used in calculating the gain or
loss that results from the sale of capital property? What is the rationale or
justification for considering basis in calculating the amount of gain or loss?
You Decide: Tax Capital Gains
The question of whether capital gains should be subject to
the federal income tax has long been a subject of debate. Today, however, the
issue has become less abstract and theoretical, because many congresspeople
(and pundits and commentators, etc.) are openly advocating substantial
reductions in or outright abolition of all such taxes. Scour the Internet for
commentary on this issue, and consider the arguments in light of what you know
about capital gains taxes. Is the capital gains tax a good tax? Why or why not?
In making your decision (and explaining your answer), make sure that you
consider some of the fundamental requirements of a good tax that we explored in
Week 1, such as fairness, efficacy in raising funds, and relative ease of
administration. Include links to and summaries of the articles that you’ve
reviewed and found particularly influential so that we can all comment on this

Week 4 discussion
Employee or Proprietor: Who Cares?
For most of us, work is work. We put in the same amount of
effort whether we work as employees for a company or we are self-employed.
(That point is arguable, of course, but just agree with me for the sake of
argument). While the work itself may be created equal, however, the tax
consequences arising from them are not. Self-employed individuals may be
entitled to a greater range of deductions, but they also might very well be
responsible for paying additional taxes. Furthermore, we know employees can
receive a lot of valuable perks from their employers, and that these perks
present specific tax consequences as well. In light of this news, it makes
sense to start with the fundamental question: How do we tell whether someone is
an employee or whether he or she is self-employed for purposes of the Code?
Family-Based Deductions
This week, we’re reviewing some of the most common federal
income tax deductions for individuals. Many of them could perhaps be classified
as family-based deductions, or enacted deductions that target those who might
have children or other types of family obligations to fulfill. Is there an
underlying theme or purpose to most of these deductions? If so, what is it? Do
the deductions that Congress has enacted advance this purpose? Is this something
that Congress should be doing at all? Provide an example of two such
deductions, and supplement your argument with outside resources discussing the
pros, cons, and impacts of these deductions. There are a lot of available

Week 5 discussion
Corporate Formation and the Tax Agent
As you’ve undoubtedly learned by now, you often have to
focus on the details in tax law, and the rules surrounding corporate formation
are no exception to this rule. We know that a corporation is generally seen as
a separate taxable entity from its shareholders. As a result, corporate
formations, which involve transfers of property between the shareholders and
the corporation, would generally be taxable to both the corporation and the
shareholders. It’s no surprise that this result would often discourage
corporate formation. Congress remedied this particular problem by enacting
Section 351, and your text details how this provision generally operates. Did
Congress craft a provision that allows corporations and their shareholders to
avoid taxation on these transactions permanently, or did it have something else
in mind? Support your answer!
Taxation of Corporate Dividends
Relatively recent revisions to the Code have modified the
tax treatment of dividends. Put your Internet research skills to use and tell
me about these changes and their consequences. In particular, tell me (1) what
dividends are, as defined by the Code; (2) what the recent changes effectively
do (and how it was different from the prior approach to the taxation of
dividends); and (3) what the changes sought to achieve (in other words, why was
the change made?).

Week 6 discussion
S Corporations: Can Just Anyone Join?
In enacting Subchapter S of the Code, Congress decided to
give a certain group of corporations a break from the burden of double
taxation. Given this fact, there must be limitations on the corporations that
can select S corporation status! Provide an example of one such limitation,
including the text of the Code section that provides the limitation. (We might
as well get a look at a verbatim Code section or two during the course of this
Separately Stated Income?
By now, you’re probably of the opinion that the distinction
between separately stated and nonseparately stated income is one of the most
confusing concepts that you’ve encountered this week. For Congress to come up
with something this confusing, you know there must have been a good reason (or
at least we’d like to think so!). Think about the concept for a moment. What is
the broad tax policy behind separating these two categories of income? What is
Congress trying to achieve? What problems does it prevent? What problems does
it cause?

Week 7 discussion
Take Your Partner… or Not
As we’ve learned this week, choosing a partnership as a tax
entity has consequences, and those consequences often are different than those
that arise from choosing the corporate form. Many of these consequences can be
quite dramatic, particularly if the business goes sour or if catastrophic,
unforeseen circumstances arise—and many of them don’t have a thing to do with
taxes. What are some of the more significant nontax consequences of choosing
the partnership form? Which ones do you think are the most important, and why?
Does the Tax Code Need to Be Fixed?
We began this class with this question. After learning as
much over the last 7 weeks as we have about the federal income tax system, it
also seems an appropriate place to end it. Have your thoughts on the matter
changed? Why or why not? By now, you should at least be able to discuss your
agreement and/or concerns in much more detail, given your impressive knowledge
on the subject. Don’t forget to consider the types of factors that we stressed
at the beginning of the course and that we have been revisiting every week
since that point in time!

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