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ACCT 4311 - 24903 Fall 2013

Course Number ACCT 4311 - 24903
Course Title Principles of Federal Income Taxation
Location Victoria
Prerequisites ACCT 3303
Instructor Danny Chiang
Office 281-275-8880
Office Hours W6PM-7PM Victoria, Th 6PM-7PM Sugar Land; or by appointment
Phone 281-275-8880
Faculty Homepage/URL

Prerequisite Policy

Prerequisites for a course exist because the School of Business Administration faculty have determined that the knowledge, skills, and/or exposure students receive through the prerequisites is critical to their success in the course and their ability to contribute to their fellow students' learning experience. In addition, taking your core courses and concentration or elective courses in a prescribed sequence prepares you to integrate the knowledge and skills you are acquiring properly. Students bear the responsibility for verifying that they have the appropriate prerequisites for their courses. Students who enroll in a course without completing the prerequisites risk being dropped from the class at any time during the semester should their lack of prerequisites come to light. In addition, students who enroll without the prerequisites and as a result find themselves at a disadvantage in meeting course objectives will have no redress with the instructor.

Course Description

A study of a broad range of tax concepts and types of taxpayers. Discusses the role of taxation in the business decision-making process; the use of electronic libraries in performing basic tax research and tax planning; professional standards and ethics; and the interrelationship and differences between financial accounting and tax accounting. 

Textbook Information

Spilker et al., Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities, 5th (2014) ed., McGraw-Hill, ISBN 9780077862350(Required)If you use a previous edition, make sure you have the correct homework assignments and update some contents.

Information on Buying Textbooks

The Victoria College Bookstore carries textbooks for all UHV SBA courses.

Students may use the publishing information posted above to order their textbooks from their favorite book vendor. However, before doing so you should find out what your vendor's anticipated shipping time is, and what their return policy is. Also, you should not write in or remove shrinkwrap from any textbook or materials you purchase from any vendor until the first class day in the event that:

  • the vendor supplies you with the wrong edition of your text,
  • the course instructor is forced to make a late change to the required textbooks,
  • you are forced to make a last-minute change to your schedule due to missing prerequisites, or
  • your course is canceled due to low enrollment.

In addition, be aware that, on occasion, certain outside vendors may substitute an international version of a textbook for the version you have requested without notice. International versions of textbooks may be quite different from the editions we require.

Course Relationship to Program Mission

The School of Business Administration prepares students for entry level and professional positions in business. BBA graduates will:

  • Comprehend the business environment and functions.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • Demonstrate computer usage skills.
  • Employ ethical principles in all business situations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively on teams in diverse organizations.

AACSB Accreditation Standards

The School of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International, the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation adds value to your degree. The AACSB International accreditation standards require you to:

  • Operate with integrity in your dealings with faculty and other students.
  • Engage the learning materials with appropriate attention and dedication. (This standard recognizes the role students play in the creation of high-quality education. You cannot be passive, nor can your participation be superficial.)
  • Maintain your engagement when challenged by difficult learning activities.
  • Contribute to the learning of others. (Regardless of the delivery mode of the program, students should have opportunities to work together on some learning tasks. Students need to acknowledge their responsibilities to their fellow students by actively participating in group learning experiences.)
  • Perform to standards set by faculty.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, students will:

  1. be able to understand the basic tax concepts and applications.
  2. be able to identify and solve common tax research problems.
  3. be able to prepare federal individual tax returns.
  4. be able to use effective communication skills.

Course Evaluation Process

Grading Scale:

Your letter grade is determined using the grade distribution that follows. You can calculate your percentage grade at any time in the semester by dividing the points you have accrued by the total points available up to that point. This percentage is then matched to a letter grade.

A 90% or higher
B 80 to 89%
C 70 to 79%
D 60 to 69%
F Less than 60%

Course Assessments:

2 Midterm Exams @ 100 points each (LO 1)200 points
Final Exam (LO 1)100 points
6 Homework @ 5 points each (LO 1)30 points
2 Case Summary @ 20 points each (LO 2 & 4)40 points
Individual Tax Return Project (LO 2 & 3)50 points
Class Participation (LO 1)30 points

2 Midterm Exams @ 100 points each (LO 1)

Two midterm exams will be given. No makeup exams will be given without receiving prior permission. (Assessing learning objective 1)

Final Exam (LO 1)

One final exam will be given. The final exam is NOT comprehensive. No makeup exams will be given without receiving prior permission. (Assessing learning objective 1)

6 Homework @ 5 points each (LO 1)

Everyone has to do the problems assigned in each chapter. Assignments and homework problems must be completed by the beginning of each week. You are required to turn in the homework at the beginning of the class on the assigned date. I will randomly collect SIX homework assignments. No late homework is acceptable. Your homework will be graded based on your efforts, not the correctness of your answers. Working on the homework problems will help you understand the materials and prepare for the exams. Homework solutions will be posted after each due date. (Assessing learning objective 1)

2 Case Summary @ 20 points each (LO 2 & 4)

The following case summaries should be submitted in class by each deadline. Case 1: Belk, 140 T.C. No. 1. Due at 11:59pm on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Case 2: Welle, 140 T.C. No. 19. Due at 11:59pm on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The summary must be prepared in memo format, maximum 1 page, Times New Roman, font 12, single-spaced. The summary should include the following five sections: (1) case citation, (2) facts, (3) issue(s), (4) holdings, and (5) rationale. Late submission will NOT be accepted. (Assessing learning objectives 2 & 4)

Individual Tax Return Project (LO 2 & 3)

Tax return problem: Complete the individual tax return problem 5 on page Appendix C-6 in your textbook. This is an individual project instead of a group project. However, you are encouraged to discuss with your classmates. You have to download the appropriate forms from the IRS website . DO NOT use any tax software to complete the project. Otherwise, your grade will be severely penalized. You have to attach your calculations (i.e., work papers) as part of the return. Without work papers, your grade will be capped at 30 points. Tax Return Project due at 11:59pm on Wednesday, December 4. You have to email me your pdf file (preferred) or submit a hard copy. Make sure that you combine multiple files into one file and only submit one file. (Assessing learning objectives 2 & 3)

Class Participation (LO 1)

Assigned materials must be read before the first day of discussion of them. Assignments and homework problems must be completed before class. Attendance and class participation are expected and your participation will be graded as a whole at the end of the semester. You must bring your book and calculator to every class meeting. (Assessing learning objective 1)

Reading Assessments

Your capacity to contribute to class discussions is directly related to your commitment to completing all reading assignments by the dates listed on the course schedule. Class participation grades will reflect both the quantity and the quality of your participation.

Makeup Exams

Make-up exams will only be given at the discretion of the instructor. Students are strongly cautioned to notify the instructor immediately if legitimate and insurmountable obstacles prevent them from participating in a scheduled exam session.

Late Assignments

The due dates for all assignments will be strictly followed. Late assignments may or may not be accepted at the instructor’s discretion; should the instructor accept a late assignment, he or she may reduce the grade of the assignment the equivalent of one (1) letter grade for each day the assignment is late.

Attendance Policy

According to the UHV Student Handbook, students are expected to be diligent in their studies and regular in class attendance. A student whose absences are determined by the instructor to be excessive shall be dropped prior to the last day to drop a course or withdraw from UHV with a grade of W or F. For students enrolled in online courses, "absence" connotes a failure to engage in class participation activities on a weekly basis. If an unforeseen crisis (including family emergencies, professional obligations, and technical difficulties) prevents you from fulfilling your course obligations, you are responsible for alerting your instructor to the reason for and anticipate duration of your absence.

Teaching and Learning Partnership

Teaching and learning is a partnership between faculty and students. I will fulfill my partnership obligations by serving as advisor, consultant, mentor and purveyor of general comments and clarifications of difficult or confusing concepts. To this end, I will respond to questions within 72 hours.  You will fulfill your partnership obligations by being a fully participative, responsive, helping, and working team member of the class.  You should check your UHV email frequently and respond to faculty in a timely fashion. Good business and professional etiquette is expected. No derogatory comments should be made. You may certainly disagree with others in class discussions, and you may state your disagreement (if you choose to); however, please do so in a polite manner.

Homework, take-home exams, case assignments and bulletin board participation all play an important role in your education in this course. They are an essential part of the learning process in that they require the synthesis and extension of concepts. They also help both the student and the instructor to evaluate one’s progress in mastering the material. Past experience indicates that generally the course material cannot be adequately mastered without active involvement on your part.

Discussion of homework assignments with others who are also struggling with them can be highly beneficial and is encouraged. Most real-life problems are solved through team efforts, and it is important to learn how to solve problems cooperatively. The interaction with others working on the same problem often reveals different approaches to common difficulties.

Academic Honesty

Each student is responsible for maintaining high standards of academic honesty and ethical behavior. In order that each student understands what is (or is not) acceptable behavior, the following guidelines are offered.

  • Discussion of assignments with other students and members of the faculty is both permitted and encouraged as a constructive educational practice.
  • Students are expected to write their exams, quizzes and papers on their own, based on their individual level of progress with the material.
  • Copying of another’s work and representing it as one’s own work is a serious academic offense, and will be treated as such.
  • Students are encouraged to review materials other than those required for the course in preparing assignments, but should always properly cite any sources used in assignment preparation.

UHV’s Student Handbook contains a detailed description of the university’s Academic Honesty Policy. In addition, tutors at the Academic Center (see section below) are available to assist you in providing proper citations for your source materials.

Disabled Student Policy

The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students with a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, each University within the System strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring academic adjustments/auxiliary aids, please contact your University’s student disability services center. University of Houston–Victoria, Office of Disability Services, Cheryl Worley, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., Suite 132-B University West, Victoria, TX 77901. Office phone – 361-570-4287; E-mail; Website -

Student Absences on Religious Holidays

Per Texas state law, students will be excused from attending class and other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused on these grounds will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment within one (1) week of the excused absence.

Sexual Harassment

Students who feel they are the victims of sexual harassment may contact the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at 361-570-4290 and/or the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action at 361-570-4800.

Grievance Procedures

Students who have non-academic grievances or complaints may contact Student Services at 361-485-4409.

Student Success Center Services

The Student Success Center offers writing assistance to all UHV students in the form of paper reviews by peer tutors. Tutors will aid students in looking more critically at their own writing to examine issues such as organization, structure, and development of ideas. To submit a document for online tutoring, or to schedule an appointment for face-to-face tutoring, please visit the Student Success Center online For more information about the Student Success Center and its library of online resources, visit the Center's Web site at or stop by Suite 129 (University West in Victoria).

Weekly Class Schedule

1An Introduction to TaxChapter 1
2Tax Compliance, The IRS, and Tax AuthoritiesChapter 2
3Tax Planning Strategies and Related LimitationsChapter 3
4Individual Income Tax OverviewChapter 4
5Gross Income and ExclusionsChapter 5
6Individual DeductionsChapter 6
7Midterm Exam 1Ch. 1-6
8Individual Income Tax Computation and Tax CreditsChapter 7
9Business Income, Deductions, and Accounting MethodsChapter 8
10Property Acquisition and Cost RecoveryChapter 9
11Midterm Exam 2Ch. 7-9
12Property DispositionsChapter 10
13InvestmentCh 11
14Thanksgiving Holiday
15CompensationChapter 12
16Final ExamCh. 10-12