5 Key Courses in a Master’s in Taxation Program

Five Most Important Courses for a Master’s in Taxation

  • Corporate Taxation
  • Partnerships and Pass-Through Entities
  • Ethics
  • Gift and Estate Taxes
  • Advanced Taxation for Individuals

Students pursuing a Master’s in Taxation embark on a winding journey while learning financial regulations. After all, this is the field where everything is derived from the word of law. Therefore, those who want to be successful and lucrative tax preparers will have to become familiar with everything from simple individual taxation principles to the highly complex rules and laws that govern large corporations. Here we discuss some of the key coursework to complete along this journey.

Resource: Top 15 Online Masters in Taxation

1. Corporate Taxation

Given that the IRS collects enormous amounts of tax money from U.S. corporations, it seems fitting that this is an extremely important topic for those majoring in tax accounting. Therefore, it is critical that Master’s in Taxation students complete a class that dissects this topic. Students learn how the corporate tax rate is applied, what are some of the common deductions, what forms are used for these filings, and much more. Additionally, they will learn what to look for when glancing over a corporate tax return in order to minimize the odds of getting audited or underutilizing a deduction.

2. Partnerships and Pass-Through Entities

Although there are some great benefits to establishing a corporation, it comes at a high cost due to its double-taxation curse. In order to sidestep this, many entrepreneurs set up a pass-through entity instead. This includes partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liability companies. Even though there is not an entity-level tax that is levied on these organizations, they still have to keep track of earnings. That way, they can file an accurate informational return and the pass-through owners will be able to save money on tax expenses. Arguably, this is one of the toughest courses that an accounting student in a Master’s in Taxation program will face.

3. Ethics

Becoming eligible for the Certified Public Accountant exam is a long process that includes a lot of college credits mixed with a certain amount of experience. Among the many college-related requirements, most states mandate that the candidate takes a board-approved ethics class. Students can take this opportunity to learn everything about monumental changes that happened in the profession during the era of Sarbanes-Oxley and other crucial laws. More importantly, the students will become sensitized to being on alert for unethical behavior at all times. This greatly reduces the odds of them committing any kind of illegal or immoral act.

4. Gift and Estate Taxes

Gift and estate taxes are another topic that are easily misunderstood and seldom discussed. Why? Because they are not typically applicable to everyone. The threshold for taxes on a gift donation is $15,000 in a single year; the vast majority of the taxpayers are not giving away sums of money large enough to invoke this tax. Similarly, planning for estate taxes is often done at the same time as creation of a will. Still, students must know how these two taxes work in order to help raise awareness with their clients.

5. Advanced Taxation for Individuals

In the end, learning the ins and outs of the taxation laws governing the way in which individual citizens are taxed is the cornerstone of every Master’s in Taxation program. This class will teach students about uncommon deductions and tax strategies that help minimize tax liability. More importantly, it will show them how to approach outliers like high-net-worth individuals whose taxes can be quite unorthodox. Ultimately, it will teach them to find the right resources for completing any tax return that comes their way.

Student wishing to become tax preparers will find a steady selection of employment opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the classes available to students provide general and speciality knowledge, the aforementioned five tend to be the common requirements of almost every Master’s in Taxation program.