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Tax law practice can encompass both tax planning and tax litigation. Tax planning pervades all areas of corporate law, commercial transactions, estate planning, employee benefits, real estate, and bankruptcy. The tax lawyer’s clients can include individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and other entities and businesses of all sizes. Others provide government representation in tax law disputes.

Tax Law Resources

Tax Law Faculty

Tax Law Path View

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  • Core Course

    Personal Income Tax

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course covers the Internal Revenue Code provisions applicable to the tax treatment of individual taxpayers. Students also will study tax policy, case law, and the tax doctrines and principles applicable to the determination of an individual's taxable income. This course provides the basic structure for understanding and interpreting the Internal Revenue Code, and serves as a foundation for upper-level tax and business-related law school courses.

    Areas of coverage includes: gross income; the tax consequences of property transactions; property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance; scholarships, prizes, and awards; life insurance and annuities; discharge of indebtedness; personal injury damages; fringe benefits; divorce; and deductions related to a trade or business or profit-seeking activity.

    When offered as a distance-learning course, there will be required weekly readings from the casebook and online statutory and regulatory sources, regular mini-lectures on prerecorded video accompanied by PowerPoint slides, discussion forums to which students must make posts each week, and weekly quizzes. All course material other than the casebook will be accessible by any computing device through an Internet connection. While most of the course will be asynchronous, opportunities will be presented for synchronous digital chat. In addition to posing questions and providing guidance on the discussion boards and through the video lectures, the professor will be available throughout the course by e-mail, conference call, or live chat. Grading will be based on participation in the forums (including a qualitative component), performance on quizzes, and a final "open-book" examination.

  • Core Course

    Wills, Estates, and Trusts I

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed to give the student a grounding in the general law relating to donative transfers of property interests taking place at death. It covers intestate succession, wills laws, nonprobate transfers, and some trust laws. It is not jurisdiction-specific; instead, it focuses on majority and minority rules and trends in the law. Jurisdictional comparisons often will be made.

    When offered as a distance learning course, there will be required weekly readings from the casebook, regular mini-lectures on prerecorded video accompanied by PowerPoint slides, discussion forums to which students must make posts each week, and weekly assessments, including quizzes. All course material other than the casebook will be accessible by any computing device through an Internet connection. While most of the course will be asynchronous, opportunities will be presented for synchronous digital chat. In addition to posing questions and providing guidance on the discussion boards and through the video lectures, the professor will be available throughout the course by e-mail, telephone, in-person at New England Law Boston, and/or via Skype. Grading will be based on participation in the forums (including a qualitative component), performance on quizzes, and a final "open-book" examination.

  • Other Course

    Accounting for Lawyers

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Designed to give students a familiarity with accounting and business theory and terminology. Heavy emphasis is placed on planning and analyzing various business transactions from an accounting and legal perspective using financial data and incorporating tax implications. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Core Course

    Taxation of Business Entities

    4 Credit (Elective)

    This course covers the federal tax treatment of the four main business entity forms. Students will study and learn the tax provisions and tax principles that provide for double tax treatment of C corporations and single-level tax treatment of S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Emphasis will be on issues related to the formation, operation, and liquidation of those business entities. This course is intended for students with an interest in a business law practice, for students who have a strong interest in tax law, as well as for students who are interested in specializing in tax law.

  • Recommended Course

    Wills, Estates, and Trusts II

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course is an advanced treatment of topics introduced in the Wills, Estates, and Trusts course, as a well as an overview of many of the tax issues arising in a trusts and estates practice. It covers such topics as fiduciary administration of trusts, remedies for trustee malfeasance, trust construction, and powers of appointment. Certain income tax concepts relating to trusts and estates practice will be addressed, and the course may include a brief overview of the federal transfer taxes.

  • Core Course

    Estate Planning

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Covers both estate planning for smaller estates and tax-oriented estate planning. After a consideration of planning techniques for the smaller estate, basic concepts of federal estate and gift taxation are introduced through the study of relevant estate and gift tax code sections and regulations. Thereafter, the course considers various problems involved in planning for the preservation and disposition of wealth. Among the tools studied are wills, revocable and irrevocable inter vivos trusts, and various gifting techniques. Careful analysis is given to the impact of estate, gift, and income tax laws on the disposition of property under different types of plans. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Core Course

    Tax Clinic

    3 Credit (Clinic)

    This course places students at the Appellate Tax Board of the Massachusetts Revenue Department, where they handle tax cases and issues for 10 hours per week. Students assist administrative law judges in deciding disputed tax cases by preparing bench memos and also assist the board's legal counsel in drafting decisions. In addition, students meet in a weekly class that explores issues raised by their cases, including the administration and enforcement of state and federal tax laws. Students also will gain very practical knowledge in areas of federal and state tax law, which is of particular importance to every practicing attorney. This course satisfies the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Nonprofit Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course will examine nonprofit organizations and the sector in which they operate. The course will focus on the legal framework governing the operation of the nonprofit organizations, including issues of choice of form, governing bodies, and regulation of solicitations. The course also will survey the basic federal income and state property tax issues relevant to operation of the nonprofit organization. These issues include qualification for tax exemption, filing requirements, engaging in commercial activities, and the distinction between public charities and private foundations.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Business Planning

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    In today's increasingly fast-paced and competitive business environment, attorneys must be prepared to provide business leaders with timely, appropriate, and valuable analysis and advice. In this course, we will learn to blend practical and theoretical approaches in meeting the needs of entrepreneurial clients, who are typically highly committed to their business, organization, concept, or venture. Using present-day examples and vignettes, we will learn to identify priorities and develop practical, translatable legal solutions relating to: entity selection; risk analysis and mitigation; managerial control; capital development; use of media; property rights and patent concerns; ethical considerations; contract negotiations; employment and tax issues; and growth and exit strategies. Throughout the course, we will examine successful (and some not so successful) examples of critical stage business decision making. Finally, we will explore the attorney turned entrepreneur's mindset and what new lawyers may face when starting or managing their own ventures, in law or business.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Tax Practice and Procedure

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Deals with the US tax system and the administration of the Internal Revenue Code. Topics considered include procedural problems, requests for rulings, assessment of deficiencies, penalties, closing agreements, tax liens, and statutes of limitations. Special emphasis is placed on handling audits, settlement hearings before the Appeals Office, litigation of tax cases, and civil and criminal fraud.

    This course may be offered every other year.