Answer To One Peer
February 17, 2018
End of Life Legal Issue
February 24, 2018

Changes to Problem:

Changes to Problem: Change all years to one year later (for example, 2015 becomes 2016).

The following information should be helpful in your preparation of the tax return.

(1) (a) Requirement: Prepare the federal income tax return on the appropriate IRS forms. (Even if you use a software program, you must turn in manual entries on IRS forms.) Copies of those forms and instructions are available at www.irs.gov
(b) Additional Requirements: Prepare a brief top sheet summarizing the factual information in the format of the tax formula.
(2) Strategy: You might want to start with page 1 of the 1040 and manually make entries (pencil recommended). You may then need to do subsidiary forms (e.g., Schedules A & B). You might also want to work out the figures for the tax formula roughly first before beginning the return.
(3) Check Figures:
Adjusted gross income $179,700
Taxable income $152,850
(4) Grading:
(a) Per the syllabus, this manual return is 10 points extra credit.
(b) Forms required: 1040 pages 1 and 2; Schedules A and B; worksheet line 44.

(5) Additional Helpful Information:
(a) Please use the sequence numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the official IRS forms for the proper order.
(b) Do not calculate next year?s estimates or any late filing penalty or interest.
(6) (a) $2,400 charitable contributions are in cash.
(b) Alfred did receive a benefit from his deduction of state income taxes in 2015 and his itemized deductions were > $1,900 more than his standard deduction.
(c) Watch out for group term life insurance.
(d) Dividends are ordinary and qualified.

Tax Return #2 DUE ON MARCH 3RD, 2017
Changes to Problem: Change all years to one year later (for example, 2015 becomes 2016).

The following information should be helpful in your preparation of the tax return.

(1) (a) Requirement: Prepare the federal income tax return on the appropriate IRS forms. (Even if you use a software program, you must turn in manual entries on IRS forms.) Copies of those forms and instructions are available at www.irs.gov

(b) Additional Requirements: Prepare a brief top sheet summarizing the factual information in the format of the tax formula.

(2) Strategy: You might want to start with page 1 of the 1040 and manually make entries (pencil recommended). You may then need to do subsidiary forms (e.g., Schedules C). You might also want to work out the figures for the tax formula roughly first before beginning the return.

(3) Check figures:
Adjusted gross income 20,263 Itemized deductions 11,700
Taxable income 4,513

(4) Check forms: (please include in your return):

(5) Grading:
a. Per the syllabus, this manual return is 10% of the grade; i.e., 33 points since the three exams are worth 300 points
b. Actual maximum, manual return, 43 points (10 points extra credit)
c. Forms: 1040 pages 1 and 2; Schedules A, B, C, SE; Form 4562

(6) Additional helpful information:
a. Please use the sequence numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the official IRS forms for the proper order
b. Do not calculate next year?s estimates or any late filing penalty or interest.

Notes

The Socratic Method (e.g., critical thinking)

At the website imdb.com, a search may be conducted to view a trailer for a particular film. In the trailer, about 1 minute into the recording, Professor Kingsfield portrayed by the actor John Houseman (who, as your professor recalls, won an academy award as best supporting actor for the role acted late in his life) says that, at Harvard Law School, the Socratic Method is used to turn those with skulls full of mush into individuals who think like a lawyer.

(b) The professor has attempted to utilize a mild version of the Socratic Method in undergraduate and graduate business school courses. The professor has also frequently pointed out in the tax classes the overlap in tax of law and accounting. In fact, as has been indicated, some universities mix in classes the accounting graduate students pursuing a degree such as an M.S.T. with the law students pursuing an LL.M.(Tax).

(2) Learning through Fiction: e.g., Mad Men television show on AMC (information available online at amc.com) and other fiction (in film and novels)

The professor occasionally refers to the television show Mad Men, as well as other fiction, in class. (Often when he infrequently uses the overhead projector, which reminds him of the technology of the 1960s, the era which Mad Men depicts, the professor refers to that television show).

Also, the professor believes, and sometimes explains in class, that Mad Men, per his judgment from past experience, seems to accurately portray the culture and politics of working in a large accounting firm (although Mad Men is set in an advertising firm in the 1960?s).

Dr. Claire Purvis and your professor have published articles on using fiction (e.g., the novel The Ultimate Rip-Off: A Taxing Tale, used in ACCT 556 Tax 3 and ACCT 629), in a tax accounting class and why such usage is an efficacious pedagogical tool (e.g.,, a substitute for real life experience, dispelling negative stereotypes, involving students in ethical conflicts and critical thinking, assisting students in learning language and culture, stimulating student interest, teaching writing and other skills etc.). See John R. Dorocak and S.E.C. Purvis, Using Fiction in Classes: Why Not Admit It? 16 Cardozo Journal of Law and Literature 65 (2004) available in Westlaw which is, in turn, available through the CSUSB Pfau Library website.

Also, at times as indicated in class, the Pathways Commission (2012 Report) has called for an integration of accounting academia and accounting practitioners. Similarly, the Accounting Education Change Commission, Position Statement No. One (1991 Report) indicated, “The overriding objective of accounting programs should be to teach students to learn on their own.” In general, the Socratic method theoretically helps develop critical thinking skills and the ability to learn on one?s own. In some universities, as indicated, some tax classes are taught to a mixture of law and accounting students. Similarly, continuing professional education is often taught to a mixture of lawyers and accountants. Accountants in professional practice clearly need to employ critical thinking and the ability to learn on one?s own.

The extra credit assignment involves Socratic questions, the use of which is explained in part by the film in (1) above.

Basically, all your writing, short or long projects, extra credit or not, is graded for:
Content = right result
Style = correct business format
Grammar = proper English usage

Per Ed White, Professor Emeritus, former facilitator of the Faculty Writing Seminar, writing is most often graded holistically i.e., looking at the whole and with some comparisons to a model and/or other students writing.
Sometimes, I will provide oral comments (in class, in a recording, etc.) In addition, my penmanship can be difficult to read at times and includes some standard proofreaders marks.
= means capitalize
/ through letter means lower case
? Often indicates I am having trouble following the language (style, grammar) or the content.
means insert, something missing
line through with words written in means suggestions
paragraph (double p)
Run-on: run on sentence, too long, break it up
not a sentence = needs subject, verb, object
sp: spelling
^^ added punctuation
cite: citation needed
_____: underline: Italicize (e.g., case names) or interesting/important

One of the best suggestions ever given to me on writing was by an English professor, Dr. Ernest Fontana, when I was John Dorocak, boy undergraduate student. He reviewed – voluntarily – some of my papers for other classes. He suggested, Write with the shortest possible sentences and greatest possible explanations.

The Writing Center will review and help with student writing if an appointment is made sufficiently in advance. Also, many writers have repeated to me, Write what you know and Write what you love. Although it is not always possible to follow these last suggestions, I do notice student writing seems better when the student is interested in the topic or knowledgeable in it.
Again, per Ed White, students often turn in their first rough draft. Some professors rewrite materials (e.g., class materials, publications) 6, 10, or more times. I confess, I usually lose interest at 3 rewrites, at most, in most of my endeavors. Most often, I rewrite at least once and I try to let writing sit a while, (even if just a few hours or overnight), if possible, and then review it (often thus avoiding regrets, I believe). Another old saying is, A writer writes, always. Or as Jack Nicholson said, I believe, when asked why he took the part of the former astronaut in the movie Terms of Endearment (for which he won a supporting actor Oscar), An actor acts.
Repetition will likely help. Or as some other useful slogans suggest: Practice makes perfect and Practice, practice, practice. Tiger Woods used to hit (before his marriage, at least) hundreds to thousands or more golf balls at the driving range. Tony Gwynn and George Brett took extra batting practice nearly every day they played major league baseball.
Of course, it helps if you enjoy the activity. Wanting to write, I found also as John Dorocak boy student, can help overcome initial trepidation about the process. We know that employers in the real world, e.g., accounting practitioners when surveyed, want a student who can write and speak well. In addition, I myself and others, believe there are keen psychological insights of self-awareness to be obtained in writing, a process which involves both brain hemispheres (right and left).
Good luck.

Research Paper DUE ON FEBUARY 22ND, 2017

Items to be Located
Separately described below are items of authority (cases, Revenue Rulings, etc.) to be located by the student.

Research Resources
The materials should be found by using the following online services: CCH and Westlaw. The availability and use of these resources is explained elsewhere.

Assignment Due
For the particular item located, the student should:
Turn in a 1-2 paragraph summary (on 1-2 pages) (typed and printed on a word processor in the student?s own words) of the 1 item located,
Turn in a 1 paragraph summary (same 1-2 pages) of how the item was located.
Turn in a 2 page attachment (1 page from each of 2 research resources ? Westlaw and CCH, original only please) showing the item located.
Students may work together. Each student must turn in his or her own written summary and attachments.

Points Available
Turn in assignment on time and explain to class, if asked = up to 10 points:
6-7 adequately completed, 8 good, 9-10 very well done (distinguished, above average

Use technology and information resources to research selected issues for this course.

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