FIN560 Federal Taxation of Individuals

Course Catalog Description


This course deals with the methods and principles of US Federal income taxation. It is concerned with the history and politics behind the federal income tax laws and regulations, including major emphasis on tax provisions common to all types of taxpayers, particularly individuals. Topics include: tax authority, research, compliance and planning; gross income and exclusions; individual deductions and credits; tax rate schedules and calculation; filing status; investments and property transactions; self-employment income; retirement planning; home ownership and professional ethics.

Prerequisite: Foundational knowledge in financial accounting, demonstrated by coursework either at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Campus Fall Spring Summer
On Campus X X
Web Campus X X


Professor Email Office
James Biagi Babbio Center Room: 424

More Information

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

  1. Understand and discuss what constitutes a tax and the general objectives of taxation;
  2. Understand and discuss the various federal, state and local taxes and the laws that implement and enforce them;
  3. Apply and analyze the issues related to the filing of federal income tax returns, including requirement to file and the processing of returns;
  4. Analyze the working of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
  5. Apply and analyze objectives and strategies for basic tax planning;
  6. Apply and analyze the components and computation of individual federal income taxes, including computation of and exclusions from gross income, self-employment income, deductions for and from adjusted gross income, the calculation of taxable income, tax payments, credits and additions to tax;

Course Resources


  • Spilker et al (2018) Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities – 9th edition. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. in a package with McGraw Hill Connect Accounting for online use (“Connect”). The ISBN for the hard copy text with Connect is: 9781260088618.

Lecture Outline

Topic Readings Assignments
Week 1 An Introduction to Tax
Week 2 Tax Compliance, The IRS and Tax Authorities
Week 3 Tax Planning Strategies and Related Limitations
Week 4 Individual Income Tax Overview, exemptions and filing Status
Week 5 Gross Income and Exclusions
Week 6 Individual Deductions
Week 7 Investments
Week 8 Individual Income Tax Computation and Credits
Week 9 Business Income, Deductions and Accounting Methods
Week 10 Property Acquisition, Cost Recovery and Disposition
Week 11 Compensation
Week 12 Retirement Saving and Deferred Compensation
Week 13 Tax Consequences of Home Ownership
Week 14 Review Tax Preparation Assignment
Week 15 Tax Preparation Assignment Due