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ACCY 312: Principles of Taxation

Department of Accountancy / 3 credit hours / Spring 2020

C o u r s e De s c r i p t i o n
Introduction to the U.S. tax system with a focus on personal, business, and property transactions. Topics
include the tax environment, tax provisions relevant to employees, business owners, and shareholders,
and taxation of gains and losses. Projects facilitate self-discovery of knowledge and development of a
variety of professional skills and attitudes.

D a n i e l E . Ho l d e r , J D , C P A , C F P
How to Contact the Instructor
Office Phone: (217) 398-4013
Email: dholder@dehcpatax.com
Office Hours: By Appointment

Class Times and Rooms

Section G: MW 8:00am - 9:20am 3003 BIF
Section C: MW 9:30am - 10:50am 3003 BIF
Section F: MW 11:00am – 12:20pm 3003 BIF

T e x t a n d Ot h e r C o u r s e Ma t e r i a l s
Required Textbook
Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities 2020 Edition by Spilker, Ayers, Barrick, Outslay,
Robinson, Weaver, and Worsham. You can acquire either the (1) Connect Access (e-textbook) or (2)
Connect Access (e-textbook) and loose-leaf textbook. While previous editions are available, you will
be responsible for material in the 2020 edition. Tax laws change and you need the most current
Course Website
The course website can be accessed at the UIUC Illinois Compass site, http://compass2g.illinois.edu.
It includes downloadable materials and is updated as the semester progresses. You should check the
website often as you will be held responsible for any information posted that affects the components of
your grade. Also, please refer to the Communications website for guidance on verbal and written
assignments: http://www1.business.illinois.edu/accountancy/programs/bs/resources/communication.
Electronic Tax Research Databases
There are three electronic tax research services available to you via the UIUC library: Bureau of
National Affairs (BNA) Tax and Accounting Center; Commerce Clearing House (CCH) IntelliConnect;
and Research Institute of America (RIA) Checkpoint. These databases can be accessed at:
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/bel. On the library webpage, click “Accounting” under the Subjects
heading in the upper left portion of the page. Then, click on the “Tax” tab to find the three services.
Course Objectives
The objective of this course is to provide you with an integrated foundation for understanding the
taxation of individuals and businesses. After completing this course, you will be able to compute an
individual’s federal income tax liability and prepare an individual federal income tax return; compute
the federal income tax liability for a business organized as a c-corporation and prepare a corporate
federal income tax return; understand the tax treatment associated with sales, exchanges, and other
dispositions of property. The introductory nature of this course and the number of topics covered
necessitates limited coverage in many areas. More extensive coverage is available in other courses.

C o u r s e Ru l e s
ACCY 202 or equivalent. The Department of Accountancy will administratively drop you from the
course if you do not meet the prerequisites.
You must be registered for this course or you will not receive a grade under any circumstances.
Class Format
This course uses a combined lecture and discussion format with several group projects. Class
participation is expected and will help you get the most out of the course. Never be afraid to ask
questions. I expect that you will read all assigned material prior to the class for which it is assigned.
Suggested homework problems from each chapter will be provided, via McGraw Hill Connect, to
further illustrate the concepts in the textbook. For maximum benefit, you should complete all of the
problems. Although not graded, their completion will strengthen your performance on the quizzes and
Attendance Policy
Regular attendance is expected and strongly recommended. Any material discussed in class, including
material beyond that covered in the textbook, may be included on assignments and exams. You cannot
expect to be successful in this course without regular attendance.
UIUC Email
The UIUC e-mail system will be used to convey certain changes in the course schedule, clarifications
on assignments, etc. I use only UIUC NetID e-mail addresses. Please keep your inbox clear as you are
responsible for the content of e-mails that cannot be transmitted because your mailbox is full.

P e r f o r ma n c e As s e s s me n t / Gr a d i ng
Assignment and Exam Format
Course assignments, quizzes, and exams can include any of the following question types: problems,
short answers, multiple choice, true/false, and essay.
Closed Book/Note Policy
All quizzes are closed book, closed notes. All exams are closed book. However, for the exams (not
the quizzes) you may use an 8.5×11-inch sheet on which you can write formulas or other helpful
information. For the midterm, you are permitted to use one side of the sheet; for the final, you are
permitted to use both sides of the sheet. You may use whatever font size you find legible. Only basic
four-function calculators are allowed for exams and quizzes; no cellular phones, tablets, or similar
devices are allowed. You may not share calculators during any quiz or exam.
Performance Assessment
All assignments, quizzes, and exams will be assigned a point score. A final grade will be assigned based
on the total number of points earned during the course. Points are allocated as follows:

Assessment Points
Exam I (midterm) 100
Exam II (cumulative final) 150
Quizzes 60
Problem Sets 50
Research Presentation 60
Tax Return – Individual 40
Tax Return - Corporation 40
Total 500

All of the above assessments are scheduled according to the syllabus. Exam II must be taken at the
scheduled date/time as determined by the University. However, assignment, quiz, and mid-term
schedules may be revised at my discretion depending on the pace of the class. Problem sets, the research
presentation, and the tax return project will be completed in assigned groups.
A final course grade is determined based on the total number of points earned. In general, I will use
+/- grades and follow a standard grading scale. However, I may also employ a curve to determine
final grades if average scores are low. I reserve the right to make changes to the grading scheme if
needed. There are no “extra credit” assignments.

Posting Grades
The University of Illinois prohibits posting grades by any portion of a student’s Social Security Number
or name. These guidelines also prohibit the emailing of grades to students. Federal privacy laws
(FERPA) prohibit the distribution of grade information via email or telephone.
Late Assignments
Neither excused nor unexcused absences will change the deadlines for assignments. If you miss a class
in which an assignment is due, you must either (a) submit the assignment early, (b) email or deliver the
assignment to my office by 5:00pm on the due date, or (c) have a classmate bring it to your class section.
Unless otherwise noted, I will not accept assignments after the 5:00pm deadline.
Extra Credit – Accountancy Research Lab Participation
You can earn “extra credit” in this course by participating in research studies conducted by our professors
and doctoral students in the Accountancy department. You will receive an email from the Illinois
Accountancy Research Lab (ARL) toward the beginning of the semester with instructions on how to sign
up for and complete these studies.

I will offer 1% of the total points available in this course. When you participate in a study, 0.5% of
course credit is provided for (a) 1 completed study lasting an hour or less, or (b) each hour of a
completed study that lasts more than one hour. Thus, each significant part of an hour of a completed
study = 0.5 Research Study Credits = Class Credit of 0.5% of the total points available in this course.
If you are enrolled in multiple courses that offer credit for your participation in these studies, then for
each study, you must choose the course to which you will apply your credit earned. You may also
reassign your credits to a different course throughout the semester. However, the deadline for assigning
(or reassigning) your credit to your courses is 11:59pm on the reading day. You may not reassign your
credit to another course (or to this course) after that deadline.

If you do not show up for a scheduled study you have signed up for, you will not be allowed to
participate in any further studies this semester because your absence hurts the researchers and your
classmates who would have participated in that timeslot. If you need to cancel your appointment, please
do so by logging into the system and clicking “View or cancel my study appointments.” You will not
be penalized for canceling your appointment.

Some studies pay cash. Usually the average amount paid is about $12 an hour. However, the actual
amount you get in any particular study varies a lot and may depend upon choices made in the study,
choices made by other participants in the study, and/or luck.

If you have questions about participating in research studies, please email the ARL at
accyresearchlab@illinois.edu. Do NOT ask me because I cannot assist you with the system or the
Exams / Quizzes
Missed Exams/Quizzes
In the event of a missed exam/quiz due to an excused absence, I will re-weight other components of the
course grade. Prior approval is required for all university-authorized absences (e.g., athletic
competitions). Absences due to personal illness or emergency may be excused with reasonable
documentation, situation dependent, by the Student Assistance Center (333-0050, available 24/7).
Missed exam/quizzes due to unexcused absences will receive a score of zero.
IMPORTANT: Missed exams/quizzes for employment-related reasons (e.g., job fairs, job interviews,
office visits, traveling to an office visit) are not personal emergencies and, thus, are unexcused
absences. It is your responsibility to schedule employment-related activities around academic deadlines
(a schedule is included for your convenience).
Final Exam Conflicts
I follow the University’s definition of a final exam conflict as defined in the Student Code. If you have
three consecutive university course final exams scheduled within one 24-hour period, or two university
course final exams scheduled at the same time, you may elect to take the conflict final exam.
If you have a conflict, you must notify me in advance via email and provide documentation to support
the conflict. Department staff will verify the information and you will then be notified of your eligibility
to take the conflict exam. Requests may be denied if conflicts arise from travel plans, job interviews,
or other non-exam conflicts.

G e t t i n g He l p o r C l a r i f i c a t i o n o f I n f o r ma t i o n
To succeed in this course, you must invest a great deal of time and energy. If at any time you feel that
you are investing necessary effort, but are not learning the material or improving your skills, please
contact me. I will do my best to help and recommend additional resources.
You may use email to communicate with me outside of class and office hours. I request that email
correspondence not contain overly technical questions that will require lengthy replies. Instead,
technical questions should be addressed during class or office hours. I will make every effort to reply
to emails by the end of the next business day. Because your questions or concerns are often relevant to
others in the class, I may respond by indicating that I have posted additional information to Compass
or that I will cover the question in the next class. If I cannot adequately respond to your question via
email, I will schedule an appointment with you. Do not wait until the last day before an assignment is
due to ask a question, and likewise, please do not expect an answer if you email me the night before an
exam or assignment is due. Emails and office hours do not substitute for class attendance; I will not be
repeating my lectures in those venues.

G r a d i n g Di s p u t e s
Although the TAs and I will make every effort to grade your work accurately, grading errors may arise.
If you believe there is an error, you may request a re-grade of the assignment or exam in question. Be
aware, however, that grading errors can occur in both directions (favorable and unfavorable). Therefore,
if you request a re-grade, the entire assignment or exam will be considered, and all grading errors will
be corrected. By requesting a re-grade, you accept the possibility that your grade may go up or down.
To request a re-grade, you must submit a written request within one week from the class meeting in
which the assignment or exam was returned. The request must be accompanied by the graded original
and must state the area of dispute, your recommendation, and justification for your recommendation.
The University’s policy on capricious grading is available online at:

R e a s o n a b l e Ac c o m mo d a t i o n s f o r S t u d e n t s w i t h Di sa b i l i t i e s
If you have a condition, such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to
carry out the work as outlined or which requires academic accommodations, please notify me during
the first week of the course. I will do my best to accommodate you.
The University’s policy on reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is in Section §1-
110 of the Student Code and is available online at:

B I F E me r g e n c y Pr o c e d u r e s
In the event of a tornado warning please seek shelter in the Wohlers Hall basement or the Armory, or
in the BIF basement between 8 am and 4:30 pm weekdays (the nearest designated University tornado
shelters). If a tornado is imminent, the BIF basement stairwells also can be used on an emergency
basis. In the event of a fire in BIF, exit BIF and proceed to 141 Wohlers Hall. In the event of threat
from a shooter on campus, lock down the classroom and move to a place of safety within the classroom.
If you encounter a suspicious package, do not touch the package; alert campus security, and refrain
from cell phone usage until the situation is resolved. More detailed information and action instructions
are available in the BIF Building Emergency Action Plan.

C a mp u s E me r g e n c y S t a t e me n t
Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time, so it's important that we take a minute to prepare
for a situation in which our safety could depend on our ability to react quickly. Take a moment to learn
the different ways to leave this building. If there's ever a fire alarm or something like that, you'll know
how to get out and you'll be able to help others get out. Next, figure out the best place to go in case of
severe weather - we'll need to go to a low-level in the middle of the building, away from windows. And
finally, if there's ever someone trying to hurt us, our best option is to run out of the building. If we
cannot do that safely, we'll want to hide somewhere we can't be seen, and we'll have to lock or barricade
the door if possible and be as quiet as we can. We will not leave that safe area until we get an Illini-
Alert confirming that it's safe to do so. If we can't run or hide, we'll fight back with whatever we can
get our hands on. If you want to better prepare yourself for any of these situations, visit
police.illinois.edu/safe. Remember you can sign up for emergency text messages at

A c a d e mi c I n t e g r i t y
It is the responsibility of each student to refrain from infractions of academic integrity, from conduct
that may lead to suspicion of such infractions, and from conduct that aids others in such infractions.
Student Code, Section 1-401, 2018-2019.
It is implicit, by virtue of being enrolled in the University and this course, that you have read,
understood and accepted University policies and procedures on academic integrity. Student Code,
Section 1-401, 2018-2019.
Full details on the University's academic integrity policies and procedures can be accessed at:
I expect you to act with integrity and in compliance with University rules and regulations. As such, all
work should represent your independent effort, and plagiarism of anyone else’s work (whether that
work is in the form of oral or written notes, computer files, electronic form, paper form, etc.) will not
be tolerated.
If academic dishonesty is evident, the penalty ranges from no points (0) for the assignment to
recommending an “F” for the course.

S e x u a l Mi s c o n d u c t Po l i c y a n d Re p o r t i n g
The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. Faculty and staff members
are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct to the University's Title IX and Disability
Office. In turn, an individual with the Title IX and Disability Office will provide information about
rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and
law enforcement options. A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors,
confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can
maintain confidentiality, can be found here: http://wecare.illinois.edu/resources/students/#confidential.
Other information about resources and reporting is available here: http://wecare.illinois.edu.

F o o d / Ho u s i n g I n s e c u r i t y S t a t e me n t
Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their
performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support and alert the course
Course Schedule
A class schedule that contains meeting dates, topics, due dates, and quiz/exam dates is provided to help you plan.
The class schedule is as accurate and complete as possible. However, there may be occasions where revisions become
necessary. I reserve the right to make revisions and will notify you of any changes in advance. Should the University
be closed for an unexpected reason (snow, etc.) on a day an assignment/quiz/exam is scheduled, it will be
due/administered on the next regularly scheduled class meeting. Should Exam II be interrupted, it will be made up
on another day of finals week.
Class Date Topic Assignments
Part I. Introduction to Federal Taxation
Course Introduction Syllabus
1 22-Jan
Introduction to Tax Read Chapter 1
Read Chapter 2 (read
2 27-Jan Tax Compliance, the IRS, & Tax Authorities
through 2-22)
Tax Planning Strategies & Related
3 29-Jan Read Chapter 3
Part II. Individual & Business Income Taxation
Quiz 1 Chapters 1-3
4 3-Feb
Individual Income Tax (Part I) Read Chapter 4
5 5-Feb Individual Income Tax (Part II) Read Chapter 4
Problem Set 1 Due
6 10-Feb
Gross Income & Exclusions (Part I) Read Chapter 5
7 12-Feb Gross Income & Exclusions (Part II) Read Chapter 5
8 17-Feb Individual Deductions Read Chapter 6
Quiz 2 Chapters 4-6
9 19-Feb Individual Income Tax Computation and Tax
Read Chapter 8
10 24-Feb Entities Overview Read Chapter 15
Business Income, Deductions, and Accounting
11 26-Feb Read Chapter 9
Methods (Part I)
Individual Tax Return Due
12 2-Mar Business Income, Deductions, and Read Chapter 9
Accounting Methods (Part II)
Business Income, Deductions, and
13 4-Mar Read Chapter 9
Accounting Methods (Part III)
14 9-Mar Mid-Term Review

15 11-Mar Mid-Term Exam (in-class) Chapters 1-6, 8, 9, 15

Part III. Property Transactions & Corporations

16 16-Mar Property Acquisitions and Cost Recovery (Part I) Read Chapter 10
17 18-Mar Property Acquisitions and Cost Recovery (Part II) Read Chapter 10
23-Mar Spring Break
25-Mar Spring Break
Quiz 3 Read Chapter 10
18 30-Mar
Property Acquisitions and Cost Recovery (Part III)
19 1-April Property Dispositions (Part I) Read Chapter 11
Problem Set 2 Due
20 6-April Read Chapter 11
Property Dispositions (Part II)
21 8-April Property Dispositions (Part III) Read Chapter 11
Quiz 4 Chapter 11
22 13-April
Investments (Part I) Read Chapter 7
23 15-April Investments (Part II) Read Chapter 7
24 20-April Research Project Presentations
25 22-April Research Project Presentations
Problem Set 3 Due
26 27-April Read Chapter 16
Corporate Operations (Part I)
27 29-April Corporate Operations (Part II) Read Chapter 16
Corporate Tax Return Due
28 4-May
Corporate Operations (Part III) Read Chapter 16
29 6-May Review Session
All course material
Final Exam (time/location TBD)