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Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

ACCT 381: Federal Income Tax-Individuals

Course Description

Focuses on the federal income taxation of individuals.  Emphasizes conceptual framework underlying the U.S. tax system as well as tax accounting procedures and federal tax law relating to the preparation of individual tax returns.

Prerequisite: ACCT 281 and junior standing.

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Spilker, Brian. Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities 2017 - With Access . 8th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2017.
    • ISBN-978-1-259-91500-0

Recommended

  • Commerce Clearing House, Inc. 2017 U. S. Master Tax Guide. Commerce Clearing House, 2017.
    • ISBN-978-0-8080-4364-5
  • Reuters, Thomson . 2017 RIA Federal Tax Handbook. .
    • ISBN-978-0-7811-0532-3
      • Note:
  • Reuters, Thomson . 2017 Checkpoint 1040 Quickfinder. .
    • ISBN-978-0-7646-7678-4
      • Note:

Connect

Passcode to CONNECT is included with the purchase of new textbook from MBS Direct.

CAUTION: Do not purchase USED passcodes to CONNECT; they are not valid. Passcodes to CONNECT can also be purchased online directly from the Publisher during the first week of class.

I will provide a link to the course Connect website on the first day of class. Do not try to register for Connect prior to the first day. You must register for the website associated with this session and section only. Registration cannot be changed or reversed.

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course is designed to help you develop an understanding of tax return preparation. By the end of the course, you should be able to explain how our current system of taxation evolved and know how to prepare an individual income tax return that includes schedules A, B, C, D, and E as well as other schedules and forms. Each week we will focus on a different aspect of federal taxation with virtual discussions, chapter quizzes, homework and other activities that will help students understand the issues and problems encountered in taxation.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. To understand the conceptual framework of the federal tax law for individuals.
  2. To understand accounting procedures and tax laws necessary to ensure compliance.
  3. To develop an appreciation of techniques used in tax planning.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 96 10%
CONNECT Homework (8) 304 30%
Quizzes (8) 200 20%
Midterm Exam (1) 200 20%
Final Exam (1) 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 1 38 Sunday
Quiz 1 25
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 2 38 Sunday
Quiz 2 25
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 3 38 Sunday
Quiz 3 25
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 4 38 Sunday
Quiz 4 25
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 5 38 Sunday
Quiz 5 25
Midterm Exam 200
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 6 38 Sunday
Quiz 6 25
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 12 Saturday/Sunday
CONNECT Homework 7 38 Sunday
Quiz 7 25
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Quiz 8 25 Wednesday
Discussion 8 12 Friday/Saturday
CONNECT Homework 8 38 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment as your post will not count.  Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday, with your initial post due by 11:59 pm Central Time (CT) on Saturday and one response to a classmate due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  During Week 8, the one response is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.

Your initial response to the discussion question should fully answer the question(s) asked.  While I encourage you to write at least a paragraph, the content of your answer is more important that the length.  Your response should be written in your own words, without quoting any other sources.  If you are writing about an assigned reading from our text, be sure to include the author and title in the first sentence or two, so others know what piece you are referencing.

Your responses to others’ posts should also be well developed, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts.  Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas.  For maximum learning and point benefits, respond to at least one student’s post.  You are also expected to read all of the posts during the week.


CONNECT Homework

You will have eight homework assignments throughout this course.  These assignments will ask you to apply the information from the textbook and Instructional Materials.  These problems are calculation/application based problems.  They will be available starting at 12:00 am CT on Monday of each week.  You must submit the homework assignment for the week by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday


Quizzes

Each week, you will take a quiz over the week’s readings.  These quizzes are located in CONNECT. You will have 2 hours to complete the quiz.  You will receive two attempts per quiz.  You may use your book to help you find the answers, but your time is limited, so you must be very familiar with your textbook to find the answers quickly.  Each quiz is due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of the week.

Note:  Quiz 8 is due on Wednesday of Week 8.


Midterm Exam

During Week 5, you will take a non-proctored Midterm Exam which will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions from all of the assigned readings throughout Weeks 1 – 4 of the course (Chapters 1 – 7).  This Midterm Exam is located in Week 5 of CONNECT. You will have 2 hours (120 minutes) to take the exam and will be given only one attempt. The exam will open Thursday of Week 5 at 12:01 am CT and is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.


Final Exam

During Week 8, you will take a non-proctored Final Exam which will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions from all of the assigned readings throughout Weeks 5 – 8 of the course (Chapters 8 – 14).  The Final Exam is located in Week 8 of CONNECT. You will have 2 hours (120 minutes) to take the exam and will be given only one attempt. The exam will open Thursday of Week 8 at 12:01 am CT and is due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Taxes and Tax Rates
Readings
  • Read Chapter 1
  • View Chapter 1 PowerPoint
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 1

Go to the IRS website, review the site in detail.  Locate  Pub 17.  Once located, provide a paragraph that lists the title of the publication, something that is listed in the "what's new" section, and the page number that starts the "index."  What areas do you think you would struggle with?  What areas make the most sense to you?  What area do you think the average person who does their own returns might miss when filing their taxes?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.
CONNECT Homework 1

Complete CONNECT Homework 1 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 1

Quiz 1 will cover the material from Chapter 1.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 1 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 2: Tax Determination and Gross Income Inclusions
Readings
  • Read Chapters 2 and 3
  • View Chapter 2 and 3 PowerPoint
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 2

Select one of the research questions (research questions are contained in the last set of questions in the chapters and have the “research” icon next to them) at the end of the chapters for the week.  Include the question in your subject line.  You must select a different question from your classmates, so first post, first served.  If all of the questions have been selected, then you must provide different key words for your search.

Answer the following questions after reading the problem:

  • What are the key facts in the problem?
  • What is the general issue to be addressed?
  • Provide two key words would you use to research this question?
  • When you use these key words, what results do you get?Is it helpful?How could you refine the key words to get better results?

Note: If you use the same research question as someone else, you must provide two different key words you would use to research the question.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

CONNECT Homework 2

Complete CONNECT Homework 2 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 2

Quiz 2 will cover the material from Chapters 2 and 3.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 2 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 3: Gross Income Exclusions and Deductions
Readings
  • Read Chapters 4 and 5
  • View Chapters 4 and 5 PowerPoints
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 3

When Carlos began working at King Acura, he was required to complete a Form W-4 that provided his employer the information to determine how much to withhold from his paycheck for income taxes. He originally claimed four exemptions but would like to increase this number to 15 because he recently has been having some cash flow problems and the larger number of exemptions would result in fewer taxes being withheld from his paycheck. He intends to make up any withholding deficiency by the end of the year.

Would you advise Carlos to change his W-4? Would your advice change if Carlos cannot make up the deficiency by year-end? Give an example of when it would be acceptable to increase exemptions and when an individual legally cannot increase exemptions.

Note: Your example must be original.  If a student has already posted this example, you must come up with a different example.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

CONNECT Homework 3

Complete CONNECT Homework 3 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 3

Quiz 3 will cover the material from Chapters 4 and 5.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 3 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 4: Itemized Deductions and Self-Employment
Readings
  • Read Chapters 6 and 7
  • Review Chapters 6 and 7 PowerPoints
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 4

Identify where the following items show up on the first two pages of Form 1040.  Why is this significant? 

  • Gross income (realized income from whatever source derived minus excluded or deferred income)
  • For AGI deductions
  • Schedule C Business Income and Expense
  • Schedule E Rental Income and Expense
  • Schedule D Gains and Losses
  • Alimony Income and Alimony Expense
  • Standard or Itemized Deductions
  • Exemptions
  • Tax

In addition, list one item of gross income that is excluded from income. Explain why it should be excluded?

Note: Your example must be original.  If a student has already posted this example, you must come up with a different example.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

CONNECT Homework 4

Complete CONNECT Homework 4 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 4

Quiz 4 will cover the material from Chapters 6 and 7.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 4 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 5: Tax Liability
Readings
  • Read Chapter 8
  • Review Chapter 8 PowerPoint
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 5

While vacationing you find $100 bill on the beach. Nobody saw you find it. Assuming the “find” meets the definition of gross income, would you report it as taxable income? Why or why not? Would your answer differ if you found $100,000 instead of $100?  Is there a “magic amount” that would impact your decision to report something as taxable income?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

CONNECT Homework 5

Complete CONNECT Homework 5 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 5

Quiz 5 will cover the material from Chapter 8.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 5 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will open at 12:00 am CT on Thursday of Week 5.  You will have 1 attempt and 2 hours to complete the problem based and multiple choice question exam.  The Midterm Exam covers chapters 1 through 7 from the textbook.  You must submit the Midterm Exam by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 6: Business Expenses and Assets
Readings
  • Read Chapters 9, 10, and 11
  • Review Chapters 9, 10, and 11 PowerPoints
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 6

A deductible business expense must be ordinary, necessary, and reasonable.  Give an example of an expense that might be disallowed because it only meets two of the criteria.

Note: Your example must be original.  If a student has already posted this example, you must come up with a different example.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

CONNECT Homework 6

Complete CONNECT Homework 6 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 6

Quiz 6 will cover the material from Chapters 9, 10, and 11.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 6 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Compensation and Retirement
Readings
  • Read Chapters 12 and 13
  • Review Chapters 12 and 13 PowerPoints
  • Review Instructional Materials
Discussion 7

Compare and contrast the employer’s tax consequences of providing taxable versus nontaxable fringe benefits. In your comparison, provide one example of a taxable fringe benefit and one example of a nontaxable fringe benefit.

Note: Your example must be original.  If a student has already posted this example, you must come up with a different example.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.

CONNECT Homework 7

Complete CONNECT Homework 7 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Quiz 7

Quiz 7 will cover the material from Chapters 12 and 13.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  You must submit Quiz 7 by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Week 8: Home Ownership
Readings
  • Read Chapter 14
  • Review Chapter 14 PowerPoint
  • Review Instructional Materials
Quiz 8

Quiz 8 will cover the material from Chapter 14.  It will consist of problem based and multiple choice questions and will open at 12:00 am CT on Monday.  You will have two attempts on this quiz and will be limited to 1 hour per attempt.  Please note that this week's quiz is due by 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday.  This will give you time to review concepts that you struggled with before taking the Final Exam.

Discussion 8

Think about all the topics, concepts, and issues we have discussed in this course.  What areas do you feel improved your understanding?  What areas do you still think you will struggle with?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday.  You must respond to at least one classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.

CONNECT Homework 8

Complete CONNECT Homework 8 by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.  The CONNECT Homework is located in the CONNECT system and will cover the material from the week.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will open at 12:00 am CT on Thursday of Week 8.  You will have 1 attempt and 2 hours to complete the problem based and multiple choice question exam.  The Final Exam covers chapters 8 through 14 from the textbook.  You must submit the Final Exam by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

You will not earn points for late homework, quizzes or exams unless the instructor has agreed to the late submission of any of these items prior to their due date. It is very rare that the instructor will permit late assignments to be submitted.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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