University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Summer 2019

Course Description
Distance Learning section offered to students outside the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area this summer. This course introduces the basic concepts of federal income taxation that are the foundation of all other income tax courses, while focusing on the rules regarding the taxation of individuals. The course will also give you experience in using statutory and regulatory materials. Finally, the course begins an examination of the policy issues underlying our basic system of federal taxation. Distance Learning Logistics: Students will be able to live stream this class or watch classes asynchronously. All classes must be watched within 1-week of the live class. Miami Law students enrolled in this distance learning section of this class, are encouraged to attend the first in class session on May 13th, which will consist of a quick Distant Learning orientation as well as class. Those who are not physically in Miami can view orientation component online. The final exam will be administered as a take home exam on Exam 4 on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
05-13-2019 - 06-27-2019   MTWR  5:30 PM-7:20 PM TBD

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered every semester

Course Information

Credits: 4
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Exam and class participation.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes:
Distance Learning
Course Delivery:

Special Restrictions: Distance Learning
Law Track(s):
Business & Taxation - Basic
Entertainment, Music, & Sports - Related
Government & Regulation - Related
Bar Subject(s): None
Business Compliance and Sustainability (Area of Focus)   More information
Business Compliance and Sustainability (Concentration)   More information
The Business of Innovation, Law and Technology: BILT (Concentration)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Area of Focus)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Concentration)   More information
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Federal Income Tax
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Newman
    Publisher: West
    ISBN: 9781628103816
  • Textbook Name: Federal Income Taxation
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Optional
    Author: Chirelstein
    Edition: 14th Edition
    ISBN: 9781640208247
  • Textbook Name: Federal Income Tax: Code & Res, Selected Sections
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Edition: 2018-2019
    ISBN: ISBN: 9780808050117
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: LAW 105A Federal Income Taxation I Prof. Patricia Brown Summer 2019 First Assignment Chapter I of Newman and Brown, Federal Income Taxation: Cases, Problems and Materials. Note: The authors are in the process of updating the textbook but were not able to complete their work before this summer class. Accordingly, there are some changes: p. 3: In the last sentence of the second full paragraph on the page, there is a reference to “alimony” in the context of the practice of family law. Because the TCJA changed the tax treatment of alimony with respect to divorce and separations instruments entered on or after January 1, 2019, the sentence should be modified as follows: What’s more, you will have to master the tax aspects of whatever your practice happens to be, e.g., taxation of damages if you are a litigator, the tax consequences of property received by a gift or inheritance if you are an estate planning lawyer, or the taxation of child support if you practice family law, or even the taxation of your own income if you are a lawyer with your own firm. p. 5-6: The Form 1040EZ is out of date (but I never talked about it anyway). p. 12: At the end of the section on “History” add the following: At the end of 2017, Congress passed some of the most sweeping tax reform in a generation. The law is colloquially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). The principal changes to the law that are relevant for our purposes are: (a) a significant increase in the standard deduction (to nearly double its prior level); (b) expansion of the child tax credit; (c) limitations imposed on itemized deductions, especially the home mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for state and local tax (limitations that several commentators have pointed out have disparate impact on taxpayers typically based on geography and price of real estate in certain parts of the country); (d) reduced personal income tax rates (and reduced corporate rates, but another course would need to explore the details of the corporate tax changes); (e) reforms designed to make fewer taxpayers subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), a parallel set of rules requiring certain taxpayers to recalculate tax liability with fewer tax preferences (many tax teachers don’t cover the details of the AMT in the basic Income Tax class anyway); (f) elimination of the deduction for personal casualty and theft losses; (g) reduction of medical expenses deduction threshold to 7.5% of AGI (down from 10% pre-TCJA); (h) increase in limitation on charitable contribution deductions for transfers to public charities (to 60%) and certain private foundations (also 60%); (i) elimination of the deductions of miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor; (j) elimination of exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements; (k) new, preferential rates for certain “qualified business income” (mostly from pass-through businesses); If not otherwise extended by Congress, almost all of the individual income tax changes will expire after December 31, 2025. After that date, most of the laws revert to pre-TCJA status. The TCJA has caused a great deal of political controversy because of the hurried nature of the legislative process as well as the economic impact of the changes. The Brookings Institute has an analysis here: The Tax Foundation has an analysis here: We will also discuss the following additional materials: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Where Do Federal Tax Revenues Come From?, found at: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?, found at: Tax Foundation: The Sources of State and Local Tax Revenues, found at: Pie Chart on U.K. Tax Revenue, available on TWEN Students who want to do all of the reading for the week should also read Chapter II. The good news is, there are no significant changes to Chapter II on account of the TCJA.

    Federal Income Taxation: Cases, Problems & Materials (6th Edition), Newman and Brown, ISBN: 978-1628103816; Required

    Federal Income Taxation, Chirelstein, ISBN: 9781640208247; Optional/Supplemental

    Federal Income Tax: Code & Regs, Selected Sections, CCH, 2018-2019; Required

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-5946
Office: B351