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Accounting 816 Special Tax Topics in Federal Taxation

Summer 2015
Tax Policy Student Presentation Tuesday May 26th & Wednesday May 27th

In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the need for tax reform. The Joint Committee
on Taxation prepared the Report to the House Committee on Ways and Means on Present Law and Suggestions for
Reform Submitted to the Tax Reform Working Groups (May 6, 2013).
The report can be found at ; report JCS-3-13. You are not expected to read the report; it is 558
pages. However, it may give you an idea of the some of the proposals and discussions regarding tax reform.
Additionally, the House Ways and Means Committee issued a draft tax reform The Tax Reform Act of 2014
(February 2014). The Tax Reform Act of 2014 can be found at; the Executive Summary
provides an overview of the proposals which may also be helpful for your presentation.
Another article that may be of interest is a summary of proposals contained in Tax Reform in the 113th Congress:
An Overview of Proposals, March 24, 2014 (Congressional Research Service).
Additional materials posted on blackboard that may helpful are:
Tax News & Views, February 6, 2015: FY 2016 budget blueprint reflects presidents call for business
tax reform, infrastructure spending, middle-class tax relief (Deloitte Publication).
The politics of tax reform in the 114th Congress, April 15, 2015 (Deloitte Publication).

Assignment 100 points

Students will prepare and present an 8 to 10 minute PowerPoint presentation addressing certain
aspects of tax policy
Email your presentation to Kay Maresh at by 1:00 PM on Tuesday, May 26th.
Additionally, please bring your presentation to class on a USB drive/flash drive or your computer.
Each student should ask at least two questions to presenters during the two days of presentations.

There are no right or wrong answers. Presentations will be graded based on the students ability to discuss the
tax provisions and provide arguments to support their position.
There is no set format for the PowerPoint slides. No paper is required.

Pick a tax policy topic to discuss in your presentation.

Turn in your topic sections on the attached Topic List in class on Wednesday, May 20th

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Tax Policy Student Presentation

Your presentation should include:
1) Why you chose the topic
2) Current Law briefly explain the current law
3) Why do you think the provisions were made law (encourage certain behaviors, discourage
certain behaviors, other reasons)
4) Do you agree with current law why or why not?
5) Explain any proposed changes to the law that you can find
6) Would you leave the current law as is, or change the law? If you would change the law, how
would you change it? (Repeal, revisions to current law, etc.)
7) Last Slide of every presentation: There have been proposals to implement a national sales tax in
the United States. Do you agree with implementing a national sales tax? Why or why not?
(You may consider including information on the percentage of taxpayers that claim the credit/deduction, etc.
and/or dollar impact on tax revenue. This information will not be available on all topics.)

Tax Topic Selection list is on Page 3

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NAME: __________________________________

Tax Policy Student Presentation

Topic List
Rank five topics you would like to present from one to five with first choice indicated with a 1, through fifth
choice indicated with a 5.
Turn in this Topic List at the end of class on Wednesday, May 20th, and topics selections will be finalized at the end
of class on Thursday, May 21st.

Choice Rank

Research & Development Credit

Education Credits
Earned Income Credit
Work Opportunity Credit & other employment credits
Oil & Gas and Alternative Energy Credits
Retirement Savings credits & deductions
Low income housing credit
Child Credit and Child & dependent care credit
Residential Energy Credit
New Markets Tax Credit
Carried Interest
Limit on deduction for executive compensation
Home mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions
Charitable contribution deductions
Investment interest and investment fees & expenses deductions
Minimum tax on foreign earnings
Special lower rate for capital gains and dividends
Estate Tax
Flat tax versus progressive rates
LIFO method of accounting for inventory
Bonus and accelerated tax deprecation
Alternative Minimum Tax
Corporate dividends-received-deduction
Like-Kind Exchanges
Income Averaging
Domestic Production Activities Deduction
Lower tax rate for dividends from foreign companies instead of foreign tax credit
Social Security & Medicare taxes on S corporation earnings and limited partners
Non-qualified deferred compensation plans
Charitable Organizations exempt from taxation (what types, if any, should be permitted)
Tax on Financial Institutions
Deduction for research and experimental expenses
Foreign Earned income exclusion for individuals
Exclusion for employer provided health, group term life, and disability insurance
Excise tax on medical devices
Other ____________________________________________________________

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