Taxes: No Longer Just for Accountants [By Heather Jung] It’s that time of year again. With less than two weeks before tax returns are due, the rush to fill out W2s and 1040s, along with the plethora of other forms required by the IRS, has begun. At a time when many people are scrambling to complete those forms so as to avoid being penalized, it is no big surprise that accountants across the country are putting in overtime and raking in the dough. However, tax attorneys are gearing up for crunch time as well.
The American Bar Association’s Section
were at New York University, University of
Students must take Corporate Tax for
of Taxation’s main mission is “to serve our
Florida, and Georgetown University.
International Tax Program Students,
members and the public through education and leadership to achieve an equitable, efficient, and workable tax system.” To accomplish said mission, the ABA has set forth several specific goals: •
To serve as the national representative of the legal profession with regard to the tax system
To improve public understanding of, confidence in, and respect for the tax system
To provide leadership in simplifying and improving the tax system
To provide unbiased, thoughtful, and timely input into the legislative and administrative process
To promote and maintain an active, vigorous, growing, and interested Section membership
To provide programs and services of unique quality which promote professionalism, competence, and ethical conduct
To provide a national forum for communication among Section members and interchange with the public sector
Law schools across the country offer programs to students interested in specializing in tax law. Tax law courses provide instruction on taxation, estate planning, business tax, international tax, and wills and trusts. Every year, U.S. News &
World Report releases a list of the top tax law programs. In 2006, the top three programs
International Business Transactions, New York University School of Law NYU’s tax program has remained in the top spot since 1992. The school offers students several means of studying tax law: a graduate tax program, an international tax program, a joint-degree program (J.D./LL.M. in Taxation), a tax policy fellowship program, and advanced professional certificate programs in taxation. The most respected and oldest graduate tax law program in the country, NYU’s Master of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation program, is open to lawyers trained in American or foreign institutions. The program offers five areas of concentration: business taxation, estate planning, general taxation, international taxation, and tax policy. Students interested in pursuing the LL.M. in Taxation at NYU can enroll full-time or part-time. Both tracks require 24 credits to graduate, 20 of which must be graduate tax courses such as Timing Issues and the Income Tax, European Community Tax Law, Estate Planning, and Tax-Exempt Organizations. The international tax program is designed for foreign attorneys who, according to the tax program brochure, wish “to study international taxation in a global context.” Participants must complete 24 credits over the course of two semesters in order to graduate, 15 of which must be obtained through required courses and nine of which must be obtained through elective courses.
International Tax I and II, and Tax Treaties. For the remaining three required credits, students can choose from International Tax Policy, Tax Policy: Comparative, and Tax Policy: European Union. Through the school’s joint-degree program, J.D. candidates can earn their J.D.s and their LL.M.s in Taxation by completing seven semesters of full-time study. The program is open to NYU students who are in good standing and who have taken Income Taxation, as well as a limited number of candidates from other schools who have completed two full years of study and need no more than 30 additional credits to complete requirements for J.D.s at their current law schools. Students are advised to take 12 units of advanced tax courses prior to enrolling in the program so that they only have to take 12 more during their actual courses of study in the program. The tax policy fellowship program is an internship program coordinated with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (Tax Policy) and the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. It allows two students from the J.D./LL.M. program to spend six months following graduation working on one of the two policy staffs in Washington, DC. NYU School of Law also offers an advanced certificate program in taxation. Candidates must have J.D. or LL.B. degrees from schools approved by the Section on Legal Education of
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the American Bar Association or its foreign
and a summer program. Enrollment is
Taxation, Fiduciaries: Myths and Realities,
equivalent. Participants can complete the
limited to 25 students per year and is open to
and Taxation of Partnerships. Students can
program in one year of part-time study.
both U.S. and international students.
also attend seminars on tax policy, estate
There are three certificate programs available: Corporate Taxation, Estate Planning, and International Taxation.
Levin College of Law is proud to be the only school to offer a Doctor of Judicial Science
planning, business planning, and Social Security reform.
(S.J.D.) in Taxation. The program, which
According to the school’s website,
“As an NYU student, you will have the
consists predominantly of research and
“Georgetown’s Tax LL.M. program offers a
opportunity to choose from advanced courses
writing, is designed for students who are
unique combination of expert adjunct faculty
in general business taxation, international
interested in teaching tax law and generally
and full-time tax faculty, one of the most
taxation, estate planning, and tax policy.
takes three to five years to complete. It
extensive tax curricula taught anywhere, and
Because our world-renowned faculty
includes the same courses required for the
the opportunity to experience Washington,
integrates the teaching of theory and policy
LL.M. in Taxation as well as eight credits
DC, the nation’s center of tax policymaking,
into the Tax Program, our students graduate
obtained by attending writing and research
rulemaking, and publishing.”
with a superior ability to understand tax
seminars. To receive the degree, a student
legislation and the underpinnings of complex
must complete a thesis, “which may consist
tax transactions,” Noël B. Cunningham,
of a single monograph or a series of at least
Director of the Graduate Tax Program, says
three major articles.”
in the program’s brochure. University of Florida Levin College of Law University of Florida Levin College of Law’s second-ranked taxation program offers three degrees in taxation: an LL.M. in Taxation, an LL.M. in International Taxation, and an S.J.D. in Taxation. Created 30 years ago, the graduate tax program at Levin College of Law has helped countless students prepare for careers in tax law. The program is designed for full-time students and can be completed in one year (two semesters and a summer program). According to the program brochure, students typically enroll in four or five graduate tax courses during the fall and spring terms and one or two courses in the summer. The program offers students three concentrations from which to choose: estate planning, international taxation, and corporate/business taxation. Students are awarded LL.M.s in International Taxation when they have completed 26 credit hours, 13 of which must be for international tax courses such as U.S. International Tax I and II, Comparative Taxation, and Tax Treaties. Like the LL.M. in Taxation program, the international taxation program is designed to be completed in two semesters
Courses available to J.D. students are open to LL.M. students as well, once the needs of students in the J.D. program have been accommodated. Classes specifically for the
The Florida Tax Review is one of the most
LL.M. program include EU Tax Law, Financial
respected tax journals in the country. The
Derivatives Taxation, Income Tax Accounting,
review publishes articles dealing with
and Transfer Pricing.
significant tax law issues and policies. Its articles focus on a wide range of tax topics, such as tax expatriation, the alternative minimum tax, and the latest developments in income taxation.
Georgetown University Law Center works in conjunction with the Section of Taxation of the ABA to produce The Tax Lawyer, a journal featuring scholarly articles as well as notes and comments from students pertaining to
Also available to tax law students at the
topics of interest to members of the Section
University of Florida are the Florida Graduate
of Taxation and other readers. The journal
Tax Lecture Series, the Richard B. Stephens
is published five or six times per year, which
Tax Research Center, the Leiden Exchange
includes the publication of one issue entitled
Program, and a highly successful career
The State and Local Tax Lawyer.
services office. Georgetown University Law Center Number three on U.S. News & World
Report’s list of the best tax law programs is Georgetown University Law Center’s taxation program. J.D. students can take several classes that concentrate on taxation. An LL.M. in Taxation is also available. Students who are pursuing J.D. degrees and are interested in the field of tax law can choose from a list of more than 10 classes dealing with the subject. In addition to
NYU, University of Florida, and Georgetown University are not the only schools that offer programs in taxation. For more information, check out the ABA Section of Taxation website at www.abanet.org/tax/home.html. On the Net New York University School of Law Tax Program www.law.nyu.edu/programs/tax University of Florida Levin College of Law Tax Program Brochure www.law.ufl.edu/tax/pdf/brochure.pdf
the two basic taxation classes (Taxation
Georgetown University Law Center Taxation
I and II), other classes available include:
Advanced Corporate Taxation: Theory and
Practice, Entrepreneurship, Estate and Gift
This Article Describes About The American Bar Association (ABA) Section Of Taxation. The Law Schools Across The Country Offer Various Tax La...