This course is about blending finance, strategy, accounting, and tax law in the analyses of high-value-added business decisions. The course is not about: tax compliance (the correct way to file tax returns), tax complexity (finding loopholes), tax minimization (beating Uncle Sam), or tax evasion (filing illegal returns). Students will learn a framework for evaluating the priority that taxes, which directly or indirectly pervade most business transactions, have in business decisions. Students will explore a variety of fundamental business issues such as forming a company, compensating employees, attracting investors, financing projects, and positioning worldwide operations. While the topics deal primarily with U.S. income taxes, the course’s conceptual framework applies irrespective of time and jurisdiction. Students seeking careers in entrepreneurship, management consulting, investment banking, venture capital, or industry, especially general management, corporate finance, or accounting, will find this course of interest. No prior knowledge of taxation is required. The principal modes of instruction are cases and articles. The final group paper enables students to tailor the course to address an area of personal interest.


Academic course objectives:


·                     Prepare students to be more effective entrepreneurs, managers, and advisors

·                     Change the perception of the role of taxes in business decisions

·                     Develop a framework to evaluate the priority of tax consequences in business decisions

·                     Generate an awareness of how taxes affect the financial returns to business decisions

·                     Provide a solid foundation of tax law in key areas


Elements of the course grade:


Class contribution       40%

Final group paper        40%

Take-home quiz           20% (due at the beginning of the third week of the course)