Basic Income Tax - 8th Edition
William P. Kratzke, University of Memphis
Copyright Year: 2016
ISBN 13: 9781365302886
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
Conditions of Use
Basic Income Tax 8th ed is well organized and does cover the basic theories and cases one needs to be familiar with on the subject. There is a table of contents at the beginning of the book which contains active links to each item in the index. ... read more
Basic Income Tax 8th ed is well organized and does cover the basic theories and cases one needs to be familiar with on the subject. There is a table of contents at the beginning of the book which contains active links to each item in the index. There is no glossary, and no subject index at the end of the book. Because the book is written with a specific audience in mind (law students) it uses law terminology which can be beyond the background of other students or audiences. The text is not useful as a reference on how to complete any specific tax forms, but it was not written for that purpose. This is a foundational text, and not a specifics of tax mechanics text.
I did not find any errors, inaccurate statements, references, or general topic conclusions that I felt were significant. Having said that, I am a tax professional and not an attorney by trade. I found the topics covered given the context of the work valuable.
The 8th edition of Basic Income Tax is listed as being the 2020-2021 edition. The notice at the beginning of the test states it was updated as of May 30, 2020 and incorporates the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act information. It is well accepted that any text used to teach federal individual tax preparation must be updated annually with changes in the IRS regulations, rules and policies. This text focuses on the basic underlying concepts of gross income, exclusions from income and the allowable deductions (both business and individual). This broad foundational focus will allow the text to be used for longer periods of time without updates. Although not a frequent event, case law could come along that would necessitate a revision. The authors would likely be in a position to have some advance knowledge of such an event. The text does a reasonable job of relating tax law concepts to other accounting and finance topics such as Net Present Value calculations and a businesses choice of accounting method (cash of accrual).
When I selected this book for review, I was looking for a Federal Income Taxation book to use for an introduction to federal individual income tax preparation course at a 2 year technical college. This text does not meet my needs. But it was written for a specific audience; law students. Because of the specific intended audience, legal terminology, case law citations, and tax code and regulation citations are used frequently. There is no terminology glossary, or index of cases sited at the end of the text. This text is meant to be used with access to other tools, like the codification, a case law reference subscription, and a law dictionary. The write does write in an easy to read manner, and the flow is logical, even to an accountant like myself.
The text is organized in a logical flow. There are no images, or illustrations. The text uses numbering, bullet points, italics, indentation and subchapter headings to indicate organization of the topics. The only tables found are the Present Value Tables. I reviewed the text in a download of the word version. There are definitions and some formulas provided in smaller text boxes. On my laptop at 100% text size in word, and in book reading view, these added text boxes were too small to read. When clicked on, they did appear larger, and could be enlarged even further. The text does build on concepts presented in earlier chapters, so the cases cited do refer back to the earlier chapter. I would have liked for the text to have page and paragraph numbers showing, so students can easily support in written assignments where they found information (similar to the Bible chapter and verse numbering).
Basic Income Tax 8th ed is well organized and does cover the basic theories and cases one needs to be familiar with on the subject. The text presents the learning objectives in a logical manner. Each chapter builds on the concepts learned in the previous chapter, which is normal for foundational courses. I would have liked for the learning objectives for each chapter to be listed at the beginning as well as at the end of each chapter, like a quick chapter overview with a bullet list of objectives.
I used a download of the MS Word version for this review. This worked well for me. There are no images, or illustrations in the text. There are definitions and some formulas provided in smaller, outlined text boxes. On my laptop at 100% text size in MS Word, and in book reading view, the content in the added text boxes was too small to read. When clicked on, the content did appear larger, and could be enlarged even further. The interface was not an issue or a hinderance to my use and reading of the text on a small laptop.
I found no grammatical errors. I also found no mathematical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive. The author does state in the preface that the text intentionally alternates with each chapter the use of singular indefinite pronouns. I did not find this an issue, nor a distraction, while reading.
I enjoyed reading the text, and would have read several of the cases mentioned if I could have found them with the citation using google. The text often asked questions and then cited a case, without providing the answer to the question. For law students, I can see the value in this. It left me searching other sources for the answers to the questions. I was looking for an open source text to use in an ACC124 Intro to federal individual taxation, at a 2 year technical college. This text is not an option for me to use. But I very much enjoyed reading it, as it would be interesting provide a link to in my LMS for certain topical discussions. I appreciate this text, but my search continues. Thank You.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The Government Raises Money: Introduction to Some Basic Concepts of Taxes and Taxing Income
- Chapter 2: What Is Gross Income: Section 61 and the Sixteenth Amendment
- Chapter 3: Exclusions from Gross Income
- Chapter 4: Loans and Cancellation of Indebtedness
- Chapter 5: Progressivity and Assignment of Income
- Chapter 6: Deductions: Business Expenses
- Chapter 7: Personal Deductions and the Standard Deduction
- Chapter 8: Tax Consequences of Divorce and Intra-Family Transactions
- Chapter 9: Timing of Income and Deductions: Annual Accounting and Accounting Principles
- Chapter 10: Character of Income and Computation of Tax
About the Book
This book is the 8th edition of a basic income tax text. This edition incorporates the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It is intended to be a readable text, suitable for a three-hour course for a class comprised of law students with widely different backgrounds. The text integrates several of the CALI drills that Professor James Edward Maule (Villanova University) prepared.
About the Contributors
Professor William Kratzke is a Cecil C. Humphreys Professor of Law at the University of Memphis. He received his B.A. in Political Science and the Far Eastern & Russian Institute from the University of Washington in 1971. This naturally caused him to be interested in attending law school. He received his J.D. from Valparaiso University in 1974 and was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review’s editorial board. He received his LL.M. from Georgetown University in 1977.
Professor William Kratzke teaches tax law courses at the University of Memphis. He has been a faculty member there since 1979. He has taught courses across the curriculum. In addition to tax courses, he has taught trademarks, torts, civil procedure, world trade law, economic analysis, and other courses. He visited Santa Clara University and the University of Mississippi. He received Fulbright Teaching Awards in 1997 (Moldova) and 2001-2002 (Russia).
Professor Kratzke has written in the areas of tax law, trademark law, tort law, and antitrust law.