U.S. Federal Income Taxation of Individuals 2017
Deborah A Geier, Cleveland State University Cleveland Marshall College of Law
Copyright Year: 2017
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
Conditions of Use
The text covers all the subjects/statutes that you would expect in an individual income tax text. It does not provide a Table of Cases or Table of Statutes or Regulations. However, the Table of Contents is sufficiently detailed that one is able... read more
The text covers all the subjects/statutes that you would expect in an individual income tax text. It does not provide a Table of Cases or Table of Statutes or Regulations. However, the Table of Contents is sufficiently detailed that one is able to find cases and statutes through the TOC.
The statutes, administrative and judicial materials reproduced in the book are accurate. The author's comments and explanations are not biased.
The text is very current, including legislation that passed only six months ago. The author begins the text with three chapters on the framework of individual taxation, some economic theory and some tax policy. Throughout the book, as she discusses the statutory material, she refers to this framework. By helping the student to understand the whole framework -- the "whys" and "hows" of taxation, the book will stay relevant even through all the changes that will happen to the tax statutes. To date, the author has updated this text every year to incorporate changes to the law and relevant judicial and administrative decisions and interpretations.
The author uses many examples and problems to help clarify the statutes, in addition to her written explanations. Tax has its own language and these examples will help many students navigate that language.
The author begins the text with a framework for individual taxation and with policy and economics discussion. Throughout the book, she refers to some of these concepts discussed in the early chapters so that the student can understand how the statute studied fits into that framework. In this respect, the book is consistent. The author consistently provides examples and problems to illuminate the statutory material.
The book is divided into manageable chapters, generally focused on one area such as capital gain, compensation, debt, etc. While some of the chapters might be able to be studied in a different order, I think it would be difficult for the student.
The organization is different from other federal income tax books I've used. For example, exclusions are not all in one chapter, nor are credits. Instead, they are found with other statutes of the same topic. For example, the exclusion for gifts is in the same material as the basis for property received as a gift. This was confusing to me for the first few chapters until I better understood the organization of the book. But, because the author refers to the framework she discussed in the first few chapters of the book, this organization should be clear enough for the student.
All the links I tried worked well. I read the book using an Ipad and using the pdf version on my laptop and the links worked well in both cases. I noticed no distortions.
I noticed no grammatical errors.
I didn't notice that the problems used characters with a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds, but tax problems really don't lend themselves to that. I didn't notice anything in the book that was culturally insensitive or offensive.
I think this book is worth trying with my students. It adequately covers the material. Because the author takes the time in the first few chapters to establish a framework for individual tax, the students will take away more from this book than simply learning the statutes and the law. That will help them navigate changes to the law that happen long after they are finished studying this course.
This book needs editing. It focuses on the theory behind tax laws and does not cover the actual issues that tax attorneys or paralegals need to address on behalf of their clients. For example, the amount of text explaining gross income is... read more
This book needs editing. It focuses on the theory behind tax laws and does not cover the actual issues that tax attorneys or paralegals need to address on behalf of their clients. For example, the amount of text explaining gross income is overboard as this is not a real world issue. The book does not provide a comprehensive view of federal individual income tax issues. Tax credits are barely covered. Also, because the author does not appear to have prepared tax returns, she has entirely skipped covering tax planning advice for individuals that one would be aware of if they understood the details of individual tax returns.
The book seems to be well researched in terms of the point the author covered.
Only references to the ACA were up to date. Overall, did not seem to be comprehensively updated.
Needs significant editing. Also, the book would benefit from a table of contents that broke down each subject covered in the chapters.
The book is consistent in terms of the "voice" of the author is consistent. That being said, that should not be part of a text book, but more appropriate to a creative writing exercise.
Each chapter needs to be clearly broken down into smaller parts. I would appreciate a few paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter that addresses what topics will be covered in the chapter.
The author tends to ramble. Topics like capital gains and losses are not explained in a clear and concise fashion.
I did not notice any interface issues.
I did not notice grammatical errors.
I did not detect any culturally offensive text.
The author is clearly intelligent, but needs an editor with real world experience.
Table of Contents
Unit I: The Core Structures of Income and Consumption Taxation and Tax Policy
- Chapter 1: The Essential Structure of the Income Tax
- Chapter 2: Consumption Taxation and Our Hybrid Income/Consumption
- Chapter 3: Ethical Debates, Economic Theories, and Real-World
- Chapter 4: The Contours of “Capital Expenditure” v. Expense” (or Current Depreciation)
Unit II: Two Types of Gross Income:
- Chapter 5: § 61(a)(1) Compensation
- Chapter 6: § 61 Residual Gross Income
Unit III: The Possibilities for Income Shifting
- Chapter 7: Gifts and Bequests
- Chapter 8: Income Shifting in the Happy Family
- Chapter 9: Income Shifting in the Fractured Family
Unit IV: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Debt but Were Afraid To Ask
- Chapter 10: Borrowing and Lending
- Chapter 11: The Bad-Debt Deduction (for Lenders) and Debt-Discharge Income (for Borrowers)
- Chapter 12: Debt and Property
Unit V: The Ownership and Disposition of Property
- Chapter 13: Properly Accounting for, and the Nonrecognition of,
- Chapter 14: Depreciation and Amortization in a Realization-Based Income Tax
- Chapter 15: Capital Gains and Losses
- Chapter 16: Tax Shelters
Unit VI: Distinguishing Between IncomeProducing Activities and Personal Consumption
and the Personal Consumption Tax Expenditures
- Chapter 17: On Human Capital
- Chapter 18: Homes, Health, Charity, and More
- Chapter 19: Gambling and Hobby Losses
- Chapter 20: Allocating Costs Between Income Production and Personal
Unit VII: The Taxable Year and Methods of Accounting
- Chapter 21: The Taxable Year
- Chapter 22: Methods of Accounting
About the Book
This textbook is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise; rather, it is intended to be far more useful than that for beginning tax law students by equipping the novice not merely with unmoored detail but rather with a rich blueprint that illuminates the deeper structural framework on which that detail hangs (sometimes crookedly). Chapter 1 outlines the conceptual meaning of the term “income” for uniquely tax purposes (as opposed to financial accounting or trust law purposes, for example) and examines the Internal Revenue Code provisions that translate this larger conceptual construct into positive law. Chapter 2 explores various forms of consumption taxation because the modern Internal Revenue Code is best perceived as a hybrid income-consumption tax that also contains many provisions—for wise or unwise nontax policy reasons—that are inconsistent with both forms of taxation. Chapter 3 then provides students with the story of how we got to where we are today, important context about the distribution of the tax burden, the budget, and economic trends, as well as material on ethical debates, economic theories, and politics as they affect taxation.
Armed with this larger blueprint, students are then in a much better position to see how the myriad pieces that follow throughout the remaining 19 chapters fit into this bigger picture, whether comfortably or uncomfortably. For example, they are in a better position to appreciate how applying the income tax rules for debt to a debt-financed investment afforded more favorable consumption tax treatment creates tax arbitrage problems. Congress and the courts then must combat these tax shelter opportunities (sometimes ineffectively) with both statutory and common law weapons. Stated another way, students are in a better position to appreciate how the tax system can sometimes be used to generate (or combat) unfair and economically inefficient rent-seeking behavior.
About the Contributors
Professor Geier is a summa cum laude graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and a magna cum laude graduate of the Case Western Reserve University Law School, where she was Articles Editor of the Law Review. Following her graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Monroe G. McKay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Before joining the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty in 1989, she was an associate in the tax group with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. She was a co-author of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions of “Federal Income Tax: Doctrine, Structure, and Policy” (LexisNexis, with Joseph M. Dodge and J. Clifton Fleming), before writing this textbook in an effort to reduce student textbook costs.