What Courses are Required for Northeastern’s Master of Taxation

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Tax professionals who graduate from the Online Master of Taxation (MST) program at Northeastern University can prepare to take on the challenges of tax compliance with confidence. Learning from accomplished industry experts, students build the foundation necessary for managing tax reports and helping clients or their employers make informed tax decisions.

This opportunity to pursue an Online MST is ideal for experienced professionals with at least two years of tax experience. This 16-month online program allows students to continue to work in the field while gaining a tailored degree in one of two tracks: Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals.

The five core courses in the MST program provide the infrastructure upon which students can build specialized knowledge for their intended career path.

Corporations and Shareholders

Corporations play a prominent role in the federal tax system, so it is imperative that tax professionals appreciate the issues related to this kind of business. This course provides an in-depth analysis of the tax challenges related to corporations, as well as the corresponding implications for shareholders.

Students in this course will learn about important tax concepts like capital formation and structure. An overview of corporate operations supports a deeper understanding of how tax law impacts distributions, dividends and redemptions, sales and liquidations, as well as taxable and tax-free reorganization.

Estate and Gift Taxation

Since the turn of the century, federal estate tax law has undergone several substantial changes. To keep up with the rate of change, students require not only a grasp of the basics but also strategies for staying apprised of current regulations.
The transfer of wealth and property between individuals is an important field of study for any tax professional. Whether students are preparing for a career in estate planning or are looking at other tax careers, this course can give them the practical knowledge to aid clients with this complex subject.

This course focuses on taxes applied to the transfer of wealth and property. Learners explore topics such as gift tax deductions and exclusions, state tax deductions and exemptions, estate valuation, and tax rates. In addition to the functional aspects of these laws, the course examines strategies that can be applied to the planning of wealth transfer taxation.

Federal Tax Issues and Analysis

Many tax professionals work within the intricacies of the federal tax code. Though state tax codes vary greatly, all individuals and organizations are subject to federal taxation, with few exceptions. Students who have already pursued work as a tax professional can benefit from a deeper understanding of how the tax code impacts individuals and entities. Likewise, students from adjacent fields, such as accounting, can develop context for high-level financial challenges.

Students examine tax authority as it guides action of tax issues, such as personal- and business-related financial decisions. Students also study tax structure with a focus on the income and expenses of individual taxpayers. This course analyzes property transactions, including the fundamentals of basis, gain/loss, and resulting tax treatments. To complete the scope of federal tax issues, the class also examines tax planning and research.

Partners and Partnerships

Partnerships are among the most common flow-through entities found in the U.S. Though the entity itself does not owe taxes on income, the owners of the partnership do pay taxes on their shares of the income. The rules defining how partnerships allocate income are complex and require a deep awareness of the tax code.

As partnerships grow in popularity as an organizational form, it’s vital that tax professionals develop a full understanding of this central flow-through entity. Students in this course consider a number of important topics, ranging from capital formation to partnership liquidations. Additionally, this class studies transactions between a partner and the partnership, as well as sales of partnership interests. Students can complete this course prepared to advise clients on how to allocate income generated by the partnership.

Tax Practice, Procedure & Ethics

In addition to the practicalities of tax law compliance, students need to develop an appreciation of the ethical implications inherent in day-to-day decision-making. Studying tax ethics provides students with opportunities to explore common issues they may face later in their careers. This course takes a practical approach to tax practice and procedure, providing a foundation from which students can develop good professional habits.

To be effective, tax professionals need to understand the organization of the Internal Revenue Service and how to correspond with the IRS in a number of circumstances. This course emphasizes practitioner responsibilities to ensure students can gain better insight into their professional obligations. Topics include filing requirements, procedures of appeal, civil and criminal statutes, assessments, and protests. Furthermore, the course examines the value and moral judgments within the taxation field. Learners in the class discuss the importance of client confidentiality, disclosures, and ethics relating to the public good.

Discover a satisfying career as a tax professional

After developing an in-depth understanding of taxation in these core courses, students have the option to choose from two tracks: the taxation of individuals and the taxation of entities. These options give students the opportunity to learn more about topics that match their career ambitions.

Advanced knowledge of tax law can give learners more opportunities to find a lucrative career path. The Online Master of Science in Taxation from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University can prepare students for the rigors of a career in taxation. To learn more about the Online MST program and admission requirements, click here.

Whether you’re a tax veteran or a new learner, discover how the 100% online program can prepare you with the knowledge, network, and confidence to achieve your professional ambitions.

Recommended Readings:
8 tips for becoming a finance industry thought leader and business leader
How to choose between an online or on-campus master’s in taxation


Northeastern University – MST Curriculum

Northeastern University’s Online MST Program