Accountax School of Business A Profile in Education




The Individual Tax Preparation Course

This Course covers tax law topics that incorporate Tax Law/Tax Preparation/ Tax Updates. The study material has been designed for a 6-8 week review, depending on your study plan.

This review course has been designed to incorporate individual topics in tax law, tax theory, and tax updates. The course was designed for students who want to study basic individual taxation. The material has been updated to reflect the 2017 tax year. Students who complete this course for individual tax preparation will receive a certificate of completion.


  • Each test will include a maximum of 50 multiple choice and true and false questions.

  • Students must answer a minimum of 70% of test questions correctly to pass the Basic Tax Prep course comprehensive test.

  • Students are permitted to attempt the test an unlimited number of times

  • Students will receive a certificate of completion.

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The Individual Tax Course will cover the following subject areas:



Section 1: Preliminary Work and Taxpayer Data 15%

1 Use of prior years' returns for comparison, accuracy, and carryovers for current year's return
2 Taxpayer biographical information (e.g., date of birth, marital status, dependents) 
3 Residency status and/or citizenship (e.g., citizen, visas, green cards, resident alien or non-resident alien)
4 Taxpayer filing status (e.g., single, MFJ, MFS, QW, HOH)  
5 Sources of all taxable and non-taxable income (e.g., interest, wages, business, sales of property, dividends, rental income, flow-through entities, alimony received) 
6 Sources of applicable adjustments to gross income (e.g., retirement plans, HSAs, alimony paid, health insurance, moving expenses, self employment tax)   
7 Sources of applicable deductions (e.g., itemized, standard)
8 Sources of applicable credits (e.g., education, foreign tax, retirement, energy, dependent care) 
9 Sources of tax payments and refundable credits (e.g., withholding, estimated payments, earned income tax credit)
10 Previous IRS correspondence with taxpayer
11 Additional required returns filed and taxes paid (e.g., employment, gifts, and information returns) 
12 Special filing requirements (e.g., foreign income, presidentially declared disaster areas, Form 1040-NR)
13 Foreign account and asset reporting (e.g., FBAR, Form 8938)


14 Filing requirements for tax returns and extensions (e.g., dates) 
15 Personal exemptions including dependents 
17 Minor children's unearned income (Kiddie tax)
18 Taxability of wages, salaries and other earnings (e.g., earned income, statutory employee)


Section 2 Income and Assets

2.1 Income

1 Taxability of wages, salaries and other earnings (e.g., earned income, statutory employee)

2 Interest Income (e.g., taxable and non-taxable)
3 Dividends and other distributions from mutual funds, corporations, and other entities (e.g., qualified dividends)
4 Rental income and expenses (e.g., vacation homes, not-for-profit rentals, calculation of depreciation)
5 Gambling income and allowable deductions (e.g., W-2G, documentation)
6 Tax treatment of forgiveness of debt (e.g., 1099C, foreclosures)
7 Tax treatment of a U.S. citizen/resident with foreign income (e.g., individual tax treaties, form 2555) Other income (e.g., scholarships, fellowships, Social Security benefits, barter income, independent contractor income, hobby income, alimony, non-taxable combat pay
8 Other Income ( Scholarships, Barter, Income, Hobby Income, Alimony, Non-Taxable Combat Pay, Unearned Income, Taxable Recoveries, NOL, Virtual Currency)
9 Constructive receipt of income (e.g., cash vs. accrual)
10 Constructive dividends (e.g., payments of personal expenses)
11 Passive income and loss (e.g., loss limitations)
12 Pass- Through Entities ( Schedule K-1. Income, Deductions, Basis
13 Royalties and related expenses
14 State and Local Income Tax Refund and Other Itemized Deduction Recoveries
15 1099 Misc Reporting, Irregularities, and Corrections
Section 2: Income and Assets

2. 2 Retirement income 

1 Basis in a traditional IRA (Form 8606)
2 Comparison of and distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs
3 Distributions from qualified and non-qualified plans (e.g., pre-tax, after-tax, rollovers, 1099R)
4 Excess contributions and tax treatment (e.g., penalties)
5 Prohibited transactions and tax effects
6 IRA conversions and recharacterizations (Form 8606)
7 Required minimum distributions and excess accumulations
8 Loans from IRC section 401(k) plans and other qualified plans
9 Taxability of Social Security benefits
10 Taxability of Unrealized Appreciation ( NUA)
11 Tax Implications for Inherited Retirement AccountsTaxability of Social Security benefits
12 Foreign Pensions and Retirement Income

Section 2: Income and Assets

2.3 Property: Real and Personal 

1 Capital gains and losses (e.g., netting effect, short-term, long-term)
2 Basis of assets (e.g., purchased, gifted or inherited)
3 Basis of stock after stock splits and/or stock dividends (e.g., research, schedules, brokerage records)
4 Sale or disposition of property
5 Sale of a personal residence (e.g., Sec 121 exclusions)
6 Installment sales (e.g., related parties, original cost, date of acquisition, possible recalculations and recharacterization)
7 Options (e.g., stock, commodity, ISO, ESPP)
8 Like-kind exchange
9 Non-business bad debts (e.g., documentation required)
Part 4  Self- Employment Tax
1 Self-employment tax
2 Retirement contribution limits and deductibility (e.g., earned compensation requirements)
3 Health savings accounts
4 Other adjustments to income (e.g., student loan interest, alimony, moving expenses, write-in adjustments)
5 Self- Employed Health Insurance

Section 3: Deductions and Credits 25%

Part 1 Itemized deductions

1 Medical and dental expenses
2 Various taxes (e.g., state income, personal property, real estate)
3 Interest expense (e.g., mortgage interest, investment interest, tracing rules, points)
4 Charitable contributions (e.g., cash, non-cash, 50% vs. 30%, documentation required)
5 Nonbusiness casualty and theft losses
6 Miscellaneous itemized deductions
7  Employee Travel, Transportation and Entertainment Expenses
8 Other employee expenses (e.g., education, reimbursement, eligibility, home office)
9 AGI limitations
10 Allowed itemized deductions for Form 1040-NR
Part 2 Credits
1 Child and dependent care credit
2 Child tax credits
3 Education credits
4 Foreign tax credit
5 Earned income tax credit (e.g., paid preparer's earned income credit checklist, eligibility and disallowance)
6 Retirement contribution credit
7 Adoption credits (e.g., carryovers, limitations, special needs)
8 Other credits (refundable and non-refundable)
Section 4: Taxation and Advice 20%

Part 1 Taxation  

1 Alternative minimum tax 
2 Credit for prior year minimum tax
3 Penalties and exceptions on premature distributions from qualified retirement plans and IRAs Wednesday
4 Household employees
5 Underpayment penalties and interest
6 Conditions for filing a claim for refund (e.g., amended returns)
7 Self employment tax
8 Excess social security withholding
9 Tax provisions for members of the clergy
Part 2 Advising the Individual Taxpayer 
1 Reporting obligations for individuals
2 Property sales (e.g., homes, stock, businesses)
3 Education planning (e.g., lifetime learning credit, IRC section 529 plans) 
4 Estate planning (e.g., gift versus inheritance, trusts, family partnerships, charitable giving, LTC, life insurance)
5 Retirement planning (e.g., annuities, IRAs, employer plans, early retirement rules, required minimum distribution, beneficiary ownership)
6 Marriage and divorce (e.g., divorce settlement, common-law, community property)
7 Items that will affect future returns (e.g., carryovers, net operating loss, Schedule D, Form 8801)
8 Injured spouse
9 Innocent spouse
10 Estimated tax
11 Adjustments, deductions, and credits for tax planning
12 Use of capital gain rates versus ordinary income rates (e.g., character of transaction)
Section 5. Specialized Returns for Individuals 15%

Part 1 Estate tax

1 Gross estate
2 Taxable estate: calculations and payments
3 Unified credit
4 Jointly-held property
5 Life insurance and taxable estate
6 Marital deduction and other marital issues
7 IRAs and retirement plans
8 Filing requirements
Part 2 Gift tax 
1 Gift-splitting
2 Annual per donee exclusion
3 Unified credit
4 Effect on estate tax (e.g., Generation skipping transfer tax)
5 Filing requirements
Part 3 FBAR 
1 Filing Requirements and Due Dates
2 Covered Accounts
3 Potential Penalties
4 Distinctions Between FBAR and Foprm 8938