A concentration in tax strategy can enhance performance in core tax roles. It will also allow students to explore career opportunities with large firms that have tax compliance and consulting practice lines. Almost all public accounting firms offer extensive tax strategy advisory services to their clients.
Rather than a downstream outcome of corporate strategies and related transactions, tax is increasingly viewed by corporations as a strategic element that must be aligned with overall corporate strategy. Viewing tax as a strategic tool requires taking into account the tax implications of business activities and transactions with the goal of minimizing tax risks (compliance risks, reputational risks and so on) while at the same time adding value to the rest of the business.
A company’s tax strategy actively considers the impact of taxes on a variety of business decisions including but not limited to organization form (choice of business entity), mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, multistate and global business expansion and supply chain management with the goal of managing tax risk and optimizing the effective tax rate.
As part of the core curriculum, all students take Advanced Tax. Students in the Tax Strategy specialization will also take two business management courses in the tax area with wide application to tax strategy issues. They will also take three, one hour credit tax modules.
- MBA 525 – Taxes and Business Strategy (3 credits)
This course focuses on the importance of tax considerations in business decisions, and provides a framework for understanding how taxes affect business strategy and financing decisions in a wide variety of settings.
- BUS 590 – Corporate Tax Strategy (3 credits)
Discusses the tax and auditing aspects related to income tax provisions of publicly-held multinational corporations’ financial statements and accompanying disclosures. Particular emphasis is placed on income tax risks, controls to help mitigate such risks, and substantive audit procedures related to the income tax provision.
- ACC 535 – Jurisdictional Tax ( 3 credits)
This course will focus on the tax implications of cross-jurisdictional and multi-jurisdictional business activities. From a state tax standpoint, focus will be placed on the income taxation of multistate transactions for both products and services, including nexus and apportionment, and we will look at the difference in state nexus rules for income tax vs. sales and use tax. From an international tax standpoint, focus will be placed on transfer pricing between US companies and their foreign subsidiaries, including understanding the analysis required to support and document the appropriateness of the intercompany pricing. We will also evaluate how the international provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 impacted the effective income tax rates of multinational corporations. Finally, we will evaluate, on an industry basis, the impact on income of the utilization of tax havens by multinational corporations.