JATA - Summer 1979

Volume 1, No. 1

The Master's Degree in Taxation: An Assessment of its Growth and Future

Barry C. Broden, Myron S. Lubell

ATA Summary

In 1973, the authors studied graduate business school programs in the U.S. that offered degrees in taxation and noted a lack of academic training programs in taxation.  The purpose of the paper was to assess and analyse the growth of graduate tax programs since that time and to determine the extent to which the academic world had filled the void in graduate tax education.  The authors presented a list of universities offering a graduate tax program, a summary of graduate tax course offerings, enrollment and faculty statistics, and a continuum that extended from a Type I program (Academic) to a Type II program (Professional).  The authors concluded that the void in the number of graduate tax accounting programs and students had been eliminated.  However, due to rapid growth, some students and programs appeared to be of dubious quality.  The authors therefore suggested consideration of accreditation of graduate tax programs in the 1980s.  The authors still perceived a void in the availability of qualified PhDs in taxation.

Research Methodology: The information was presented primarily for academic readers.  Data was gathered and presented either in tables or graphs with no statistical analysis.  Conclusions reached were almost entirely the opinions of the authors based on their subjective interpretation of the data.  

Capital Gain Yielding Bonds Produce Higher Than Expected After Tax Bond Yields

Ron N. Bagley, James W. Jenkins

ATA Summary

The authors advocate making bond investment decisions on the basis of after-tax yields calculated in such a way to consider:
(1)  that different types of income are involved and are taxed at different rates, and
(2)  that there is time value to deferred taxation of capital gain income.
The article also describes the financial characteristics of the bond market, discusses the federal tax treatment of bonds, and concludes that taxable bonds, when selling for a discount, are quite competitive after tax with municipal bonds.

Research Methodology: The authors adjust a simple math model to include three considerations:  (1)  All the income on taxable bonds is not necessarily ordinary income, (2)  All the yield on tax-exempt bonds is not necessarily excludible, and (3)  There is time value to deferred taxation of capital gain income.  There is no sophisticated statistical analysis.

The Net Economic Effect of a "Widow's Election" in the Community Property States

Sally Morrow Jones

ATA Summary

The paper analyzes the widow's election in terms of its net economic effect upon the electing taxpayer and addresses charges that the election creates a sizeable and unjustifiable tax benefit to residents of community property states.  The author concludes that transactions that have identical net economic effects are being treated differently for tax purposes.  However, the difference is not always beneficial to taxpayers in community property jurisdictions.

Research Methodology:  The article presents four alternative situations and the resulting tax effects to demonstrate the effect of the widow's election.  No sophisticated statistical analysis performed.  

Letter from the President

To ATA Members and Visitors,

The American Taxation Association (ATA) is home to a broad group of members with interests in tax research, policy, practice, and education. We are in a time of transition that includes the ongoing pandemic; both AAA’s and ATA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives; and the CPA Evolution. I thank our members Kirsten Cook, Diana Falsetta, and Annette Nellen for their service in these endeavors. I also thank Tim Rupert for his service as AAA Director focusing on Segments.

Our last mid-year meeting was virtual and could not have happened without our excellent ATA leadership. Thank you to Jeri Seidman, Mollie Adams, Bridget Stromberg, and their respective committees for their flexibility and tenacity in organizing their portions of the conference...

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Anna Catherine Fowler

In Memoriam,
Anna Catherine Fowler received her BS in accounting from the University of Alabama, after which she practiced for several years as a CPA. After moving to Texas with her husband Jim, she earned her MBA and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

She joined the faculty of the business school of the University of Texas in 1977 as the first female tenure track professor hired by the accounting department. She remained at UT until she retired in 2004 as the John Arch White Emeritus Professor in Business.

During Anna’s distinguished academic career, her research and teaching interests focused on estate and gift taxation. She was an active member of the AICPA’s Tax Division and the American Taxation Association, for which she served as 1993-94 president.

In 2002, Anna received the American Taxation Association’s highest honor, the Ray M. Sommerfeld Outstanding Tax Educator Award. She also received the Texas Society of CPA’s Outstanding Educator Award.

Anna and Jim made the most of their retirement years, delighting in travel all over the world. They finally settled in a retirement community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Even after Jim’s death in 2019, Anna continued to travel with friends, root for her beloved Alabama football team, and live her life to the fullest. She passed away peacefully on October 19, 2021.

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