Grad student with hand up to ask questions

By Tram Le, Spreading SALTovation for Tax Notes

Tax preparation and tax advisory services are not the same thing. It follows that the individuals doing tax preparation and tax advisory services are separate as well. Some tax professionals know deductions and credits and understand the facts and figures required to complete returns and achieve compliance. Other tax professionals dig into the laws, rules, and regulations and, applying knowledge and experience, take a position on tax treatment for a particular business and transaction.

Few providers cross easily between those two facets of state and local tax — knowing the numbers and understanding the law — which can leave their clients exposed by what they do not know. This is the setting I address in my classroom at the University of Texas in Arlington, where I teach graduate students the intricacies — and duality — of state and local tax. In the seats are the future CPAs, accountants, lawyers, and others who have an interest, for one reason or another, in finding out more about a complex and specialized area of tax where their perspective and experience may be limited.

Read how Tram Le, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she teaches highly technical SALT topics, handles the discrepancy and bridges the gap in knowledge and understanding with her graduate-level students, including:

  • Explanation of the two sides of state and local tax
  • Understanding different businesses, industries, and tax characteristics
  • Teaching practitioners and businesses how to differentiate compliance from advisory solutions

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