University of Southern California
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Graduate Degrees

Master of Business Taxation

Understanding taxation is critical to understanding every business decision and many personal decisions as well. Whether starting a business or starting a family, tax planning must be done. Because of the complexity of the tax law and its pervasive influence, people facing tax decisions routinely call on tax professionals for advice in planning and structuring their affairs in order to comply with the law and to ensure economic good sense.

The Master of Business Taxation (M.B.T.) program is designed to develop the skills and expertise professionals need to assist individuals and firms trying to cope with myriad tax legislation and regulation at both the federal and local levels. While gaining technical expertise is a central aim of those enrolled in the program, this expertise is not enough. Taxation encompasses law, economics, accounting and politics, and the astute tax advisor must understand all of the factors that influence the making of tax law and its administration. As important as learning the law and mastering research skills is the ability to communicate professional insights to others. The program provides a broad understanding of taxation, an appreciation for the complexities of decision-making and practice in explaining the tax implications of various courses of action.

The M.B.T. program provides an opportunity to examine tax topics thoroughly in an organized, rigorous fashion. Both full- and part-time students examine in depth an area of taxation, such as estate planning or taxation of foreign operations. Tax practice does not provide sufficient opportunities to study all of the areas influenced by taxation, nor does it allow the time to take an in-depth look at one area. In the M.B.T. program, a student develops an overview of the important areas of tax practice and builds expertise in specific topics.

The career opportunities today in the area of taxation are as great as the need for professional tax advice. The M.B.T. program prepares men and women for major roles in planning and decision-making with firms.

Program Requirements

The program requirements include courses in taxation, accounting and business selected from the four groups of courses listed below. A minimum of 21 units must be in taxation (“T” designated) courses. Waiver of courses in Group I may be granted to students based on prior academic work of high quality from an AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, accredited school. Waiver of such courses may reduce the minimum number of units to be taken within the M.B.T. program to 30 units. The courses in Group II are required of all students. The student must choose a total of 15 units from Groups III and IV, with a minimum of 9 units from the courses listed in Group III. The student may choose up to six units from the courses in Group IV or other courses approved in advance by the director of the M.B.T. program.

Progressive degree students earning their B.S., Accounting/Master of Business Taxation must begin the graduate level course work specified in the fall semester. Students should have successfully completed all accounting course work required for a B.S., Accounting prior to the fall semester in which they begin their graduate level requirements. These students will complete the same program requirements as a full-time M.B.T. student with the exception that a maximum of one-third of the course units for the master’s degree may overlap with units for the bachelor’s degree per departmental approval. For more information on progressive degrees, see here.

Group I Courses (15 units)Units
ACCT 544Introduction to Strategic Tax Planning3
GSBA 510Accounting Concepts and Financial Reporting3
GSBA 511Managerial Economics, and
GSBA 548Corporate Finance, or
GSBA 514Foundations of Business I and II6
GSBA 518Accounting Control Systems, or
ACCT 572Corporate Accounting and Reporting3

Group II Courses (15 units)Units
GSBA 523T*Communication for Accounting Professionals, or
MOR 569*Negotiation and Deal-Making, or
BUCO 533*Managing Communication in Organizations3
ACCT 550TTax Research and Practice3
ACCT 551TTaxation of Partnerships and S-Corps3
ACCT 560TTax Theory and Its Business Applications3
ACCT 561TIncome Tax of Corporations and Their Shareholders3

*Required course to be determined by the director of master’s programs, Leventhal School of Accounting, based on prior academic work or oral and written assessment test.

Group III Courses (minimum 9 units)Units
ACCT 563TFederal Estate and Gift Taxes3
ACCT 565TEstate Planning3
ACCT 566TIncome Taxation of Estates and Trusts3
ACCT 567TTaxation of Transactions in Property3
ACCT 568TTaxation of Foreign Business Operations3
ACCT 569TAdvanced Partnership Taxation3
ACCT 570TState and Local Tax Concepts3
ACCT 571TAdvanced Individual Tax Planning3
ACCT 573TFederal Tax Procedure3
ACCT 575TTaxation of Financial Markets3
ACCT 576TTax Consolidations3
ACCT 577TCompensation3
ACCT 578TAdvanced Corporate Taxation3
ACCT 579TAdvanced International Taxation3
ACCT 580TTax Accounting Methods3
ACCT 583Accounting for Income Taxes3
ACCT 584 Family Wealth Preservation3

Group IV Courses (0-6 units)Units
GSBA 568The Economics and Marketing of a Professional Services Firm3
ACCT 574Accounting in the Global Environment3
ACCT 581Financial Statement Analysis3
ACCT 588Analysis and Implications of SEC Registration and Reporting3
ACCT 5XXOther Accounting electives3
BAEP 5XXBusiness Entrepreneurship electives3
FBE 5XXFinance and Business Economics electives3
IOM 5XXInformation and Operations Management electives3
MKT 5XXMarketing electives3
MOR 5XXManagement and Organization electives3
BUCO 533Managing Communication in Organizations3
MOR 569Negotiation and Deal-Making3