This course provides an introduction to tax law research, sources of authority, and the IRS audit process. The course then delves into three additional taxes: the self-employment tax, the alternative minimum tax, and the fairly new Medicare Contribution tax (also known as the Net Investment Income tax). The course also explores the estimated tax rules, and concludes with an overview of various tax traps, and IRS penalties.

8-1 Identify the purpose of a given provision of the federal tax law.
8-2 Identify characteristics of the audit process.
8-3 Identify the sources of authority for reliance on tax-related issues.
8-4 Identify the steps necessary to research a tax problem properly.
8-5 Identify tax preference items or adjustments for the alternative minimum tax for noncorporate taxpayers.
8-6 Analyze a situation to calculate the alternative minimum tax, or Medicare contribution tax, for individual taxpayers.
8-7 Analyze a situation to calculate the self-employment tax.
8-8 Identify characteristics or consequences of tax traps or tax penalties.
8-9 Analyze a situation to calculate tax penalties or penalty taxes.
8-10 Analyze a situation to identify tax traps present.
8-11 Analyze a situation to identify the potential for the imposition of a tax penalty. 8-12 Identify ethical considerations in tax planning.

Author: Michael B. Cates, MS, CRPS®, CFP®

Michael B. Cates, MS, CRPS®, CFP® joined the College in 1986, and is the professor for the Income Tax Planning course of the CFP Certification Professional Education Program. He received his CFP® certification in 1995, and completed the College’s Master of Science degree program in 1997. Mike is also the lead professor for the introductory Income Tax Planning course in the College’s master’s program. In addition to his responsibilities at the College, Mike also maintains a tax planning and preparation firm in Aurora, Colorado. You can reach Mike at

Complexity Level: Intermediate