For accounting degree students in the Tax II class at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville, the very public national attention given to the fiscal cliff offered an opportunity to learn a great deal about the changes that have come to the U.S. tax system as a result of the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act.
On January 31, the class held an informational session, attended by faculty, staff and members of the Lakeville Chamber of Commerce, in which students brought attendees up to speed on how the changes to the tax code will affect both individuals and businesses.
“As citizens we need to become more involved and better educate ourselves so we can understand the decisions our representatives are making and shaping our lives,” said Blair Morrison, an accounting student at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville. “Projects like this can reach out to people who might not learn about new tax laws or legislation. Hopefully they will take what they learned and pass it on to their friends, co-workers, and family and become more involved with our government.”
During the session, students gave insights into a great deal of information included in the bill, including:
Individual Tax Changes
- Breakdown of updated tax brackets
- Classification of capital gains and losses
- New or updated tax credits available
Business Tax Changes
- Corporate tax breaks
- Taxes associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama Care)
- Medicare tax updates
In addition to being a resource for attendees, the session also proved to be a great applied learning experience for the students, as Tax II student David Berndt explained: “One of the biggest reasons I liked this project was because we had members from the Chamber of Commerce and they frequently commented on the topics included in the presentation. So they bridged the gap between research and the real world.”
At the end of the session, the question and answer section turned into more of an open conversation, in which students were able to discuss with attendees, some of whom were business owners, how the changes in the law will affect how their businesses will run.
With the incorporation of relevant, current events in the classroom, students at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville are exposed to real world factors that will directly affect their careers, and lives, following graduation.
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