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Syllabus for Civil Tax Procedure and Ethics - LLM123


            Civil Tax Procedure addresses the structure of the US tax system; the IRS and other tax collection and enforcement agencies; administrative and judicial tribunals with jurisdiction; dealing with audits; administrative rulings; assessment of deficiencies and penalties; closing agreements; tax liens; statutes of limitation; claims for refund; hearings before the IRS Appeals Office, and civil and criminal aspects of tax fraud; ethical issues in engagement acceptance; confidentiality and the attorney-client evidentiary privilege; conflicts of interest; and tax shelters.  This course is taught by Larry Fedro, retired after 37 years of service with the IRS including serving as a national coordinator of Tax Shelters; and Robert Bloink who entered into private practice in 2001 after eight years with the IRS’ General Counsel office.

II.         PURPOSE

            Civil Tax Procedure is an LLM executive level course.  Credit for this course may not be applied to the JD degree requirements.  This course will be taught at the executive level and will employ case studies beyond IRC analysis.

  • 3 credits
  • required for US track
  • no prerequisites


            This course will involve fourteen weekly modules that are delivered through on-line instruction pursuant to current program specifications.  Each module will contain text material, study guide instruction, and weekly interactive participation.  Text material may contain a combination of code sections, cases, and commentary materials.  Study guides will contain commentary materials upon the text materials with imbedded exercises and assignments to be completed either independently or within a group of two to five persons.  Assignments may be submitted directly to the Instructor or submitted to the classroom.

             Each module, selected students may be called upon to deliver answers in the Internet based classroom to questions posed by the instructor.  Questions may be posed in case study form or in issue form.  Answers may be short (one page) form or long form (five page analysis).

             During the semester, module based audio and videotape lecture construction will be explored as well as the provision to students through streaming technology.

             During the sixteen-week semester, the students will have two technology skills and control weeks.  The first week of the course, the student will spend the time acquiring and testing the necessary accessing components of the course, including: blackboard skills, database access, proxy server access, material download, and other technical issues.  Also, students will introduce themselves and identify with each other (camaraderie and network building).  During the third week, students will be given another breather week to check the quality of their acquired technology technical skills and offsite database access in order to identify any problem areas that require immediate correcting.

             During the semester, each student will receive at least two detailed feedback sessions from the Instructor through the detailed marking of his/her/group study guide assignments and/or class participation.  Separately, the Instructor is available for office hour private counseling through email, telephone, and by residential office appointment.

            Other assignments may receive feedback and will receive a grade, recorded in the online grade book that students may assess their performance.


This online course requires attendance which is measured by (1) the modular-weekly interactive participation opportunities in the classroom, (2) mandatory weekly participation through being called upon to address the class for certain modules as well as (3) modular study guide assignments.  Missing mandatory weekly participation assignments is the equivalent of being not prepared in class and will result in a zero for that assignment.   Not turning in study guide assignments will result in a zero for that assignment.


            Grades will be determined through a combination of factors, as follows:

final exam – 50%;

weekly study guide assignments – 25%

weekly participation – 25%


Electronic texts edited and authored by the Instructor, supplemented by reference materials.  Reference materials will include source materials and secondary materials.



Research is conducted using the Internet WWW as well as, and most importantly, value added databases, such as

  • Lexis-Nexis US and foreign materials; Tax Treaties

  • BNA US and foreign materials; especially the country by country tax materials

  • BNA International

  • CCH International databases jurisdiction by jurisdiction, and its global treatises

  • CCH USA databases

  • Butterworths UK and international materials, especially Commonwealth/Caribbean case law

  • QuickLaw, especially Canadian and Commonwealth/Caribbean case law

  • Checkpoint-RIA-WGL-Gee, especially the treatises that explain planning techniques by topics, such as estate planning, for jurisdictions

  • Westlaw US and foreign materials

  • Tax Analysts, especially its superior tax treaty database, foreign law and global tax update magazines

  • Foreign Law Publishers - all foreign statues in English

  • World Compliance database

  • LLM and PhD thesis and dissertation databases

  • historical tax research using databases such as Hein and CCH

  • Matthew Bender databases

  • Lois Law e-libraries

  • amongst other databases that we subscribe to for you (see the external links in the classroom for details).

Also, the student should use the electronic book libraries and research the titles available.  Finally, the student is encouraged to use the university library or another library through a University library exchange program.


            Module 1:          Overview


            Module 2:          The IRS as an Administrative Agency   


            Module 3:          Statements of IRS Position and Practice


            Module 4:          Returns


            Module 5:          Statute of Limitations


            Module 6:          Interest


            Module 7:          Civil Penalties, Part I


            Module 8:          Civil Tax Penalties, Part II


            Module 9:          The Examination Function


            Module 10:        The Appeals Function


            Module 11:        Assessment Procedures


            Module 12:        Overpayment, Refund, Credit and Abatement


            Module 13:        The Service’s Investigatory Powers


            Module 14:        The Tax Collection Function:  Tax Liens and Levies


LLM Online Course Requirements for AAFM Financial Board Certification:

  • CWM Chartered Wealth Manager - Take LLM 131, and LLM200
  • CTEP Chartered Trust & Estate Planner - Take: LLM111 and LLM 131
  • CPM Chartered Portfolio Manager - Take LLM 222
  • CRA Chartered Risk Manager - Take LLM106 and 110
  • CAM - Chartered Asset Manager - Take LLM 104 and LLM 105
  • CMA - Chartered Market Analyst - Take LLM 333 (Must of Masters Degree, JD or CPA)
  • RFS - Registered Financial Specialist - LLM 101 and LLM 102







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