TAXX 401 (Taxation II) is a three-credit upper-level business course that is designed to be taken as a second course dealing with the basic concepts and procedures associated with the Canadian federal income tax system, as well as the federal goods and services and harmonized sales taxes. This course has TAXX 301 (Taxation I) or an equivalent introductory taxation course as a prerequisite and it is not available for challenge.
Taxation II is made up of ten lessons, and the students grade is from two assignments worth five percent each, one tax software application assignment (Assignment five) weighing ten percent, a midterm examination worth thirty-five percent, and the final examination for the remaining forty-five percent. The ten lessons within this course cover topics such as partnerships, GST and HST, taxable income, rollovers under section 85, trusts, estate planning, and international issues in taxation. Assignment five requires students to download tax return software from the textbook companion website to complete and submit one tax return.
To receive credit for TAXX 401, students must achieve an overall grade of at least a “D” or fifty percent and must achieve a grade of at least fifty percent on assignment five and on the midterm and final examinations. Completion of assignments one, two, and practice assignment three are not required to receive credit for the course. The examinations for this course are written in the traditional pen and paper format. To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University’s online Calendar.
Students should note that they are required to download ProFile tax return software from the textbook companion website to complete Assignment 5. ProFile will only run on a Windows operating system. Mac computer users may be able to run ProFile by using third-party software.
We spoke to a student, Eve Daneva, in the Bachelor of Commerce program who has taken the course. She provides a bit of an introduction, stating “Hello! My name is Eve and I transferred to Athabasca University after completing a three-year college diploma. I am now working on obtaining the last few credits toward my bachelors before moving on to CPA certification. I am currently working at a small local accounting firm here in Barrie, Ontario, with my main work revolving around corporate NTRs, corporate tax returns, some bookkeeping, and personal tax return preparation. I work full-time in between AU semesters and part-time during semesters.”
When asked to explain the course to students, Eve states “This course deals with corporate taxation concepts, providing a very detailed walkthrough of accounting to tax income adjustments, calculating corporate tax, corporate tax planning to minimize shareholder tax, GST/HST returns, and other more complex corporate taxation factors.”
Eve confirms for us that the “Course is made up of three graded assignments (two at 5% each and one at 10%), a paper midterm (35%), and paper final (45%). There are also two other assignments you may complete and grade yourself via the answer sheet, however, they are not for official grades but do help with exam prep. The first two assignments are similar to the study problems at the end of each chapter and relatively easy, the last assignment requires you to use tax software and complete a corporate tax return. If you have never worked with tax software (and I mean T2 software, T1s are much easier to do), this requires more reading of the textbook and might take you some time so definitely do not wait until the end of your contract! Both the midterm and final examinations have multiple-choice and chapter problems. The best practice is to go through the exam prep for each lesson (you can find PDFs on the Pearson textbook website) as well as the self study problems. Do not assume the exams only have questions similar to the assignments! Make sure you practise and understand all types of chapter problems because anything can be drawn from the test bank for the exams. I found that reading the textbook was 100% necessary for this course.”
When asked if she would recommend this course to other students, she states “I enjoyed a more in-depth view on corporate tax concepts and really did appreciate how much I learned from this. What I did not like about this course was the lack of exam preparation info. All you are given is the general guidance to practice all of the problems from each lesson, but this adds up to a ton of problems! It would have been helpful to know what general concepts to focus on, but instead you are just told to study everything which can be very time consuming and overwhelming.”
As for any tips or tricks to completing this course, she states “Make sure you know how to do every single type of question from each lesson. Any one of them can pop up on the exams so do not rely on the assignment questions exclusively.”
When asked how communication with her tutor was, she explains that the “Tutor was helpful and turnaround time on assignments and exams is within guidelines.”
Whether TAXX 401 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above ae of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting material surrounding the topic of taxation.