FINA 250 Module 2: The Impact of Taxes on Income/Tax Planning

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  • Identify and understand the major federal income tax features that affect all taxpayers
  • Describe other taxes that must pay
  • Understand what is taxable income and how taxes are determined
  • Choose the tax form that’s right for you, file and survive an audit if necessary
  • Calculate your income taxes
  • Minimize your taxes

Reading For This Module:

Chapter 4 – Keown, Arthur, “Personal Finance: Turning Money into Wealth, Prentice Hall Publishing. 6thedition

Textbook PowerPoints (.pptx)

Opening Vignettes:

Is understanding your own taxes something that only bravest and most talented can do?

Attributes of the World's Bravest Man: He walks tightropes! he juggles chain saws! He wrestles alligators! He figures out his own taxes!
© San Diego Union Tribune


This module considers the important role of tax laws and regulations within the context of financial planning and investment management. Other non-income-based taxes such as sales taxes and property taxes are also introduced. The “pay-as-you-go” tax collection methods are addressed to help students better understand their role as taxpayers.

This module also introduces the concept of taxable income and illustrates specific tax calculations. Tax rates, tax forms, and tax features are outlined and discussed to promote better tax planning as a component of the financial plan.

Also discussed are strategies for filing late or amended returns, for preparing for an audit, and for seeking tax preparation assistance.

Dr. Waller Lecture: Tax Planning (video) (13:48)

This video lecture discusses the importance of tax planning and corresponds with chapter 4 in textbook.

Tax Planning Lecture PowerPoint (.pptx 27sl 554KB)

Tax Basics

The Basics of Taxes

The Basics of Taxes (.pptx 22sl 767KB)

Understanding Your Paychecks and Tax

Forms (.pptx 28sl 434KB)

The first check you get can come with some surprises if you are not prepared. Learn about what is taken out and how to read the annotations that come with your paycheck

Understanding Your Paycheck Essentials (.pdf 3pp 139KB)


  • Taxable income is a function of AGI, deductions and exemptions
  • Apart from federal income tax, there are Social Security and Medicare taxes, state and local taxes, excise, sales, property, and gift and estate taxes
  • To calculate taxes, determine total income, adjusted gross income, taxable income, then the taxes your owe
  • It is important to know if you must file a return, when to file, use the right form, and the information needed for the return
  • Obtain the help you need for filing returns from the IRS, self-help tax books and computer programs and tax specialists

Practice Quiz (does not count toward grade)

Open practice quiz


Paycheck Trivia (.pptx 37sl 370KB)Paycheck Essentials Trivia

For review only, launch in presentation mode and play 17 questions like Jeopardy! to reinforce your knowledge of paychecks and taxes.


Take the quiz for this module on Canvas.


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