Course Catalog

Master of Science in Taxation

The Gonzaga Master of Science in Taxation (MS.Tax) program is designed to equip students with a strong technical skill set, enhanced communication skills, and a framework with which to approach the complex problems and issues faced by taxpayers in today’s global economy. Significant emphasis is placed on issue identification, problem solving, and tax planning. The program also seeks to assist students in the preparation for the CPA examination.

Current Gonzaga undergraduate accounting majors may apply for the MS.Tax program during the second semester of their junior year. If accepted into the program, they may take up to nine credits of graduate-level courses during their senior year with the permission of their graduate advisor. Before applying for admission, students should have completed 75 credit hours (including ACCT 360) with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 and have earned at least a C+ in each upper-division accounting course. Students must be admitted to the MS.Tax program before enrolling in any graduate-level class.

Admission Requirements

  1. A completed application form and a non-refundable application fee.
  2. Two online recommendations from professors, supervisors or managers.
  3. One official set of transcripts from each college or university attended. International students must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and an English copy. A course-by-course report from ECE (Educational Credentials Evaluators) or WES(World Education Services) is to be sent directly to Graduate Student Services.. Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted. We will accept e-scrip transcripts. 
  4. A professional resume detailing relevant work experience and professional objectives.
  5. Answer to the essay question on the application. 

International Applicants must also submit:

  1. An official TOEFL score of at least 88 (IBT), 230 (CBT), 570 (PBT) or an IELTS score of 6.5 or above by each international applicant who has graduated from a foreign college or university and whose native language is not English.
  2. A financial declaration and supporting documentation.
  3. In addition, the Graduate School of Business may require a personal interview with incoming international applicants. A deficiency in written or spoken English may be remedied by the successful completion of English and speech courses, which may be required for securing admission.
  4. A virtual interview may be required.

Graduate business programs are open to qualified holders of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution regardless of undergraduate major field of study. The goal of the admission policy is to select degree candidates who demonstrate high potential for academic and professional success. Students of promise normally exhibit at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.

A prospective student may enroll for one semester as a non-matriculated student for a maximum of one to two graduate business courses. The Graduate Program Director can elect to confer non-matriculated status to a student of demonstrated potential that has applied for admission but who may not have been able to complete the application process prior to the start of classes.

Tuition refunds are dependent upon the relevant Academic Calendar. Courses offered outside of the advertised semester-long schedule are subject to a refund of tuition that may be different from the standard University schedule.

MS.Tax Prerequisite Requirements

Prior to enrolling in graduate coursework required for the degree program, MS.Tax students are required to complete the following prerequisite coursework:

  • Intermediate Financial Accounting 1 & 2
  • Cost Accounting
  • Principles of Taxation
  • Auditing

Prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of the Director. For candidates not wishing to pursue the CPA, the only prerequisite in Principles of Taxation. 

Admitted students must consult with their advisor before registering for their first semester in order to evaluate their prerequisites and to develop a plan for completing any that are needed. Prerequisites can be fulfilled bysuccessfully completing the appropriate three credit prerequisite course.

Prerequisite course credits are not counted toward the graduate degree program credits. They must be taken in addition to the 30 credits required for the MS.Tax degree.

CLEP Exam Grading Policy

A 50 scaled score is required to pass (75%)

Foundation Courses

The following foundation (pre-requisite) courses are required for the MS.Tax degree. Students may complete these courses after admission to the program: 

  • MACC 560 Intermediate Accounting I
  • MACC 561 Intermediate Accounting II
  • MACC 563 Cost Accounting
  • MACC 565 Federal Taxation
  • MACC 564 Auditing

Degree Requirements

A total of thirty (30) credits of graduate coursework is required for the Master of Science in Taxation degree. Students must maintain a 3.00 or better grade point average in order to progress through and to graduate from the program.

MTAX 600 Orientation Workshop 0 credit
One of the following two courses:  2 credits
  MTAX 601 Power Query/Power Pivot
  MTAX 611 Data Analysis for Accountants
MTAX 603 Financial Accounting for Income Taxes 3 credits
MTAX 604 C Corporation Taxation 2 credits
MTAX 605 Partnership Taxation 3 credits
MTAX 607 Taxation of Property Transactions 3 credits
MTAX 608 State and Local Taxation 1 credit
MTAX 610 International Taxation 2 credits
MTAX 614 S Corporation Taxation 1 credit
MTAX 616 Income Tax of Estates and Trusts 1 credit
MTAX 620 Tax Planning for Business Transactions 3 credits
MTAX 664 Professional Ethics 2 credits
MTAX 667 Tax Research & Practice 2 credits
Tax Electives* 5 credits

*Electives must be approved by the graduate advisor


MTAX 600 Orientation
.00 credits
This zero credit Orientation is held one evening per semester just prior to the start of classes. It must be taken during the student's first semester in either the Master of Accountancy or Master of Business Administration programs. Topics include an orientation to the Graduate School of Business programs, University facilities available to students, team-building, communications, and case analysis.
MTAX 601 Power Query/Power Pivot
2.00 credits
Students in this course will learn to harness the full power of Excel to become more effective and efficient users in the context of solving a wide variety of business and non-business problems. Students will develop expertise in the use of advanced formula techniques and sophisticated lookups.
MTAX 603 Financial Acct for IncomeTaxes
3.00 credits
Audit professionals are frequently called upon to review the income tax accrual contained in audit work papers. This course focuses on the basic and some of the more common complexities encountered in accounting for income taxes under ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes.
MTAX 604 C Corporation Taxation
2.00 credits
This course explores the federal taxation of subchapter C corporations, including the tax consequences of corporate formation, operations, distributions, liquidations and tax-free reorganizations.
MTAX 614
MTAX 605 Partnership Taxation
3.00 credits
This course deals with the federal Income tax fundamentals of partnership and limited liability company taxation. The course covers formation of, operation of, and distribution from partnership and LLC’s, and provides contrast to the problems associated with corporate operations.
MTAX 606 Wealth Transfer Taxation
2.00 credits
This course explores the taxation of gratuitous transfers of wealth during life and at death, including the federal estate, gift and generation skipping transfer taxes.
MTAX 607 Taxation of Property Trans
3.00 credits
This course will survey several important areas related to the federal income taxation of property transactions. Emphasis will be on federal income tax treatment of sales and other dispositions of property, including deferred payment sales and non-recognition transactions. Potential specific topics include depreciation, the effect of debt on basis and amount realized calculations, characterization, limitations on loss allowances, like kind exchanges, involuntary conversions, installment sales and leasing.
MTAX 608 State & Local Taxation
1.00 credit
This course focuses on the basics of state income taxes, property taxes, and other state and local taxes, with an emphasis on the state of Washington tax structure. In addition, the effect of state and local taxes on multi-state operations is discussed.
MTAX 610 International Taxation
2.00 credits
This course covers the basics of the taxation of foreign income of U.S. citizens and corporations, and of U.S. source income of foreign persons and corporations. In addition, there is discussion of planning for organization of foreign operations under the tax laws.
MTAX 611 Data Analysis for Accountants
2.00 credits
A study of the role of big data and analytics in business, accounting practices in particular. The course includes coverage of the theory and practice of data visualization, statistical methods, analytical models, and an introduction to software tools and applicable programming languages to facilitate the analysis of data.
MTAX 612 Tax Theory
2.00 credits
This course examines some of the key tax doctrines and concepts that underpin the taxation of businesses and individuals, as well as the court cases that created them. Emphasis will be on how those concepts and theories affect taxpayers today.
MTAX 613 IRS Practice & Procedure
2.00 credits
This course studies a wide range of tax procedure and IRS practice, including an analysis of the laws pertaining to tax procedure an how the IRS interprets and applies those laws. The course will include descriptions of how the IRS operates. Suggested techniques for representing clients before the IRS are also presented.
MTAX 614 S Corporation Taxation
1.00 credit
This course explores the federal taxation of subchapter S corporations and shareholders.
MTAX 604
MTAX 616 Income Tax of Estates & Trusts
1.00 credit
This course explores the federal income taxation of estates and trusts, including the fundamentals of fiduciary accounting.
MTAX 620 Tax Plans for Business Trans
3.00 credits
This course examines the tax and business planning aspects of taxable and nontaxable transfers of businesses and real estate. Particular attention will be given to planning whether to use asset sales or stock sales, structuring financing for acquisitions and techniques for compensating investors. The course will also explore the taxation of partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies and their special application to corporate and real estate acquisitions.
MTAX 661 Professional Writing Workshop
1.00 credit
This course will emphasize the fundamentals of business writing in a professional accounting environment. Offered as needed. Elective.
MTAX 664 Professional Ethics
2.00 credits
This course examines the literature of general and business ethics as well as codes developed specifically for practicing accountants. Attention is given to challenges faced by accounting professionals in both public and corporate practice. Case studies are used extensively to challenge and sensitize students to the issues they are likely to encounter in practice; various methods of understanding and solving ethical dilemmas are considered.
MTAX 667 Tax Research & Practice
2.00 credits
This course encompasses a study of tax research methodology, tax policy, and tax practice. Topic areas include various tax research techniques, tax administration and professional responsibilities, as well as international taxation.
MTAX 677 Sustainability Accounting I
1.00 credit
Students will refine their writing skills while learning about the history and mission of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and its standards for corporate sustainability disclosure. Students will also examine the connection between sustainability performance and financial performance and the CPA's role in providing assurance on sustainability information. Offered each semester.
MTAX 685 Federal Tax Clinic
2.00 credits
The Federal Tax Clinic course offers students an exciting opportunity to become engaged in federal tax controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and in the United States Tax Court. Students represent low-income clients in IRS examination and collection matters, including audits, offers in compromise, penalty abatements, innocent spouse claims, appeals, Tax Court cases, etc. Through case work and clinic experience, the students will have the opportunity to develop and refine skills in client interviewing, negotiations, research and advocacy.
MTAX 690 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Directed Study requires permission of program director. Zagweb registration is not available.
MTAX 697 Internship
.00- 3.00 credits
Relevant work experience is required that is commensurate with a student's professional interests. Guidelines and criteria are available from the School of Business Administration Internship Director.
MTAX 699 Special Topics
.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by department.