There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

While accounting and law are separate professions, the accountant must be conversant with essential legal concepts. Modern accounting practice requires familiarity with corporate legal structure, business entities, partnership operations, contracts, property rights, employment law, divorce, consumer protection, wills and trusts, and even bankruptcy law. This course explores these specific areas with emphasis on business and accounting issues. This clear guide to the basic concepts of business law provides accountants with an excellent review of legal concepts that arise in any tax professional's practice. You'll gain the ability to recognize and discuss general legal concepts with both client and their counsel.


Danny Santucci, JD

Danny Santucci, BA, JD, is a prolific author of tax and financial books and articles. His legal career started with the business and litigation firm of Edwards, Edwards, and Ashton. Later he joined the Century City entertainment firm of Bushkin, Gaims, Gaines, and Jonas working for many well-known celebrities. In 1980, Danny established the law firm of Santucci, Potter, and Leanders in Irvine, California. With increasing lecture and writing commitments, Danny went into sole practice in 1995. His practice emphasizes business taxation, real estate law, and estate planning. Speaking to more than 100 groups nationally each year, he is known for spicing up his extensive expertise with an incredible sense of humor.

Course Specifics

Jul 17, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

IRS Provider #: 0MYXB
IRS Course ID: 0MYXB-T-01026-16-S
IRS Federal Tax Law Credits: 24
CTEC Provider #: 2071
CTEC Course ID: 2071-CE-0992
CTEC Federal Tax Law Credits: 24
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Recognize the concepts, goals, and purposes of asset protection, noting situations that can unexpectedly put assets and financial security at stake
  • Identify creditors associated with asset protection and fraudulent transfers
  • Cite aspects of the fraudulent transfer laws, including badges of fraud, statutes of limitations, criminal penalties, and permissible asset transfers
  • Identify the degree and necessity of asset protection using net worth and asset values under a balance sheet
  • Identify ways that insurance and buy-sell agreements can offer asset protection
  • Recognize the asset protection advantages and disadvantages of ownership formats and entities, noting characteristics of corporate ownership, trusts, co-tenancy, and partnerships
  • Recognize the unique asset protection qualities of retirement plans, custodianship, and estates as asset protection tools

Chapter 2

  • Identify the requirements of alimony and separate maintenance payments under §§71 and 21
  • Specify the types of §71 divorce or separation instruments and determine how having an invalid decree, an amended instrument, or a premarital agreement impacts such an instrument
  • Identify alimony and child support tax provisions that currently apply and those that applied to instruments executed prior to 1985
  • Identify the deduction of alimony paid and the reporting of alimony received on the proper forms noting required information
  • Specify the alimony recapture rule for various marital agreements and its impact on the tax treatment of past payments
  • Recognize the use of alimony trusts to realize tax advantage and security, the use of annuity contracts, and the proper tax treatment of alimony paid by an estate to a former spouse of a decedent
  • Recall the tax treatment of child support, noting circumstances where a payment will be fixed as child support and events that determine whether a contingency is clearly child-related
  • Note COBRA and qualified medical child support order rules

Chapter 3

  • Note the timing and impact of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act on procedures, qualifications, and tax law
  • Identify the three most common types of bankruptcy, noting their characteristics and factors that can influence how an individual or business goes bankrupt
  • Cite the rules of automatic stay and levy action, noting their impact on freezing creditor activity, tax assessment, and collection
  • Differentiate between preferential and nonpreferential payments, noting the priority of creditor claims
  • Recognize when debt is discharged under various bankruptcy types
  • Identify how to establish an individual bankruptcy estate, determining its taxable income and filing requirements
  • Specify the special rules for partnership and corporate bankruptcies
  • List debts covered under homesteading
  • Specify permissible garnishment amounts, noting special garnishment rules

Chapter 4

  • Identify the types of premarital and post-nuptial agreements, noting their characteristics, uses, and benefits
  • Recognize the formats that courts typically follow if a couple does not have an enforceable premarital agreement, including how these formats relate to divorce settlements and divisions
  • Cite the requirements of §1041 and the scope of its application
  • Identify factors that determine whether a property transfer is incident to divorce, noting how to meet these factors or avoid §1041 altogether when desired
  • Recognize the application of §1041 to transfers in trust under §1041(e) and to third party transfers on behalf of a spouse or former spouse
  • Determine deferred tax liability and property basis for the transferor spouse and transferee spouse under §1041 after a property settlement
  • Recognize the application of §1041 to property transfers where the transferee assumes liabilities encumbering the property
  • Identify the holding period for an asset transferred between spouses or former spouses incident to divorce and the dangers of purchasing a former spouse's interest in property
  • List the effects of purchasing an interest in personal or real property used in a business or held for investment
  • Recognize requirements, limitations, and tax treatment of selected asset divisions such as installment obligations, business interests, insurance policies, and pension benefits, following the division of property between spouses or former spouses incident to divorce

Chapter 5

  • List common-law rules and factors used to determine employee status for FICA, FUTA, and federal income tax withholding
  • Identify the overall limitation, scope of examination, and factors that apply to unreasonable compensation
  • Recognize the mechanics of the Social Security system, noting how the systems works, who qualifies, when participants are eligible for benefits, and retirement benefits
  • Identify Social Security taxes, their rates, and covered earnings to determine actual amounts taken from gross pay
  • Specify the characteristics and differences between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, noting the eligibility requirements for Social Security disability and survivor's benefits

Chapter 6

  • List basic tax and legal title formats, recognizing their distinguishing characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, potential pitfalls, and planning issues
  • Cite the S corporation requirements noting tax advantages and disadvantages particularly whose associated with incorporating a farm
  • Specify the title-holding benefits and tax characteristics of trusts, co-tenancies, partnerships, and LLCs
  • Identify the types of retirement plans used to provide lifetime benefits to a business owner and to employees, how title can be held on behalf of minors, and the tax treatment of custodianships and probate estates

Chapter 7

  • Recognize the major characteristics of homeowner's, automobile, and disability insurance, noting what asset protection they may offer
  • Identify variables that influence whether life insurance is taxable for federal estate tax purposes
  • Cite the basic tenants of annuities, including what constitutes an annuity, the types and characteristics of annuities, and their tax advantages and disadvantages
  • Recognize the characteristics of an entity purchase agreement and a cross purchase agreement, noting tax and legal advantages and pitfalls

Chapter 8

  • List the current rate baskets created by the capital gain provisions
  • Specify the key elements of the §121 home sale exclusion, noting their application and safe harbor regulations associated with the exclusion
  • Identify the rules and regulations related to the installment method, noting related party and contingent payment rules, §483 imputed interest, and §§1271 through 1274 original issue discount
  • Recognize the formats and mechanics of a §1031 like-kind exchange, noting the characteristics of the different formats, exchange advantages, tax treatment, and the importance of deferral
  • Recognize the rules and regulations regarding foreclosure or repossession, noting reporting and filing requirements and the hidden income tax danger of directly or indirectly acquiring one's own debt at a discount
  • Recognize the regulations governing personal property and real property repossessions, including when a bad debt deduction may be taken if the seller repossesses real property
  • Identify the tax treatment of an involuntary conversion, noting gain or loss from a condemnation award or severance damages, when clients can postpone gain on condemned, damaged, destroyed or stolen property, and the related party rule under §1033

Chapter 9

  • Recognize the purpose and importance of designing a retirement plan following a multi-step program
  • Identify sources of retirement income, noting the characteristics and requirements of qualified corporate plans, SIMPLE plans, self-employed plans, IRAs, tax-deferred annuities, SEP plans, investment assets, and participant loans
  • Identify the various types of employee fringe benefits, noting the differences between statutory and nonstatutory benefits, no additional cost services, qualified employee discounts, working condition fringes, and de minimis fringes
  • Specify the requirements and limits to the §129, §125, §119, §105, and §127 programs
  • Recognize the valuation methods for employer-provided automobiles
  • Specify the requirements for interest-free and below-market loans, and the limitations S corporation fringe benefits as well as fringe benefits under §§217, 132, 67, 212, 132(h)(5), and 280A
  • Cite ERISA compliance requirements

Chapter 10

  • Identify types of tort and the remedies tort law provides
  • Recognize the requirements of the personal injury exclusion, noting nonpersonal injury requirements, reporting of punitive damages, interest on injury awards, and legal fees as determined according to case law

Chapter 11

  • Identify the different types of wills, noting provisions and requirements, title implications, and proper modification
  • Recognize the advantages of a properly drafted will, noting intestate succession rules, the importance of a periodic review, and provisions for continued business operations
  • Recognize the characteristics and distribution flow of simple wills
  • Specify the pros and cons of probate proceedings, noting various techniques of probate avoidance

Chapter 12

  • Identify the relationship of parties in a trust, reasons to establish a trust, and the basic elements that all trusts must contain
  • Recognize the various types of trusts, noting the characteristics and requirements for each
  • Recognize the income tax, gift tax, and estate tax treatment of the various types of trusts, including valuation and alternative valuation options
  • Identify the fundamental provisions that a Revocable Living Trust must contain

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

Back to top