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Tax Certificate Programs

Students desiring to concentrate in a specific area of tax practice may choose among four certificate programs. The Certificates described below may be completed in conjunction with the LL.M. degree or on a stand-alone basis.

Certificate in Employee Benefits Law

This growing practice area spans everything from pensions and health plans to stock options and deferred compensation. Retirement assets constitute a high percentage of total domestic wealth, and the intersection between tax law and health plans has gained even greater prominence with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Georgetown's Certificate in Employee Benefits Law is the best known and most comprehensive program of its kind in the country. It consists of three fall courses covering the key areas of Executive Compensation, Retirement Plans and Health & Welfare plans, as well as a spring Practicum course designed to give students hands-on, practical experience in those subjects studied during the fall semester. Adjunct faculty from the private sector, the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department and the Department of Labor bring to their teaching extensive practical experience in this area.

Certificate in Estate Planning

Top-notch estate planners must acquire not only technical expertise but also the client-relations skills essential to this individualized area of practice. Adjunct faculty, all leading practitioners in their fields, draw on their wealth of expertise to equip our students with the requisite knowledge of tax law, trusts and estates, and charitable giving. During the spring semester, working in teams under a faculty mentor, students develop a comprehensive estate plan to address a complex, real-life, family situation. Students enrolled in the Tax LL.M. program may complement their Certificate studies with courses focusing on partnership taxation, S Corporations and LLCs, employee benefits, tax-exempt organizations, and other fields germane to an estate planning practice. 

Certificate in State & Local Tax (available online)

For many large companies, the tax and administrative burdens imposed by state and local taxes significantly exceed those imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. As multinational companies and metro-area businesses expand their operations into additional states and nations via the internet and otherwise, the need for skilled SALT practitioners has never been greater. Georgetown's SALT program, unique in the country, is taught by a distinguished faculty comprised of leading practitioners from professional service firms, Fortune 500 companies, and organizations representing the interest of state governments and corporate taxpayers. During the fall semester, students learn the basics of state income taxation (including formulary apportionment), sales and use taxes, property taxes, and specialized business taxes. During the spring, the focus shifts to federal constitutional limitations on state taxation, SALT controversy practice, and the complex intersection between federal and state corporate tax regimes. Students enrolled in the Tax LL.M. degree may supplement this curriculum with elective courses addressing value added tax, municipal bonds and public finance.

Certificate in International Tax (available online)

Cross-border taxation constitutes the bread and butter of multinational taxpayers and the professional service firms that represent them, many headquartered in Washington, D.C. Georgetown's Certificate program comprises a dozen international tax courses, all taught by top experts from law practices and Big Four Accounting firms. The core curriculum concentrates on inbound and outbound U.S. international tax, transfer pricing and tax treaties. Students may then choose among electives addressing cross-border tax controversies, European Union tax law, value-added taxation, the foreign tax credit, and a variety of courses addressing cross-border corporate tax planning. Several courses are taught in a "workshop" format, entailing weekly practice-based writing assignments.

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