|Taxation is necessary for multiple purposes to keep our countries running, from funding retirement programs to paying for public programs like education and infrastructure. Taxation is also complex, requiring solid technical expertise and professional judgement to comply with and plan for. TAXATION OF BUSINESS ENTITIES (AC350EN) offered at PEOI will equip students with a foundation in tax knowledge, whether the objective is to gain analytical skills to build or advance a career, supplement other accounting courses, or to prepare for Accountancy accreditation exams.|
TAXATION OF BUSINESS ENTITIES (AC350EN) is an introductory taxation course. This course provides an introduction to the U.S. federal income taxation of Subchapter C corporations and their shareholders, as well as pass-through entities such as Subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Offered free of charge and in the format of a self-paced American University course (15 weeks of study), this course focuses on the relevant provisions of Subchapters C, S, and K of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as related Treasury Regulations and judicial opinions, governing the formation, operations, distributions, and liquidation of business entities.
In order to facilitate self-discovery of technical tax knowledge and develop a variety of professional skills and attitudes, the course will be comprehensive and include a variety of course content in addition to chapter text.
Interview prepared by Faiz Kermani (faculty #104000)
Latisha tell us how she first started volunteering for PEOI and introduces us to some of the exciting projects she is currently involved with. She also gives us a sneak preview into her future plans to help improve the accessibility to quality education worldwide.
1. Can you tell us a little about your professional background?
Latisha: I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) earning my designation with the CPA Institute in Ontario, Canada. Upon completing university, I worked full-time at Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm, where I spent some time working in Assurance and the majority of time working in Taxation. Within the Taxation group, I provided a variety of taxation services from US to Canadian taxation, and from personal to corporate tax. I also worked on a broad spectrum of clients from large international financial institutions to small family-owned businesses.
More recently, I worked at the Investment Board for Canada’s national pension plan. My role entailed project managing the tax structuring and deal closing activities of investments within the private equity portfolio. This involved working with external tax advisors in the legal review and negotiation of provisions on new investments, establishing legal entities to support and maintain the firm-wide tax strategy, and and enhancing deal closing processes to improve operational efficiencies and effective management of tax risks.
I have also worked at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce program as a Teaching Assistant for the intermediate financial accounting course and advanced corporate taxation course.
2. How did you learn about PEOI, and what motivated you to get involved?
Latisha: I came to learn about PEOI through the United Nations Online Volunteers program where I had signed up as a volunteer. I saw an advertisement for someone to write a course in Taxation and thought it was a perfect fit! Programs providing health, education, infrastructure and other services are important to achieve the common goal of a prosperous, functional and orderly society. Taxation not only pays for these essential public sector programs and services; it is also a key ingredient in the social contract between citizens and the economy. For this reason, I thought a knowledge of taxation was valuable no matter where a student lived in the world and that access to such a learning opportunity should not be hindered by any economic barriers. Finding PEOI, an organization whose values were aligned with my own, provided me with the perfect platform and support to reach for this goal!
3. What do you think is the most important work that PEOI does?
Latisha: I truly believe that PEOI does so much great work and has so much more to offer the world that it would be difficult to choose its most important work. However, I can definitely highlight some of them! PEOI does an incredible job at connecting bright-minded learners and educators across the globe. Students from under-served countries now have access to materials and resources that were developed by subject-matter experts who all have one goal – to empower learners, create knowledge, build confidence and break down barriers to opportunity. With a dedicated team of volunteers that believe education is the key to opening doors to a better life, PEOI has created a powerful movement that aims to better the lives of individuals, societies and economies worldwide.
4. What PEOI courses are you involved with, and can you tell us a bit more about them?
Latisha: I am volunteering as a Team Leader on AC350EN (Taxation of Business Entities). This course provides an introduction to corporate taxation, covering U.S. federal income taxation of Subchapter C corporations and their shareholders, as well as pass-through entities such as Subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. While this is a course centered around U.S. federal income taxation, many of the concepts are universal and applicable to taxation systems in other jurisdictions.
This course is meant to provide students with a foundation in taxation, whether the objective is to gain analytical skills to build or advance a career, supplement other accounting courses, or to prepare for Accountancy accreditation exams. The prerequisite for this course is an intermediate knowledge in accounting. My hope is that further taxation courses will be developed in the future, including one that covers an introduction to personal taxation.
5. What other PEOI initiatives are you involved in?
Latisha: PEOI offers many initiatives to get involved with! Personally, outside of course development, I am involved with establishing a program aimed at attracting and retaining volunteers. At PEOI, we recognize and appreciate the extraordinary commitment of volunteers who dedicate their time to give back to a great cause. As such, I am working on building a program that will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of volunteers, educate others on the meaningful work being done and inspire prospective volunteers to get involved! It takes many great minds and big hearts to put forth the good work that PEOI accomplishes each and every day.
I am also assisting other PEOI volunteers on designing internships and recruiting interns. The goal is to provide clearly defined projects and timelines for interns working on the courses. The projects will have enough structure to safeguard completion of the project goals; but also have enough flexibility to foster unique intern growth/success and allow project development to reach its finest. Interns will participate in team meetings and have opportunities for team collaboration. I believe such an internship program will be equally beneficial and fun for both the intern and the mentor!
6. What do you think students can gain from PEOI?
Latisha: PEOI presents an incredible opportunity for students! PEOI's courses are entirely free and open to all. The courses are designed as American style university level courses that fit into standard university semesters of 15 weeks of study. The courses are comprehensive, containing a data bank of test questions, as well as assignments and class discussions topics. There are no formal prerequisites required to enroll for a course. PEOI's courses are offered in English and some courses have been translated in 11 other languages! PEOI also offers students flexibility in building their knowledge and studying at their own pace - there are no dates to start or complete a course. Students can take a test as many times as they want, with different questions each time and only the highest test grade counting toward a course completion certificate. The quality of content and flexibility offered makes PEOI a truly valuable center for learning!
7. Why do you think that other professionals should volunteer with PEOI? How can they help
and what can they gain from the experience?
Latisha: Volunteering with PEOI is an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. It is a great way for professionals to put their knowledge, skills and talents to use in a meaningful way that uplifts individuals and communities. By volunteering at PEOI you will be assisting learners in overcoming obstacles they face in accessing something as fundamental as education. You will be giving them the opportunity to develop their own knowledge, skillsets, perspectives, and opinions to inspire and support themselves and those around them.
There are a variety of ways for volunteers to get involved at PEOI. PEOI offers volunteer opportunities for course authors, editors, peer reviewers, audio specialists, web page designers, illustrators, local country representatives and translators. Not only will volunteers be able to find the right role that fits their area of expertise, but it will also enable them to further develop and refine their own skills! I must say that I am certainly learning a lot myself and expanding my own skillset through my involvement in different PEOI initiatives.
PEOI also presents a great opportunity to broaden your network by exposing you to peers and learners from around the world with common interests and motivations!
8. Where can people find out more about PEOI and your course?
Latisha: To find out more about PEOI, visit the website at www.peoi.org. To find out more about volunteering on the course development of AC350EN (Taxation of Business Entities), visit www.peoi.org, and go to “creating courses.” Then go to “volunteers,” and then “volunteers needed,” and click on “Taxation of Business Entities.”
9. Is there any other information you would like to share about your volunteering
Latisha: My volunteering experience with PEOI has been rewarding in more ways than I can probably count! My desire to help people build better lives and better communities was the impetus for my involvement with PEOI. I have always believed in the transformative impact that education can have. It not only helps learners to reach their highest potential; it also carries the power to expand the very definition of what they believe to be possible. PEOI has also connected me to like-minded individuals who bring with them a level of competency that can only be matched by their passion to give back through education!
“Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education” – Martin Luther King Jr.
10. Are you involved in any other types of volunteering activities outside PEOI?
Latisha: In line with my enthusiasm for education, I have volunteered with Junior Achievement, an organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. As a volunteer educator, I delivered a curriculum designed to help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.
I have also volunteered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants as an ambassador for the designation and have served as a volunteer at its tax clinics, assisting individuals from under-served communities in meeting their tax compliance needs.
With a passion for music and a believer in its profound impact, I hope to get involved in supporting and advancing music education in the near future.