News and Events


Professor Joy Mullane Appointed Faculty Director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program

Professor Joy Sabino Mullane, Director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University announced the appointment of Joy Mullane, Professor of Law, as Faculty Director of its Graduate Tax Program. Mullane has been a member of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law faculty since 2006. In her new role, Mullane will oversee the University’s nationally recognized graduate tax program, which is offered both on-campus and online.

“Joy is a recognized and respected leader and scholar at the Law School, and in the field of taxation,” said Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. “I am so pleased to have Joy at the helm of our program. She is on the cutting edge of the ever-changing field of taxation, and I know she will continue to innovate and grow the program as the industry evolves, as well as in response to the needs of our students.”

See the full press release here.


Les Book and Joy Mullane

Graduate Tax Faculty Receive Inaugural Diane E. Ambler '78 Faculty Curricular Innovation Award

Todd Aagaard, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, recently announced this year’s the recipients of the inaugural Diane E. Ambler '78 Faculty Curricular Innovation Award. The Award is given to a faculty member who has distinguished herself/himself through the creation and/or implementation of positive curricular or pedagogical change or development. The primary factor for the award is curricular innovation at the Law School that has the potential to influence the positive development of the Law School’s academic program both directly and also indirectly by influencing the way that others teach. For the inaugural recipients, the faculty committee chose Les Book, Professor of Law, and Joy Mullane, Professor of Law.

Book and Mullane were chosen for their innovative pedagogical approach first developed for the online Graduate Tax Program, which they each have then adapted and implemented for their Introduction to Federal Taxation courses in the JD program. 

Professor Leslie book appeared on Politico's Morning Tax discussing tax compliance

Graduate Tax professor Leslie Book recently appeared on Politico's Morning Tax to discuss how insights from behavioral economics can improve tax compliance, specifically the administration of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). He explains how behavioral economics can be applied to improve the tax filing process, helping taxpayers reduce errors and helping the IRS ensure that Americans are getting the refund they are owed. Read more


Graduate Tax Students Triumph at ABA Section of Taxation’s 17th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge

Dan Masciello and David Greenberg—LLM students in Villanova’s Graduate Tax program—recently won the ABA Section of Taxation’s 17th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge. The Villanova team was one of four in the LLM division with other represented schools including University of Florida Levin College of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Read more


Adjunct Professor Jim Blase Quoted in New York Times Article on New Estate Tax

Excerpt: "Because the tax on large gifts works in concert with the estate tax, the estate of someone who gives away more than the lower exemption could be hit with a “claw back” tax bill for several million dollars when the law reverts to the lower limit, said James Blase of Blase & Associates in St. Louis. Read more


A Conversation with the National Taxpayer Advocate: An Unorthodox Path to Tax Law

Villanova Law welcomed Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, for a conversation about her remarkable career as a private practitioner, business-owner, social entrepreneur and public advocate. Read more


Professor Leslie Book Highlights Graduate Tax/PwC Event in Tax Law Blog Post

Professor Leslie Book highlights the Graduate Tax and a recent PwC event in his Feb. 5 tax law blog post "Spotlight on IRS Guidance: A Look at Recent Blog Posts on How Agencies Communicate." Read more


PICPA Personal Financial Planning Conference

Alumni from the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program attended and spoke at the PICPA Personal Financial Planning Conference on Nov. 8, 2017. Additionally, there were two. We were proud to see the following individuals representing Villanova University's Grad Tax program at the event.

Christopher Harvey, an Adjunct Professor for both the Graduate Tax Program and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law will be presenting “Wealth Transfer Planning: Whatever the Tax Law Permits” which will include up-to-the minute changes in tax legislation and a wealth transfer update.

Brian Kitchen recently graduated from the Master of Taxation program and will be presenting “New Developments in Federal Taxes” which will include an overview of the Administration’s proposal, tax planning ideas in an uncertain environment as well as highlighting a few tax related course cases that were ruled on during the year.


Expert commentary on the impact of proposed tax reform

J. Richard Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and its Graduate Tax Program, provided expert commentary to numerous national and international media outlets about the effect the GOP’s proposed tax plan will likely have on U.S. multinational corporations.

Harvey, one of the nation’s leading experts on the taxation of U.S. multinational corporations, testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on the offshore tax practices of Apple, Inc. in 2013. A former senior IRS and Treasury official with over 35 years of multifaceted tax experience, he has written and spoken extensively on the topic of international tax issues. Read more


28th Annual Philadelphia Tax Conference, November 2017

Ed Liva moderated a panel discussion that focused on current federal and state tax audits and examinations at the recent 28th Annual Philadelphia Tax Conference.  The panel discussed the thirteen new compliance campaign initiatives recently launched by IRS’s Large Business & International (LB&I) division, and its intention to move towards issue based examinations. Ed is an Advisory Board Member for the Annual Philadelphia Tax Conference.


Professor J. Richard Harvey Quoted in New York Times article on Apple's International Tax Planning Structure

On November 6, 2017, Villanova Graduate Tax Professor J. Richard Harvey was quoted in a New York Times article. The article surrounded Apple's new international tax planning structure that has come to light from Harvey's work with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the NY Times reviewing various information from the Paradise Papers (leaked information from the Bermuda law firm Appleby).

The quote is as follows: 

But J. Richard Harvey, a Villanova law professor and former I.R.S. official who reviewed the Appleby documents, concluded that there was a strong possibility the company moved intellectual property into Ireland to take advantage of the generous tax rules. Based on disclosures in Apple’s American securities filings, he estimated that the transfer was worth about $200 billion.


The Graduate Tax Program announces State and Local Taxation Certificate curriculum beginning in Fall 2017. 

The SALT Certificate curriculum will expose the tax professional to the various regimes of state and local taxation that affect today’s businesses. More importantly, it will enable the professional to create or recommend solutions that are in conformity with the states’ applicable laws and regulations, and are consistent with the company’s overall business objectives and global and national tax profile.


The Second Annual Tax Policy Symposium Tax Reform in 2017 - Exploring the Blueprint

The 2016 Presidential campaign generated renewed interest in the need for Comprehensive Tax Reform. The President and Congress have indicated their desire to propose and pass comprehensive tax reform before the end of this year. The 2017 Villanova University Graduate Tax Program Tax Policy Symposium explored the Blueprint for Reform that began the process, and discuss additional plans that have been proposed, featuring featured speaker Patrick Meehan, Representative of the Seventh District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Congress. Read more


Professor Joy Mullane's Article on Tax Reform & the Estate Tax Published on

On April 14, 2017, Joy Mullane published an article for online legal news service on tax reform and the estate tax. It was part of a series of articles on tax reform that also included a piece by Charlotte Luke, a University of Florida Graduate Tax Professor and the Editor of the Florida Tax Review.  

Article is available on and through LexisNexis


Professor Leslie Book Presents Taxpayer Rights, Behavioral Economics And The EITC At Indiana

On February 17, 2017, Leslie Book  presented Thinking About Taxpayer Rights and Behavioral Economics to Improve Administration of the EITC (with David Williams (Chief Tax Officer, Intuit)) at Indiana-Bloomington today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series

He also gave a talk on "Taxpayer Rights as Human Rights: The Example of Refundable Credits" at the Second International Taxpayer Rights Conference at the University of Vienna.

More information on TaxProf Blog


Graduate Tax Program announces New Course Offering 
for Spring 2017: Tax Technology Solutions

This course is designed to explore the convergence of technology skills and tax competencies that is occurring at corporations, government and tax service providers.  Information Technology systems and applications are becoming more prevalent in all aspects of tax compliance and consulting, including global tax compliance and provision readiness, tax information process improvement, tax consulting and transactional modeling, and the use of data analytics.  The course will provide an introduction to the basic tools used for tax modeling, and an overview of tax data analytics concepts and components.  The course will also examine approaches designed to identify key tax issues and create value by applying analytics in combination with visualization tools and techniques. 


Graduate Tax Program announces New Course offering for Fall 2016: Accounting for Income Taxes (ASC 740)

This course is designed to assist students and tax practitioners understand the financial accounting and reporting guidance related to the effects of income taxes that result from an entity’s financial activities during the current and preceding years. ASC 740 was revised in October 2011 and codifies the guidance that was previously included in FAS 109, APB 23 and other FASB statements. Specific topics addressed in the course include calculation of total income tax for financial reporting purposes, recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities and the determination of a need for a valuation allowance, calculation and reconciliation of the effective tax rate, and footnote disclosure related to income taxes. The course also covers FASB Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes (“FIN 48”), and a variety of other topics and issues related to financial reporting of income taxes.



Villanova University Graduate Tax Program’s Inaugural Tax Policy Symposium

As the 2016 Election Year intensifies, candidates will provide their views and proposals for tax reform. At Villanova University Graduate Tax Program’s inaugural Tax Policy Symposium—Fundamental Tax Reform and Tax Policy Issues in Election Year 2016—attendees will be introduced to the most salient issues within the debate, and the distinction among the various proposals that will impact your business and personal economic affairs. This event will bring together a cross section of business leaders—from tax and accounting to legal and government to renowned academics—to discuss the economic and societal issues surrounding the need for fundamental Tax Reform. Read more


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