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Basic Federal Income Taxation, Eighth Edition

  • William D. Andrews
  • Peter J. Wiedenbeck
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

Buy a new version of this textbook and receive access to the Connected eBook with Study Center on Casebook Connect, including lifetime access to the online ebook with highlight, annotation, and search capabilities. Access also includes practice questions, an outline tool, and other helpful resources. Connected eBooks provide what you need most to be successful in your law school classes.

This perennially popular book offers the most intellectual depth of any tax casebook. Regarded as the most insightful, policy-oriented, and coherent treatment of the field, Basic Federal Income Taxation includes more of the classic, foundational cases than most other tax casebooks and provides the best available coverage of capital gains. This eighth edition, the first since the death of original author William D. Andrews in 2017, aims to update a classic while preserving its distinctive attributes. The style of the book has been retained, with its focus on cases and tax policy.

New to the 8th Edition:

  • A comprehensively revised Chapter 1, designed to equip students with the conceptual framework and policy themes they can deploy to structure thinking and assist understanding throughout the course.
  • A reworked organization, with return of capital timing issues now addressed immediately before capital appreciation (realization and recognition); gifts, taxation of the family, and assignment of income issues have been grouped together to highlight common themes; losses and tax shelter limitations have been folded into one chapter, and the leverage and leasing materials trimmed.
  • Numerous changes to reflect new developments—legislative, administrative, and judicial—since the publication of the last edition.
  • The pervasive influence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is reflected throughout the book. Starting with Chapter 1, this edition emphasizes the distribution of individual income tax burdens across the income spectrum, from the earned income tax credit and child tax credits to the impact of capital gain rates on high-end progressivity.


Benefits for professors and students:

  • The book was developed and refined by Professor William D. Andrews, whose work initiated serious policy analysis of progressive consumption taxes and brought to light the hybrid nature of the existing federal income tax system, which is replete with compromises between accessions and consumption tax features.
  • When law students come to appreciate that tax is concerned with fundamental issues of distributive justice—addressing who should be required to contribute to the support of our society, and in what proportions—many become engaged by the subject in a way that would have shocked their former selves.
  • Detailed knowledge of current tax law rules is frequently rendered obsolete (sometimes before law students can graduate) by Congress’s penchant for regular extensive amendment of the Internal Revenue Code. The book gives students a conceptual foundation that is durable rather than evanescent. Understanding tensions between the tax policy criteria and partisan differences in their evaluation makes each new round of tax Code re-jiggering, if not predictable, at least readily comprehensible.
  • Teasing meaning out of an inordinately complex statute demands more than careful reading assisted by application of default norms of construction—it requires an appreciation of objectives. The book’s exploration of history and purposes gives students the tools necessary to inform statutory interpretation, equipping them to supply valuable practical guidance to clients and courts.
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Eighth Edition
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Copyright Year
Connected eBook with Study Center + Hardcover
Connected eBook with Study Center (Digital Only)
Taxation, Federal Income
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