Professor Deborah A. Geier has published the 2020 version of her free e-textbook, Federal Income Taxation of Individuals 2020, with the eLangdell project at CALI (the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction), which can be downloaded for free here: https://www.cali.org/books/us-federal-income-taxation-individuals.
In an effort to reduce student cost, Professor Geier published the first edition of this free e-textbook in 2014 and has updated it each year since. It is available as a pdf or Word document, as well as in ePub format (for iPads) and MOBI format (for Kindles). In addition, for the first time, the textbook will also be available in a print-on-demand format from Lulu.com, through a link on CALI’s web page. Buyers are charged only the cost of printing and shipping, with no mark-up by CALI (and no royalty for the author). The print version of Professor Geier’s textbook will cost only $34.72 plus shipping, far lower than typical law school textbooks.
Federal Income Taxation of Individuals 2020 is designed for the first law school taxation course. As with similar textbooks, it includes explanatory text, primary material, and problem sets designed to test whether students can apply the law to fact patterns. Unlike some textbooks, however, it also includes material on the development of the law and tax policy tools (economic norms, fairness norms, and basic empirical data that affects tax policy discourse). The textbook begins by providing the overarching framework of a normative income tax and various forms of consumption taxes. Armed with this deeper conceptual understanding, readers are better able to appreciate how the Internal Revenue Code is a hybrid income/consumption tax, with many tax expenditure provisions that are inconsistent with either, all of which can undermine both fairness and efficiency. For this reason, this textbook is also aimed at legislators, judges, and others who are interested in gaining a basic understanding of these issues.