Tax return analysis in fraud examination: the case of the Bankruptcy Auditor

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Issue Date
2020-09-04
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Authors
Quirin, Jeffrey J.
O'Bryan, David
Goedeke, Mary Jo
Advisor
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Abstract

The tax return is often a key piece of evidence in a forensic accounting engagement. Forensic accounting students need to understand what a tax return can tell its reader about the taxpayer. This case is designed for an introductory or advanced course in fraud examination or forensic accounting. Students are placed in the hypothetical role of a person beginning a job as a bankruptcy auditor with the United States Trustee Program. The bankruptcy auditor must utilize two consecutive years of tax returns to determine the primary sources of income and assets for the debtor. Information from the tax returns will be compared to the bankruptcy petition to identify red flags that could indicate the debtor has committed fraud or abuse of the bankruptcy process. Successful completion of this case requires students to integrate skills from auditing, taxation, business law, and forensic accounting and communicate findings in a written report.

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