Tony Billings joins writing team for sixth edition of The Ultimate Rip-Off: A Taxing Tale

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Mike Ilitch School of Business Professor of Accounting Tony Billings has joined D. Larry Crumbley (Texas A&M University) and Stephanie Walton (Louisiana State University) to release the sixth edition of the long-running educational novel, The Ultimate Rip-Off: A Taxing Tale.

First published in 1988, the book details the adventures of Jeff Burke, a “Dirty Harry-type” IRS special agent, who goes beyond the law to find several rogues who are evading taxes. Along the way, tax practices and concepts are articulated in a way students and readers will find gripping as well as informative. For this reason, The Ultimate Rip-Off is commonly used as a supplementary text for coursework in accounting, public finance and taxation.

Preface from the sixth edition

The Ultimate Rip-Off (sixth edition) is an exciting supplementary text for taxation, public finance, accounting, or tax research classes in a suspense thriller format. This instructional novel is ideal for an MBA program or law school, which has a light coverage of taxation or accounting. The novel can be used in IRS training programs for beginning agents or in a CPA firm's in-house training program. Like TV’s CSI and Criminal Minds, the novel takes taxation to a whole new level.

Featuring sleuths who handle net worth statements and financial records the way most detectives handle guns, the humorous characters put taxation and forensic accounting concepts into real-life individual and business decisions. Along the way, public finance concepts, political controversies, contemporary individual and corporate tax planning, tax fraud and avoidance, and the life of IRS employees are elucidated in a way both students and instructors will find gripping as well as informative. Never dull! This educational novel is both didactic and entertaining. So, jump on board, enjoy a good read, and do not spoon-feed your students.

The use of an imaginative novel is an extension of the scenario principle. This novel mixes fraud, crime, politics, ethics, economics, and taxation together to get a better way of learning the taxation process. If used as a supplement to a taxation course or a public finance course, this gripping novel provides a painless way of learning many taxation principles. This suspenseful novel put taxation and forensic accounting concepts into words a novice can understand and enjoy. Jeff Burke, a Dirty Harry-type Special Agent in the IRS, goes beyond the law to find several rogues who are evading taxes. Along the way tax practices and concepts are elucidated in a way students and readers will find gripping as well as informative.

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