LCSN PROFILE: NMSU prof studies tax law

March 15, 2010. Retrieved online: March 15, 2010 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — Larry Tunnell has heard all the complaints about how the U.S. tax system is complicated. As someone who has a doctorate in accounting and who has taught the subject of taxes for a number of years, Tunnell has formed his own opinion on the matter: he agrees.

“Taxes have gotten so complicated, it’s far more complicated now,” he said.

Tunnell, 53, works in the accounting and information systems department at New Mexico State University. He just finished a three-year stint as head of the department. He has taught at the school since 1994.

Simplifying the tax law, though, will not be easy.

“There’s some misconception out there about trying to simplify it too much; if you want to close off the loopholes and make it fair for everybody then there has to be some complication in the system,” he said. “(But) there can definitely be a lot of simplification and still be fair.”

A Texas native who earned his Ph.D from Oklahoma State University, Tunnell said that accounting is a misunderstood profession.

“There’s a perception about what accounting is all about out there that’s not really true,” he said. “There’s a lot of interesting work in accounting; it’s not repetitive or boring work. One of best ways to learn about business is in accounting.”

Tunnell is the faculty advisor at NMSU for the business living learning community.

“When freshmen come in, if they’re a business major and they’re going to live in the dorms, they’re asked if they want to live in a business living learning community,” he said.

Read the article.

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