By Ken Berry
And the winner of this year's Deloitte FanTAXtic event is . . . the College of William & Mary. Again.
The revamped tax case study competition, sponsored by the Deloitte Foundation, took place over three days in November at Deloitte University's campus for learning and leadership development outside of Dallas, Texas. Nine teams participated in solving a complex business tax case. Each student on the winning team received a $2,000 scholarship, while the winning school pocketed an institutional award of $10,000.
It's certainly no accident that William & Mary prevailed in the 2011 competition. The juggernaut has produced eleven national champions in the last eighteen years.
The Deloitte FanTAXtic competition is designed to expose students to the tax profession while they're still in school. A new format included more interactive exercises – including case simulations, role playing, and presentations – to help students embark on their tax careers. Deloitte tax practitioners were on hand to lend support and guidance throughout the competition.
Each team participating in the national competition had placed first in the regional competitions held on October 22, 2011, in nineteen different cities. The regional events drew more than eighty teams from fifty-three colleges and universities.
"We are very excited about Deloitte FanTAXtic, as it offers a fresh approach to delivering a long-standing tax case competition", said Shaun Budnik, President of Deloitte Foundation, in a press release. "As a result of the interactive nature of the program's new design, students are able to better understand the experiences and business challenges they may face during a tax career. I congratulate the College of William & Mary team, as they demonstrated an ability to work collaboratively while exhibiting a solid understanding of tax issues."
Placing behind William & Mary, in second and third place, respectively, were the University of Texas at Austin and John Carroll University. Students on the University of Texas team received awards of $1,000 each, and the school was awarded $5,000. Each student from John Carroll University received $500, while the school received a $2,500 institutional award.
"For years, the Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition has allowed us to play a vital role in developing and nurturing the next generation of tax talent", said Carl Allegretti, CEO of Deloitte Tax LLP. "Deloitte FanTAXtic, the latest iteration of the competition, has raised the bar on how we engage students and enhance their knowledge of tax. This year's winning team fully embraced the new format and delivered thoughtful, technically sound solutions to a very complex business tax case simulation. The results give me great confidence in the future of our profession."