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BYU student team wins PriceWaterhouse national tax competition

Headaches are mounting as people struggle to make sense of their taxes with April 15 fast on their heels. But taxes are no headache for five Brigham Young University accounting students whose tax knowledge recently earned them a substantial return at the PricewaterhouseCoopers' xTAX competition.

The team of students from BYU's Marriott School of Management won $10,000 as one of five national winners of the PricewaterhouseCoopers' xTAX competition. The program is designed to foster interest among students in the world of tax and provide them with exposure to a 'real-world' tax case.

"xTAX was designed to challenge the students and is clearly accomplishing that goal," says Rick Berry, U.S. tax leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Students already get a lot of technical details in their classes and xTAX gives them the opportunity to think about important issues and convince others that their position was best."

BYU team members include Brian Hunt of Paradise, Calif.; Camille Redd of Kaysville, Utah; Jed Eastman of Bountiful, Utah; Lane Morgan of Las Vegas; and Melissa Lloyd of Allen, Texas.

xTAX is a national campus initiative built around student teams addressing a tax policy issue designed by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Washington National Tax Service.

"The experience was a valuable supplement to my accounting education," says Eastman, a BYU team member. "I have never before been involved in a project or competition that has given me so many wonderful networking opportunities as well as a look into the real world of public accounting."

Students competitors developed a detailed tax policy case study involving the fictional nation of Panadrevia's challenge to stimulate economic growth by encouraging private sector research and development. The case required students to focus on thinking critically and working as a team to develop the most effective solution.

The 2004 xTAX national winning teams included students from BYU, New York University, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The top team from each campus received $1,000 and each of the five national winning teams received $10,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to spend a day at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Washington National Tax Service.

Writer: Lauren Funk

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