Under the 1981 tax law, true, so-called tax shelters lose some of their appeal because the maximum levy on income drops from 70 to 50 percent. But, Hall points out, the new law also liberalizes (as well as standardizes) depreciation allowances--making shelters based on real-estate properties more attractive than before. A specialist in forming and managing real-estate limited partnerships, Hall acknowledges his partiality at the outset; but he's at pains to spell out both the risks and the rewards of such undertakings. Programs must be judged not only on tax aspects, Hall emphasizes, but also on economic grounds. (Here, he offers useful worst-case scenarios, as well as practical pointers.) He also examines the tradeoffs involved in limited partnerships--associations between general partners with applicable management expertise and groups of individuals with capital to invest. In brief, limited partners trade the right to run the business for protection against liability for partnership debts. Further, all of a shelter's profits, losses, and tax benefits flow through to individual participants on a pro-rata basis, meaning they can use appropriate expense items to offset ordinary income on personal returns. On the other side of the coin, tax shelters invariably involve some short-run sacrifice in liquidity; in the absence of secondary markets, interests in limited partnerships can prove difficult to sell in a hurry. There is also a chance the IRS or the courts may change the rules for specific tax-favored commitments at any time. But, in Hall's accounting, candor inspires confidence. With instruction on all the fine points too (from evaluating a general partner's record to preparing a tax return), an up-to-date reference that has no precise match.