In recent years, the international tax planning strategies of multinationals have become a source of – often heated – debate. This course provides learners with the tools to become fully informed participants in the debate by explaining the foundations and practice of international tax law as well as addressing current developments and the ethical aspects of tax planning.
Skills You Will Gain
Leiden University (Universiteit Leiden)
Prof. Dr. Sjoerd Douma
Faculty of Law
International Tax Center
Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
Week 1: International tax planning – base case
In this first week, we will start on our journey into the world of international taxation. We will see that the tax planning activities of multinationals have attracted a lot of attention during the past few years. We will examine why planning strategies are now in the public eye, what the public debate is really about and who the key players are. We will also go to the core of international tax planning and build a base case, the elements of which we will study throughout the course.
Week 2: Design of corporate tax law systems
In this second module, we will start breaking down our tax planning base case. To that end, we will study the design of corporate tax law systems during this module. In the videos and (recommended) reading materials, we analyse the typical design elements of corporate tax law systems.
Week 3: Principles of international taxation & tax treaties
In this third module, we will continue to analyze our tax planning base case. To that end, in module 2, we studied the typical design of corporate tax law systems. In this module, we will look at international aspects of corporate tax law systems (CFC, qualification mismatches). We will also get to the core of international tax law and study double tax treaties.
Week 4: Transfer pricing
In this fourth module, we will be focusing on transfer pricing, a technique which is used to allocate the profits made by a group of companies to the individual group members. Transfer pricing is an area of tax law which is becoming increasingly important. Our study will focus on the basics of transfer pricing: the 'arm's length principle', comparability and transfer pricing methods, but will also address business restructurings and include a case study.
Week 5: European Union law & fiscal state aid
In this fifth module, we will take a look at the developments in the area of corporate tax planning within the EU, focusing on recent developments and the actions which have been taken within the EU to ensure that international tax planning of multinationals does not negatively affect corporate taxation within its territory. Also, we will discuss the limits which EU tax law places on domestic and international measures to counter aggressive tax planning and BEPS.
Week 6: Tax planning & ethical dimensions
This sixth and last module will be about the ethical aspects of tax planning. Prof. Douma will be interviewing a number of key stakeholders in the current debate to reflect on what we have learned in the previous modules. In addition, you will find the final exam which will enable you to complete the course.
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