Master’s in European and International Tax Law

LL.M or MSc with a major in Tax Law | 1 year | 60 credits

Course content

The academic year is structured in two semesters, and each semester is divided in two parts.

Students will take compulsory elements during the first semester and will choose to specialise in direct- or indirect tax law during the initial part of the second semester. The thesis work is compulsory and students may chose to focus on either direct or indirect taxes.

Autumn semester

During the first ten weeks, we study how direct and indirect taxes function and are assessed in a comparative perspective. We also study how European Union (EU) Law impacts national systems. The teaching is organised in lectures, seminars and case studies.

  • Structures of tax systems, direct and indirect taxes, and introduction to international tax law
  • Comparative tax issues and bilateral treaty law
  • Practical Information and Internet based course on resources
  • Sources of EU law
  • Judicial Remedies and the Cooperation Duty for taxes
  • General Principles of European Union Law applied to Taxation
  • Human rights and taxation
  • Home exam and feedback

Course code: HARN48

In this ten weeks module, the main goal is to provide students with a method of interpretation of EU law and other fundamentals that will be practiced in the next course. The module is structured by themes common for both direct and indirect taxes:

  • Methods of Interpretation of EU Law applied to taxation
  • The Economic Perspective and Public Finance
  • Abusive Practices
  • Fundamental Freedoms
  • Transfer Pricing in direct and indirect taxation
  • Mutual Assistance and Information Exchange
  • Home exam and feedback

Course code: HARN49

Spring semester

In the second semester, students choose between a course in either direct or indirect taxation. Both courses run parallel and are organised as follows:

This course addresses the underlying issues for cross-border establishment in a functional perspective and is structured around the central themes as follows.

  • Expatriate taxation: This theme covers studies of cross-border staff transfers for individual income tax purposes, with a special focus on payroll taxes, free movement of workers, employer’s responsibility and planning of contractors’ activity.
  • Cross-border Direct Investment: This section covers the choice of establishment form (subsidiary/permanent establishment/group of companies), the freedom of establishment, the tax treatment of licensing, leasing and franchising.
  • Cross-border Indirect Investment: This theme addresses issues linked to supply chain management and intellectual property management and the planning of manufacturing, distribution and retail functions in a multinational enterprise.
  • Financial Structure: This section deals with group financing and the choice between debt and equity from a tax law perspective, as well as the consequences from an EU tax law viewpoint, and the use of hybrid entities in the financing of international groups.
  • Corporate Structure: This theme covers issues linked to the differences between the apportionment or unitary taxation methods, and addresses the CC-CTB project, the restructuring issues within MNEs such as mergers and exits.
  • Tax law, civil law and abuse: This section addresses issues covering the general anti-abuse rules (GAAR) and the sanction systems in comparative perspective in an EU and Human Rights perspective through case law studies.
  • The examination trains students to individually draft a longer paper on a specific theme chosen in collaboration with the course’s teachers.

Course code: HARN58

  • In depth studies of the theory and practice, and principles governing, the European VAT system in particular, with comparisons made with other VAT systems (such as the "New World" VATs of New Zealand and Australia).
  • The studies are divided into themes; Such as "The scope of VAT", "VAT Grouping and cross-border vehicles", "Cross border transactions" and consumption tax system design issues in relation to financial activities and public bodies.
  • Excises and VAT consequences with regard to the movement of goods subject to excise duties in the EU.
  • Customs and VAT treatment of movement of goods at importation and exportation to/from the EU.
  • The examination trains students to draft a longer paper on a specific theme chosen in collaboration with the course’s teachers.

Course code: HARN59

The thesis work is compulsory and students may chose to focus on either direct or indirect taxes.

This element is at the end of the academic year, but may be started as early as in the end of the first semester. The aim of the element is to allow students to critically research and reflect upon a subject related to European Tax Law either in direct or indirect taxation. Students shall develop their skills to research, make and present in writing a major investigation in the field of taxation with support of the elements taken previously.

Course code: HARN60

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.