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2020/2021  KAN-CJURV1040U  International Taxation of Corporate Groups

English Title
International Taxation of Corporate Groups

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Commercial Law, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Yvette Lind - CBS Law
Main academic disciplines
  • Tax law
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 10-06-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Development of personal competencies:
The overall aim of the course is to enable students to understand and analyze the tax framework regulating the behavior of multinational enterprises (MNEs). The purpose of the course is to provide students the ability to interpret the relevant legal rules and to connect these rules to the facts at hand. In addition, the course should enable students to independently identify nuances in the legal judgment based on the underlying circumstances. Finally, the course aims at providing students with insights into the policy context of the relevant legislation.

Goal description:
At the highest possible level, the course aims at making students able to identify, analyze, and solve issues of importance for MNEs within the three dimensions of international tax law (internal law, tax treaties, and the EU tax law) while taking account of the rules and principles governing MNE’s international tax planning. Furthermore, the course seeks to enable students to discuss related tax policy issues in an international context at a high level.
  • Obtain an overview of the relevant legislation within the course
  • Understand the key content of the sources of law within the course.
  • Understand the relationship between the different sources of law.
  • Master the legal method and be able to analyze issues and show how concrete examples can be solved by the application of relevant sources of law.
  • Be able to reflect upon how citizens and companies through planning and action can obtain legal tax advantages.
  • Be able to discuss the related tax policy issues in an international context.
Course prerequisites
It is recommended that students have followed and passed a basic course in tax law before taking this course.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see s. 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Students are expected to attend the last activity of the course (seminar 9) at which he or she will be expected to actively participate in peer-to-peer feedback:
- Give a short presentation of the essay and the findings of the student
- Be prepared to give more extensive comments on 3-4 other essays (will be assigned during the course)
- Be prepared to take part in general discussions linked to other essays (other than those assigned to the student)
International Taxation of Corporate Groups:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The grade of the course will be based upon an individual essay written by the student.  The student will choose a topic related to the course (examples will be provided by the course administrator in the beginning of the course) and write an essay of maximum 15 pages during the course.


The student will have the opportunity to discuss the essay with the corse supervisor (in addition to additional teachers) during the course, specifically during scheduled office hours alt. in connection to lectures and seminars.


The student will hold a shorter (5-10 min) presentation of the essay at the final activity of the course (seminar 9) and be prepared to recieve feedback from other students in addition to the course coordinator (peer-to-peer feedback).  After this the student will have some time to revise the essay before final submission and final grading.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In recent years, the tax behavior of MNEs has moved to the very top of the international political agenda. Accordingly, international organizations such as the G20, the OECD and the EU have all been involved in initiatives aimed at mitigating MNEs aggressive tax planning in order to protect national tax bases against base erosion and profit shifting. Moreover, other stakeholders – such as NGOs and the general media – have shown unprecedented interest into the tax matters of MNE’s. As a consequence, it is not sufficient for corporate decision makers and their advisors to only take account of the legislation itself when deciding on tax matters, as perceived amoral tax behavior may cause reputational damage.     


Against this background, the course provides a thorough understanding of the legal framework governing cross-border tax issues of relevance for MNEs by discussing the three dimensions of international tax law: 1) internal tax law, 2) tax treaties, and 3) EU tax law. Focus will be on the latter two dimensions. Moreover, the course will provide an insight into the current debate on corporate social responsibility and the policy discussions that influence the tax framework for MNEs. As a red thread throughout the course the student will not only learn tax technicalities referable to these legal sources but also the policy decisions behind them, whether it may be on domestic level, EU level or international level.


The course will focus on the following topics of relevance for MNEs:

  • Interpretation and application of tax treaties
  • Distribution clauses in tax treaties
  • EU tax law
  • International tax planning and anti-avoidance rules
  • Tax strategy and corporate social responsibility
  • International tax policy
Description of the teaching methods
To a great extent, the teaching consists of case discussions and discussions based on scientific articles. Active participation is expected from all students during classes – especially in relation to case reviews. It is a prerequisite for participation that students show up well prepared as only parts of the curriculum is reviewed by the traditional lecture method and the rest is employed in relation to cases and discussions of selected issues highlighted in relevant articles. Meanwhile, it is also expected that students have made themselves familiar with the general terms and obtained a basic understanding of daily curriculum before attending.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral at case discussions in class in addition to more extensive feedback (during the entire course) in regard of the individual essay written by the student.

In class the student may expect individual feedback from the teacher at lectures, mainly when working with cases.
Student workload
Class participation 30 hours
Preparation and blended learning activities 105 hours
Exam and preparation for the exam (writting essay and giving feedback at seminar 9) 71 hours
Expected literature

Introduction to the Law of Double Taxation Conventions, Michael Lang et al., Linde Verlag / IBFD.


International Tax Policy – Between Competition and Cooperation, Tilly Dagan, Cambridge University Press.


The OECD Model Tax Convention with Commentary', OECD Publishing

Last updated on 10-06-2020