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2021/2022  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
  • CSR and sustainability
  • International political economy
  • Tax law
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Development of personal competencies:
The overall aim of the course is to enable students to understand and (critically) 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 (critically) discuss related tax policy issues in an international and societal context.
  • Understand the key content of the sources of law within the international tax regime and to understand the relationship between these differing sources of law
  • Master the legal method and be able to (1) identify) legal problems and (2) to analyse these legal problems with reference to relevant sources of law
  • Be able to reflect upon how corporate taxpayers, through tax planning, can obtain legal and illegal tax advantages
  • Be able to discuss related tax policy issues in an international context
  • Be able to reflect upon how corporate tax practices, and applicable legal sources, affect and are affected by society ad political discourses
Course prerequisites
It is recommended that students have followed, and passed, a basic course in tax law before taking this course. However, it is not mandatory. The course is open to students from various disciplines outside of traditional tax scholarship, e.g. sociology, economics etc.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
To participate in peer-grading activity (submitting own work and assessing others).
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 (following CBS standard instructions for the exam).


The student will have the opportunity to discuss the essay with the course supervisor during the course, specifically in connection to schedued activity: lectures and supervision. Group supervisions are scheduled in which students will read and discuss each others essays. Supervisor will attend and add to these discussions in addition to answering potential questions from students. You can expect to recieve both written and oral feedback on your essay before submittig for final grade.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In recent years, the tax behavior of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has moved to the very top of the international political agenda. As a response, 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 (BEPS). 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 but also fiscal policies and current political discouses.     


Against this background, the course provides a thorough understanding of the legal framework and fiscal policies 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.


Moreover, the course provides insights into the current debate on corporate social responsibility, the relationship between the global south and the global north, 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. A critical perpsective is applied to the entire course, enabling students to achieve a broader understanding of taxation and fiscal policy than traditionally offered by tax (technical) courses.


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
  • Legal and political inequality between individual states
Description of the teaching methods
Most of the scheduled activity is online lectures (live via zoom). To a great extent, the teaching consists of case discussions and discussions based on scientific articles. Active participation is expected from all students during these classes. Therefore, it is a prerequisite 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 essay writing and subsequent supervision.

It is expected that students have made themselves familiar with the general terms and obtained a basic understanding of daily curriculum before attending. Course coordinator provides instructions for this preparation, e.g. reading material + what discussion questions to prepare.

For the students without prior experience of legal courses or tax law in general: There is a guide with reading material which you may ask course coordinastor of before the start in order to prepare yourself.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral at discussions in class during lectures in addition to more extensive feedback (during the entire course) in regard of the individual essay written. Here they will recieve both written and oral feedback o their essays from both supervisor and fellow students.

Additionally, all students will participate in peer-grade activity and, as a result, provide each other with feedback on the individual essays as they are progressing.
Student workload
Class participation 32 hours
Preparation and blended learning activities 105 hours
Exam and preparation for the exam (peer-grading included) 71 hours
Expected literature
  • Tsilly Dagan, International tax policy – between competition and cooperation, Cambridge University Press, 2017
  • Michael P. Devereux et al., Taxing profit in a global economy, Oxford University Press, 2020
  • Additional research papers will be provided to students via Canvas during the course
Last updated on 15-02-2021