International Taxation

Module description


Students will be introduced to key debates in a number of key topics in international taxation and latest research from a number of disciplinary perspectives including accounting, law, economics and politics.

Additional Information:

This module takes an international perspective on taxation and considers examples from all over the world.


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

Students develop their ability to analyse, research, and to write reports and essays. The core text for this module is one that is regularly used by practitioners, so students also develop practical skills through their work.

Full module specification

Module title:International Taxation
Module code:BEA3016
Module level:3
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Ann Hansford - Convenor
  • Professor Lynne Oats - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

This module aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in a number of key topics in international taxation, drawing on research and practices from around the globe. Students will be encouraged to be inquisitive, and critical of contemporary developments; developing their ability to integrate and synthesise different topics and approaches in order to enter into current debates.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. describe, compare, contrast and critically evaluate various key aspects of international taxation including alternative contexts (e.g. economic, social, cultural and political) within which international taxation operates
  • 2. describe, compare, contrast and critically evaluate various key aspects of interntional taxation including key components of the international taxation system including jurisdiction, residence and source
  • 3. describe, compare, contrast and critically evaluate various key aspects of international taxation including various techniques for dealing with the integration of tax systems, including double tax relief mechanisms, double tax agreements and other forms of international co-operation
  • 4. describe, compare, contrast and critically evaluate various key aspects of international taxation including the role of supranational organizations such as the EC, OECD, United Nations and IMF in influencing and shaping the development of the international taxation system
  • 5. criticise and challenge theoretical perspectives on various dimensions of international taxation including capital import, export and ownership neutrality, tax competition and tax avoidance
  • 6. discuss and critically evaluate extant academic research relating to various key themes in international taxation
  • 7. integrate and synthesise module topics to discuss the key issues in international taxation theory and practice; comment on the associated current debates, and suggest potential future areas for development

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 8. demonstrate powers of research in the academic literature and texts
  • 9. demonstrate powers of academic literature critique
  • 10. discuss and articulate different perspectives on contemporary issues
  • 11. demonstrate powers of integration and synthesis

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. use information technology for information retrieval and report production
  • 13. demonstrate an ability to work independently as well as in groups, including time management and developing effective and efficient study techniques

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities22 (11 x 2 hours)Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10 (10 x 1 hour)Tutorial
Guided independent study15Preparation for discussion classes
Guided independent study103Reading and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tasks for debate In class1-13In-class
Weekly discussion of current international tax In class1, 3, 5, 9In class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In class test30In class test1-13Formal (departmental/ university channels)
Written examination702 hours1-13Formal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In class testWritten assignment (worth 30% of total marks)1-13July assessment period
Examination2 hour examination (70%)1-13August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Where you have been referred/ deferred for the exam, you will the opportunity to take a second exam in the August/ September re-assessment period.

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to international taxation including a brief historical overview
  • Key aspects of international taxation – jurisdiction, residence, source
  • The double tax problem: what happens when two (or more) countries try to tax the same profits?
  • Bilateral and multilateral double tax agreements as mechanisms for overcoming double taxation
  • International tax planning for large multinational companies, including relationships with revenue authorities in different jurisdictions
  • Tax avoidance and evasion in an international setting, including the role of tax havens
  • The role of supranational organizations in shaping the international tax environment
  • Tax competition, tax reform and tax policy
  • Tax risk management
  • A review of current and topical international tax research
  • Overview and revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:
• Miller, A and Oats, L. (2014) Principles of International Taxation, 4th Edition, Haywards Heath: Bloomsbury Professional.

In addition, various research and practice oriented articles and reports will be recommended and some made available in hard copy throughout the course of the module.
Other relevant texts:
• Lymer, A. and Hasseldine, J. (2002) The International Tax System, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
• Braithwaite, J. and Drahos, P. (2000) Global Business Regulation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Picciotto, S. (1992) International Business Taxation, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Relevant academic journals
• British Tax Review
• International Tax Review
• International Tax and Public Finance
• Tax Law Review
• Tax Adviser
• European Taxation

Origin date


Last revision date