Principles of International Taxation

Module description


Students will be introduced to 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).

External Engagement
In 2011/12 a guest speaker from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), spoke on tax administration.

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:Principles of International Taxation
Module code:BEAM051
Module level:M
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Martin Edhouse - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


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 Key components of the international taxation system including jurisdiction, residence and source 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 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
  • 2. criticise and challenge theoretical perspectives on various dimensions of international taxation including capital import, export and ownership neutrality, tax completion and tax avoidance
  • 3. discuss and critically evaluate extant academic research relating to various key themes in international taxation
  • 4. 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

  • 5. demonstrate powers of research in the academic literature and texts
  • 6. demonstrate powers of academic literature criticism
  • 7. discuss and articulate different perspectives on contemporary issues
  • 8. demonstrate powers of integration and synthesis

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. use information technology for information retrieval and report production
  • 10. 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 Activities33 (3 hours per week)Lectures and discussion classes
Guided independent study33Preparation for discussion classes
Guided independent study84Reading and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tasks for debate and discussionIn class1-10In 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
Mid-Term Test201 hour1-4Verbal and written feedback
Written examination802 hours1-8Formal (departmental/university channels)

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment1,500 word essay (20%)1-101 September deadline for submission
2 hour examination2 hour examination (80%)1-8August/September assessment period,

Re-assessment notes

Where you have been referred/deferred for the mid-term test, you will undertake a new assignment. This will constitute 20% of the module.
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. This will constitute 80% of the module

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 and attempts at harmonisation
•   Tax and development
•   Overview and revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:
Miller, A and Oats, L. (2012) Principles of International Taxation, 3rd Edition, 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, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Braithwaite, J. and Drahos, P. (2000) Global Business Regulation, Cambridge University Press.
Picciotto, S. (1992) International Business Taxation, 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