Comparative and International Taxation

This course builds on the completion of a level 2(I) course that is compulsory for all BSc Accounting and Finance students. It aims to extend their domestic tax knowledge gained in this course by adding comparative (other country tax systems basics) and international dimensions. 

With the increasing globalisation of trading activity taxation considerations are having increasing impacts on the planning of international business activity. This course will consider what general tax principles should be applied when a business considers how it will organise its international activities. It focuses on the micro decision making process though elements of public finance and macro perspectives will be required to provide a rounded picture of the subject. Coverage will be given to specific principles that currently underpin the taxation of cross border trade such as the rules for taxation of transfer pricing, double taxation treaties. Some consideration will also be given to tax history, issues of jurisdictions, administration and compliance costs, direct v indirect taxation, capital taxes and the impact of technology on international taxation. 

This course will build on prior courses in the programme that focus on domestic taxation which uses the UK as the primary example. Elements of this course will introduce the student to comparative taxation by extending their knowledge of the UK¿s domestic situation into other key domestic domains including the USA and Australia.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to introduce students to the general principles and current rules of international taxation. Successful completion of the course will:

  • Provide an understanding of the taxation of International business activity
  • Equip students with an grounding in the principles of international taxation
  • Illustrate the ways in which these principles are currently applied in key jurisdictions across the world
  • Provide an overview of the role of international tax planning in modern business activity
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key comparative features of tax system design.


2 parts to assessment:

  1. formal written, unseen, examination sat in normal exam period - 75% - 2 hour exam
  2. essay written in small groups (2-4 people) 2000-2500 words per person in the group (individually assessed on contribution made to whole essay - self determined by group usually in form of separate chapter authorship) - 25% - submitted at end of module.