International Business Taxation


Andrew Lymer 

Module description

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/ 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.

Whilst no formal prior knowledge of taxation is required, some previous experience of domestic tax systems will be an advantage in taking this course.

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
  • Provide an overview of the principles of comparative taxation

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • understand the current application of general international taxation principles
  • be aware of the potential impacts of taxation on the decision making of international businesses
  • appreciate the importance of tax planning in international business
  • understand how fiscal authorities approach the setting and maintenance of rules for international taxation
  • appreciate the principles and application of principles of taxation across various domestic domains (comparative taxation)
  • extend their knowledge from other business subjects by adding the dimension of taxation in greater detail