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Academic year 2018/2019

Course ID
Teaching staff
Werner Christof Haslehner (Lecturer)
Francesco Cannas (Tutor)
Modular course
1st year
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
IUS/12 - diritto tributario
Formal authority
Type of examination

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The course has the purpose of providing the students the main tools to understand the general aspects and problems on international tax law, including e.g. issues on double taxation and double non-taxation; the role of multinationals enterprises within the international tax system; transfer pricing; issues on international tax avoidance and tax evasion and the role of exchange of information, among others important international tax law issues. 



Results of learning outcomes

The course should prepare the students with the necessary tools to develop a critical approach on the current international tax law developments, using as starting point the study of the OECD Model Tax Convention as well as some basic notions of European Tax Law.


Course delivery

The course is a 100% face-to-face course, which requires the assistance of students and their participation with questions and opinions during the class. 


Learning assessment methods

The course will require the elaboration of a short essay (5-10 pages) and a presentation of 15 minutes about an international tax law topic, followed by a discussion. Accordingly, the course will have a final written exam, which shall be divided in theoretical and practical questions.


Support activities

Supporting activities might be arranged and will be informed to the students during the course.



  • Introduction: International Tax Law
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the role of the OECD Model Tax Convention
  • General aspects on the OECD Model Tax Convention:
    • Persons and taxes covered
    • Residents for tax treaty purposes
    • Residence v. Source
    • The interaction between tax treaty law and domestic tax law
  • Specific provisions of the OECD Model Tax Convention:
    • Interest
    • Dividends
    • Royalties
    • Capital Gains
    • Other income
    • Business Profits and the concept of Permanent Establishment (PE)
  • Double Taxation (and Double Non-Taxation)
    • Credit method
    • Exemption method  
  • International Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance and Exchange of Information
    • Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance as a global issue
    • The OECD Model Tax Convention and Exchange of Information
      • Types of Exchange of Information
      • Fishing Expeditions
      • Case Law (e.g. Julius Baer case -Switzerland)
    • National attempts on exchange of information, e.g. FATCA in the U.S./Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).
  • Taxation of Multinationals and other International Tax Law Issues:
    • Transfer pricing
    • International Tax Planning
    • Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and other current international tax developments
  • Basic notions on European Tax Law
    • Fundamental Freedoms
    • EU Directives concerning International Tax Law Issues
      • Interest and Royalty Directive (I&R)
      • Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD)
      • Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) I and II
    • Case Law of the CJEU

Suggested readings and bibliography


Minimum materials required:

  • OECD Model Tax Convention 2017 and its Commentaries.
  • Michael Lang, Introduction to the Law of Double Taxation Conventions, 2nd Ed., Linde, Vienna, 2013.
  • Michael Lang et al., Introduction to European Tax Law on Direct Taxation 4th Ed., Linde, Vienna, 2015.

NOTE: The text of the OECD Model Tax Convention and its commentaries can be downloaded for free at . The books from M. Lang should be available at the library of the School of Management and Economics.


Additional Supporting Materials:


  • Klaus Vogel on Double Taxation Conventions, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, 4th Ed. (Eds. Ekkehart Reimer and Alexander Rust), Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2015.
  • B. Terra and P. Wattel, European Tax Law, Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den rijn, the Netherlands, 2012.

 NOTE: The use of these books is not mandatory, although it might help those students willing to go deeper in the topics treated during the course. The books should be available at the library of the Department of Management and Economics.

 Academic papers

  • Ault H., Some Reflections on the OECD and the Sources of International Tax Principles, 70 Tax Notes Int'l 12 (2013).
  • Avery Jones J., Avoiding Double Taxation: Credit versus Exemption ‒ The Origins, 66 Bull. Intl. Taxn. 2 (2012), Journals IBFD.
  • Avi-Yonah R., The International Tax Regime: A Centennial Reconsideration, University of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 462 (2015).
  • Dagan T., The Tax Treaty Myth, 32 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. Pol. 939 (2000).
  • Navarro A., Parada L. and Schwarz P., The Proposal for an EU Anti-avoidance Directive: Some Preliminary Thoughts, 25 EC Tax Rev. 3 (2016).
  • Parada L., Intergovernmental Agreements and the Implementation of FATCA in Europe, 7 World Tax Journal 2 (2015), Journals IBFD.
  • Parada L., Lessons Learned From the Swiss Julius Baer case, 74 Tax Notes Int'l 13 (2014).
  • Ring D., One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, 44 Boston College Law Review 1 (2002).
  • Roin J., Taxation Without Coordination, 31 The Journal of Legal Studies 1, Part 2 (2002).
  • Rosembuj T., International Tax Arbitrage, 39 Intertax 4 (2011).
  • Rosenbloom H. D., Cross-Border Arbitrage: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Taxes-The Tax Magazine, Vol. 85 (2007).
  • Ting A., iTax-Apple's International Tax Structure and the Double Non-Taxation Issue, BTR 1 (2014).
  • Van den Hurk H., Starbucks versus the People, 68 Bull. Intl. Taxn. 1 (2014), Journals IBFD.

NOTE: All these academic papers will be provided to the students in an electronic copy (PDF). Additional reading materials in the form of academic papers; chapter of books and case law texts might also be requested/provided during the course and as per the specific topics discussed during its development. 



For the introductory class on 11 October 2017, please read in advance:

  • Introduction of the Commentaries of the OECD Model Tax Convention.
  • Tsilly Dagan, The Tax Treaty Myth, 32 N.Y.U.J. Int'l Pol. 939 (2000).
Last update: 03/06/2019 11:02
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