Theory and practice of international tax law

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides with: 1) a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of taxation written by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations" back to 1776; 2) a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of international taxation contained in the "Report on Double Taxation" written for the League of Nations by Proff. Bruins, Einaudi, Seligman and Stamp, back to 1923, as well as in the following recommendations of other international Organizations (i.e. the Model Tax Convention and its Commentary, the BEPS project and the CRS of the OECD); 3) a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of international tax law embodied in customary law as well as in supranational law (i.e. European tax law).
Expected learning outcomes
The course then aims to get into practice describing the most common tax regimes of multinational enterprises as well as the International tax avoidance, evasion and fraud techniques in order to demonstrate that countries are no longer free to adopt international tax rules they please but, rather, are obliged to operate in the context of circulating tax models, which change in the same ways international law changes over time. It is still possible to imagine unilateral actions, and sometimes there are indeed, but they more often generate unpredictable counteractions in the matrix of globalization. This is the reason why international and supranational Organizations (i.e. OECD and EU) are becoming conscious to propose coordinated actions that respect the basic principles of international tax law.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
1 The International Taxation between History, Law and Economics
2 The Modern Principle of Worldwide Taxation
3 The nexus: Nationality versus Residence
4 The Older Principle of Territorial Taxation
5 The Missing Genuine Nexus to Land: the New Concept of "Digital" Permanent Establishment of Foreign Taxpayers
6 The Missing Traditional Distinction Between Passive Income and Active Income
7 The Scope of Transfer Pricing Legislation and its Methods
8 The Scope of Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) Legislation
9 The sources of International Tax Law: the OECD Model Tax Convention
10 The sources of International Exchange of Tax Information
11 The fundamental principles of European Tax Law

12 New Technology and International Taxation: Individual and Corporate Taxpayers Missing in the Digital Economy
13 From double taxation to double non taxation: the Google Double Irish with Dutch Sandwich
14 The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the OECD against aggressive multinational corporate tax planning
15 Towards a New International Corporate Tax Coherence?
16 The Future of International Tax Treaties coming out from recent case law
17 For a sustainable tax planning: The Good Governance in Tax Matters
18 The UBS Scandal, the Panama Papers and the Abuse of Offshore Centers
19 The International Tax Evasion and Fraud as Another Form of Terrorism
20 Which Rights for the International Taxpayer?
Prerequisites for admission
A Tax law course is a preferable precondition for foreign students, it is a compulsary for Italian students
Teaching methods
The attendance of the course is highly recommended. Case studies, seminars and visits shall be carried out during the course and shall constitute part of the final assessment.
Teaching Resources
REUVEN S. AVI-YONAH, Advanced Introduction to International Tax Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, latest edition; (compulsory reading)
GIUSEPPE MARINO, International and European Measures for De-offshoring: Global Ambitions and Local Hypocrisies, Intertax, vol. 46/8-9, 2017 (compulsory reading)
CHARLES ADAMS, For Good and Evil, The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization, Madison Books - Lanham Maryland, USA, 2001; (suggested reading)
PROFESSORS BRUINS, EINAUDI, SELIGMAN AND SIR JOSIAH STAMP, Report 1806 on Double Taxation, LEAGUE OF NATIONS, 1923; (suggested reading)
OECD/G20, Base Erosion Profit Shifting, at (suggested reading)
SUNITA JOGARAJAN, Double Taxation and The League of Nations, Cambridge Tax Law Series, 2018 (suggested reading)
WILLIAM VLCEK, Offshore Finance and Global Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2017 (suggested reading)
TSILLY DAGAN, International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation; Cambridge Tax Law series, 2017 (suggested reading)
BRADLEY C. BIRKENFELD, The Lucifer's Banker, Greenleaf Book Group, 2018 (suggested reading)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Exam The final exam shall consist of a multiple choice questionnaire plus an oral conversation and shall be based on the topics carried on during the classes.
IUS/12 - TAX LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Marino Giuseppe