Fall 2012 Class Descriptions
As of 5/25/2013 3:19:01 AM
Comp Tax & EU Fisc Governance
Comparative Taxation and EU Fiscal Governance
The course provides an introduction to the comparative dimensions of law and endeavors to bridge the gap between the domestic and the international level of legal regulation of economic activities. In particular the course addresses the circulation of fiscal and tax design issues, and this makes it particularly geared towards policy debate. The course also deal with current patterns of EU fiscal governance by looking at two landmark case studies: the proposal for a EU common taxation of companies, and the ongoing debate on participation by individual countries to the European Monetary Union and the related issues of possible disintegration of the Eurozone. Both cases involve significant issues of convergence that highlight critical aspects of regional processes of economic integration.
The course is based on current methodological approaches to issues of economic and business transnational law and therefore is aimed at those students who are generally interested to the discussion on methods of comparative and transnational law and to their actual applications in terms of policy convergence. A specific tax background is NOT a pre-requisite as the course is policy-oriented and based on class discussion, and therefore there is no requirement that the students has taken previous tax courses. The exam is a take-home paper, the topic of which will be discussed with the course instructor.
We will focus mainly on selected issues of tax policies having an international impact and use a comparative approach to analyse the evolution and circulation of tax models (intra-group dividends, tax leverage, tax consolidation, corporate reorganizations). Within this approach: 1) legal change is viewed as the result of the selection through legal transplants by domestic policy-makers, and 2) fiscal governance is viewed as the strategic interaction of national policies.
We will also consider certain "top-down constraints" in the EU process of coordination, with specific attention to the so called "negative integration" prompted by the leading cases of the European Court of Justice in tax matters protecting the four freedom enshrined in the EU Treaty. We will study the arguments and the reasoning adopted by the ECJ in these cases and their impact, comparing them with the US Supreme Court's jurisprudence.
We will combine the comparative/evolutionary approach and the case method to depict an evolutionary map for EU corporate taxes which reveals a "common core" in respect to cross-border taxation of groups of companies and fiscal governance at large.