Master’s in European and International Tax Law

LL.M or MSc with a major in Tax Law | 1 year | 60 credits

Course content

The academic year is structured in two semesters, and each semester is divided in two parts.

Students will take compulsory elements during the first semester and will choose to specialise in direct- or indirect tax law during the initial part of the second semester. The thesis work is compulsory and students may chose to focus on either direct or indirect taxes.

Autumn semester

The course covers, inter alia, the following elements and themes: 

  • Introduction to European law and indirect taxation
  • General features of indirect tax systems and customs law
  • Sources of law in indirect tax
  • General principles of law and their application in indirect tax cases
  • Methods of interpretation of indirect tax law

In addition, the course may cover various topics, for example, fraud and abuse, and the importance of adhering to formal obligations versus substantive requirements.  

Course code: HARN48

The course covers, inter alia, the following elements and themes: 

  • Sources and remedies in European and international tax law
  • Comparative tax law
  • Human rights and taxation
  • Fundamental Freedoms in the EU and their impact on Member States’ tax laws
  • State Aid and taxation

In addition, the course may cover various specialized topics, for example, abusive practices within international indirect tax law and public finance. 

Course code: HARN49

Spring semester

In the second semester, students choose between a course in either direct or indirect taxation. Both courses run parallel and are organised as follows:

The course addresses the underlying issues surrounding cross-border establishment from a functional perspective, both from EU law and from double-tax treaty law perspectives. The course is adjusted every year depending on which issues are topical. It may contain discussion of issues such as: 

  • Corporate structure and choice of legal form for cross-border business
  • Cross-border direct and indirect investment (active income)
  • Financial structure (passive income)
  • General anti-abuse rules and EU anti-tax-avoidance Directive
  • Transfer Pricing

Course code: HARN58

Within the course, the students study the theory, practice and principles governing VAT systems, and the principles and practices in customs law and EU excise law. The course focuses on the European VAT system, with comparisons made with other VAT systems, for example the “New World” VAT systems of New Zealand and Australia. With regard to customs and excises, the focus is on EU and international law. The course is adjusted every year depending on which issues are topical. It may contain discussion of issues such as: 

  • The scope of VAT
  • VAT grouping and cross-border vehicles
  • Taxation in VAT/GST of intra-Union cross border transactions
  • Consumption tax-system design issues in relation to financial activities, and public bodies excises and VAT consequences with regard to the movement of goods subject to excise duties in the EU.

Course code: HARN59

The thesis work is compulsory and students may chose to focus on either direct or indirect taxes.

This element is at the end of the academic year, but may be started as early as at the end of the first semester. The aim of this element is to allow students to critically research and reflect upon a subject related to European tax law, either in direct or indirect taxation. Students shall develop their skills to research, make and present in writing a major investigation in the field of tax law with support of the themes previously covered. Students are expected to: 

  • search for and evaluate scientific material and to use EU tax law methods for assessments and interpretation;
  • critically evaluate complex information in an objective and systematic way;
  • plan and execute in a timely manner qualified assignments and develop new knowledge; and
  • present international findings and argue for and discuss the knowledge which has been discovered.

The thesis work is assessed according to criteria such as:

  • The legal problem chosen and delimitation
  • Method of interpretation of documents
  • Relevance of sources, analysis and source evaluation
  • Objectivity and argumentation
  • Technicality, language and precision of terms used in tax law
  • Structure in the thesis and in analysis
  • Relevance of conclusions and result
  • Originality, creativity and independence of thought
  • Defence at opposition and opposition of another student’s thesis

Course code: HARN60

Please note

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.

Published by: katarina.csanta@ehl.lu.se  |  2018-11-12