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Advanced issues in International and European Tax Law

  • Teacher(s):  
  • English title: Questions avancées en fiscalité internationale et européenne
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits:
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2021-2022, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
      WARNING :   this is an old version of the syllabus, old versions contain   OBSOLETE   data.
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Objectives

Objectifs

Recognition for the preparatory modules of the Swiss Certified Tax Expert Diploma

Students having successfully passed both the exam of this course and that of International Tax Policy (Prof. R. Danon) are eligible to obtain a waiver of the preparatory module relating to Intercantonal and International Tax Law of the Swiss Certified Tax Expert Diploma

The course at a glance

  • Holistic and advanced discussion of important topics traditionally at stake in international tax disputes and controversies with a focus on Swiss, OECD and UN international tax practice.
  • Comparison of the role played by double taxation conventions (DTCs) in international tax disputes with other instruments such as international investment agreements (IIAs) – in particular bilateral investment Treaties (BITs) – as well as EU directives.
  • Broader relation between international tax law and public international law in cross-border tax disputes (for example the rules relating to the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts).
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms available to solve tax disputes or tax related disputes under DTCs, IIAs and EU law.

Objectives of the course

This course builds on the “International Tax Policy” course of Prof. R.J. Danon (taught from September to November) and on the “International and European Tax Law (fundamentals)” course of Prof. V. Chand (taught during the Spring semester) and discusses at an advanced level selected important topics traditionally at stake in international tax disputes and controversies. The focus is on Swiss, OECD and UN international tax practice.

Moreover, the course takes a holistic approach and explores the relevance of certain non-tax instruments as well as other areas of public international law in cross-border tax disputes. Accordingly, the role played by international investment agreements (IIAs) - in particular bilateral investment Treaties (BITs) - and their interaction with domestic tax measures, double taxation conventions (DTCs) and avenues for dispute resolution are discussed. Moreover, the broader framework of public international law governing the compliance by States with their international tax obligations is examined (for example the rules relating to the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts).

The approach followed by the course is casuistic in nature. Therefore, all issues presented will be illustrated by multiple case studies and leading decisions rendered by courts in Switzerland, in Europe and around the globe. Guest speakers such as representatives of tax administrations, international tax organisations, tax treaty negotiators, inhouse counsels are also invited to share their experience.

Contents

Structure and content of the course

The course will be divided into several blocks discussing the following topics at an advanced level:

  • Fundamental issues involving the interpretation of DTCs and IIAs
  • Improper use of DTCs by taxpayers and comparison with the problem of treaty shopping/abuse of process under IIAs and that of directive shopping in the EU.
  • Improper use (tax treaty dodging) and override of DTCs by States and the consequences thereof. The discussion will also consider the broader consequences under international law (i.e. Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts) and the relation with the standards laid down in other instruments (i.e. such as for example IIAs)
  • Comparative discussion of substantive standards of protection under DTCs and IIAs (non-discrimination, MFN clauses, fair and equitable treatment standard etc).
  • Remedies available to resolve international tax disputes or tax-related disputes under DTCs (mutual agreement procedure and mandatory binding arbitration), IIAs and at the EU level (dispute resolution directive)

References

All relevant materials will be available online

Evaluation

First attempt

Exam:
Written 2h00 hours
Documentation:
Allowed with restrictions
Calculator:
Allowed with restrictions
Evaluation:

Examen organisé par la faculté de Droit

Examen en ligne

Retake

Exam:
Written 2h00 hours
Documentation:
Allowed with restrictions
Calculator:
Allowed with restrictions
Evaluation:

Examen organisé par la faculté de Droit



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