Tax Principles and Policy

Core Course

Tax Principles and Policy

This core course introduces students to fundamental principles in taxation as well as enabling students to meet with each other and exchange ideas.  Students taking this degree come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and have varying levels of experience, but all will have something to learn and something to bring to the table during this interactive course.

The focus is on themes and concepts that will provide students with the necessary grounding to study a range of topics in tax law within their political and economic context. The aim is to create an understanding of the requirements of a tax system and the difficulties encountered in designing, legislating for and administering such a system.

The course includes the following topics:

  • Tax Concepts (including objectives and function of tax, tax base, capital vs income distinction in tax law, relationship between tax and accounting profits, sources of tax law and constitutional issues)
  • The Tax Unit (individuals, couples or families? Taxing companies, partnerships, trusts and other entities)
  • Tax Avoidance (including the meaning of tax avoidance, and judicial and legislative responses)

The aim of the course is to provide students with a common foundation of key principles, concepts and policy issues in tax. Students will be able to draw upon their understanding of these principles, concepts and issues, including the objectives of tax and tax avoidance, in developing their understanding of the material covered on their other compulsory and optional courses.

The course is taught by Professor Judith Freedman and Professor Glen Loutzenhiser with contributions from Professor Michael Devereux and Professor John Vella.

*Note: Course content and teachers are subject to change