John Vella is an Associate Professor of Taxation in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford and a non-tutorial Fellow of Harris Manchester College. He is  Assistant Director of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and a co-director of the MSc in Taxation. John studied law at the University of Malta (BA and LLD) and the University of Cambridge (LLM and PhD). After completing his doctorate he moved to Oxford first as Norton Rose Career Development Fellow in Company Law at the Faculty of Law and then as Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation. 

John has been a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, a Visiting Professor at Bocconi University and has held visiting research positions at New York Univeristy, the University of Sydney and Georgetown University.  John's recent publications have focused on the taxation of multinationals, financial sector taxation, and tax compliance and administration. He has given evidence on these issues on a number of occasions both before UK Parliamentary Committees and Committees of the European Parliament. 




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  • J Vella, A Pirlot and R Collier, 'Tax Policy and the Covid-19 Crisis' (2020) 48 Intertax
  • J Vella, 'Value creation and the allocation of profit under formulary apportionment' in R Krever and F Vaillancourt (eds), The Allocation of Multinational Business Income: Reassessing the Formula Apportionment Option (Kluwer Law International 2020)
  • J Vella, M Devereux and N Johannesen, 'Can taxes tame the banks? Evidence from the European bank levies' (2019) 129 Economic Journal 3058
  • J Vella, 'Digital Services Taxes: Principle as a double-edged sword' (2019) 72 National Tax Journal 821
  • J Vella and R Collier, 'Five Core Problems in the Attribution of Profits to Permanent Establishments' (2019) 11 World Tax Journal 159
  • J Vella, 'Barclays Mercantile Business Finance Ltd v Mawson – Living with Uncertainty' in J Snape and D de Cogan (eds), Landmark Case of Revenue Law (Hart Publishing 2018)
  • J Vella and M Devereux, 'Gaming Destination Based Cash Flow Taxes' (2018) Tax Law Review 477
  • J Vella and M Devereux, 'Implications of digitalisation for international corporate tax reform' (2018) Volume 46 Intertax 550
  • J Vella and A Pirlot, 'International Taxation in the United Kingdom post-BEPS' in K Sediq (ed), Tax Design and Administration in a Post - BEPS Era: A Study of Key Reform Measures in 16 Countries (Fiscal Publications 2018)
  • J Vella, J Armour, L Enriquez and Al Ezrachi, 'Putting technology to good use for society: the role of corporate, competition and tax law' (2018) 6 Journal of the British Academy 285
  • J Vella and M Devereux, 'Taxing the digitalised economy: targeted or system-wide reform' [2018] British Tax Review 301
  • J Vella and M Devereux, Value creation as the fundamental principle of the international corporate tax system (European Tax Policy Forum Policy Paper 2018)
  • J Vella, A Auerbach, M Devereux and M Keen, 'International Tax Planning under a Destination Based Cash Flow Tax' (2017) National Tax Journal 783
  • J Vella and A Cedelle, 'Using the enhanced cooperation procedure in the tax sphere: lessons from the FTT proposal' in P Koutrakos and J Snell (eds), Research Handbook on the Law of the EU’s Internal Market (Edward Elgar Publishing 2017)
  • J Vella and J Freedman, 'Large businesses: tax strategies and sanctions for persistently uncooperative behaviour' [2016] 5 British Tax Review 653
  • J Vella and M Devereux, 'Are we heading towards a corporate tax system fit for the 21st century?' (2014) 35 Fiscal Studies 449
  • J Vella, 'Regulatory choice: observations on the recent experience with corrective taxes in the financial sector' in W. G. Ringe and P. M. Huber (eds), Legal Challenges Arising out of the Global Financial Crisis: The Euro, Bail-outs, and Regulation (Hart Publishing 2014)
  • J Vella, 'Shams, Tax Avoidance and a ‘realistic view of the facts’' in E Simpson and M Stewart (eds), Sham Transactions (OUP 2013)
  • J Vella, J Englisch and A Yevgenyeva, 'The Financial Transaction Tax Proposal Under the Enhanced Cooperation Procedure: Legal and Practical Considerations' (2013) 2 British Tax Review 223
  • J Vella, J Freedman and G Loomer, 'Analyzing the enhanced relationship between corporate taxpayers and revenue authorities: a UK case study' in L Oats (ed), A fieldwork guide to taxation (Routledge 2012)
  • J Vella, 'Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP v HMRC: a different approach to tax avoidance from MCashback?' (2012) British Tax Review 252 [Case Note]
  • J Vella and J Freedman, 'Revenue Guidance: The Limits of Discretion and Legitimate Expectations' (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 192 [Case Note]
  • J Vella, J Freedman and M Devereux, Tax Avoidance (Report commissioned by the UK National Audit Office 2012)
  • J Vella, 'The Financial Transaction Tax Debate: Some Questionable Claims' (2012) Volume 47 Intereconomics 90
    ISBN: ISSN 0020-5346
  • J Vella and J Freedman, 'HMRC’s Management of the U.K. Tax System: The Boundaries of Legitimate Discretion ' in J Freedman, C Evans and R Krever (eds), The Delicate Balance: Revenue Authority Discretions and the Rule of Law (IBFD 2011)
  • J Vella, 'Sparking Regulatory Competition in European Company Law: A Response' in R De la Feria and S Vogenauer (eds), Prohibition of Abuse of Law: A New General Principle of EU Law (Hart Publishing 2011)
  • J Vella, 'The Asymmetrical Treatment of Debt and Equity Under UK Tax Law' in A Reisberg and D Prentice (eds), Corporate Finance Law: UK and EU Perspectives (OUP 2011)
  • J Vella, C Fuest and T Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 'The EU Commission’s Proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax' (2011) British Tax Review 607
  • J Vella, J Freedman and G Loomer, 'Analyzing the enhanced relationship between corporate taxpayers and revenue authorities: a UK case study' in (ed), 2009 Internal Revenue Service Bulletin (2009)
  • J Vella, J Freedman and G Loomer, 'Corporate Tax Risk and Tax Avoidance: New Approaches ' [2009] British Tax Review 74
  • J Vella and D Prentice, 'Some aspects of capital maintenance law in the UK' in M Tison et al (ed), Perspectives in Company Law and Financial Regulation (CUP 2009)
    ISBN: ISBN-13: 97805215157
  • J Vella, J Freedman and G Loomer, 'Moving Beyond Avoidance? Tax Risk and the Relationship between large Business and HMRC' in J. Freedman (ed), Beyond Boundaries: Developing Approaches to Tax Avoidance and Tax Risk Management (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation 2008)
  • J Vella, 'Sham Transactions' [2008] LMCLQ 488
  • J Vella, 'Departing from the legal substance of transactions in the corporate field: the Ramsay Approach beyond the tax sphere' (2007) 7(2) Journal of Corporate Law Studies 243
    ISBN: 1473-5970
  • J Vella, 'Financial Transaction Tax' (2000) House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade
    I gave expert evidence before the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade on Financial Transaction Taxes.

Research programmes

Research Interests

Taxation, Corporate Tax Law, Company Law, Corporate Finance Law, Financial Regulation

Options taught

Company Law, Taxation Law

Research projects