International Business Taxation

BUS458 International Business Taxation

  • Topics


     The course provides a basic understanding of business taxation and international tax effects. It consists of two parts. In Part 1, an introduction to tax planning and the impact of taxation on investment decisions is given. Then, the basic (legal) features of business taxation as well as their implications are discussed and a standard model for corporations is set up that takes taxes into account. Due attention is given to the effects of legal form and to the effect of different forms of financing for the evaluation of investment alternatives.

    The scope of the analysis is broadened to an international setting in Part 2. The main challenges under international company taxation (e.g., international double taxation) are discussed and the basic design of international tax law to avoid double taxation is presented (rules to combat international tax avoidance are briefly reviewed). Finally, the effects of corporate taxes on various international business decisions (e.g., present value analyses of cross-border investment and legal forms) are evaluated. The focus is put on regulation and activity in a European context.

    In more detail, topics/chapters are:

    1. Tax Planning: A General Introduction
    2. Taxation and Investment Decisions
    3. Introduction to Business Taxation
    4. International Company Taxation
    5. Fundamentals of International Tax Planning
    6. International Corporate Tax Planning
    7. International Taxation and European Law

    In sum, this course also provides a good stepping stone (particularly with respect to the institutional setting) for a more in-depth analysis of income shifting and tax avoidance in advanced master courses such as FIE441 Taxes and Business Strategy.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome


    Upon successful completion of the course the student

    • understands how international double taxation emerges and how it can be avoided.
    • knows the design, role, and importance of international tax principles.
    • is familiar with methods to incorporate taxes into decision making.
    • has some basic knowledge on international income shifting.


    Upon successful completion of the course the student

    • can apply the net present value method to compare and rank different business alternatives with respect to investment, financing, and legal form choices.
    • is able to understand, interpret, and apply international tax law.
    • can document how decisions on company structure, investment and finance affect the tax liability of the company (and its affiliates).

    General competence

    Upon successful completion of the course the student

    • has good expertise of international tax institutions and how they shape decision making in firms.
    • can evaluate and compare the tax consequences of international business decisions.

  • Teaching


    Teaching will consist out of lectures and tutorials (exercises).

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites

    Some knowledge on investment analysis and the application of the net present value method are recommended.

  • Assessment


    The final grade will consist of a written final exam (100%). The exam language is English and all answers need to be given in English as well.

  • Computer tools

    Computer tools


  • Semester



  • Literature


    The course will be based on a combination of two text books:

    • Schanz, D., and S. Schanz, 2011. Business Taxation and Financial Decisions. Springer, Heidelberg.
    • Schreiber, U., 2013. International Company Taxation. An Introduction to the Legal and Economic Principles. Springer, Heidelberg.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

Dirk Schindler, IRRR