Taxes and Business Strategy

FIE441 Taxes and Business Strategy

Autumn 2023

Spring 2024
  • Topics

    The course outlines the international tax environment and analyzes how it affects tax and financial reporting as well as income shifting by multinationals. The syllabus of the course is:

    • Introduction to corporate taxation
    • Domestic tax planning
    • Principle of international taxation
    • International tax planning
    • Anti-tax avoidance rules
    • Tax transparency initiatives
    • Taxes and financial reporting
    • Digitalization and tax

  • Learning outcome


    Upon successful completion of the course the student:

    • Knows the international tax environment and how it affects multinational firm behavior.
    • Is informed about how the international tax environment works, reporting standards in multinationals and institutional tax details and regulation.
    • Knows the main regulatory framework to limit income shifting by multinationals (arm's length principle, thin capitalization rules, controlled-foreign-company rules).
    • Is informed about the key tax challenges from the digital economy


    Upon successful completion of the course the student

    • Has acquired an analytical tool set that allows for formally structuring and solving tax-planning problems.
    • Is able to independently analyze and evaluate the implications of future changes in regulation and the institutional setting.
    • Can apply her/his knowledge on international taxation and how it affect corporate decisions in a meaningful way.

    General competence

    Upon successful completion of the course the student

    • Has advanced expertise on international taxation.
    • Can communicate with specialists in both academia and practice about complex issues in existing tax systems around the world and how tax rules affects corporate decision.

  • Teaching

    Teaching will consist of lectures as well as guest lectures.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Some prior basic knowledge in accounting is helpful.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    • Group project (in groups of 1-5 students) organized in collaboration with Big4.
    • The project is divided into two parts that will be graded separately: a written report (counts for 50 %) and a presentation (counts for 50 %).
    • The aim of the project is to apply the theory learned in class to a real business case, involving a tax related issue faced by a multinational company.

    The students will be working on both the written report and the oral presentation between 28 February and 28 March.

    Both elements have to be taken in the same semester.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Collection of articles and readings, mainly provided on Canvas

    • Berk, J., and P. DeMarzo, 2011. Corporate Finance. 2nd Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, Boston, Chapters 14-16.
    • Miller, M., 1977. Debt and Taxes. Journal of Finance 32, 261-275.
    • Møen, J., D. Schindler, G. Schjelderup, and J. Tropina, 2011. International Debt Shifting: Do Multinationals Shift Internal or External Debt? CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3519, Munich.
    • Myles, G., 1995. Public Economics. Cambridge UK, Chapter 8.
    • Ruf, M., and D. Schindler, 2015. Debt Shifting and Thin-Capitalization Rules: German Experience and Alternative Approaches. Nordic Tax Journal 2015, 17-33.
    • Schindler, D., and G. Schjelderup, 2012. Debt Shifting and Ownership Structure. European Economic Review 56, 635-647.
    • Schjelderup, G., 2017. Multinationals and Transfer pricing. Manuscript.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered Spring 2023.

Course responsible

Professor Guttorm Schjelderup, Department of Business and Management Science

Assistant Professor Elisa Casi-Eberhard, Department of Business and Management Science

Assistant Professor Simone Traini, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law