LAWCOMM 420 - Advanced Tax Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures – 2 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Professor Michael Littlewood
Prerequisites: LAWCOMM 403
Restriction: LAW 409, COMLAW 311

Course description

This course builds on LAWCOMM 403 (Tax Law) and covers a selection of topics designed to consolidate and add to students’ understanding of the theory and practice of taxation, both in New Zealand and elsewhere. The course consists of three main parts: (1) tax policy; (2) the taxation of companies; and (3) international tax.

Content outline

This course covers some or all of the following topics:

  1. Aspects of tax policy, examined by reference to the works of important tax theorists; proposals for tax reform; international tax competition; base erosion and profit shifting; tax history; the merits and design of capital gains taxes;
  2. Company taxation; the problem of corporate income; theoretical solutions to the problem; corporate income; imputation; the tax treatment of dividends, liquidations, returns of capital, bonus issues, hybrids and intercompany dividends; withholding obligations; losses; groups; consolidation; amalgamation; look-through companies;
  3. International taxation; international tax planning; profit reduction techniques; foreign tax credits; transfer pricing; controlled foreign companies (CFCs); foreign investment funds (FIFs); tax treaties; thin capitalization.

Assessment

1500 word assignment (20%)

2 hour open-book exam (60%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Prescribed text

CCH New Zealand Tax Legislation for Students (republished annually) OR Thomson Reuters New Zealand Taxation Legislation Handbook (republished annually).

CCH New Zealand Master Tax Guide for Students (republished annually) OR New Zealand Taxation (Thomson Brookers, republished annually).

Aditya Basrur, Christopher Jenkins, James Ruddell and Sehj Vather, eds, Ten Years of Tax: A Celebration of Professor Michael Littlewood’s First Decade at the University of Auckland Faculty of Law, 2003-2013 (Centre for Commercial and Corporate Law, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 2016)