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Today, attention is increasingly focused on tax reform to deliver revenue for spending on public goods so as to achieve fair and sustainable economic development in countries across the globe. This subject examines tax policy to finance development goals and sustainable governments. The subject addresses budget laws; policy and law design principles for taxation, including equity, market efficiency and tax administration; and key taxes. It will analyse how national governments and international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) engage in tax policy and reform and seek to establish global norms and cooperation in taxation. The subject will present topical case studies of high and low income countries. It will address topical issues including tax transparency and multinational tax avoidance, the role of tax in addressing inequality, and international tax competition and cooperation between nations. It will equip participants from tax, development and international law backgrounds to analyse critically the law and policy of budgets and tax systems and the interaction between the global, national and local levels in tax reform.
Principal topics will include:
- Budget policy and laws, including fiscal balance or deficit, transparency and accountability
- Tax mix, tax structures and types of tax
- Tax policy and design principles: sustainability, efficiency, fairness, simplicity and administrability
- Selected tax policy and law issues for key taxes including the personal and company income tax, sales tax and resource taxation
- Tax incentives for foreign investment
- Tax competition and cooperation, tax avoidance and tax havens
- The domestic and international processes of tax treaties, norms and reform.
Intended learning outcomes
A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should:
- Understand the link between tax and development in the context of budget laws and frameworks
- Understand tax policy and reform goals and principles
- Understand the tax mix, different types of tax and key tax law and design principles and challenges in tax reform at national and international levels
- Be able to analyse critically tax policy and law reform approaches of country governments and international organisations such as the IMF and OECD
- Be able to locate resources in respect of tax reform and development both generally and for particular countries, especially online resources
- Be able to analyse issues in tax reform and make recommendations in a particular context.
Last updated: 10 November 2023