International Taxation

Quick Info
(4150.04)  Course
S. Wilkie; Distinguished Professor of Practice
4 credit(s)  4 hour(s);
Lecture, discussions, problems, case studies,
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

This covers one of the most dynamic and fascinating areas of tax law – taxation of cross-border transactions. In fact, the aspect of taxation described as “international taxation” is as much concerned with countries interacting with each other in relation to income earning circumstances of taxpayers as it is about the typical relationships between taxpayers and those countries’ tax regimes and tax authorities.   Because Canada has a small and open economy cross-border transactions and related relations are not only important to taxpayers and the government but they are unavoidable. Accordingly, a working awareness of how Canada’s tax system addresses the circumstances of persons from elsewhere who establish income earning connections with Canada and the circumstances of Canadians whose income earning activities extend beyond Canada’s borders is an important addition to a tax practitioner’s resources.   More broadly, the connection between “international taxation” and trade and the necessary dependence of taxation generally on a strong familiarity with private law and public law make this course an opportunity for students to develop and enhance their legal knowledge and skills from several perspectives.  Knowledge and skills learned from this course will help anyone interested in pursuing a career in law (not necessarily tax law), business or public policy.
This course builds on the knowledge and skills learned from introductory Tax Law and applies them to cross-border transactions (e.g. foreign corporations doing business or investing in Canada; Canadians doing business or investing overseas; and transactions between members of multinational corporate groups, etc.) and other relations of and among persons that may justify the taxing claims made by more than one country at the same time. In that connection, it will also cover issues concerning international tax treaties and international tax avoidance (and evasion) which continue to be topical in contemporary discussions and commentaries on “international taxation” including, notably, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations,  the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.   While not formally a co-requisite or pre-requisite, familiarity with the taxation of corporations will be helpful to students even though students can be successful in this course without this background.

A detailed Syllabus and class discussion notes will be provided to guide students’ learning.  Each segment of the course will address practical problems to anchor the studying of the substantive law and related policies and guidance by tax authorities.