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Comparative Tax Law


Admission requirements

Students following this course are recommended to have completed at least one year of university education (not necessarily in law). We expect the students to have a good proficiency in English both orally and in writing.

This course is not available to students who have already attended the course General Understanding of Comparative Tax Law (22606812).


In the context of globalization, countries around the world are introducing domestic tax rules to promote investment and to protect their revenue base. As a consequence, lawyers and companies are required to understand the differences among income and corporate tax systems around the world. This course aims to introduce the main domestic income (and corporate income) tax provisions in civil law and common law countries and to provide working knowledge of these rules from a perspective of developing and developed countries.
This course starts with an introduction to comparative tax law addressing first the differences between common law and civil law tax systems, followed by an introduction to the use of legal transplants in taxation including a case study of the EU Standard of Tax Good Governance. Subsequently, the influence of the constitutional principles (e.g. legality, equality) in taxation as well as taxpayers’ rights will be studied. Thereafter, the basic structure of tax systems (i.e. global vs. schedular) and the main concepts of income tax and corporate income tax will be addressed. Finally, specific issues regarding business income will be addressed including the differences in the taxation of business income and the methods for profit determination. This course will have a theoretical and a practical (comparative research) approach. During the course, the students will carry out comparative tax research on the issues discussed during the lectures. For this purpose, the students will choose 2 countries: one common law and one civil law country. The theory discussed during the lectures will be researched by the students in their two selected countries of study.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • To gain understanding of the basic principles of direct taxation – mainly income tax and corporate income tax;

  • To be able to compare and analyze the differences between common law and civil law tax systems;

  • To have working knowledge of the main features of the tax systems of developing and developed countries such as definition of tax, tax principles, sources of tax law, definition of income and taxable unit, schedular versus global elements in income tax, rate schedules, business income, and methods for profit determination.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

By the end of this course the students will have knowledge about the differences between common law and civil law tax systems. In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of the main features of tax systems including the definition of business income and methods for profit determination.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (1.45 hours) lectures: 4

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. Dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama

  • Required preparation by students: Required Reading


  • Number of (1.45 hours) seminars: 2

  • Names of instructors: Prof. Dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama & Mr. Frederik Heitmüller

  • Required preparation by students: Assignments, Required Reading

Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

The grade for this course is based on 2 written assignments and a final, written exam at the end of the course.
A passing grade for the course is 5.5 or higher. Each assignment will count to 15% of the final grade (total 30%) and the written exam will count to 70% of the final grade.

Please note that all assignments are mandatory to pass the course and every assignment needs to be graded with an 5.5 or higher. Partial grades are only valid this academic year ('23-'24).

Students who fail to obtain a passing grade for the course are entitled to a re-examination. The re-examination includes all topics discussed during the lectures and the two assignments.

The re-examination consists of an individual written exam that will count to 100% of the final grade.

Depending on the number of students, we may choose to make the exam an oral exam instead of a written exam.

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations) on the condition that this course is not part of the minor. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Course book Comparative Tax Law, Second Edition (Victor Thuronyi, Kim Brooks, Borbala Kolozs)

Kindle edition available at

Hardcover edition available at

  • Tax Law Design and Drafting IMF Library Available for download


Registration for courses and exams takes place via MyStudymap. If you do not have access to MyStudymap (guest students), look here (under the Law-tab) for more information on the registration procedure in your situation.


  • Coordinator: Prof. dr I.J. Mosquera Valderrama

  • Work address: KOG, Steenschuur 25, Leiden(please contact secretary B211)

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number:

  • Email: +31715276618


  • Institute: Institute of Tax Law and Economics

  • Department: Tax Law

  • Room number secretary: B211

  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 14.00 hrs

  • Telephone number secretary: +31715277840

  • Email: