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General Understanding of 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 or economics).
Proficiency in English both verbal and written is expected.

This course is not available to students who have already attended the course Comparative Tax Law (22989280).


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, policy makers in international organizations, domestic lawmakers, tax administrations, and business are required to understand the role of taxation to build a sustainable and fair society, as well as the choices made by countries when designing their domestic (national) tax system.

A well-designed domestic (national) tax system can contribute to promote investment and to protect their revenue base. It is through their own tax revenues that developing countries themselves can generate the funding they need to achieve the SDGs. Tax can contribute to alleviating poverty by increasing the competitiveness of the country vis-a-vis other countries in the region and to tackle global inequality by contributing to transfer of knowledge in different sectors of the economy.

Place within the minor 'Tax and Society'
The minor ‘Tax and Society’ focusses on how national and international tax policy can help build fair and prosperous societies in the face of major societal challenges. This course introduces students to the main tax law provisions in civil law and common law countries, provides working knowledge of the differentiated operation of these provisions in developing and developed countries, and studies their role in helping to secure fairness and sustainability in light of the challenges associated with globalization and financial liberalization

Design of the course
This course starts with contextualizing Tax and Society: Building a Sustainable and Fair Tax System by addressing the importance of taxation to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Thereafter, this course will provide an introduction to comparative tax law addressing the differences between common law and civil law tax systems and the use of legal transplants in taxation. Subsequently, the influence of the constitutional principles (e.g. legality, equality) in taxation 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. 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 two 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

This course aims to provide students with have knowledge about the role of taxation to build a sustainable and fair society, as well as the choices made by countries when designing their domestic (national) tax system. In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of the main features of common law and civil tax systems and of the differences between developed and developing countries.

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the architecture through which tax for the achievement of SDGs can be realized;

  • Understand the basic principles of direct taxation – mainly income tax and corporate income tax;

  • Compare and analyze the differences between common law and civil law tax systems;

  • Provide working knowledge of the main features of the income 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, and rate schedules.


See MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: prof. dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama

  • Required preparation by students: Required Reading (see course overview in Brightspace)


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 2

  • Names of instructors: prof. dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama

  • Required preparation by students: Assignments, Required Reading (see course overview in Brightspace)

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written assignment (30%);

  • Final written exam (70%).

The assignment will count towards 30% of the final grade and the written exam will count towards 70% of the final grade. The assignment will be made in groups of 2 students. The students will be asked to discuss and present the assignment during the seminars. The final exam will be written. However, depending on the number of students, we ma opt for an oral instead of a written examination.

A passing grade for the course is 5.5 or higher. Students who fail to obtain a passing grade for the course are entitled to a re-examination. The re-examination consists of an individual oral exam that will count towards 100% of the final grade.

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 material in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

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 (Room B.211, secretariat Tax Law)

  • Telephone number: via the institute below

  • Email:


  • Institute: Institute of Tax Law and Economics

  • Department: Tax Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, B2.11

  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.00 hrs

  • Telephone number secretary: +31(0)71 527 7840

  • Email: