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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 in law. We expect the students to have a good proficiency in English both orally and in writing.


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. 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.


The detailed timetable for this course will be published on Brightspace.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 4

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama and Dr. Almut Breuer

  • Required preparation by students: Required Reading


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 3

  • Names of instructors: Dr. Irma Mosquera Valderrama and Dr. Almut Breur

  • 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.

Students who fail to obtain a passing grade for the course are entitled to a re-examination. The re-examination consists of an individual written exam that will count to 100% of the final grade.

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.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

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

Kindle edition available at https://www.amazon.nl/Comparative-Tax-English-Victor-Thuronyi-ebook/dp/B07W6RNNWT

Hardcover edition available at https://lrus.wolterskluwer.com/store/product/comparative-tax-law-second-edition/

  • Tax Law Design and Drafting IMF Library Available for download https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/nft/1998/tlaw/eng/


Students have to register for the lectures and working groups through uSis. With this registration you have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace. You may register up to 5 calendar days before the first teaching session begins.

Students have to register for exams and retakes through uSis. With this registration you also have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace You may register up to 10 calendar days before the exam or retake.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: dr I.J. Mosquera Valderrama

  • Work address: KOG, Steenschuur 25, (melden bij het secretariaat B211)

  • Contact information: i.j.mosquera.valderrama@law.leidenuniv.nl

  • 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: Belastingrecht@law.leideuniv.nl