Universiteit Leiden

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Tax and Society: Building a Sustainable and Fair Tax System

About this minor

The minor is offered by a diverse group of enthusiastic lecturers of the Tax Law Department with international experience on a variety of societal tax matters: from tax avoidance and fair and sustainable taxation to digital taxation and tax technology.

Another unique feature of the minor is its interdisciplinary focus. Besides tax law, you will learn all about the economical, technological, and behavioral aspects of taxation. Next to that, the minor offers you the perfect opportunity to enhance your academic skills; from English writing and presentation to boosting your empirical research competences. You will work on real-life tax issues in small group assignments. You will also debate with experts from business, government, and politics about how to fix the global tax system.

Program

The main question of the minor is what the desirable design of tax systems in a globalizing and digitalizing world is. The minor seeks to respond to societal concerns about taxation by establishing a link between the views of tax experts and those of the wider public.

The minor consists of six courses of 5 EC. Given the structure of the minor, preference is given to students who follow the full minor of 30 EC. The three courses of the second block build on the first block. If a student can fill a maximum of 15 EC elective space, the student must take the three courses of the first block.

1.           Taxing for the Common Good

In this course, you will explore the topic of taxation from an economic policy perspective. You will learn how tax systems can contribute to a better society. For example: how can they achieve a more equal income distribution? Or contribute to a reduction in environmental damage?

2.           Tax in the Boardroom

In this second course, you will work on strategic tax issues that are discussed by CEOs and CFOs at boardroom level of a multinational firm. You will unravel famous tax avoidance structures of large multinationals, like Ikea, Nike, and Starbucks. And you will evaluate whether international policy measures against tax avoidance are effective.

3.           Tax & Behavior

In this last course of block 1, we focus on how taxation influences the behavior of citizens and companies. You will be introduced to different empirical research methods, like surveys, experiments, and interviews.

4.           Comparative Tax Law   

In this course, you will be introduced to common law and civil law tax systems. You will also discover the differences between the tax systems of developed and developing countries.

5.           Tax in Digitalizing Society

In this course, you will learn all about the tax challenges arising from the digitalizing of the economy; from taxation of internet platforms and e-commerce to artificial intelligence and data protection.

6.           Tax Debates

In this last course, you'll present your ideas about fair and sustainable taxation and debate with experts how to fix the global tax system.

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