Studying and Student life

EUCOTAX Wintercourse

Subject

This seminar in International Tax Law takes place each year. The subject area is 'The European Harmonization of Tax Law' and each year a different theme is explored and studied.

'Tax Legislation in a globalizing World' is the topic for next Wintercourse in 2017, taking place in Zurich.

In this program both students and researchers contribute. Therefore, this program provides both an intensive instructional part as a joint scientific publication by the researchers.

Participating universities

This intensive program of EUCOTAX (European Universities COoperating on TAXes) is based on the desire of the participating universities to set up a permanent structure in order to stimulate the instruction in and research on European aspects of Tax law.

Erasmus subvention

The EUCOTAX Wintercourse received an Erasmus subvention from the European Union in several editions. This certainly emphasizes the European dimension of the project.

Impression EUCOTAX Wintercourse

Program

The main subject area of the program is the European Harmonization of Tax Law.

Instructional part

Writing an essay

The students of the participating universities, who are all close to graduation, write an essay regarding a subpart of the general issue. The preparation of this essay takes place at the home university during the semester before the start of the intensive seminar. The students are supervised by a lecturer of the home university. The essays are exchanged some weeks before the start of the intensive seminar, and serve as a basis for a presentation given by each student during the seminar.

Seminar

The intensive week starts with a seminar (mostly) concerning the general issue. One of the professors of each university gives an introduction on the national approach in his country. After these introductions a panel-discussion takes place. This seminar is open to all students and practitioners.

Workshops

During the next couple of days the participating students give a presentation on each subpart of the general subject in workshops, after which a legal comparative discussion takes place between the students and the lecturers. In the workshops the students prepare a legal comparative report (e.g. similarities and differences amongst the national systems) with conclusions with respect to and solutions for the European Community. At the end of the week, the final results are presented by each group of students (same subpart) during a plenary session on a 'case by case' base. A workshop is chaired by one or more people of the academic staff.

Certificate

The students are given full academic credit for participating in this program. Students who pass this instructional part are awarded a certificate. From each university six students participate in this program. Each university will make a selection in order to ensure that its most excellent students participate. The students must have a sufficient knowledge of the language used in research and instruction.

Social part

Become a group

To make the instructional part a success, it is necessary for the individual participants to become a group. Only a smoothly cooperating group can achieve the aims of the instructional part. Therefore, it is necessary to start the intensive week with a social program during the first weekend and to plan some joint activities in the evenings. The expenses of this program are to be defrayed by a subsidy.

Language of instruction and research

English

Because of the composition of the group of participating universities, the exchange of essays and the scientific publication aimed at, the language of instruction and research is in English.

Coordination aspects

Coordination

The office of the European Tax College from Tilburg University (NL) takes care of the coordination of this project (both the instructional and the scientific part).

Contact

Courses

Tax Legislation in a globalizing World (2017)

Location

| University of Zurich| Zurich  | Switzerland | Photos | Weather |

Date

  • 20 – 27 April 2017

Subthemes

  1. Tax legislation and international influences
  2. Tax legislation and international tax competition
  3. Tax legislation and non-fiscal goals
  4. Tax legislation and complexity of tax law
  5. Tax legislation and constitutional principles/rights
  6. Tax legislation and administrative practice
University of Zurich

University of Zurich

Themes courses previous years

Potential Impact of BEPS on Tax Systems (2016)

Location

| Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien | Vienna  | Austria | Photos | Weather |

Date

  • 14 - 21 April 2016

Subthemes

  1. Permanent establishment (PE) and similar concepts in the post BEPS world
  2. Specific provisions on hybrid mismatches in the post BEPS world
  3. General anti-abuse rules (GAAR) in a post-BEPS world
  4. Specific anti-abuse rules (SAAR) in a post BEPS world
  5. Procedural aspects in a post-BEPS world
  6. Transfer Pricing in a post-BEPS world

Impact of the digital economy on taxation (2015)

Location

Subject

  • Impact of the digital economy on taxation

As every year the main theme is divided into 6 subparts for the different students to explore and write their theses on.

The main objective of the Wintercourse is to explore different aspects of one major theme. The added value of this project lies in the cooperation between the different universities in different countries. Students from each university will research on the same subparts, just from their national point of view.

During the seminar the students and researchers discuss the differences between their country’s tax systems. Why do these differences exist and what problems may arise because of those differences, are just two aspects that will be dealt with. The various discussion groups try to come up with solutions for the various problems arisen by those differences.

Subparts defined

  1. Place of residence (e.g., individuals, entities, dual residents) and PE concept (e.g., cloud computing, physical PE, agency PE, service PE)
  2. Profits allocation to PEs/Transfer Pricing (arm’s length principle, formulary apportionment)
  3. Characterization of income (e.g., influence of intellectual property law, commercial law, digital goods and services, bundled contracts, criteria to distinguish, e.g., business income, royalties, other income, capital gains)
  4. Tax incentives and base erosion and profit shifting (e.g., digital goods and services, accelerated depreciation, patent boxes, tax credits, etc., state aid, anti-abuse measures, such as CFCs, non-deduction of expenses, no reduction of withholding taxes; covering two sides of the same coin: does your country use tax incentives and how does your country react on foreign tax incentives?)
  5. VAT, sales tax, other (indirect) taxes, such as excises, web tax, bit tax, cd tax  (e.g., digital goods and services, allocation of taxing rights, anti-abuse measures)
  6. Procedural aspects (internet governance, litigation, exchange of information, tax collection (e.g., in relation with service PE or digital PE)

Fairness and Taxation (2014)

Location

Subject

  • Fairness and Taxation

As every year the main theme was divided into 6 subparts for the different students to explore and write their theses on.

The main objective of the Wintercourse is to explore different aspects of one major theme. Not only different subparts are important, but the added value of this project is the cooperation between the different universities in different countries. Students from each university will research on the same subparts, just from their national point of view.

During the seminar, the students and researchers discuss these differences. Why do these differences exist and what problems may arise because of those differences, are just two aspects that will be dealt with. The various discussion groups try to come up with solutions for the various problems arisen by those differences.

  1. Fairness between low income and high income receivers
    e.g., progressivity, high net wealth individuals (taxing the rich), role of family circumstances, role of trusts, bonuses, excessive compensations, net wealth tax, limits of taxation
  2. Fairness and taxation of different types of income
    e.g., dual income taxation, taxation of business profits and employment income, different kinds of entrepreneurs (entrepreneurs operating merely domestically (often SMEs) versus entrepreneurs operating transnational (MNEs, not limited to large MNEs, but includes also transnational operating SMEs), relevance of the legal form: partnership versus corporation; bank taxes etc), optional tax privileges in respect of transfer of enterprises in the context of gift and estate taxes
  3. Fairness and anti-avoidance measures
    e.g., domestic rules (e.g. GAARs and similar rules and judicial doctrines), Treaty GAAR, definition of residence, specific LOB on residents, exclusion of dual residents from treaty benefits, beneficial owner concept, main purpose rules in respect of specific items of income (e.g., dividends, interest, and royalties), subject to tax clauses in respect to specific items of income, interaction between domestic and tax treaty rules, (e.g., conduit companies and domestic participation rules and exclusive allocation of dividends and capital gains to state of residence, conduit companies and no domestic WHT on interest and royalties and exclusive allocation to state or residence)
  4. Fairness in procedural tax law
    e.g., disclosure initiatives, tax collection, protection of tax payers, horizontal supervision (i.e. enhanced cooperation: only for large MNEs?), interest compensation for late payment from the perspective of both taxpayers and tax administration, rulings, retroactivity, right to be heard, right to appeal
  5. Fairness in allocating taxation rights between source and residence states
    e.g. allocation rules of tax treaty law, high versus low withholding tax rates, debt versus equity, e.g. leveraged acquisition with debt-push down and use of intermediate holding companies, distinction between Art. 7 and Art. 17 OECD (no PE in respect of the latter), distinction between Art. 15/18 and Art. 19 OECD
  6. Fairness and taxation of residents and non-residents
    e.g., worldwide taxation, territorial systems, including taxation of nationals, exit taxes, extended residence mechanisms

Impact of taxation on European and global mobility (2013)

Location

Subject

Impact of taxation on European and global mobility of persons and capital. As every year the main theme is divided into 6 subparts for the different students to explore and write their theses on.

The main objective of the wintercourse is to explore different aspects of one major theme. Not only different subparts are important, but the added value of this project is the cooperation between the different universities in different countries. Students from each university will research on the same subparts, just from their national point of view.

During the seminar, the students and researchers discussed these differences. Why do these differences exist and what problems may arise because of those differences are just two aspects that will be dealt with. The various discussion groups tried to come up with solutions for the various problems arisen by those differences.

Subparts

  1. Emigration and immigration of a business
    (including: individuals, corporate entities and non-corporate entities (e.g. partnerships); transfer of assets from head office to permanent establishment, from permanent establishment to head office and form one permanent establishment to another permanent establishment);
  2. Cross-border financing of business activities
    (including: debt versus equity; financing of subsidiaries and permanent establishments);
  3. Taxation of cross-border employees
    (including: residence; taxation of incentive scheme arrangements (bonuses, stock options, deferred remuneration etc.));
  4. Taxation of cross-border investment income of individuals
    (including income from immovable property; interest; dividends; capital gains; received via foreign trusts; taxation of the rich: Buffet rule and progressive taxation, if relevant);
  5. Pensions

    (including: emigration and immigration of workers and retirees; deduction of contributions, payments, private retirement plans, government retirement plans, social security systems);
  6. Exchange of information versus withholding taxes
    (including: automatic exchange of information; implementation of OECD standards; Savings Directive; FATCA; The Rubik model in Swiss; taxpayer's rights; use of information; European idea on exchange of information and transparency).

Global international taxation (2012)

Location

Subject

GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL TAXATION, "From national tax systems towards global tax systems."

The sub parts were:

  1. Principles and standards of transnational taxation (direct versus indirect taxation, ability to pay, worldwide income versus territoriality, destination principle versus principle of origin, neutrality, double taxation/double non-taxation, EU/OECD/G20 standards, how to implement international standards in national tax law, relationship with principles of democracy, legitimacy, representation, rule of law);
  2. Harmful Tax Competition in the context of transnational transactions (State Aid, Code of Conduct, exchange of information -OECD, tax evasion, money laundering, transnational tax crimes, tax havens, offshore financial centers);
  3. Allocation of income between states (head office-pe's, transfer pricing, formulary apportionment, apportionment of consolidated tax base under CCCTB);
  4. Anti-abuse (base erosion, CFC, LOB, beneficial ownership, dividend stripping, arbitrage in jurisdictions);
  5. Taxation of transnational transactions of financial institutions and financial instruments (VAT, bank taxes, financial transaction taxes, financial activity taxes);
  6.  Calculation of the tax base (national tax accounting systems, relationship to IS/IFRS,US GAAP, CCCTB).

Application 2017

Dutch students

Apply now for the EUCOTAX Wintercourse 2017 in Zurich!

Students in Fiscal Economy, Fiscal Law or International Business Taxation at Tilburg University can now apply for the EUCOTAX Wintercourse. Do you want to do comparative law research (in the context of your master's thesis) with international students and under the leadership of experienced teachers and professors? Then this is your change! This year’s topic is ‘Tax Legislation in a globalizing World’. 

You can apply by sending a motivation letter with CV and grading list to: wintercourse@tilburguniversity.edu for the attention of Prof.dr. P.H.J. Essers. The application deadline is 11 September 2016. 

Also, you could visit the Introduction class in which all masters and special graduation programs in Law are presented, including the EUCOTAX Wintercourse program. This college will take place on Thursday 1 September 2016 at 08.45 in CZ 121 at Tilburg University.  

International students

All participating universities have their own selection procedures. Please check these on their websites via participating universities.





  • Office European Tax College (ETC)
    Building M/Montesquieu, M805
    Box 90153
    5000 LE Tilburg
    The Netherlands
    Phone: +31 13 466 3053
    Fax: +31 13 466 3073
    Email: wintercourse@tilburguniversity.edu




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