TAX 470: Business and Corporate Taxation in Europe (for IBEA students only!)


  • Taxation of business income of individuals
  • Taxation of business income of corporations
  • Principles of tax systems across countries
  • Taxation of cross-border trans­actions (inbound and outbound)
  • Tax planning strategies, including financing, choice of legal form and holding companies
Course Abstract: Enterprises operating within and across the borders in Europe are confronted with heterogeneous business taxation despite EU-wide tax harmonization efforts. Therefore, enterprises have to adapt their organization, finance and channels of distribution to the range of tax conditions in the Member States and aim to optimize their tax situation by considering all other company objectives.
The guidelines regarding the taxation of individuals and corporations in the European Union are presented. The topics vary from the basic principles of the dual system of taxation, the taxation of corporations and their shareholders and the taxation of partner­ships to the impact of different corporation tax systems on financing decisions. Furthermore, the principles of international taxation regarding inbound and outbound investments are discussed. Finally, based on this, several tax planning strategies for cross-border investments are introduced by various case studies (e.g. choice of legal entity, cross-border financing, and implementation of holding companies).
Course Organization: The course consists of lectures held by Prof. Spengel and interactive case studies presented by guest speakers from our corporate partners EY and PwC. The case studies include exercises that will have to be prepared by the students in the form of a group project. The introduction to the case studies and/or the presentation of the results by the students will take place in the offices of our corporate partners to provide a professional atmosphere and combine academic studies with a practical experience.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course, the participants should be able to evaluate the consequences for taxation when undertaking national trans­actions and decisions, to evaluate the consequences for taxation when undertaking international trans­actions and decisions, and to identify key tax issues that affect international trans­actions.

Necessary prerequisites
semester 4 or higher, IBEA student

Recommended prerequisites

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS4 SWS
Case Study Presentation2 SWS9 SWS
ECTS credits6
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (90 min, 70%), presentation of case studies (30%)
Restricted admissionno
Further informationfor IBEA students only!
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Christoph Spengel
Prof. Dr. Christoph Spengel
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationB.Sc. BWL
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 2
LiteratureSpengel, Christoph and Endres, Dieter, 2015. International Company Taxation and Tax Planning. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
Course outlineLecture:
  • Introduction to Business Taxation
    • Tax Burdens of Multinational Companies
    • Taxes as a Business Expense
    • Tax Planning
    • Fundamentals of Business Taxation
  • Highlights of Tax Systems an International Overview
    • Personal and Corporate Income Tax
    • Additional Profit and Non-profit Taxes
    • Taxation of Corporations and their Shareholders
    • Concepts of Partner­ship Taxation
  • Case Study on Domestic Tax Planning: Financing of Corporations
    • Classification of Corporate Finance and Impact of Taxation
    • Base Data of the Example
    • Impact on Retained Earnings
    • Impact on Equity Financing and Profit Distribution
    • Impact on Debt Financing, especially by Shareholders
    • Comparison and Conclusion
  • Introduction to International Company Taxation
    • Fundamentals of International Business Taxation (Income Taxation)
    • International Double Taxation and Methods to Avoid Double Taxation
  • Case Studies on Cross-border Tax Planning
    • Choice of Legal Entity and Source of Finance for Cross-border Investments
    • Cross-border Intra-group Financing in Different EU-Member-States
    • Holding Structures
    • Intellectual Property
Case Study with EY/PwC:
  • Kick-off Meeting to start the Case Study
  • Q&A Meetings with Case Study Mentors
  • Final Meeting to present the Results of the Case Study