TABL5544 Comparative Tax Systems - 2019

TABL5544
Postgraduate
Summer
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Taxation & Business Law
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​The course provides students with a comparative overview of the tax systems of various countries, with a view to developing a conceptual and practical understanding of the reasons why tax systems differ (and why they are sometimes so similar). The objectives of the course are to help students understand the characteristics that tax systems have in common, the areas in which tax systems differ, and the factors (legal, institutional, political, economic, social and cultural) that cause the similarities and differences.

The course covers areas such as tax structures, tax at different government levels, different types of tax (including income taxes, consumption taxes, capital and wealth taxes, environmental taxes), tax operating costs, tax administration and tax policy making and reform.

The course seeks to answer a series of key questions such as:

  • Do countries have different mixes of taxation (tax structures), and if so, why?
  • Why do some countries have more tax expenditures than others?
  • What are the best types of tax for different levels of government?
  • Why is income tax the dominant tax in so many developed countries whereas developing countries rely so heavily on indirect taxes?
  • Why are there so many differences in the way countries tax personal income, corporate income and capital gains?
  • Why do so few countries have wealth taxes?
  • Why have value added taxes, or derivatives of such taxes, become the dominant form of consumption tax worldwide?
  • What is the role of environmental taxation in modern tax systems?
  • How do tax systems and revenue authorities best manage issues of compliance and complexity?
  • How are tax systems likely to develop in the future?
  • What are the keys to success in tax reform?

The study guide for Comparative Tax Systems comprises seven modules:

  • Module 1    Introduction
  • Module 2    Who taxes what?
  • Module 3    Income taxation
  • Module 4    Consumption and environmental taxation
  • Module 5    Capital or wealth taxation
  • Module 6    Tax compliance and complexity
  • Module 7    Tax reform

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​This course complements existing courses on offer in the postgraduate program, but deals with areas that are not otherwise covered in depth in other postgraduate courses.  It will provide an important conceptual bridge to domestic and international students on postgraduate programs who are concerned to know why tax systems have developed in the way that they have and how they may develop in the future.

A candidate who has successfully completed this course should be able to:

  • identify the major similarities and differences between contemporary tax systems
  • account for the major reasons for such similarities and differences
  • understand the impact of institutional legal, political, economic, social, cultural and other factors on the development of tax systems
  • identify likely trends in tax system development and future tax reform.

 

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeProfChris EvansRoom 2054E, Level 2 South Wing, Quadrangle Building (E15)+61 2 9385 9546By appointment
LecturerProfBinh Tran-NamRoom 2054A, Level 2 South Wing, Quadrangle Building (E15)=61 2 9385 9561By appointment

​Communication with Staff

When you contact staff by email, please:

  • Use your University (not personal) email address
  • Specify the course TABL5544; and
  • Sign off by using your name and student identity number.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​How to Use These Study Materials

If you are new to flexible learning you should carefully read this Course Outline.  It contains most of the relevant information about how this course will be run and the expectations of you as a student. You should also refer to the Suggested Study Schedule as a guide to completing your coursework. So as to get the most out of your study we recommend that you follow this study schedule through the course and fit various time demands into a well-organised diary. Systematic study through the Term is the key to success in a flexible learning program.

The Study Guide (which includes this Course Outline and the individual Modules and is sometimes referred to as the study materials or course materials) can help you in three ways.

  1. It sets out a clear path of study over the Term and helps you plan your workload.  It also identifies learning outcomes and key concepts at the start of each module and provides a series of activities to help you learn actively and manage your own progress through the course.
  2. It contains the core content for the course (often with reference to legislation, textbooks and other relevant material).  The structure and layout of the Study Guide is designed to highlight key points and assist your revision for assignments, research papers and examinations.
  3. It tells you when to refer to textbooks, legislation and other readings, giving precise details of what you should read.

Features of the Study Guide

Each module includes a range of features to assist you in managing your learning and developing study skills. These features include:

  • Overview page
  • Heading levels
  • Learning outcomes and key concepts
  • Module text
  • Activities and feedback
  • Readings
  • Margin notes
  • Instructional icons

Tax Distance Course Student Guide

The Tax Distance Course Student Guide is a vital source of information for students studying flexible learning courses.  It provides administrative and other information specific to studying these courses and you should make a point of being familiar with its contents.  You can access the 2019 Tax Flexible Delivery Student Guide from your Moodle course website(s).

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

This course is built around a four day intensive contact period involving daily face-to-face classes from 9.30am to 5.00pm in the period Thursday, 10 January to Monday, 14 January 2019 (no class Sunday 13 January).

These classes will be conducted using a combination of lectures and seminar style discussion, with an emphasis on interaction, problem solving and active participation by students. They are designed to try out new ideas and give you a forum to ask questions and discuss issues with your lecturer and other students.  Do not be afraid to participate— it is only by trying out new ideas and exploring their dimensions that we learn.

Attendance at the intensive classes is a compulsory requirement in this course and class participation will be assessed and form 10% of the final mark in this course, in addition to the 20% marks that is allocated for a class presentation you will be required to make.

Thorough preparation is essential if you are to gain maximum benefit from the classes. You can only start to come to grips with material if you work on it actively. You will be expected to have read through Modules 1 to 5 in the period prior to attending the first face-to-face class on Thursday, 10 January 2019.

5. Course Resources

​Below is a list of further references that you may find useful in this course.  Purchase of recommended references is not required.

Asian Development Bank, A Comparative Analysis of Tax Administration in Asia and the Pacific (ADB, 2018 Edition) available at: https://www.adb.org/publications/comparative-analysis-tax-administration-asia-pacific

  • Ault HJ & Arnold B, Comparative Income Taxation: A Structural Analysis (Kluwer Law International, 3rd edition, 2010).
  • Avi-Yonah RS, Sartori N & Marian O, Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law (Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Albi E and Martinez-Vasquez J (eds), The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011).
  • IBFD, Global Corporate Tax Handbook (2017 or 2018 editions), (IBFD Global Tax Series).
  • IBFD, Global Individual Tax Handbook (2017 or 2018 editions), (IBFD Global Tax Series).
  • OECD, Tax Administration 2017: Comparative Information on OECD and Other Advanced and Emerging Economies (OECD, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, 2017).
  • OECD Global Revenue Statistics Database 2018, OECD, Paris.http://www.oecd.org/tax/tax-policy/global-revenue-statistics-database.htm
  • Thuronyi V, Brooks K and Kolozs B, Comparative Tax Law (2nd edition) (The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2016).

Useful Websites

Below is a list of useful websites with good comparative tax material:

International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD):
http://www.ictd.ac/

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

 

​The course was last offered (in Intensive mode involving a four day class in Sydney) in Summer Semester, 2018. The feedback for the course received from students (16) was very positive, with all students 'strongly agreeing' (75%) or 'agreeing' (25%) with the statement that "Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course". There was no negative feedback on any of the items relating to the course that were evaluated in the myExperience survey.

7. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 26 NovemberSelf Study

Module 1: Introduction

Module 2: Who taxes what?

Week 2: 3 DecemberSelf study

Module 3: Income taxation

Module 4: Consumption and environmental tax

Week 3: 10 DecemberSelf study

Module 5: Capital or wealth taxation

Agree country for Assignment 1 with course convenor by Monday 10 December 2018

Teaching Recess: 17 December 2018 to 1 January 2019
Week 4: 1 JanuaryReview/Assignment

Review of Modules 1-5 and prepare for class presentation

Assignment 1 due Wednesday 2 January 2019

Week 5: 7 JanuaryIntensive classes/Presentation slides

Modules 1 to 7: Class discussion of all modules

Submit presentation slides to course convenor by Monday 7 January 2019

Intensive classes 10, 11 and 12 January

Week 6: 14 JanuaryIntensive class

Modules 1 to 7: Class discussion of all modules

The topics for the take home exam (Assignment 2) will be provided

Intensive class 14 January

Week 7: 21 JanuarySelf study

Modules 1 to 7: Revision

Week 8: 28 JanuarySelf study/Assignment

Modules 1 to 7: Revision

Assignment 2 due Tuesday 29 January 2019

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.




Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.

Plagiarism

UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism-quiz

Cheating

The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/aim.

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: http://subjectguides.library.unsw.edu.au/elise. For information on student conduct see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/conduct.

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/referencing. If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.


Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.

Workload

It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload

Attendance

Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.



Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Education Quality and support Unit (EQS)
The EQS offers academic writing, study skills and maths support specifically for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, and individual consultations.
Level 1, Room 1033, Quadrangle Building.
bschoolconsults@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 7577 or 02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
learningcentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
advisors@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
externalteltsupport@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT
UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
itservicecentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
disabilities@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
counselling@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 5418


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