Course Code : LAW 408
Course Title : Law of Taxation
Weekly Teaching Hour: 2-hours seminar per week
Who may enrol : Compulsory course for year 4 (Senior) LLB students
Prerequisites : Previously studied and passed LAW 110 – Contract Law
Lecturer : To be announced on August 2020
Description : Tax is a fundamental part of any commercial entity and something that most individuals will have to think about in some form during their lifetime. In commercial terms, no transaction is put in place without first considering the tax consequences and thus an understanding of tax is crucial for anyone working in the commercial sphere. This is underlined by the fact that the professional exams for legal practice devote a substantial amount of time to tax. It is also likely that in during your legal studies, you have read a number of tax cases, which set out important points of law because tax is pervasive across our legal system.
The course is intended to provide an understanding of the foundations of direct taxation. This will ensure an appreciation of the existence of a tax problem and, in the areas studied in detail, knowledge of the relevant law. The subject is a fast moving one, with a budget announced each year and an annual Finance Act. This course will therefore not be able to teach you everything you need to know about tax law, but rather will give you the skills to be able to deduce it for yourself at any given time and consider the bases and complexities of any tax system.
The tax legislation is copious and the statutory language is complex, but understanding it is essential to this subject. Thus, during this course we will consider how best to undertake detailed analysis of the statutory material. Case law is also important as many crucial terms, such as income, employment – are not defined by statute.
This subject is taught by weekly seminars. Emphasis is placed on critical examination of the current law but we also consider fiscal policy and possible reforms. Sources, the influence of history eg . why does the tax year start on 6th April?, administration of the tax system (in outline), system of appeals, Inland Revenue discretion, the Budget, concept of a good tax, distinction between income and capital, the tax unit, personal reliefs, rewriting tax law.
Income Tax: Definition of office and employment. Income from offices and employment including golden handshakes, benefits in kind eg company cars, mobile phones and accommodation. Overseas earnings. Deduction of expenses. Definition of trade. Trading and professional income, receipts expenditure, stock in trade, work in progress, attribution of profits. Anti-avoidance legislation.
Inheritance Tax: Transfers of value actual and deemed, potentially exempt transfers, exemptions, grossing up, property subject to a reservation, associated operations. Death.
Capital Gains Tax: Disposals of assets, computation of gains, inflation, rebasing, husband and wife transfers, exemptions including main residence, gifts, deaths. Capital gains tax on settled property.
Tax Avoidance: Recent developments in the courts. Statutory general anti-avoidance legislation. Tax simplification.
Recommended Textbook (s) and Supplementary Books :
- Revenue Law: Principles and Practice by Fairpo, A. and Salter, D. , Bloomsbury (relevant edition for the year of study)
- Davies: Principles of Tax Law 8th ed , by Geoffrey Morse, David Williams, Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell Ltd, ISBN13: 9780414059160
- Tiley’s Revenue Law 9th Edition, by Glen Loutzenhiser (Author), Hart Publishing; ISBN-10: 1509921338, ISBN-13: 978-1509921331
Class Participation 10%,
Mid-term Examination 30%, by a written examination
Assignments 10%, 2 x formative essays
Final Examination 50%, 100% Unseen 3-hour written examination
Attendance 95 % compulsory.