Course Information

Course Number




Sales and Value Added Tax Law

SALES AND VALUE-ADDED TAX LAW covers the legal frameworks and detailed technical issues related to VAT and sales tax systems. Com¬parisons are drawn between the VAT and sales taxes, and between the tax legislation provisions used in various countries. Aside from the basic tax structures, the course also highlights innovations in VATs and the treatment of special sectors such as the real property, financial, agriculture and public interest sectors. Approaches for dealing with the application of VATs and sales taxes in the context of federations and common markets are also considered.

The principal focus is on VAT, with sales tax being compared as appropriate to highlight the differences. The aim of the course is to enable you to think about VAT (or sales tax), whether from the perspective of what the law is, what it should be, or how it might be administered. More generally, the course is designed to sharpen your skills to think like a lawyer, like a policymaker, and like a tax administrator. We will also examine VAT law on a comparative basis, and discuss what contribution a comparative law viewpoint brings to an understanding of VAT.

After taking the course, you should understand how the VAT works, be able to interpret VAT laws (we will consult several, as well as discussing cases), be familiar with the main problems and issues of VAT (for example, the consequences of exemptions), and have a feel for how the VAT differs from the income tax. We will discuss the definition of all legal elements of the VAT (taxpayer, taxable event, tax base, rates, tax period) and how the tax is collected as a matter of procedure. The focus will be on problem areas of defining these elements. This analysis should equip you with the ability to handle VAT problems in the future, or indeed to deal with any tax, since all taxes have these basic common elements.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.