Ian Roxan

Email: i.roxan@lse.ac.uk
Administrative support: Anna Lisowska
Room: New Academic Building 7.25
Tel. 020-7955-7469 

Ian Roxan (BA University of Toronto; LLB Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto; MPhil and PhD Cambridge) has been a Lecturer in Law at LSE since 1995 and Senior Lecturer in Law since 2003. He is originally from Canada. He is a non-practising solicitor in England and is an Ontario (Canada) barrister and solicitor. His Cambridge PhD dissertation was in Economics, and examined the trust as an economic institution. He began his career practising trust and tax law with a firm in Toronto. He has also worked in the Tax Policy Branch of the Canadian Department of Finance, where he was involved in developing tax policy and drafting legislation for three Budgets. Until 1995 he practised with a large international law firm in Brussels. He specialised in international, European and US tax planning, European corporate law, and value added tax, looking at a wide range of issues. He has participated in tax reform projects in developing countries in Africa and Asia for the World Bank and the Harvard Law School International Tax Program. In 2000 he won the Wedderburn Prize for his article 'Assuring Real Freedom of Movement in Direct Taxation' in the Modern Law Review.

see also Ian Roxan's LSE Experts page

Research Interests

Ian’s current research interests extend to international taxation, including the implications of taxation for development; European taxation and the influence of the European Court of Justice; corporate taxation; value added tax, including the application of the EC VAT Directives, the theory of VAT and the comparative development of VAT internationally; and tax avoidance and its implications for the development of tax systems.

External Activities

E. Baistrocchi and I. Roxan (eds.), Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes: A Global Analysis (London: Cambridge University Press. 2012

Via a global analysis of more than 180 transfer pricing cases from 20 representative jurisdictions, Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes explains how the law on transfer pricing operates in practice and examines how disputes between taxpayers and tax administrations are dealt with around the world. It has been designed to be an essential complement to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations, which focus on transfer pricing issues but do not refer to specific transfer pricing disputes. All of the transfer pricing cases discussed in the book are linked to the relevant paragraphs of the OECD Guidelines by means of a 'Golden Bridge', namely a table listing the cases according to the paragraphs of the Guidelines to which they refer. It therefore provides examples of the application of the Arm's Length Principle in many settings on all continents.

Selected articles
and chapters in books

'Limits to globalisation: some implications for taxation, tax policy, and the developing world'. LSE law, society and economy working paper series, 3/2012 (2012)

Globalisation characterised by a world of highly mobile capital and flexible transnational corporations, is said to have radically limited the power of national governments to tax. This article discusses how we should look at international tax policy in light of the realities of globalisation by considering the differences between economic, legal, policy and other discourses on taxation. The policy discourse can offer new perspectives on the old question of the choice between source and residence taxation in terms of tax fairness, and offers a new criterion: the participation principle. This principle provides a new understanding of some concerns of developing countries, traditionally viewed as preferring source taxation. The principle also shows that the rise of digital goods does not simply shift the location of taxed activities, but also offers creative opportunities for the developing world.

'Interpreting exceptional VAT legislation: or, are there principles in Pringles?' B.T.R. 2010, 6, 699-716.

Summarises the argument of John Avery Jones in favour of principles-based drafting and interpretation of tax statutes, exemplified by the application of the EU VAT system in the UK. Considers, with reference to the Court of Appeal decision in Procter & Gamble UK v Revenue and Customs Commissioners on the VAT status of Pringles snacks, the approach to be adopted when faced with rules operating beyond the scope of such principles, including the extent to which the principles may continue to provide guidance, and how direct application of semantic rules may provide increased certainty.

'Mobilx Ltd (In Administration) and others v HMRC: is this the end of fraudulent evasion of VAT?' B.T.R. 2010, 5, 492-500.

Discusses the Court of Appeal decision in Mobilx Ltd (In Administration) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners on whether, following the European Court of Justice ruling in Kittel v Belgium (C-439/04), input VAT claims were correctly disallowed on the ground that the traders knew or should have known that the transactions were connected with VAT fraud. Reviews the complexities of the test formulated in Kittel, its main elements and the importance of the extent of trader knowledge. Considers whether Moses LJ's approach to the test in Mobilx represents a correct application of its principles.

‘United Kingdom Country Report’ in G. Maisto (ed.), Tax Treaties and Domestic Law (Amsterdam: IBFD Publications, 2006)

Tax Treaties and Domestic Law provides an in-depth analysis of the relationships between tax treaties and domestic law. It begins from an analysis of the topic from a constitutional and an international point of view, with a particular emphasis on the provisions laid down by Articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

‘Influence of Inflation’, in P. Essers and A. Rijkers (eds), The Notion of Income from Capital (Amsterdam: IBFD Publications, 2005) pp. 249-262

One of the most difficult questions faced in tax law is how to determine the taxable base. Starting from the ability-to-pay principle, income is generally considered to be the best indicator to measure the ability to pay taxes. The main question, however, is how income should be defined. Particularly the notion of income from capital causes many problems. Ordinary workers are bearing the burden of the fact that capital owners can no longer be taxed because of globalization and information technology. These problems were discussed in depth during the 2003 conference of the European Association of Tax Law Professors (EATLP) in Cologne. Published in cooperation with EATLP, this book contains the proceedings of this conference.

‘National Report United Kingdom’, in W. Schön (ed.), Tax Competition in Europe (Amsterdam: IBFD Publications, 2003) pp. 479-518

This book, covers the proceedings of the 2002 conference of the European Association of Tax Law Professors (EATLP), providing an in-depth analysis of tax competition in Europe. Focusing on the political, economic and legal implications of international tax competition in their respective countries, academic tax lawyers from 16 European countries presented their national reports. The main features of these national reports are analysed, and the general aspects as well as the advantages of tax competition are discussed. Finally, tax competition is examined from an EU perspective and the harmonization effects of state aid rules in the field of tax law are discussed.

‘VAT Supplies of Services: A Definition in Search of a Meaning’, in A. Lymer and D. Salter (eds), Contemporary Issues in Taxation Research (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003) pp. 169-200

Contemporary Issues - cover

‘Ian Roxan undertakes a thorough analysis of the meaning of “supplies of services” for the purposes of value added tax in the United Kingdom. In view of the increasing economic importance of supplies of services, his analysis is timely. At the outset, he points out that the definition of “supplies of services” contained in Article 6 of the Sixth Directive is deceptively simple .... Thereafter, the truth of this statement is borne out as he explores the role of the definition in determining taxability (especially in relation to financial intermediation), identifies three broad categories of “services” that might fall within this residual definition, and shows that this definition has been given more substance than is immediately apparent by various decisions of the European Court of Justice.’ from the ‘Introduction’ to Contemporary Issues in Taxation Research

‘General Anti-Avoidance in the United Kingdom’, in H. Erlichman (ed.), Tax Avoidance in Canada: The General Anti-Avoidance Rule (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2002) pp. 83-115

Tax Avoidance in Canada - cover

The introduction of section 245, the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR), as part of the 1987 reforms to the Income Tax Act generated considerable controversy. After an initial flurry of commentary, the tax community patiently awaited both the application of the GAAR by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and its interpretation by the courts. Now that the first judicial stirrings have been felt, it is an appropriate time to reconsider the role of the GAAR in light of developments in Canada and abroad. This book brings together writers who represent a cross section of the tax bar — public and private practitioners, and academics — whose views reflect the spectrum of debate over section 245.

The book analyses the text of section 245 and the existing body of case law, and suggests a set of principles for its application. It examines the legislative history of the provision, the case law that led to its creation, the principles of interpretation of tax statutes and tax treaties, and the comparable provisions in other jurisdictions. The analysis is current to December 2001 making this book the most up-to-date resource currently available on the GAAR in Canada.

‘A limit on the purposive interpretation of VAT directives – Belgocodex v. Belgium’ [2000] British Tax Review 585-90

Whether Member State was prevented by First Directive 67/227 Art.2 from retrospectively reimposing exemption that had been made subject to derogation under Sixth Directive 77/388 Art.13C.

‘Assuring Real Freedom of Movement in Direct Taxation’ (2000) 63 Modern Law Review 831-76

The decisions of the European Court of Justice in applying the Treaty principles of freedom of movement to the direct taxation of individuals have been strongly criticised as taking an overly simplistic view of the interactions between national tax systems. The interactions often make non-discrimination an inappropriate criterion. This article proposes a framework, grounded in economic analysis, for understanding the implications of the interactions for freedom of movement. First, I establish a precise definition of obstacles to freedom of movement of individuals as costs of migration, as distinguished from incentives to migration (such as mere differences in national tax levels). Incentives can encourage economic distortions in migration, but they are not obstacles to migration (or free movement). Secondly, I develop the cross-migration test to distinguish costs of migration from incentives. I apply the test to show that two commonly used schemes of double tax relief, including exemption with progression, create unjustified obstacles to free movement.