LL4Z2      Half Unit
Principles of Taxation

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Eduardo Baistrocchi NAB7.33


This course is available on the MSc in Law and Accounting, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.


The course is suitable both for students who have not studied taxation before and for those who have. It is particularly recommended for students who have not studied taxation previously, and who are studying any of the other tax courses offered at LLM/MSc level.

Course content

This course looks at how tax systems work and the principles that lie behind tax systems. Topics covered include the reasons for taxation and the main types of tax, how income is taxed, how the tax administration operates, the interpretation of tax legislation and tax avoidance. The course uses examples from the tax systems of the UK and other countries to illustrate the issues discussed. The course is suitable for those who have not studied taxation before, as well as for those with a background in tax who are interested in studying the principles of taxation in greater depth.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Appropriate readings from journal articles and from books including: Messere et al., Tax Policy: Theory and Practice in OECD Countries; Tanzi and Zee, Tax Policy for Developing Countries; Victor Thuronyi, Comparative Tax Law; James and Nobes, The Economics of Taxation; Mirrlees et al., Tax by Design. Further materials include: Morse and Williams, Davies Principles of Tax Law; Kay and King, The British Tax System; Ault and Arnold, Comparative Income Taxation: A Structural Analysis; Thuronyi, Tax Law Design and Drafting; Avi-Yonah, Sartori and Marian, Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law. Detailed reading lists will be provided during the course via Moodle.

Recommended preliminary reading Victor Thuronyi, Comparative Tax Law (Kluwer Law International, 2003


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 12

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills