LL4Z3      Half Unit
Consumption Taxes

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ian Roxan NAB7.25


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.

Course content

The course is suitable for students who are interested in taking one course in taxation, including students who have little previous background in taxation. It can usefully be combined with LL4Z2 Principles of Taxation, and it provides a suitable background course for LL4Z4 VAT in the European Context. In the sixty years of the existence of value added taxes, they have spread to all corners of the globe to become one of the most importance sources of government revenue. This course will examine the nature of value added taxes, whether called VAT, GST or another name. VATs will be compared with other methods of taxing consumption, including other sales taxes and progressive expenditure taxes. The course will also look at the distinction between taxing consumption and income and the redistributive effects of taxing consumption. The course then considers the main features and problems raised by VATs and GSTs, including defining the taxpayers and the amount subject to tax, international transactions and VATs in federal jurisdictions, and problematic issues such as input tax credits. Examples will be drawn from the European Union VAT and from taxes in other countries.


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

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Indicative reading Schenk and Oldman, Value Added Tax: A Comparative Approach; Ogley, Principles of Value Added Tax: A European Perspective; Ebrill, The Modern VAT; Alan A. Tait, Value Added Tax: International Practice and Problems; Mirrlees et al., Tax by Design; McClure, The Value Added Tax: Key to Deficit Reduction?; James and Nobes, The Economics of Taxation; Tanzi and Zee, Tax Policy for Developing Countries. Detailed reading lists will be provided during course via Moodle.

Recommended preliminary reading Ogley, Principles of Value Added Tax: A European Perspective (Interfisc Publishing, 1998); or Alan A. Tait, Value Added Tax: International Practice and Problems (IMF, 1988).


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

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 2

Average class size 2012/13: 1

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills