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Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation


Critical issues in taxation and development: CESifo seminar series

edited by Clemens Fuest and George Zodrow


Many developing countries find it difficult to raise the revenue required to provide such basic public services as education, health care, and infrastructure. Complicating the policy challenges of taxation in developing countries are issues that most developed countries do not face, including widespread corruption, tax evasion and tax avoidance, and ineffective political structures. In this volume, experts investigate crucial challenges confronted by developing countries in raising revenue.

After a comprehensive and insightful overview, each chapter uses modern empirical methods to study a single critical issue essential to understanding the effects of taxes on development. Topics addressed include the effect of taxation on foreign direct investment; forms of corruption, tax evasion, and tax avoidance that are specific to developing countries; and issues related to political structure, including the negative effects of fiscal decentralization on the effectiveness of developmental aid and the relationship between democracy and taxation in Asian, Latin American, and European Union countries that have recently experienced both political and economic transitions.


Clemens Fuest, Timothy Goodspeed, Shafik Hebous, Michael Keen, Christian Lessmann, Boryana Madzharova, Giorgia Maffini, Gunther Markwardt, Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Paola Profeta, Riccardo Puglisi, Nadine Riedel, Simona Scabrosetti, Johannes Stroebel, Mirco Tonin, Arthur van Benthem, Li Zhang, George Zodrow.

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VAT exemptions: consequences and design alternatives
EUCOTAX series on European taxation

edited by Rita de la Feria


This book is the only in-depth analysis of VAT to focus on exemptions as a whole. Ten insightful chapters – by economists, lawyers, legal academics, and government tax advisors from a wide variety of jurisdictions – grapple with the essential questions: Are VAT exemptions desirable? Are they avoidable? Are alternative legal designs possible? Are such alternatives necessary? What new problems do such designs give rise to? The authors emphasize in particular the design alternatives to exemptions that characterize ‘modern’ VAT and the newly proposed ‘post-modern’ VAT, both those that are already in operation in some countries and others that have not yet been attempted anywhere in the world. Among the core issues discussed are the following:

  • ‘out-of-scope’ supplies and suppliers;

  • merit or concessional exemptions for, e.g., charities, healthcare, cultural activities, and education services; and

  • ‘technical’ exemptions applied to, e.g., gambling, immovable property, financial and insurance services.

The book’s high-calibre contributions provide a firm foundation for productively carrying the debate forward on traditional European-style VAT vs. modern VAT approaches. Most obviously, the book admirably meets the ongoing need of tax practitioners to assess VAT-related opportunities and pitfalls in order to properly safeguard the interests of their clients. It will also be greatly appreciated by tax counsel, financial services providers, and interested government officials, as well as by academics, students, and researchers in tax matters worldwide.

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The delicate balance: tax, discretion and the rule of law

edited by Chris Evans, Judith Freedman and Richard Krever


Few aspects of revenue law generate stronger feelings than the exercise of discretionary power by tax administrations. A delicate balance often needs to be struck between the legitimate needs of revenue authorities and the equally legitimate interests and rights of taxpayers. On the one hand, the executive and administration need to have sufficient capacity to apply the law; on the other, there is a need to maintain the principle of the rule of law that it is the elected legislature, and not the executive or tax administration, that establishes tax burdens. The chapters in this volume explore that delicate balance.

The Delicate Balance: Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law considers the critical questions that arise from the intersections of tax, discretion and the rule of law in modern common and civil law jurisdictions: What do we mean by tax discretion and how does it vary in conceptual and practical terms in different tax regimes? What role should discretion play in tax systems that operate under the rule of law and how large should that role be? What are the legal, political, institutional and other constraints that can prevent abuse of discretion? To what extent can, and should, the legislature safely delegate discretionary powers to tax administrations?

This book is the outcome of a conference held in Prato, Italy in September 2010 and sponsored by the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation together with the Department of Business Law and Taxation at Monash University and the Australian School of Taxation and Business Law, The University of New South Wales.

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Prohibition of abuse of law: a new general principle of EU law

edited by Rita de la Feria and Stefan Vogenauer

'This is a timely and important book, discussing whether there is an emerging general principle of abuse of law in EU law and its possible implications…It is a unique and long awaited contribution for a topic that is in urgent need of the kind of serious and in depth analysis that is undertaken in the discussions that follow.'

Miguel Poiares Maduro, former Advocate-General

The Court of Justice has been alluding to 'abuse and abusive practices' for more than thirty years, but for a long time the significance of these references has been unclear. Few lawyers examined the case law, and those who did doubted whether it had led to the development of a legal principle. Within the last few years there has been a radical change of attitude, largely due to the development by the Court of an abuse test and its application within the field of taxation.

In this book, academics and practitioners from all over Europe discuss the development of the Court's approach to abuse of law across the whole spectrum of European Union law, analysing the case-law from the 1970s to the present day and exploring the consequences of the introduction of the newly designated 'principle of prohibition of abuse of law' for the development of the laws of the EU and those of the Member States.

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The EU VAT systems and the internal market

by Rita de la Feria

This book focuses upon VAT in the context of the EU internal market. Its central aim is to prove that the current EU VAT system is incompatible with the concept of internal market as set out in the Treaties and interpreted by the Court of Justice.

The study commences with an analysis of the concept of internal market under EU law. It then moves on to the EU VAT system, assessing first its historical development, then providing and in-depth analysis of the difficulties that the current legislation gives rises too. The book's final chapter contains a comprehensive examination of the role of the EU Court of Justice on VAT.

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Read the review in the European Law review

Read the review in the International VAT Monitor

A handbook of EU VAT legislation

edited by Rita de la Feria

The first ever compilation of EU VAT law, now comprised of three volumes. It includes all EU VAT legislation to date, cross-referenced to the case law of the EU Court of Justice. Published in loose-leaf format, it is updated on an annual basis, with Supplement 13 due for November 2010.

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Beyond boundaries

edited by Judith Freedman

The papers in this volume grew out of a two-day conference entitled ‘Corporation Tax: Battling with the Boundaries’ which was organized by the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and held in Oxford from 28–29 June 2007.

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