International Taxation Course and Class Descriptions

International taxation involves areas that include foreign policy, tax treaties and tax credits. Courses in the subject are generally taken during a graduate certificate or degree program.

Essential Information

Many schools of law offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) with a concentration in taxation or international taxation. LL.M. programs are advanced law degrees designed for professional lawyers and graduates of Juris Doctor programs who want to specialize in international taxation. Some graduate schools also offer certificate programs in international taxation for business students, including those studying accounting or business law. These certificate programs are sometimes available entirely through distance learning.

LL.M. and certificate programs in international taxation generally cover topics like tax treaties, U.S. tax policy and international tax policy. Students might take courses that deal specifically with foreign tax credits, tax laws in the European Union and international tax treaties. More general taxation programs might have just a few courses in international taxation and feature required courses in individual, partnership and corporate taxation. LL.M. programs in general usually include additional written projects and elective courses.

Here are a few common concepts found in international taxation courses:

  • Estate taxation
  • Partnership tax
  • Bankruptcies
  • Trusts and fiduciaries
  • Financial instruments
  • Corporate taxation

List of Courses

Introduction to International Taxation Course

This course surveys U.S. tax laws that govern U.S. citizens doing business in foreign countries and foreign citizens doing business in the United States. This course covers principles of U.S. tax policy, tax treaties with foreign countries and political forces that shape international tax policy. An introductory course on international tax policy is generally taken at the beginning of an LL.M. in International Taxation program and may be followed by an advanced course.

Foreign Tax Credit Course

U.S. companies that do business in multiple countries may be eligible to claim a foreign tax credit. Section 901 of the U.S. tax code outlines who can claim the credit, how much can be claimed and other tax policies related to the credit. This course gives future international tax lawyers the knowledge to decipher credit eligibility for their clients. This class can be taken at any time during an LL.M. program.

European Union Tax Law Course

The European Union's tax laws are discussed and debated in this course. Students learn about the most recent tax decisions of the European Court of Justice and how these decisions affect individual and business taxation of U.S. citizens living and working abroad. This course may be taken at any time during an LL.M. program.

International Tax Treaties Course

This course builds on the concepts learned in the international tax policy course and covers U.S. treaties with foreign governments on taxation. The U.S. and the European Union model tax treaties are discussed and compared. International tax laws are discussed. LL.M. students typically take this course near the end of their program.

International Transactions for Business Course

Learning the basics of how international business operates is important in understanding how international business transactions are taxed. In this course students review the operations of international business and learn the tax implications for business location, international financing and international insurance. These concepts help international tax attorneys advise businesses on international operations. This is one of the last courses taken by international taxation law students.

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