USA - ASIA- MIDDLE EAST - NEW YORK - MIAMI - LA - HONG KONG - DUBAI - INDONESIA - MALAYSIA - EUROPEAN UNION - SINGAPORE - BEIJING
Graduate School of Law
- LL.M. Program
for Introduction to International Tax Planning
- LLM 116
taught by Professor Roy
Rohatgi - been with the program since 1995.
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
Tax Planning : There
are nine modules in the course - including many individual
and group case study assignments given over the weeks. The
course is based on extensive application of your collective
knowledge obtained in this program to several client based
case studies. Students will be required to do desk research
of the tax systems and rules in various countries in finding
solutions to them. The course makes extensive use of case
studies to provide practical insights into international
tax. The course
will introduce you to the general techniques of international
tax planning. It will also expose you to various factors,
which are taken into account in structuring different type
of international operations and transactions, through case
study materials. However, as international tax planning
is an art there are no perfect answers. As they say: "it
all depends" on the facts and circumstances, the tax
rules and practices in the concerned jurisdictions, and
the business or commercial objective and the risk-taking
capacity of the taxpayer.
This course is taught by Roy Rohatgi, retired as
the founding managing partner of Arthur Andersen, India;
international partner South Asia; and national partner,
United Kingdom. Required
prerequisites are Principles of International taxation;
Tax Treaties; Anti-Avoidance; and Offshore Financial Centers.
Roy Rohatgi...Welcome to the sixteen-week intensive
course in International Tax Planning. There are nine modules
in the course - including many individual and group case
study assignments given over the weeks. The course is based
on extensive reading of text material and several case studies.
Students will be required to do desk research of the tax
systems and rules in various countries in finding solutions
to them. The course makes extensive use of case studies
to provide practical insights into international tax planning.
Most of the reading material on the subject comes from my
new book on "Basic International Taxation." There
is a specific chapter on this topic (Chapter 7). However,
the reading assignments also cover chapters on Domestic
Tax Systems (Chapter 4), Offshore Financial Centres (Chapter
5) and Anti-avoidance (Chapter 6). Besides general tax planning,
the later modules cover taxation of electronic commerce
(Chapter 8(1)) and taxation of expatriate personnel (Chapter
7(4)). Some of the reading material may duplicate previous
courses you have taken in this degree program. I hope it
will be good revision for you in such cases and the various
country examples in the chapters would broaden your knowledge
and understanding. It should help you to get a better understanding
of the principles. My teaching experience has shown that
when teaching a complex subject it takes three repetitions
to understand and six to remember!
For all the students in this class, this is probably one
of the last courses in the entire degree program. I have,
therefore, assumed that all the students have completed
their four compulsory courses (namely Principles in International
Taxation, Double Tax Treaties, Offshore Financial Centres
and Anti-avoidance). These courses gave you the foundation
of international taxation. My course uses this knowledge
to plan cross-border transactions in a tax-efficient manner.
I would, therefore, suggest that you spend some time to
look through your notes of the previous courses and refresh
For a lot of you, the art of international tax planning
is the ultimate aim of this degree program. At the end of
this course, you wish to be familiar with the various principles
and techniques. The reading assignment supplemented by the
case studies should help you to understand and apply them.
A course of nine modules cannot make you an expert international
tax planner. It can teach you the basics. The rest comes
from working on actual tax situations and with experience
over time. Each tax planner has his own individual likes
and dislikes that dictate his choice of techniques. A perfect
analogy would be a painting. This course can teach you the
painting techniques and the use of the various colours,
but the composition depends on the talent and inspiration
of the painter. The course can only give a broad general
The course will introduce you to the general techniques
of international tax planning. It will also expose you to
various factors, which are taken into account in structuring
different type of international operations and transactions,
through case study materials. However, as international
tax planning is an art there are no perfect answers. As
they say: "it all depends" on the facts and circumstances,
the tax rules and practices in the concerned jurisdictions,
and the business or commercial objective and the risk-taking
capacity of the taxpayer. To apply to specific situations,
you need to become familiar with the domestic tax systems
in various countries involved and the tax treaties, and
the non-tax factors. The domestic laws and practices in
different countries affect tax planning. What may apply
in one country may not be acceptable in another country.
You have to create your tax planning solution. As mentioned,
there is no single solution. It all depends!
At the end of this course, you will be able to
· Understand the role of international tax planning.
· Explain the basic techniques and structures of
international tax planning and how they are applied.
· Identify and analyse different international tax
issues in a range of cross-border transactions
· Understand the role of both tax and non-tax factors
that affect international tax planning.
· Review a methodology for tax planning and develop
your own tax planning approach.
· Be familiar with the various sources of tax information
(both domestic and foreign) and understand the need to build
a network with tax planners in other countries.
· Understand that international tax planning requires
the knowledge of the domestic tax systems and tax treaties
of the countries involved. This course can only provide
the general principles, which the tax planner must adapt
to specific circumstances.
· Appreciate that learning international tax planning
is a destination, which has no end! All tax planners spend
their lifetime trying to improve their knowledge and expertise
but can never claim that they know it all!
· This course can only give you the fundamentals
of international tax planning, like a good cookbook. As
a tax planner, you have to prepare the meal, which suits
the tastes and appetites of those who have to eat it!
· Discover that nine-week course is too short to
become an expert international tax planner. Even a lifetime
may not be enough.
· In international tax planning, one deals with informed
choices and business risks. Usually, there is no single
or ideal answer. You do not have to agree with my conclusions!
course for concentration in International Tax
: Principles, Treaties, Anti-avoidance as well as Offshore.
Since most of you should have covered the basic principles
in the previous courses, the lecture notes are meant to
refresh your memory and lead you into a topic. Each module
has assigned text material for you to read and study. In
addition, there are additional questions to answer or case
studies for you to complete.
As in real professional life, many of the assignments would
require you to research the tax laws and practices in specific
foreign countries. I have presumed that all of you are now
familiar with the various techniques used to research for
tax data through websites and databases. Your course includes
access to External Links. A good starting point for country
tax data may be the country examples in my book, Basic International
Taxation, and the suggested reading references and footnoted
articles there. You may also contact by email or fax your
professional contacts (if any) in the relevant foreign jurisdictions
to obtain or confirm their country tax data. (Professional
networking of this kind is very important (and common) as
an international tax practitioner.)
The planning issues and techniques are covered in the reading
assignments and specific questions and case studies. To
ensure that you have read and understood them, I would require
each student to study the assigned text material and post
his comments in the classroom for discussion. I would use
the quality (and quantity) of the comments (or "planning
insights") for grading purposes. They will account
for 50% of the marks awarded to the student at the end of
the course. The remaining 50% would be based on specific
assignments and case studies during the course.
I propose to encourage "shared learning" within
the class. The assignments and case studies must be done
initially by each student after completion on the reading
assignment/s. Each student should attempt the questions
and case studies individually for the time specified (one
or two weeks) and send their suggested solutions to me by
email or file (use digital drop box) for my information
and comments (if any). The solutions should list the sources
(e.g. websites, books, etc.) which you have consulted or
used to arrive at your conclusions. The individual solutions
will be shared within study groups.
I will divide the class into several study groups or teams
of 4 to 6 students. They will be required to present a joint
solution to the class for discussion. At this stage, you
are also free to consult with non-students. We will then
attempt to arrive at a consensus solution for the class
as a whole. Because their are no deadlines, I will keep
the discussion forums on each case study open until the
end of the course.
This approach should help all the students to get a better
understanding of the planning issues based on the knowledge
of the class derived from past experiences, research and
contacts. There are no model solutions. The answers vary
with the knowledge and imagination of the planner and the
countries involved. As I mentioned earlier I do not have
all the answers!
There will be no formal examination at the end of the course.
(however, see Course Changes below)
Thus, participation grades are based on:
(a) Timely submission and quality of the assignments and
participation in the group and class solutions: - 50%
Marks will also be given for the quality of research done
in arriving at your conclusions to the case studies. You
should mention the sources used by you in the discussion
forum for the case study. This approach would enable all
the class students to share in your research for the case
study (and the future).
(b) Demonstration of preparation through weekly discussion
of topics, problems or issues in the cyber class:- 50%
Participation in the classroom will be assessed by
- Evaluating your "informed" responses to the
case studies and solutions.
- Constructive comments and responses to other students'
comments and questions and analysis of problems. Thus, it
is based on your discussion, commentary and other participation.
As mentioned above, the course grading will depend on the
assignments and the quality of participation in the classroom.
As of now, I do not propose to have a formal examination
at the end of the course.
IV. ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
online course requires attendance which is measured by (1)
the modular-weekly interactive participation opportunities
in the classroom, (2) mandatory weekly participation through
being called upon to address the class for certain modules
as well as (3) modular study guide assignments.
Missing mandatory weekly participation assignments
is the equivalent of being not prepared in class and will
result in a zero for that assignment.
Not turning in study guide assignments will result
in a zero for that assignment.
V. EVALUATION OF STUDENT
course is on planning and not on principles. It is not easy
to teach planning except through practice. The questions
can deal with principles and concepts but planning requires
us to put the principles to practice. I believe we need
to move gradually from questions to case studies. The more
case studies you get involved in personally the more planning
experience and confidence you will get.
A lot depends on what you want to get out of the course.
I discussed this issue with Prof Byrnes as Academic Director
last night. He reckons that one should expect around 15
hours of study time from the students every week. He also
mentioned that the objective of the course should be to
enable the students to practice independently as international
tax planners after finishing the course. If that is the
case, then we need to concentrate on the planning aspects
that puts your entire learning in the LL M Program to use.
Therefore, I propose the following approach for the rest
of the course.
(i) Students should spent more than 50% (even 75%) of their
time on case studies (at least 5 to 7 hours every week).
The text reading can be made optional except for the case
study readings. I shall mark the essential reading in the
course information. I would however, recommend that each
student scan through the reading material and follow up
on any new material or topics with which they are not familiar.
They can then read them later as reference material. (The
reading would be essential for students who have not yet
attended the four basic courses to follow this course).
(ii) I shall split the case studies into those which should
be done individually by each student (and email the answers
to me) and then put into the class for comments and discussion.
They can also take longer time on it. There will also be
certain case studies which require a group solution. I shall
divide the class into four groups of five students each
to discuss among themselves in separate discussion forums
and send me a group solution. They can thus share the work
load by mutual agreement. Again the group solution will
be put in the class for feedback from me and other students.
(iii) From a learning perspective it does not matter to
me if you have access to solutions and comments given by
other students on the discussion board. However, as mature
students I would not expect any one to just copy from others;
they can definitely learn from them and and improve on them.
In real life, we are constantly sharing knowledge and learning
from others. Complex tax planning is done by a team of professionals
and all planning is subject to review by others within a
VI. REQUIRED TEXTS
texts edited and authored by the Instructor, supplemented
by reference materials.
Reference materials will include source materials
and secondary materials.
is conducted using the Internet WWW as well as, and most
importantly, value added databases may be available, such
US and foreign materials; Tax Treaties
US and foreign materials; especially the country by
country tax materials
International databases jurisdiction by jurisdiction,
and its global treatises
UK and international materials, especially Commonwealth/Caribbean
especially Canadian and Commonwealth/Caribbean case
especially the treatises that explain planning techniques
by topics, such as estate planning, for jurisdictions
US and foreign materials
Analysts, especially its superior tax treaty database,
foreign law and global tax update magazines
Law Publishers - all foreign statues in English
and PhD thesis and dissertation databases
tax research using databases such as Hein and CCH
other databases that we subscribe to for you (see the
external links in the classroom for details).
the student should use the electronic book libraries and
research the titles available.
Online Course Requirements for AAFM Financial Board Certification:
Chartered Wealth Manager - Take LLM 131, and LLM200
Chartered Trust & Estate Planner - Take: LLM111 and
Chartered Portfolio Manager - Take LLM 222
Chartered Risk Manager - Take LLM106 and 110
- Chartered Asset Manager - Take LLM 104 and LLM 105
- Chartered Market Analyst - Take LLM 333 (Must of Masters
Degree, JD or CPA)
- Registered Financial Specialist - LLM 101 and LLM 102