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WU Vienna Tax law


Jeffrey Owens

For over 20 years, Jeffrey led the OECD tax work, and now he is the Director of the WU Global Tax Policy Center (WU GTPC) at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law at WU. He also serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Global Vice Chair of Tax at EY, and as a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Tax Committee, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UNCTAD and a number of regional tax administration organizations as well as being involved with a number of NGOs.

The course endeavors to bridge the gap between theory and policy and to link up domestic and international tax considerations. The issues discussed are those which are currently on the agenda of international bodies such as the OECD, the G20 and the EU. The approach is comparative and draws upon the different approaches being followed by governments around the globe. Discussion focuses on four related issues. The first is to identify the general trends in tax reforms: Why have countries adopted different approaches and what is the trade-off between achieving efficient, fair, and simple tax systems? The second theme examines the impact of new players (new countries, new types of MNEs, and new organizations) on the existing international rules of the game in the tax area. The third theme looks at what is meant by a competitive tax environment and how countries are trying to achieve such an environment, both from a policy and administrative perspective. The last theme examines how the new emphasis on tax transparency is influencing the behavior of governments and taxpayers and what policy options are currently being explored by governments to improve international cooperation to counter offshore non-compliance. The aim is to prepare students to be in a position to contribute to the ongoing debate on the role of tax systems in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth patterns, raising the revenues that governments need to finance the services demanded by their citizens and doing this in a way which achieves a fair sharing of the tax burden.<br /><br />

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