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WU Vienna Tax law


Christoph Spengel

Born 1964 in Heidelberg, Spengel is professor of international taxation at the University of Mannheim. His main research interests are in the areas of international taxation (tax planning, comparison of company tax burdens), company taxation in the European Union (tax harmonization, group taxation, profit allocation), and tax accounting. He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Visiting Professor at the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW), Director of Leibniz-Scientific Campus Mannheim Taxation, International Research Fellow at Oxford University, Saïd Business School, Academic Director of the Mannheim Master of Accounting & Taxation, Mannheim Business School, and has been appointed as a member of the expert group on company taxation by the European Commission.

Enterprises operating across borders in Europe are confronted with heterogeneous corporate taxation despite EU-wide tax harmonization. This can be mainly put down to the fact that tax sovereignty has basically rested with the Member States, despite competences being passed on to the European Union. Within their retained national sovereignty, in line with targets defined by them and according to their traditions, the Member States collect taxes differently. Enterprises have to adapt their organization, finance, and channels of distribution to the range of tax conditions in the Member States and aim to optimize their tax situation by considering all other company objectives. With the help of case studies, this course looks at how to determine goals and means of tax planning within the EU.

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