Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  • demonstrate a solid understanding of the principles of international tax law and design;
  • understand the broad framework of Austalia's income tax and GST systems;
  • understand Australia's basic international tax rules;
  • identify similarities and differences between Australia's basic tax rules and those of other countries, particularly Singapore and Malaysia; and
  • engage in discussion about jurisdictional and policy issues relating to the design of tax systems.


This unit will examine Australia's taxation laws from an international and comparative perspective. It will outline the broad features of the Australian tax system and compare and contrast these features with the broad features of the Malaysian and Singaporean tax systems. Aspects of certain other countries tax regimes will also be briefly considered. Similarities and differences between the various regimes will be highlighted, discussed and analysed. The unit will focus on income taxation and consumption taxation (GST). It will use the Australian tax system as the basis for further comparative discussion. Special attention will be devoted to discussing Australia's international tax rules and its international tax treaties with Singapore and/or Malaysia. Broad policy issues relating to the design of tax systems and international tax rules will also be considered.

The following topics will be covered in the unit:

  • Principles of taxation law policy and design;
  • Structural features of income and consumption taxes;
  • Rate structures " progressive and flat rate structures;
  • Design of good tax systems
  • Tax expenditures;
  • Jurisdictional issues;
  • International tax enforcement;
  • GST (focusing on taxation of common transactions, including imports and exports and a comparison of the Australian and Singapore GST systems);
  • Residence and Source;
  • Income and deductions;
  • Capital gains taxation (focusing on taxation of international transactions);
  • Foreign tax credits and exemptions;
  • Withholding taxes;
  • Double Tax Agreements (focusing on Australia's agreements with Singapore and Malaysia);
  • Tax Information Exchange Agreements;
  • Corporate taxation systems (focusing on the difference between imputation, exemption and deduction systems);
  • Accruals taxation regimes;
  • Tax havens; and
  • International tax policy issues.


Class participation: 10%
Class presentation: 10%
Research paper (1,500 words): 30%
Take home examination: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and revision time over the duration of the course.