This year the Faculty of Law of the China University of Political Sciences and Law has inaugurated a Course of International and European Tax law at the Changping Campus, Beijing. I had the honor and the privilege to deliver a series of seminar and take the students, by hand, in the fascinating and challenging world of the taxes with the support of my University (University of Ferrara) as well.
We spent hours together discussing about the rules governing taxation today in the world, how states adjust their power to tax according to treaties, conventions, and the ways and the means adopted to prevent double taxation on business and individuals.
Taxation is a crucial aspect of every legal system, as it may impede, or simulate, growth and social justice and distribution of wealth.
Together with the students I had the possibility to go back to the first steps taken in the field by prominent academics and stakeholders. We have seen how taxes were developed in history, how they were adjusted in the East and in the West, and eventually the rising role of the OECD in the matter.
Europe was considered as well, since it is one of the most important business partners of China these days, and it is mandatory to become familiar at least with the basics of European taxation.
The students who attended the course gained a competitive advantage in terms of know-how, understanding of the European system and comprehension of legal and political machinery of the European Union.
We have seen together the difference between tax avoidance, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Cases were shared with the students, with whom I discussed about landmark decisions taken in the past by prominent judiciaries sin the west.
In the latest seminar the class became more interactive as we approached the challenge of Digital economy and digital taxation. Will it be possible by the OECD to table a convincing and fair strategy in the matter?
Finally, we turned our eyes on China, and to the groundbreaking project launched almost a decade ago on the new “Silk Road” (aka “Belt and Road initiative”). We appreciated together the vision and the ambition behind a successful project, and we assessed the fiscal impact of such a revolutionary and innovative strategy to international business.
Students have been outstanding in their endurance, participation, and feedback.
It has been a hot month of July in Beijing, but during the classes we did feel well!