International Taxation


Enable students to understand the main concepts in International Taxation, as well as some tax planning techniques in terms of Holdings, IP and Financing structures.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Neves, Pedro Fugas, Miguel Puim, Rita Vaz, Bruna Melo, Tiago Rosa


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





OECD Model Tax Treaty Commentaries.

EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive.

EU Interest & Royalties Directive.

EU Merger Directive.

Van Raad, K. Materials on International, TP and EU Tax Law 2015-2016. Volume 1 (Leiden: International Tax Centre, 2015).

Miller, A. and Oats, L. Principles of International Taxation (Bloomsbury Professional, 5th edition, 2016.

Arnold, Brian J. and McIntyre, Michael J., International Tax Primer, Kluwer Law International, 2002, 2nd ed.

Harris, Peter, Corporate Tax Law – Structure, Policy and Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

BEPS Action Plan and Reports – available from:

Read articles: 33, 34, 35, 36 and 36-A of the Portuguese Tax Incentive Code ('Estatuto dos Benefícios Fiscais')

Teaching method

The course will use the business case method and a final business case study will be provided in order to enable participants to gain confidence in applying the skills acquired during the course.

Evaluation method

The final exam is mandatory and must cover the entire span of the course. Its weight in the final grade can be between 30 to 70%. The remainder of the evaluation can consist of class participation, midterm exams, in class tests, etc. Overall, written in class assessment (final exam, midterm) must have a weight of at least 50%.

Subject matter

  • Week 1 – Main principles and concepts – António Neves

    Tax residency rules;

    Income source rules;

    OECD Model Tax Convention;

    Double taxation;

    Economic double taxation;

    Juridical double taxation;

    Elimination of double taxation;

    Credit method;

    Exemption method;

    Tax sparing / matching credit;

    Underlying tax credit;

    Foreign PE profit and loss;

    Branch profits remittance tax;

    EU Directives on dividends, interest and royalties;

    EU Merger Directive;

    Tax consolidation;

  • Week 2 – Holdings and financing – Miguel Puim

    Holding companies;

    Participation exemption;

    Interest expenses limitation rules;

    Business concentration – Goodwill depreciation;

    Withholding taxes;

    Foreign tax relief;

    Capital gains tax for shareholders;

    Forfeiture rules

    Recapture rules

    Holdings comparison between Malta, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Netherlands and Spain;

    Redomiciliation of companies;


    Effective tax rates;

    Low tax rate;

    Notional / deemed interest deduction;

    Refund mechanism;

    Reduced spread;

    Use of tax losses;

    Interest limitation rules;

    Transfer pricing;

    Stamp Duty or similar;

    Withholding tax;

    Foreign tax relief;

  • Week 3 – Practical case # 1 – Rita Vaz + EY Luxembourg

  • Week 4 – IP and Madeira – Pedro Fugas

    IP regime;

    Qualifying IP;

    Income covered;

    Effective tax rate;

    Rate of tax;

    Notional / deemed deduction;


    R&D incentives;

    Transfer pricing;

    Withholding tax;

    Foreign tax relief;

    Madeira International Business Center (MIBC) tax regime;

    Brief introduction to MIBC and licensing process;



    Substance requirements;

    Tax rates;


    Withholding tax exemption;

    Stamp Duty exemptions;

    Transfer taxes exemptions;

    Comparison between Malta, Ireland, Luxembourg and Hungary;

  • Week 5 – Practical case # 2 –Tiago Rosa + EY Netherlands

  • Week 6 – Anti-abuse measures – Bruna Melo

    General anti-abuse rule;

    Specific anti-abuse provisions (dividends, interest, royalties, restructuring);

    Beneficial owner;

    Treaty shopping;



Programs where the course is taught: