TAX LAW - 2023/4

Module code: LAW3127

Module Overview

Tax Law introduces students to basic elements of tax law, explores a number of the most important questions in tax policy, and examines a range of topics in UK tax law. The module provides an overview of various kinds of taxation including income, consumption, inheritance and corporate taxation and explains basic features of the UK system of tax law and tax administration. Topics in tax policy include theories of tax fairness, debates over the tax base and progressive taxation, tax competition and international tax planning, and environmental taxes. UK tax law topics include income from employment, income from trading, income from land, capital allowances, capital gains tax, corporation tax, VAT, inheritance tax, and tax avoidance.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

LINDSAY Ira (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 60

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 40

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Tax Law is likely to cover the following topics:

I Introduction to Taxation

  • Types of Taxes

  • Tax Policy Analysis

  • UK Public Finance

  • UK Tax Administration and Procedure

  • UK Tax Law History

II Tax Policy

  • The Tax Base

  • Progressive Taxation

  • The Political Economy of Taxation

  • International Taxation and Tax Competition

  • Taxation as Regulation: “Pigouvian Taxes”

III UK Tax Law

  • Income from Employment

  • Income from a Profession or Trade

  • Income from Land

  • Capital Allowances

  • Capital Gains Tax

  • Inheritance Tax

  • Corporation Tax

  • VAT

  • Tax Avoidance

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online 4 HOUR ONLINE EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Understanding of how to apply UK tax law to fact-based problems and apply knowledge of UK tax law and tax policy theory to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of alternative tax policies and tax policy arguments.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A final 4 hour online exam including both problem questions and essay questions.

Formative assessment

A formative exam will be provided around Week 7 that will be marked but will not count toward the final grade.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in tutorials and on the written formative assessments.

Module aims

  • This module aims to introduce students to UK tax law and to important debates in tax policy.
  • Students will learn basic concepts in income, capital gains, corporate, consumption, environmental, and international taxation, examine the UK tax law of UK tax avoidance, and analysis tax base, progressive taxation and other aspects of tax policy. Because taxation is a subject that cuts across disciplinary boundaries, the module will consider perspectives from a range of fields including law, economics, and political philosophy.
  • The module will provide foundational knowledge for the practice of tax law, a conceptual understanding of the significance of taxation for the practice of other areas of business law and helpful background for employment in a very wide range of roles in both the public and the private sectors.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the sources of public revenue and the range of taxes levied in the UK KT
010 Explain some of the implications of economic theory for tax policy KCT
012 Apply the principles of tax law to evaluate solutions to fact-based problems KCPT
011 Explain what challenges cross-border transactions create for tax policy including the role of tax havens and tax competition KCPT
013 Analyze the fairness and efficiency of alternative tax policies KCPT
002 Explain the sources of UK tax law, the structure of tax administration and the historical development of UK income taxation KPT
003 Understand and apply the taxation of employment income and emoluments, income from trading, capital gains, inheritance, and income from land KCPT
005 Critically analyze the development and nature of the law of tax avoidance KCP
004 Understand and analyze the structure and purpose of corporation tax KCPT
006 Understand the structure of the VAT and the policy considerations that influence VAT policy KCP
007 Understand the role that taxation can play in environmental policy and evaluate alternative policies for reducing environmental harms KCPT
008 Analyze arguments for and against the taxation of consumption rather than income KCT
009 Critically evaluate arguments for and against progressive taxation KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to introduce both UK doctrinal tax law and analysis of UK tax policy from multiple perspectives. Tutorials covering UK doctrinal law build upon compulsory law modules that apply UK law to fact-based problems (e.g. Land Law, Equity & Trusts, Tort Law).  Tutorials covering tax theory and policy introduce philosophical and economic frameworks to analysis fairness and efficiency in taxation.  Readings include leading UK tax law textbooks and academic articles representation a range of perspectives on tax policy.  Lectures introduce UK fiscal policy, the US tax system, doctrinal law tax and leading debates in tax law and tax policy.  Tutorials and the formative assessment allow students to practice answering questions, including both problem questions and essay questions similar to those found on the summative exam.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3127

Other information

Tax Law supports Employability in a wide range of career paths including not only the practice of tax and other areas of business law, but also work in private business or in public policy.  Major transactions undertaken by businesses invariably have tax implications and so understanding some of these implications and being able to reason about them is an important professional skill.  Taxation is a central area of public policy not only because of its importance for funding government, but because taxation is one of the main ways in which governments influence citizens’ behaviour.  For example, taxes on environmental harms are one of the main tools available to governments for promoting Sustainability.  The domain of international taxation raises numerous ethical and legal issues such as the regulation of tax competition between states and the activities of purported tax havens. The study of tax policy therefore enhances Global and Cultural Capabilities.  Students will be expected to engage with the voluminous UK statutory scheme for taxation online and thus will develop their Digital Capabilities.  Given the cross-cutting nature of tax policy, students with almost any background will find some of the approaches and intellectual frameworks new and challenging.  Mastering this challenging material will require Resourcefulness and Resilience.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.