Course Listing

Tax Planning & Policy
Last Updated Date:   3 June 2022

5 Credits,  Semester 1

Course Description:
As the saying goes, the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Tax permeates and affects all aspects of human and business conduct – shaping every deal and transaction, and influencing the setting up, financing, and operation of every business venture.

This foundational course focuses on the two most important taxes – income tax and GST (accounting for 75% of our total tax revenues). It will acquaint participants with a basic working knowledge of the most common tax issues faced by both businesses and individuals. The first part of the course focuses on GST, the concept of taxability, the unique input tax credits, and its application to common tripartite contracts, and transactions in the digital economy and crypto-assets. The second part deals with the income tax implications of typical decisions made in the lifecycle of a business. Issues examined include different tax liabilities between a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation; difference in tax impact of income earned in Singapore and overseas; how to raise debt or equity capital in the most tax efficient manner; how to maximise deductions and allowances to minimise taxable profit; when does permissible tax planning become tax avoidance; as well as common legal and evidential issues in tax litigation. Other topical issues including the economics of taxation, budget, and recent trends and reforms in international tax will be also be discussed.

The course is particularly useful for those interested in commercial law, transactions, wealth planning, in-house advisory, and economic policy. No tax knowledge is assumed, and participants are not expected to make tax computations.

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Course Convenor: A/P Phua Lye Huat, Stephen

Co-teacher(s): Adjunct As/P Kenneth Wang Ye

Module Codes: LL4056BV / LL5056BV / LL6056BV / LLJ5056BV

Contact Hours: 3-hr weekly Seminar

Workload: 3 hours

Mode of Assessment: Class Participation - 30% (10% each comprising oral class participation, MCQ and peer-to-peer contributions to Forum discussions in LumiNUS.); A single sustained research paper or a combination of 2 or 3 mini research papers (totaling 5000 words) - 70% [Due: Tue, 8 Nov 2022 (9am)]

Preclusions: Nil

Prerequisites: (a) NUS Compulsory Core Law Curriculum or common law equivalent. (b) Company Law (LC2008) or its equivalent in a developed common law jurisdiction

Examination Date: Different Mode of Examination

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