Stephen Utz ist Professor an unserer langjährigen Partneruniversität University of Connecticut School of Law. Er ist Experte für internationales Steuerrecht und lehrt seit 2006 in jedem Sommersemester an der Freien Universität Berlin, entweder auf dem DAAD-Gastlehrstuhl für anglo-amerikanisches Recht, als Fulbright Gastprofessor oder im Rahmen des regulären Dozenten-Austauschprogramms zwischen dem Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft der Freien Universität Berlin und der University of Connecticut School of Law. Im Sommersemester 2008 wurde der Gastlehraufenthalt durch eine Kooperation mit der Kanzlei P+P Pöllath + Partners ermöglicht; im Sommersemester 2012 trug die Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft PriceWaterhouseCoopers zum guten Gelingen des Lehraufenthalts bei.
Die Gastprofessuren von Professor Utz haben zu einer engen wissenschaftlichen Vernetzung zwischen Herrn Professor Utz und dem von Professor Markus Heintzen geleiteten Arbeitsbereich für Steuerrecht an der Freien Universität Berlin geführt.
(summer term 2006)
This course surveys contemporary tax policy analysis. The issues and arguments covered are multi-disciplinary and not all experts agree which are important or by what methods they should be approached. Accordingly, a course like this must both give background information about the relevant disciplines – their methods, preoccupations, and strengths – and investigate the foreground tax policy debates to which they contribute.
There are of course classic lawyerly approaches to a number of broad problems about taxation, which deserve careful examination in the round. It is no surprise that the development of the tax law in a number of countries has stimulated legislatures, courts and the bar to bring forth durable insights into aspects of public finance, with only marginal assistance from non-legal experts. To the extent that legal training enables us to grapple with unfamiliar information and relationships, we may be well placed to approach the peculiar task of designing and justifying a tax regime. Lack of specialization may be a practical advantage. It may also hinder the solution of complex problems. Legal methods of advocacy and adjudication are not always even superficially adequate to the task of formulating public policy.
Some specialized fields of study are obviously relevant. Taxes affect economic behavior. They can also reinforce or undermine a society's quality of life, self-image, aspirations, long-term political arrangements, and so forth. It follows that moral and political theory as much as positive and normative economics promise to enlighten tax choices. Historical and psychological studies tell us vital things about the workings of real tax systems that mainstream tax economics and political science might otherwise ignore. The horizon of tax policy continues to widen.
(summer term 2006)
American property law is virtually all State rather than federal law and much of this State law is common law, although statutes now play a significant role. This course covers most areas of property with which a practicing lawyer in the U.S., no matter what the lawyer’s specialty, must be familiar, including the elements of conveyancing. Property law is not as unified as, for example, contract law. Some parts of the course, therefore, have relatively little to do with each other. Consequently, you will find that we shift gears and engage in noticeably different kinds of study as we proceed. Generally, the earlier portions of the course deal with historically older (though still current) parts of property law; the later portions, with newer law. We will break with the casebook’s compartmentalization of the subject from time to time to see how the parts may be synthesized in practical application.
The final examination will consist of both multiple-choice and essay questions. It is closed-book.
(summer terms 2007 - 2010)
The course is intended to provide an introduction to the application of the US income and wealth transfer tax systems to transactions with links to the US and other countries. The most extensive coverage is given to the income tax, which affects investment and the conduct of businesses by both individuals and corporations; the coverage of wealth transfer and successions is more concise. As background, basic US income tax rules as they apply in the domestic context will be briefly introduced. Not surprisingly, US and German income taxation have a great deal in common, although there are significant differences between the two countries’ approaches to entity taxation; these differences will also be discussed in general terms.
Jurisdictional principles asserted by the US – especially, the worldwide taxation of US citizens and residents – are fundamental to an understanding of the US tax rules that attribute a source in one country or another to income derived by nonresident persons. These basic principles apply to investors, business owners, and employees carrying on a business abroad and to non-US individuals and entities investing, earning income, or carrying on a trade or business in the US. Parallel German “source” rules will be compared with their US counterparts. In this connection, the peculiar common-law treatment of the very concept of a “trade or business” for US tax purposes will be of interest to students familiar with the more specific statutory definition of related concepts in German tax law.
Like most other countries with reasonably workable tax systems, the US alleviates the double taxation of foreign-source income of US citizens and residents by crediting foreign taxes paid. The foreign tax credit will be discussed in detail, with emphasis on which foreign taxes qualify for the credit and the reliance of US tax authorities on foreign tax determinations in that connection.
A peculiar feature of US international taxation has been the income tax treatment of foreign corporations controlled by resident corporations and individuals. “Subpart F” of the Internal Revenue Code taxes certain categories of such income as if it were directly earned by US persons. Recently, Congress has been inclined to dismantle “Subpart F” and to offer relief for foreign corporations whose income is not subject to Subpart F if they repatriate earnings that would otherwise be held offshore in order to avoid US taxation. These legislative changes and their administrative implementation suggest that a closer harmonization of US international taxation with that of the European Union and other trading partners will gradually emerge. Recent proposals for completing that transition, though not yet part of US tax law, will be discussed in this course.
Although the US accepts what appears to be the same “arm’s length” standard that most other countries adopt for determining whether transfer pricing agreements between residents of different countries will be respected for tax purposes, peculiar US interpretations of that standard lead to opportunities for international tax arbitrage, based on the different pricing analysis of the same transactions by the US and other countries. The US transfer pricing rules will be covered sufficiently to permit a range of examples of such tax arbitrage to be analyzed.
The contrast between US and OECD model tax treaties, and interesting new features of recent US treaty negotiations will be discussed in some detail, with emphasis on the recently amended German-US treaty. Arbitration of disagreements between competent authority and more elaborate limitations on benefits are among the distinctive features of these treaties.
Taxation of Internationally Active Enterprises from a U.S. Perspective
(summer terms 2012 and 2014)
This course examines the tax treatment of cross-border business and investment activities under the pre-treaty law of the USA and Germany as well as under the USA-Germany Double Tax Treaty and various model treaties. The topics to be covered include rules concerning income source, corporate residence, withholding of tax by source countries, and the limitation of treaty benefits to parties with close ties to the treaty partners. In addition, the course will highlight such policy goals as capital export neutrality, inbound investment neutrality, capital ownership neutrality, and other aspects of equity among multiple taxing authorities. There will be written final examination.
Taxation of Cross-Border Income from a U.S. American Perspective
(summer term 2013)
This course examines the basic treatment of cross-border business and investment activities under US-American tax law and a comparison with German tax treatment . The topics to be covered include rules on income source, on the taxation abroad of enterprises that maintain a business presence there, and on treaty-based relief from double taxation that might otherwise result under these rules. The course will stress the purposes of cross-border activity taxation and their relevance for interpreting national tax regimes and tax treaties. There will be written final examination.