Many of the courses in the programme are taught in the classroom, although a substantial amount of preparation and self-study are also expected. Classroom activities regularly include student presentations and debate in addition to lectures. The class size is limited to 30 students, in order to allow for active participation by all students. Students are also able to attend selected internal training sessions at IBFD.
In addition to the classroom teaching, students receive supervision in groups of three to four for the tax treaty negotiation exercise and the moot court exercise. They also receive intensive individual supervision from one of the ACTL faculty members when writing their LLM thesis, and possibly also extra supervision from an outside expert in appropriate cases.
29 August – 2 September 2022
5 September 2022 – 3 February 2023
Holiday time: 24 December 2022 – 6 January 2023
6 February 2023 – 30 June 2023
No classes or exams on 6 April, 10 April, 5 May, 18 May, 29 May 2023
Although students must work on their theses from December 2022, the final version of the LLM thesis must be submitted before 1 July 2023
To be announced
Graduating students who have written their LLM thesis on a topic relevant to the annual LLM seminar, and who achieve an excellent standard, may be invited to participate in the seminar as a panelist. In this case, the LLM thesis will be published by IBFD as one of the seminar papers.
Other theses that achieve a high standard may be published in an IBFD periodical if the topic is suitable. If the topic of the thesis is not suitable for publication by IBFD the faculty members will assist the student in seeking publication elsewhere.
All theses that achieve a passing grade are stored by the UvA and IBFD library and made available to the public.
The UvA offers a wide range of study facilities to students. The LLM programme is supported by an online system, which provides electronic access to all the organisational information about the courses, the PowerPoint presentations, reading materials, cases studies and other assignments and a discussion forum. The student information system provides the students information about their grades.
The Amsterdam law School offers approximately 250 working spaces for students. In addition, the students on this programme will have access to study facilities in the IBFD office, where they will undoubtedly be frequent visitors. They also have unlimited access to the IBFD tax research platform, offering a wealth of databases, periodicals and electronic books.
The University of Amsterdam offers a broad range of general facilities to its students including libraries, cultural facilities, sports facilities, computer facilities, canteens, medical care for students, counselling, etc. For further information about assistance with the registration process, finding accommodation and moving to Amsterdam, go to the chapter Practical matters.
Alongside the academic programme, a social programme will be organised for the students, faculty members and guest lecturers of this programme. Every effort will be made to encourage contact between the students, the faculty and guest lecturers and IBFD tax specialists, providing an ideal environment for students to build up their professional network.
In addition to the LLM programme, students receive the following benefits:
This is a full-time study programme and the workload is designed accordingly. Students will be expected to attend a high percentage of the classroom sessions and group mentoring sessions and to have regular meetings with the supervisor of their final thesis.
Students will also be expected to participate actively in the programme, both the academic side and the social side. Active academic participation means taking part in classroom debate and engaging in discussion with fellow students.
The programme attracts students from many different countries and cultures and all students are expected to behave, both in the classroom and outside, with due regard for the cultural differences among the students and the society of Amsterdam.
After graduating from the programme, we very much hope that students will stay in contact with us.
Graduates of the programme will be well equipped for many different career paths. Those going into the advisory profession will have the breadth and depth of knowledge to research and resolve complex technical issues. They will know which questions to ask about the domestic law of the countries they deal with and will be able to communicate effectively with specialist colleagues in those countries.
Graduates whose career path takes them to government will have plenty of options. One option is to work on the design of the country’s tax law, especially as it affects cross-border issues, as the graduates will be well equipped to assess their country’s policy in the context of its relationship with its trading partners and its regional and international position.
Graduates will also be eminently suited for the negotiation and administration of double tax treaties and for the representation of their country in inter-governmental organisations and other international forums. Finally, they will be able to work on the administration of taxes, particularly in complex cross-border situations, with an understanding of the issues at stake that reaches beyond the questions immediately before them and the ability to communicate on an equal level with the tax advisers involved. Some graduates may choose a career path in inter-governmental organisations. Their LLM education will provide them with the necessary understanding of the relevant policy questions and how these issues translate into technical problems. They will understand the political sensitivities behind the law and be able to deal with representatives from many different countries.
A small number of graduates may pursue a career in the judiciary, where their understanding of both the technical and broader policy issues of international tax law will be a sought-after commodity. Finally, some graduates may choose to remain in academia and pursue a Ph.D. This group will find an excellent base for their chosen path in their consideration of the conceptual issues of international tax law during the LLM programme.
Their year on the LLM programme will provide the students with plenty of networking opportunities to assist them in building up an international professional network. Past experience of the existing programmes in this field, and of various events organised by the IBFD, is that the students maintain good contacts with their fellow students and lecturers long after they have graduated.
The LLM also gives the students the opportunity to find a job in the Netherlands exploiting the potential of a very dynamic environment always open to acknowledge and greet talented professionals from all over the world.
The immigration law of the Netherlands makes provision for foreign students who have successfully completed a degree in the Netherlands to stay for a year in order to seek employment and for their continued residence if they do find employment. More information about this possibility is available on the website of NUFFIC (the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation).
The formal requirements in respect of previous education for admittance to this programme are explained in the section admission requirements and the selection procedure. These requirements are designed to ensure that all students start the programme with a good understanding of the domestic tax law of at least one country, as the lecturers will assume that they are familiar with the most basic concepts of tax law that are found in virtually every country.
Some previous exposure to international tax law would be helpful, but is not necessary. What is more important is the ability to go beyond the mechanical application of the tax law and to think about the issues law in a conceptual way. Students following this programme must also be willing to re-examine the principles they studied during their first degree in a comparison with the principles applied by other countries.
English is the working language of the programme and therefore a good command of the English language, both orally and in writing, is an essential requirement.
In addition to these academic abilities, students on this programme must be prepared to work hard and to take an active part in the programme as a whole.
They must be willing to make presentations in class, to disagree with their fellow students, to question the views of the lecturers, and to defend their standpoint and revise it when appropriate. They must also be prepared to interact in the classroom and socially with fellow students from many different countries, backgrounds and cultures. Finally, they must be willing to live in a city with a high level of tolerance, in particular towards sexual minorities.
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