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CBS Tax Seminar 1 ”Hot off the press” Inside the EU Code of Conduct Group: 20 Years of Tackling Harmful Tax Competition by Martijn Nouwen

7 februari @ 12:00 - 13:30


Seminar 1 – Inside the EU Code of Conduct Group: 20 Years of Tackling Harmful Tax Competition by Martijn Nouwen

Convener: Yvette Lind, Assistant professor in tax law at Copenhagen Business School

This book analyses legislative action against tax arbitrage with hybrid financial instruments (HFIs) from a multidisciplinary perspective.

It begins by investigating the non-legal problems of the legal phenomenon of tax arbitrage with hybrid financial instruments (HFIs), which should display the concerns caused by (uncombated) tax arbitrage with HFIs. The author works out three concerns from an inter-taxpayer equity perspective, three from an inter-nation equity perspective and three from an efficiency perspective.

Four approaches against tax arbitrage with HFIs are then analysed. These are the OECD approach, the low-tax approach, the UN approach and the recharacterization approach. The focus is on tax arbitrage transactions with HFIs that rely on a qualification conflict and substitute transactions with financial instruments that reach the same or a similar result.

The approaches under analysis are assessed in view of their potential to overcome the predefined non-legal problems. Aside from this, additional considerations regarding inter-taxpayer equity, inter-nation equity and efficiency are provided. The study also takes into account the administrability of an approach and elaborates on legal dogmatic questions.

Having conducted an analysis of the four approaches, the author provides his own solutions. He does not propose a new approach; rather, building on the prior discussions, he aims to advise tax policymakers on what action can possibly – and sensibly – be taken. In doing so, tax policymakers in three different situations are addressed: (i) those who already decided to combat tax arbitrage with HFIs through BEPS Action 2; (ii) those who are considering combating tax arbitrage with HFIs by means of targeted (and potentially simpler) linking rules; and (iii) those who do not intend to combat tax arbitrage with HFIs through targeted rules.

For more information and access to an excerpt of the book (click here)



Martijn Nouwen is an Assistant Professor in Tax Law and coordinator of the research project Tax Transparency of the Tax Law Department. His research and teaching focuses on international and European tax law. He has a particular interest in the topic of harmful tax competition between countries, which is a major cause of unfairness in taxation of multinational companies.

 CBS discussant

Rasmus Corlin Christensen is a postdoctoral researcher in international political economy at the Department of Organisation, Copenhagen Business School. His research focuses on international taxation, expertise and professions. He has been recognised as one of the most influential individuals in the tax world in the International Tax Review’s “Global Tax 50”. He can be found on twitter at @phdskat.

 External discussant 

Werner Haslehner is Professor of Tax Law at the University of Luxembourg, where he holds the ATOZ Chair for European and International Taxation and is the Director of the LL.M. Programme in EU and International Tax Law. Before coming to Luxembourg in 2013, he held full-time academic positions at Johannes-Kepler-University Linz and the London School of Economics. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne in 2018, the University of Turin in 2019, and a Global Research Fellow at NYU School of Law in 2020. He sits on the Academic Committee of the EATLP, the ECJ Task Force of CFE Tax Advisers Europe, and the Scientific Committee of the Luxembourg IFA branch. His research interests cover all aspects of international taxation, EU law, and tax policy.

Feel free to contact organizer Yvette Lind at


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7 februari
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12:00 - 13:30
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Arrangör, plats och språk

Arrangör / Organizer
Copenhagen Business School - Yvette Lind
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