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Study of Business Taxation

Business taxation examines the problems that arise for companies from the existence of taxation. To this end, the effects of taxation on business decisions are first analyzed (tax effects theory). Based on this, alternative courses of action are developed to achieve the entrepreneurial goals, with which negative tax effects can be avoided (tax design theory). Finally, a third area deals with suggestions to legislative bodies for improving the tax framework from an economic point of view (Normative Business Taxation).

A necessary prerequisite for all three sub-areas of business taxation is the knowledge of the tax law framework, i.e. the individual relevant types of taxes, legislation, case law and administrative directives.

The teaching of tax law knowledge is a basic requirement, but not the main focus of this subject. Rather, the focus is on economic facts, their taxation effects and structuring alternatives, such as the choice of legal form and succession planning of medium-sized companies, tax issues relating to the organizational structure of group companies, corporate financing and company acquisitions, the realization of losses and problems of internationalization of business activities.

The study of business taxation is designed to impart the ability to systematically and appropriately determine the tax consequences resulting from business decisions. The students should be enabled to select the goal-conformal alternative from operational action alternatives under inclusion of the fiscal consequences and to recognize action alternatives for the reaching of operational goals under avoidance of negative fiscal effects. Finally, judgement is to be trained in such a way that the students are able to critically assess the tax law norms relevant to the field of corporate taxation from a business and legal perspective.

The study of business taxation is a useful preparation for work in the field of tax consulting and auditing professions, but also for employment in the tax and finance department, accounting or controlling of industrial companies, banks or insurance companies. The profession of tax consultant or auditor can be exercised independently or as an employee. A self-employed activity in the field of tax consulting or auditing requires the successful completion of the tax consultant exam or the auditor exam. In order to be able to take the tax consultant exam, at least two years of practical experience after the master exam or three years of practical experience after the bachelor exam are required. At the earliest after one more year of auditing work, the exam for the auditor can be taken. The admission requirements and examination areas for these professional examinations can be found in the German Tax Consultancy Act and the German Auditing Regulations.

There is only an obligation to take one or both professional examinations if the candidate is aiming for self-employment. Nevertheless, the professional exams are welcome for a professional activity in the industry.

It is not uncommon for people with professional experience in the field of tax consulting and/or auditing to switch to the finance or tax department or the accounting department of industrial companies, banks or insurance companies; in these cases, too, the professional examinations are highly valued as a qualification.

The professional profile of the tax consultant and auditor has changed considerably in recent years with technical progress. The increasing automation of work areas has led to a focus on tasks in the field of corporate tax planning and structuring, with cross-border aspects gaining in importance.

Due to the wide range of possible applications and the ever-expanding fields of consulting and auditing due to new laws, the chances of obtaining an adequate position in the field of taxation are extremely good. Although the starting salaries are traditionally somewhat lower than those paid in industry, the chances for development are excellent, especially after passing the professional exams to become a tax consultant and/or auditor.

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