The China-OECD LLM Programme on Taxation (COTP) was established through a co-operation among the Xiamen University (XMU), the State Taxation Administration (STA) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) of People’s Republic of China, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The COTP is an advanced, English-taught, postgraduate programme on tax policy and administration and international tax matters, which is open to applications for enrolment in the academic year 2023/2024. The programme aims to provide tax officials and professionals with cutting-edge knowledge of international tax law, enable them to understand frontier issues and emerging developments in international taxation, and equip them with the skills to apply the theories and knowledge to address practical international tax issues.
Parties co-operating on the Programme
The XMU, located in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China, is a comprehensive institution of higher education directly affiliated with China's Ministry of Education. The XMU, with a graduate school, 6 academic divisions consisting of 33 schools and colleges, 16 research institutes and a faculty of over 3000 full-time teachers and researchers, has long been listed among China's leading universities on the national 211 Project, 985 Project and Double First-class initiative and has forged partnerships with 259 universities across the world. The XMU, established in 1921, was among the first universities in mainland China to provide courses on Chinese tax law and international tax law and has been offering postgraduate programmes on international tax law since the early 1990s.
The STA is a ministerial government body of China that is responsible, among other tasks, for drafting tax laws, regulations and detailed implementing rules; providing advice on the making of tax policies; making implementation measures; collecting and administering taxes; interpreting tax laws, regulations and policies, supervising and inspecting its implementation; conducting international tax exchanges and collaborations; engaging in international and regional tax negotiations; as well as initialing and implementing tax agreements and treaties.
The MOF is a ministerial government body of China that is responsible, among other tasks, for formulating and implementing strategies, plans, policies and reform programs in the area of taxation; drafting laws and administrative regulations; implementing rules on taxation as well as tax policy adjustment programs; as well as negotiating and signing international tax treaties and agreements.
The OECD is an intergovernmental organization established by treaty and based in Paris, France. The OECD works to build better policies for better lives. Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. Through its standard-setting, capacity-building and other initiatives on tax matters, the OECD helps drive tax policy and administration reforms in countries around the world, with a view to eliminating tax barriers to cross-border trade and investment, fighting international tax evasion and avoidance and fostering resilient and sustainable economies in the long-term.
Programme duration and award of degree
The COTP is a two-year, English-taught, LLM programme. The students who complete the postgraduate study requirements in accordance with the terms, rules and regulations of the XMU (for international students no less than 41 credits are required, whereas for Chinese students no less than 43 credits are mandatory), including compulsory and optional courses, internship and degree dissertation, will be awarded the Master’s Degree of Law (LLM) by the XMU. Most of the courses and learning tasks in the programme will be completed at the XMU campus. In the first semester of the second academic year, students will have the opportunity to stay and take courses at the STA National Tax Institute in Yangzhou.
In the academic year 2023/2024, the programme will enroll 20 international students from developing countries.
The faculty of the programme is comprised of professors at the XMU, experts from the OECD, STA and MOF, as well as renowned professors, researchers and professionals in international taxation in China and outside of China. A Steering Committee composed of representatives from all parties will provide strategic advice, perspectives and recommendations on key aspects related to the development and operation of the programme to build it into a world-class LLM Programme on Taxation.
The curriculum is jointly developed by all parties co-operating in the programme. The courses include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Political Economy of International Taxation
2. Financial and Tax Accounting
3. Corporate and Individual Income Tax
4. China Tax Primer
5. VAT (GST) and Its International Aspects
6. International Tax Treaty Law
7. International Tax Administration Assistance and Cooperation
8. Chinese Tax Administration
9. Transfer Pricing
10. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project and International Anti-Avoidance Rules
11. Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy
The programme provides students with internship opportunities in financial and tax authorities, multinational enterprises, law firms, accounting firms and international organizations for legal practice in international taxation. Internship opportunities are provided by the parties of the programme including the Xiamen University, the STA, the MOF and OECD with the aim of meeting students’ needs according to their education and work background.
In addition to the aforementioned courses and internship, a degree dissertation in English is also required.
Application for international students
MOFCOM Scholarship was set up in 2008 by the Ministry of Commerce of China to further strengthen the communication and co-operation between China and other countries, as well as to develop talents for developing countries in the field of politics, economics and trade, diplomacy, agriculture, science and education, energy, transportation and public management. The COTP is under this scholarship scheme, specifically supported by the MOFCOM, to facilitate recruiting of international students. The Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office (ECCO) of the Chinese Embassy in your country will be open for application. Please consult the application receiving authority for the deadline of each year.
For more information please visit https://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/info/1038/1851.htm.
Other scholarships that international students of COTP can apply for include: Chinese Government Scholarships – Chinese University Program (application time: from December 1 2022 to February 28 2023 Beijing time), and scholarships apart from Chinese Government Scholarship (application time: from December 1 2022 to March 31 2023). Please apply and pay the application fee through the XMU online application system for international students at http://application.xmu.edu.cn before deadline required (The registration fee is not refundable and late applications will not be considered).
For more information please visit https://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/Scholarships/Scholarships_Information.htm.
2. Self-funded applicants
International students who apply for self-funded study should apply and pay the application fee through the XMU online application system for international students at http://application.xmu.edu.cn between December 1 2022 and April 30 2023 Beijing time (The registration fee is not refundable and late applications will not be considered).
Notes for International Students
Applications for the programme, including applications for the MOFCOM Scholarship or other scholarships, should choose “0301Z2 Fiscal and Tax Law” and comply with the requirements in the Prospectus for Admission to Master's Degree Programs in 2023 (https://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/Admissions/Master_s_Students.htm), as well as meet the following requirements:
1. Application requirements:
In addition to the application requirements set forth in Article 1 of the Prospectus for Admission to Master's Degree Programs in 2023, the applicants should also have:
- Bachelor’s degree or above in law, fiscal studies, taxation, financial management, accounting or other relevant areas;
- At least three years of professional working experience in international taxation, tax policy and/or administration, and/or any related area;
2. Application documents:
In addition to the application documents required in the Prospectus for Admission to Master’s Degree Programs in 2023, the applicants should also submit recommendation letter(s) issued and signed by his/her current employer providing a brief introduction of the applicant and expressing willingness to recommend him/her to the programme.
- Any falsification or misrepresentation will result in disqualification of enrolment;
- Admission will be cancelled if students fail to register with the university on time or fail to pass the admission physical examination.
COTP Program Office
Tel: +86 (0)592 2187715
XMU Admissions Office
Tel: +86 (0)592 2184792/2188375
Fax: +86 (0)592 2180256
Add: Room 306, Jiageng 3 Building, 422 South Siming Road, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China.