GRA 6282 Accounting and Direct and Indirect Tax

GRA 6282 Accounting and Direct and Indirect Tax

Course code: 
GRA 6282
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Eivind Furuseth
Hans Robert Schwencke
Product category: 
MSc in Law and Business
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course will be divided into two main parts. The first part deals with accounting issues from a regulatory and economic perspective; while the second part deals with direct and indirect tax issues. Although accounting and tax often is considered as two separate parts, there is much interplay between these two branches of law.

Hence, the course will to a great extent integrate the two topics. This will be done for example by having seminars where we are analyzing interdisciplinary topics, and further some of the traditional lectures will be held together with lecturers specialized in accounting and lectures specialized in tax.


The course consists of two major parts in accounting:

The first part is accounting regulation at Norwegian, European and International (IFRS) Level.  The students should understand the relationship between these three levels and also understand the basic measurement issues at all three levels.

Secondly, the course adopts a user’s perspective in reviewing accounting practices, procedures and disclosure requirements.  We will examine where to find the information and what it indicates about the structure, strategy and performance of the company.

Further, the course aims to give the students an understanding of the relationship between direct tax and accounting. Both disciplines base their regulation on an analysis of the same basic transactions. Even so, measurements of for example depreciations are treated differently under the two disciplines.

Direct and indirect tax

The course aims to give students a basic understanding of how to treat direct and indirect tax issues in trade and industry. In indirect tax, the course mainly focuses on Value Added Tax (VAT). The students will achieve good knowledge both about Norwegian tax issues, but also good knowledge about the most important issues in international tax. Under both domestic and international tax, the students will be trained in detecting and analyzing tax avoidance schemes. In addition to the juridical side of direct and indirect tax, the students will get a basic understanding of the economic effect of various tax systems.

Tax legislation has become increasingly extensive and technically complex, so that financial officers and accountants need to concentrate on learning direct and indirect tax law. In order to make appropriate choices between various financial alternatives, one must often understand the difficult interplay between the rules of accounting, company law, and direct and indirect tax law.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The aim of the course is to give students a basic insight of important measurement and presentation issues of accounting under Norwegian regulation and under IFRS. In particular, the students will know when and how to use the fair value when measuring assets under the two regulations. The students will also achieve sufficient knowledge to set up consolidated financial statements for a group of companies.

On the basis of financial statements, the students will achieve knowledge to analyze the structure, strategy and performance of a business.

The aim of this course is also to give students an in-depth insight into important company tax law issues, an overview of international tax problems, and the main issues within the company-related VAT law. The course provides an in-depth presentation of corporate taxation, taxation of general partnerships, as well as some topics in business taxation, including the enterprise model. Emphasis is placed on integrating accounting law and company law in discussions on tax issues.

The teaching in VAT emphasizes the extent of the obligation to pay duty as well as what are tax-deductible expenses. Some fundamental principles of the VAT system are also discussed, such as fair competition, verifiability, etc. Cross-border trade and the VAT systems within EU VAT, are also discussed.

Learning outcomes - Skills


After completion, the students are able to understand the differences in the measuring accounting items at a Norwegian and International level.

In this course you will also learn financial statement analysis from the point of view of the primary and everyday users of financial statements: company managers, lenders and stock analysts.

Direct and indirect tax

After having completed the course, the students shall have learned to identify and analyze the main issues in Norwegian and international direct and indirect tax law.

General Competence


Through increased knowledge the students should be able to reflect on the different measurement and presentation issues in the accounts.

The students should also be able to comprehend and critically evaluate the financial information included in corporate annual reports and other sources. 

Direct and indirect tax

Through increased knowledge of important tax and value added tax issues, the students should become capable of critically assessing the established views on tax and value added tax issues. The programme should also make the students conscious of the ethical and moral challenges that may arise in a tax and value added tax law context.

Course content


  • The main elements and key topics in separate and consolidated financial statements prepared according to IFRS and in Norway
  • Explain the main elements of and key principles underpinning financial statement prepared according to IFRS and in Norway
  • Digitalization in accounting
  • The Annual Report Content
  • The Financial Statement Analysis Report
  • Financial Reporting Quality Analysis
  • Accounting Flexibility
  • Adjusting and Reorganizing Financial Statements
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Cash Flow Analysis

Direct and indirect tax

  • Tax liability in Norway
  • General company taxation, including e.g.
    • Depreciation for tax purposes
    • Exemption model
    • Shareholder model
    • Partnership model
    • Enterprise model
  • International aspect with Norwegian company taxation, including the relevance of tax treaties and the European Economic Area Agreement
  • The VAT principle and extent of obligation to pay duty
  • Withdrawal fee
  • Deduction for input VAT and adjustment
  • Definition of welfare, economic efficiency and optimal tax systems
  • The trade-off between efficiency and equity
  • Taxation and the price elasticity of demand
  • Taxation of emissions
  • Taxation of capital income and wealth
Teaching and learning activities

The course will consist of lectures, problem solving, group work and discussions. It will also be taught through discussions of cases and questions on a digital platform. 

There will be arranged for one written assignment where the students will be able to hand in a task in order to get constructive feedback. Thereafter we will go through it in class. The student will also practice how to perform her assignment orally, since discussing law orally is a very important part of being a legal practitioner.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 62821
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
30No10 Week(s)Group/Individual (1 - 3) Mid-term paper. 13-15 pages.
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 62822
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
70Yes3 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
  • Compilation of tax laws
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight: 30
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-3)
Support materials:
Duration:10 Week(s)
Comment: Mid-term paper. 13-15 pages.
Exam code: GRA 62821
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
  • Compilation of tax laws
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Exam code: GRA 62822
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Self study170Hour(s)Including an optional paper.
Group work / Assignments75Hour(s)For group assignment.
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:170 Hour(s)
Comment:Including an optional paper.
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:72 Hour(s)
Workload activity:Group work / Assignments
Duration:75 Hour(s)
Comment:For group assignment.
Workload activity:Examination
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 12 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 320 hours.