23rd Presentation of the LMU Munich Tax Awards - in memoriam Ottmar Bühler

3 Jun 2024

This week, three award winners were honored for their outstanding academic achievements in the field of business taxation.

On June 3, 2024, during the 23rd LMU Munich Tax Awards in memoriam Ottmar Bühler, outstanding academic achievements in the field of business taxation were honored. The award, sponsored by the law firm Linklaters, was given for a bachelor's thesis, a master's thesis, and a dissertation from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

This year, the event took place under challenging conditions: due to flooding in southern Germany, travel was difficult for many participants. Nevertheless, around 50 guests from academia and practice made it to the well-filled Senate Hall at Geschwister-Scholl-Platz. Due to travel difficulties, Simon Harst, a member of the institute, stepped in to moderate the evening in place of Prof. Dr. Deborah Schanz, a member of the LMU Munich Tax Awards board.

Following the welcome address, Simon Harst provided an academic review of the past year, detailing recent and current developments at the Institute for Business Taxation. The numerous practical events and innovative teaching concepts were particularly well received by students. Additionally, the institute, through the work of Prof. Dr. Schanz and Prof. Dr. Mellinghoff from LMUDigiTax, made significant contributions to the BMF commissions "Simplified Corporate Tax" and "Citizen-Friendly Income Tax." Lastly, he highlighted lectures, panels, and conference attendances by institute staff over the past year.

Noteworthy is the publication "The Tax Complexity Index – A Survey-Based Country Measure of Tax Code and Framework Complexity," co-authored by Prof. Dr. Schanz, which recently received the Best Paper Award 2023 from the renowned journal "European Accounting Review."

The audience was particularly enthusiastic about the keynote address by Dr. Ulrike Schramm, Head of Global Taxes at Continental AG. Her presentation focused on tax risk management and its impact on tax departments in the context of various stakeholder interests. She discussed the importance of a functional risk approach in tax departments, the design of "Tax CMS," and the implications for audits and liability issues.

During the subsequent award ceremony, the winners had the opportunity to present the contents and results of their work to the audience.

Marie Oetzel, B.Sc., addressed the possibilities and limits of the much-debated introduction of a wealth tax in her bachelor's thesis titled "Taxing the Rich." Dr. Hans-Josef Thesling, President of the Federal Fiscal Court, praised the balanced treatment of the controversial topic, which the student handled excellently. The discussion in the constitutional context was also a significant advantage of the work.

The master's thesis by Camilla Fischer, M.Sc., focused on American tax law, specifically examining how the introduction of the "GILTI" rule (Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income), an additional tax on under-taxed IP situations, affected investments in low-tax countries, using Ireland as a case study. Due to her outstanding methodological competence and nuanced discussion of the results, the award was presented to her by Prof. Dr. Jens Blumenberg. In his speech, Prof. Dr. Blumenberg highlighted that even "no results" can have interesting implications.

Dr. Felix Siegel, MBR, was the final award recipient of the evening for his dissertation titled "Essays on Tax Complexity," presented by Andreas Schaflitzl. The presentation vividly and impressively demonstrated the interplay of determinants and consequences of tax complexity and highlighted ways to reduce it. Mr. Schaflitzl emphasized the high academic and practical relevance of the work in his speech.

Guests and award winners had the opportunity to exchange ideas during a standing reception afterward.