Dr John Vella

Supernumerary Fellow

John Vella is Professor of Law at the University of Oxford and works primarily on tax law and policy. He is also Assistant Director of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation based at the Saïd Business School, a co-director of the MSc in Taxation and a non-tutorial Fellow of Harris Manchester College.

John studied law at the University of Malta (BA and LLD) and the University of Cambridge (LLM and PhD). After completing his studies in 2006 he moved to Oxford where he has held different posts at the Faculty of Law and the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

John has been a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, a Visiting Professor at Bocconi University and has held visiting research positions at New York University, the University of Sydney and Georgetown University.  John’s recent publications have focused on the taxation of multinationals, financial sector taxation, and tax compliance and administration. He has given evidence on these issues on a number of occasions both before UK Parliamentary Committees and Committees of the European Parliament.

Selected publications:

Business Taxation in a Global Economy, Oxford University Press, (2020). With Alan Auerbach, Michael Devereux, Michael Keen, Paul Oosterhuis and Wolfgang Schön.

 ‘Tax Policy and the COVID-19 Crisis’ (2020) 48(8/9) Intertax 794. With Alice Pirlot and Richard Collier.

‘Value creation and the allocation of profit under formulary apportionment’ in Richard Krever and François Vaillancourt (eds), The Allocation of Multinational Business Income: Reassessing the Formula Apportionment Option, Kluwer Law International (2020).

 ‘The Allowance for Corporate Equity 30 years on’ in Rita de la Feria and Glen Loutzenhiser (eds), The Dynamics of Taxation: Current Challenges, Hart Publishing (2020). With Michael Devereux.

 ‘Digital Services Taxes: Principle as a double-edged sword’, (2019) 72 (4) National Tax Journal 821.

‘Can taxes tame the banks? Evidence from the European bank levies’, (2019) 129 Economic Journal 3058.  With Michael Devereux and Niels Johannesen.

‘Five core problems in the attribution of profits to permanent establishments’, (2019) 11 (2) World Tax Journal 159. With Richard Collier.

‘Barclays Mercantile Business Finance Ltd v Mawson: Living with uncertainty’ in John Snape and Dominic de Cogan (eds), Landmark Cases in Revenue Law, Hart Publishing (2018).

‘Putting technology to good use for society: the role of corporate, competition and tax law’, (2018) 6 (1) Journal of the British Academy 285. With John Armour, Luca Enriquez and Ariel Ezrachi.

‘Gaming destination based cash flow taxes’, (2018) 71 Tax Law Review 477. With Michael Devereux.

‘Taxing the digitalised economy: targeted or system-wide reform?’, (2018) British Tax Review 387. With Michael Devereux.

‘International tax planning under a destination based cash flow tax’, (2017) 70 (4) National Tax Journal 783. With Alan Auerbach, Michael Devereux and Michael Keen.


‘Implications of digitalisation for international corporate tax reform’ in Sanjeev Gupta, Michael Keen, Alpa Shah and Genevieve Verdier (eds), Digital Revolutions in Public Finance, International Monetary Fund (2017). With Michael Devereux.


‘Large businesses: tax strategies and sanctions for persistently uncooperative behaviour’, (2016) British Tax Review 653. With Judith Freedman.

‘Using the enhanced cooperation procedure in the tax sphere: lessons from the Financial Transaction Tax proposal’ in Panos Koutrakos and Jukka Snell (eds), Research Handbook on the Law of the EU’s Internal Market, Edward Elgar Publishing (2016). With Anzhela Yevgenyeva.

Are we heading towards a corporate tax system fit for the 21st century?’, (2014) 35 (4) Fiscal Studies 449. With Michael Devereux.


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