P6 - KAPLAN Study Text

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Studying P6

As the name suggests, this paper examines Advanced Taxation. It builds on the foundations of Paper F6 in two ways. First, it introduces more advanced taxation topics in relation to inheritance tax and specialized personal and corporate tax. Second, it requires the ability to communicate clearly with clients, HM Revenue Customs and other professionals in a clear and professional manner. It is an options paper which will be chosen by those who work in a tax environment.

Members of the P6 examination team have written several articles in Student Accountant which are also available on the ACCA website. There are four non-technical articles that focus on the structure of the exam and exam technique. These are Stepping up from Paper F6(UK) to Paper P6(UK), Examiner’s approach to Paper P6 (UK), Guidance on answering questions in Section A of Paper P6 (UK) and Improving your performance in Paper P6 (UK). There are also technical articles covering the following topics: Exam technique and fundamental technical issues for Paper P6 (UK), Taxation of the unincorporated business – the new business, Taxation of the unincorporated business – the existing business, International aspects of personal taxation, Inheritance tax and capital gains tax for P6, Trusts and tax for P6, Corporation tax for P6, Corporation tax– group relief for P6, Corporation tax– groups and chargeable gains for P6, and Finance Acts 2015. Make sure you read these articles to gain further insight into what the examination team is looking for.

1 What P6 is about

The P6 syllabus builds on the basic knowledge of core taxes gained from F6 and introduces candidates to additional capital taxes in the form of stamp duty, stamp duty reserve tax and stamp duty land tax. It also extends knowledge of income tax, inheritance tax, corporation tax and capital gains taxes, including overseas aspects, taxation of trusts and additional exemptions and reliefs.

The emphasis of the paper is on the candidate’s skills of analysis and interpretation of information provided and communication of recommendations in a manner appropriate to the intended audience e.g. clients. Computations will normally only be required in support of explanations or advice and not in isolation.

2 What skills are required?

  • Be able to calculate tax charges in support of explanations or advice.
  • Be able to explain the tax charges in a particular scenario: what taxes are applicable and why.
  • Be able to analyse a set of facts to ascertain when tax charges arise and any options that may be available to the taxpayer to mitigate such charges.
  • Be able to evaluate your results and recommend a course of action, justifying your recommendations and setting out any other factors which the taxpayer should take into account when reaching his decision.

3 How to improve your chances of passing

Study the entire syllabus – 60 marks of the marks available to you are contained in the compulsory Section A questions. Section B questions allow you to show more specialized knowledge and allow the examination team to test a wide range of topics.

Practice as many questions as you can under timed conditions – this is the best way of developing good exam technique. Make use of the Practice Question Bank at the back of this Text. BPP's Practice and Revision Kit contains numerous exam standard questions (many of them taken from past exam papers) as well as three mock exams for you to try.

Answer selectively – the examination team will expect you to consider carefully what is relevant and significant enough to include in your answer. Don't include unnecessary information.

Present your answers in a professional manner – use subheadings and leave spaces between paragraphs, make sure that your numerical workings are clearly set out.

Answer all parts of the question – leaving out a five-mark part may be the difference between a pass and a fail.

4 Brought forward knowledge

The P6 syllabus covers almost every topic that was included in F6, with a few minor exceptions. Since tax law changes every year, this text includes all the topics covered at F6 again, updated to the latest Finance Act(s). At the start of each chapter, we highlight topics which have changed between the latest Finance Act(s) and the previous Finance Act. We also highlight new topics which you have not studied at F6.

5 Gaining professional marks

As P6 is a Professional level paper, four professional marks will be awarded in Question 1. Professional marks will usually be awarded for overall presentation of the required letter or memorandum, the provision of relevant advice and the effectiveness with which the information is communicated.

Whatever the form of communication requested; you will not gain professional marks if you fail to follow the basics of good communication. Keep an eye on your spelling and grammar. Also think carefully, am I saying things that are appropriate in a business communication?

p6 - Study Text

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