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How to easily pass CA IPCC Taxation

Balamurali Krishna 
on 12 July 2017

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For most of the IPCC students, Paper 4: Taxation is a troublesome subject in the exams. However, I would like to tell you that this is one of the scoring subjects and you can easily make it.

How do I tackle this subject?

Beginning: First of all, start your preparation early. Since CA IPCC Taxation is a voluminous subject, you need to start the preparation early. Study on a daily basis. Devote at least an hour in a day for this subject.

Own Notes: As you begin your studies start making notes in a separate dedicated notebook for Taxation. Keep separate sections for Direct tax & Indirect tax. Understand the provisions thoroughly. Once the concepts are clear you can solve any kind of problem in exam.

Revision Points: At the end of each chapter note down unique points or provision s which you tend to forget. Also note down questions which you want to revise frequently. These questions should be carefully chosen such that they cover provisions of entire chapter.

Revise. Revise. Revise: Revision is very crucial for Taxation subject since it consists of lot of provisions. Each day, before you commence your study take out your notebook and revise whatever you have noted down and studies the previous day. Try recalling every provision you have studied. If you feel you have forgotten anything, go back to your study material and read it again.

Fine-tune your understanding: As soon as you finish studying a chapter, solve practice manual (PM) questions of that chapter. This will fine tune your understanding of the chapter. This cycle should repeat after preparation of every chapter.

Suggested order of Study: Examination point of View:

You may study in any order. However, it is important to know that, understanding Taxation requires you to study in the order of Chapters given in the Study material because each chapter is linked to the previous chapter. You cannot start with 'Heads of Income' without knowing the basics.

IDT First: Finish off Indirect taxation part first. It covers 50 marks and is high scoring part. Suggested order - VAT, Service Tax, CST, Excise, Customs, CENVAT Credit Rules.

Then complete Direct Tax part. I would not like to quote important topics here because every chapter is important. Questions are asked from all areas. TDS Provisions and Filing of Returns are practically very important.

Practice for Performance:

Solve as many illustrations as possible. Not with the calculator. Sit with a pen and paper. This will help you to attempt 100 marks in 3 hours. Many students make repeated mistakes in this area. You don't do this. If you do this mistake, take it from me you may not be able to complete the paper in the examination hall.

Don't Mess with Assessment Year:

The relevant assessment year for November 2017 exams is A.Y.2017-18

Amendments:

Taxation is a dynamic subject. Amendments made in the Finance Act, 2016 would be applicable for November 2107 Examinations. Also you should be updated with the notifications, circulars and other amendments made up to 30th April, 2017. Make use of Supplementary Study Papers and Latest RTPs to get these updates relevant for the examination.

Write Mock test Papers:

ICAI conducts mock tests at regional offices and branches. Appear for them and check your preparedness. You may even download Mock Test Papers from ICAI website (Students Home Page) and try answering the same at home in Examination conditions.

How to remember section numbers and case laws?

When you start learning the provisions, you will come across various section numbers. Now make a separate sheet for Sections and a separate sheet for Case Laws. Start listing them in the order you study them (Not in the ascending order). Every day when you come across new sections and case laws, add them to your list. Revise this list daily. You will never forget a section number again.

Check out this example:


Sl No.

Section

Particulars or Details

1

2(7)

Definition of Assessee

2

2(31)

Definition of Person

3

2(9)

Definition of Assessment Year


Sl No.

Case law

Particulars or Details

1

CIT vs Govinda Swamynathan

Advocate general is a professional, not an employee. Chargeable under Income from PGBP.

2

CIT Vs Chidambaram Pillai

Nature of Income in the hands of the partners is same as the nature of income in the hands of the Partnership Firm.


Actual Examination:  Subject Specific Tips:

Support your answer: Always support you answer with relevant provision.

Section Number: Quoting a section number is always a value addition. However, please do not misquote a section number. Remember, the examiner who is checking your paper would be a qualified CA. You can't fool around him.

No Shortcuts please: Shortcuts in your answers are a strict 'NO'. Example: Do not use IT Act instead of Income Tax Act or ST for Service Tax etc.

Presentation: Maintain good presentation throughout your answer book. This will give a good impression.

Working Notes Very Important: Working Notes are very important while solving practical problems. Give as much as working notes to supplement you answer. Remember, it's not the arithmetical accuracy, the examiner is looking for. It's your understanding of the provisions.

I would like to remind you again 'Revise Regularly'.

All the Best


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