How to Prepare for IPCC - Taxation Paper?
Some Useful Tips:
1. Taxation (Paper-4 of Group-I) of IPCC is one of the best scoring papers in the curriculum. It is a core subject of CA Course.
2. It is blend of theory and practical problems. One has to understand the subject fundamentally and then practice how to apply the theory in solving practical problems.
3. First of all, conceptual clarity is very much important for subject and one has to get overall understanding of the subject, chapter by chapter and provision by provision.
4. Students must follow systematic approach in understanding the subject. This article summarises various steps to be taken to help them to get good marks in subject.
5. The first source of knowledge is your study material issued by BOS, ICAI. Firstly, have a glance of your material. Look at the syllabus. Understand the expectation from the student. The level of knowledge is working knowledge. One must get expertise in solving simple problems on ‘Individual Status’ in relation to the topics covered in the syllabus.
6. The portion of income tax in Taxation Paper is for 50 marks. Remaining 50 marks are distributed to VAT & Service Tax equally i.e. 25 marks each. So give weightage of time accordingly. Allocate reasonable time for each portion and prepare a detailed time table.
7. Study the paper in a phased manner i.e. first complete one chapter and then try to solve exercises and practice problems and solutions given in the Practice Manuals. Practice Manuals gives concise presentation of solution in exam orientation chapter by chapter. In such a way, complete all the chapters. This gives confidence over the subject.
8. Refer the BOS announcements to identify the cut-off time of applicability of relevant finance act, notifications, and circulars. For ex: The relevant finance act for Nov, 2013 examination is Finance Act, 2012. Therefore, Students have to carefully go through the series of amendments made by the Finance Act, 2012 in Income Tax & Service Tax. The provisions of income-tax law as applicable for the assessment year 2013-14 are relevant for November 2013 examination. The significant notifications and circulars issued up to 30th April, 2013 (income-tax and service tax) are relevant.
9. It is very important to note that only selected provisions of service tax are applicable for IPCC exams.
10. If time permits, go for recommended books. But it is strongly suggested to make sure that you refer only one book recommended by ICAI for practice. Reference of too much books is time taking and creates confusion.
11. Avoid collection of too many materials. Searching for updates all the time without studying will consume precious time and hence follow concrete approach as follows:
Know the relevant finance act, Select the relevant Study Material, Practice Manual, Practice Additional Problems, Revise number of times.
12. While preparing for the subject, have separate notes to write down important points (GIST) so that revision becomes faster. Also you can follow the practice of highlighting or underlining important points in your Notes / Material
13. Mock tests i.e. Model Exams have to be attended seriously under examination conditions so as to get acquaintance of the exam conditions and also helps to overcome exam fear.
14. Prepare well in advance. Do not procrastinate or postpone the today’s target portion so that you can complete the subject early and can revise it number of times. Remember practice makes you perfect !
15. Having prepared well is not enough. Presentation also plays a very crucial role in getting success in exam. Keep the following points always in your mind for better presentation in exam:
a. Don’t commence the answer immediately. Completely go through the question. Know the expectation. Then start answering it.
b. Try to write point wise answers wherever possible.
c. In solving practical problems, first give weightage to provision. Write the relevant provision and then apply the provision to practical situation given to arrive at a conclusion
d. Workings should form part of your answers. Solution should clearly contain detailed steps to justify the answer given. It helps you to get full marks allocated.
e. Write the assumptions wherever required. Many times in taxation, answer to a given practical situation depends on assumption you have taken in solving it.
f. Avoid quoting wrong section numbers. Commit the section number only when you are confident.
g. While attempting the answer, always keep in mind the time to be allocated to a particular question vis-a-vis marks allocated.
A tax provision a day keeps the exam fear away! Happy Reading and wishing the best be with you !