I wanted to write for Group 1 but I get PMs in my inbox requesting me to pen something more on Direct and Indirect Taxes before I take off on Group 1.
Ok, I will acceede to these requests.
This is a subject which an be termed another bugbear(after Costing) for most.
But for me TN Manoharan and Singhania helped me a lot.
Steps which can be taken for this subject are as follows:
1. Stop hearing your seniors who keep frightening you regarding this subject.One senior told me that he failed manytimes in the subject and adviced me ''caution''.When I asked him what he meant by "caution", he could not explain properly.(Btw:I got 85% in the subject and he is still writing his CA attempts!)
2. It is most disatrous if you hear such stupid people, who cant think for themselves.
3. Extend one hand for friendship and then the person would extend in all probability a hand but start with a surly mood and the person would also be surly toward you.A subject prep is also in a similar manner.If you start with fright or distaste in mouth, the subject(Direct Taxes) will reciprocate similarly.
4. Prepare daily atleast 2 hours the subject as a discipline.
5. Conceptual understanding--->Application---->Working out numerical problems.Here many students think working out numerical problems alone is enough.This is Naiive thinking.One must be conceptually strong.In the exam the examiner would twist the questions and the student would be left high and dry.
6. Have enough resources for the exam--Personal coaching or atleast 2 reference books and bare act.Please DO NOT FOLLOW THE most popular yet erroneous advice for CA students(which makes life difficult for them) which is: Follow one standard text.There is nothing like that.
7. Study Materials have a lot to improve in this area.At best it can be kept for decorative purposes in the shelf.There are better books explaining the concepts.The study material is nothing but a regurgitation of the Bare Act onto the pages.The Institute in its classic tradition of ignoring students and concentrating on members does lot of disservice in the poor quality of study material when it comes to this subject.They forget that all members were once students!SO LEAVE THE STUDY MATERIAL FOR THIS SUBJECT.YOU CAN USE IT AS A PILLOW FOR SLEEPING OR AS A STAND FOR KEEPING A FLOWERVASE BUT NEVER FOR PREPARING FOR THIS SUBJECT.
8.Books which one can peruse:VK Singhania is by far the best for this subject.The only problem being its nitty-grittiness.One need not go so granular for the exam though one needs to be thorough.A line is to be drawn for this subject demarcating thoroughness and granularity.
TN Manoharan is a book I followed to get my 85%.I studied the book in and out and then followed VK Singhania with newfound confidence and augmented my knowledge further.This way I conquered more ground.
Then I pored over the latest amendments--(last 4 month newsletter would do).
Then I made a list of important case studies and memorized them to quote at appropriate places.
Then I worked numerical problems to crystallize my onceptual knowledge and applicative effort.
I prepared charts for section numbers and case laws and looked at them often.Before taking bath, after brushing my teeth,etc.These were small times which I used to steal for an otherwise dreary task.
But it was fun.Other students used to complain and crib, I used to forge ahead with this plan and it worked wonders.Infact, I got the highest marks/points in my attempt for DT.
Never give-in to discouragement and despair.If anyone discourages you, avoid him/her like plague.They are verily that.DO NOT TALK TO PERVERTED TO SENIORS OR EVEN MEMBERS OR FOR THAT MATTER EVEN YOUR BOSS IF HE OR SHE IS DISCOURAGING YOU.
ONE CAN DO ANYTHING IF ONE SETS ONE'S MIND TO IT.
(Btw,Padhukas book is also good and can be substituted for TN Manoharan.I have glanced through Bangar and that too can be used,no harm).
9.PGBP(Profits or gains from business or profession) and Capital Gains tax are by far the most important subjects but there is lot of info one has to sift in these two chapters.I recommend reading these two in detail from both TN Manoharan and VK Singhania and work out problems.
This will fetch somewhere around 40 to 50% of the marks/points
Then Wealth-Tax would fetch around 15%
Then concentrate on assessment procedures and other topics.
If someone is struggling with salaries,Income from house property and the like, I really pity them.It is for PCC Kids not for Final adults!At the final level one must be thorough with these 2 chapters and assessments.
Also see the pattern and see which special topics have a chance to be asked--Double taxation,Taxation in special cases,etc.
Cover all areas, dont leave anything.LEAVE IT AT YOUR PERIL.Sometimes the sadist examiner might ask a 10 mark question from the settlement of cases chapter alone(which many students leave and go).
No leaving chapters business, here.
No joke, this!
If you are going to NS Govindan's classes, then follow his book, else do not peruse it.It is waste of time.
If you are going to Vaidheeshwaran's classes please peruse it,elseleave it.
Please buy Bangar and VS Datey and peruse both of them judiciously, without wasting too much time in VS Datey.
Be thorough with Bangar and Bang the subject!
VS Datey is used for prop and to gain further confidence and to refer certain points.
Again here the staid advice: PREPARE FROM ONE BOOK AND BE THOROUGH IN IT--wont work .
The advantages of using two books.
1. Evades boredom and ennui which besets almost all students unless one is a lunatic or a mad person.
2. One becomes crystal clear
3.Encourages interest and a research mind in students.
4. If one is set in the mistakes or erroneous reasoning of one author, the other author cracks it open.
However, one caveat for using two books.
Keep one book as BASE or BED ROCK BOOK.Then use the other book for extra reference in every chapter.This way confidence is upped.
Dont repeat the same chapter first to last in the second book but just certain points, certain ways of doing things, certain clarifications,certain problems,etc.
More than 2 books is an over kill.
Study material can be kept as bedrock book for subjects like MICS not for direct taxes or indirect taxes.
For taxes and laws one must thorough in the latest amendments(my take is the last 4 months(Before exams) CA newsletters--I have seen surprisingly that they keep asking only from that ambit!--now thats a real tip for you guys!).THERE IS NO NEED TO FOLLOW LAW OR TAX DIGESTS AND REVIEWS.YOU ARE JUST A STUDENT NOT A PRACTITIONER.ONE NEED NOT GO INTO THE NITTY GRITTY AND BECOME AS I ALWAYS SAY: "HERO IN THE SUBJECT AND ZERO IN ALL OTHERS"
Following is the plan for indirect taxes(I got 79% using this plan):
1. Study Bangar(or Padhukas)+ VS Datey+ Latest amendments+important case studies.
2. Cover all areas.
3. Be thorough in CENVAT Concept
4. Be thorough with important caselaws.If you dont remember the data well atleast putforth the rationale in the case well.
5. leave common procedures for excise and customs and study only the difference(same goes with wealth tax and income tax)
6. Learn Service tax well and grab cash points/marks here.
7. Indirect Taxes are easy but voluminous.Direct taxes are both voluminous and difficult(Hey no! Dont hear my words and get discouraged.I just tested you.Be confident.Tommorow I come and say "hey this subject is difficult, you must spit on my face and say...hell no this subject aint difficult, i know better"!!!!!!!)
WITH THIS GROUP 2 THREAD ENDS.
I TOOK UP GROUP 2 FIRST, AS MANY FEEL THIS IS A DIFFICULT SUBJECT TO CLEAR AND STATISTICALLY THIS HAS BEEN PROVED TOO(BASED ON NUMBER OF THOSE WHO PASS).
There are lies,damn lies and statistics, they say.So, whatever statistics say is only a reflection of general student attitudes and beliefs.
These 3 ABC must be present only then CA can be cleared.
Whatever doubts one has regarding these papers in Group 2 will be cleared by me individually.You can add me as your friend.
Best of luck for your Group 2 success!!