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Tax Compliance

The Tax Compliance exam is 2.5 hours long consisting of five questions. The exam will require you to prepare tax computations for individuals and companies, understand the tax implications of a course of action and explain potential tax treatments of transactions. The exam is available in March, June, September and December and you have a maximum of four attempts at the exam.

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Exam guidance

We are here to support you throughout your ACA journey to ensure you have everything you need for your upcoming exam, from exam resources to free and confidential wellbeing support from CABA. Ensure you are fully prepared by reading our exam guidance prior to your exam.

Exam preparation

Syllabus

The syllabus presents the learning outcomes for each exam and should be read with the relevant technical knowledge grids and, where applicable, the skills development grids. 

Data analytics software

If you are sitting the Corporate Reporting exam, we have a range of resources to support you with the data analytics software within the exam. Visit icaew.com/corporatereportingDAS for all the resources, including guidance from the examiners on using the software within your exam.

Practice software

It's important that you get to know the exam software and its various functions before you take an exam. To help, we have created an online only practice exam software.

Visit icaew.com/examsoftware to access the question banks and mocks in the practice exam software.

Exams and marks plans

Use past exams in addition to the blank practice software where you can practise answering questions. The marks plans will help you check your answers.

Some past exams are used within our learning materials, they are updated to be in line with the examinable syllabus. The majority will appear in the published question banks, and some may be used in mock exams.

Important information for exams 2022

Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) - £1 million temporary cap extension until 31 March 2023

The AIA was due to revert from £1 million to £200,000 on 1 January 2022.

On 27 October 2021 the Chancellor, in the Budget speech, announced an extension to the temporary £1 million cap. The AIA will now remain at £1 million until 31 March 2023 and are expected to revert back to £200,000 on 1 April 2023

ICAEW tax learning materials were written before this announcement and they use 1 January 2022 as the date at which the AIA changes to £200,000.

The following approach will be adopted in the ICAEW exams during 2022:

The learning materials include the £1 million cap and the £200,000 cap, plus the calculation that is required where an accounting period straddles the change (as anticipated on 1 January 2022).

For 2022 exams the questions will include plant and machinery additions eligible for AIAs only on or before 31 December 2021 (although the accounting period may fall both sides of that date). Students will not be required to perform a calculation of a maximum AIA where the accounting period straddles 1 January 2022. For example, if using an accounting period of the year ended 31 March 2022 the AIA additions will be less than £800,000 ((£1 million × 9/12) + (£200,000 × 3/12)) and all expenditure will be incurred before 31 December 2021.

Students will not be disadvantaged by using the AIA cap shown in their tax tables.

The exams will not include any separate note regarding the AIA.

Important information for exams 2023

Following the Chancellor’s announcements on 23 September, we can update you as follows in relation to materials and approach for ICAEW Tax exams during 2023.

All students will expected to answer 2023 exam questions based on the information in the 2023 learning materials.

There will be a supplement released by the end of 2022 showing certain rates and allowances that should be used to answer the 2023 exams for Tax Compliance, and separately for Business Planning: Taxation, where there have been changes or proposed changes since publication of learning materials. Students should look out for any assumptions they are asked to make within these exams on exam day. Any instructions of this sort within the exam itself take precedence over anything previously published or announced. However, for Tax Compliance and Business Planning: Taxation, if students choose, contrary to instructions, to answer based on real-life rates, allowances and rules where these differ by the date of the sitting, then as far as possible they will not be penalised in marking.

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