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What style do the F6 examination questions take?

Candidates are required to perform a number of calculations or workings and then to bring these together into an overall tax computation, particularly in the first three questions.

The overall tax computation causes the most problems. For example, most candidates have no difficulty when calculating a taxpayer's pension contributions, but then are often unsure whether this figure should be treated as a deduction or as an extension of the basic-rate tax band.

When candidates study each aspect of the syllabus they should ask themselves how what they are studying fits into an overall tax computation.

How should candidates revise for F6 examinations?

Effective revision involves plenty of question practice.

There is no substitute for practising exam-standard questions under exam conditions. If candidates find that they cannot complete the questions in the permitted time, then maybe they need to look at how they are presenting their answers. Are they wasting time by giving unnecessarily detailed workings or explanations, or are they providing information that is not required?

It is important that candidates cover everything in the syllabus when revising because F6 is a compulsory paper and they do not want to find themselves having to answer a question on a topic for which they have not revised.

However, some topics are more important than others since they are examined more frequently.

The F6(UK) examiner's approach article in the February 2011 edition of Student Accountant lists the syllabus areas that you can expect to see most frequently examined.

What is important in the examination itself?

It is important not to rush straight into answering a question but to spend a few minutes planning your answer. This is where the 15 minutes' reading time will be useful.

For example, if you are dealing with a capital gains tax question involving a husband and wife, your planning would include identifying exempt disposals so as to not waste any time performing unnecessary calculations; identifying jointly-held assets as it is easier to calculate these gains first; deciding on the layout of your answer using appropriate headings; and deciding on which workings can be included as part of the main computation and which will have to be dealt with separately.

As several areas of UK legislation have changed, ACCA stated that for F6 the 'old' rules would not be examinable from June 2009 onwards. Would this same approach be applied in the case of other variant papers, for example in the case of carried-forward corporate losses for F6 HUN?

'Old' rules do not automatically become non-examinable when legislation changes. Please consult the most recent version of the study guide in relation to the topic, and check for any related excluded topics listed.

Which Finance Act will be examinable in papers FTX (UK), F6 (UK) and P6 (UK) in June 2011 and papers FTX (UK), F6 (UK) and P6 (UK) in June and December 2013?

Finance Act 2012 will be examinable in the June and December 2013 exam sessions.

There is an annual cut-off date for examinable legislation of 30 September for these papers, which means that legislation passed before 30 September 2012 will be examinable in June and December 2013.

Why do the UK tax pilot papers use tax questions relating to 2006-07?

The question papers and solutions published on the ACCA website appear as they did when the exams were first set.  This is clearly stated on the website at the top of the page where the past papers are found.

The pilot paper and past papers have not been updated for any changes in legislation or standards, nor any syllabus or question amendments. Thus, they must be used with caution when preparing for current examinations. The papers are indicative of the level of difficulty and the style of questions that can come up in an exam.

The same applies to the tax variant papers, although these will have been based on the legislation for that country at the time they were written.

Updated versions of the questions and solutions, can be obtained by purchasing an Exam kit or Practise and Revision kit from one of ACCA's Approved Learning Partners.

To what extent are F6 (UK) candidates expected to provide explanatory notes with their computations, particularly in the case of profit adjustment questions?

Where a requirement only asks for a calculation or computation then there are no marks allocated to the provision of supplementary explanatory notes.

However, candidates should understand the difference between the workings which are required to show how they have arrived at their figures and written notes which do not add anything further to the figure (or zero) provided. 

Candidates are advised to refer to recent answers published on our website where essential content for which marks are available and supplementary information for which marks are not available are indicated (where marks are not available they are called ‘Tutorial notes' and are written in italics).

What advice would the examiners give to candidates who realise that they have made an error in their calculations?

Do not spend valuable time re-writing the whole computation or an extensive working such as a capital allowances schedule for a single error.

Annotate the incorrect figure or the point at which the initial error was made and make a note at the end of the computation or question identifying the nature of the error or the correct treatment.

There has been a shift in recent F6 (UK) papers towards more ‘thinking type' discursive requirements particularly in the case of questions four and five. Is this likely to continue?

Yes, this is part of the changes introduced in 2010 to provide candidates with an introduction to the type of questions they will answer in Paper P6 (UK).

Will inheritance tax (IHT) be examined at every sitting for F6 (UK)?

Yes, there will be between 5-15 marks on IHT in every paper.

If IHT is set as a part question, will it be as a distinct and separate scenario from that used in the other part(s) of the question?

There may be a separate unrelated scenario or just some additional information related to the same individual(s) or scenario described but there will always be a separate requirement.

In F6 (UK), will candidates be required to know about issues of domicile, the treatment of foreign assets, inheritance tax (IHT) planning and the administration and payment of IHT?

Tutors and candidates should refer to the examiner's two-part article on IHT in the Student Accountant for guidance, as IHT will not be examined beyond the topics covered in the article at the F6 (UK) level.

Will any aspects of the interaction between capital gains tax (CGT) and inheritance tax (IHT) be examined in the F6 (UK) paper?

There is no intention to examine the interaction of capital taxes at F6 (UK) level. Should this intention change, it will be highlighted by an amendment to the syllabus/study guide and the provision of further guidance via the Student Accountant.

The approach to examining the F6 syllabus states that the paper will be predominantly computational. How are the marks in the paper split between computational and non-computational?

All marks on the F6 papers can be grouped into 3 categories:

  1. (i) those which are clearly computational;
  2. (ii) those which are for written explanations to support or 
         justify numbers within the computation;
  3. (iii) those which are for definite theory or freestanding 
         written questions. 

It is the combination of (i) and (ii) that will be regarded as computational, and these combined will always be greater than 50%.

In those cases where explanations are required to support calculations or workings, the detailed marking scheme will clearly show these explanations being awarded marks, and these marks, combined with those in the computation, will be regarded as computational.  Where any explanations are not necessary from candidates in the exam, but are provided for guidance to future candidates, they will be shown as tutorial notes.

 

Partnerships: although the updates to the Income Tax Act provisions relating to partnerships were issued/came into force prior to September 2011 (Act IV of 2011), the updates to the Capital Gains Rules including the rules on value shifting and determining the capital gains on transfers and changes to interests in partnerships were issued on 21 October 2011. Are such topics examinable for F6 MLA?

These rules are NOT examinable at F6 MLA.

 

High Net Worth Individuals ("HNWI"): Article 56(23), Income Tax Act introducing the beneficial tax rate for HNWI was introduced prior to 30 September 2011. The Rules in respect of HNWI applicable to EU/EEA/Swiss individuals were issued on 30 September 2011 and the rules applicable to non-EU/EEA/Swiss individuals were issued on 7 October 2011. Furthermore, the amendments to the Residence Scheme Regulations were issued on 30 September 2011. The syllabus for F6 specifically excludes the taxation of HNWI. The syllabus for P6 first includes the HNWI in the scope of income tax then excludes it in the list of excluded topics. Is this examinable in F6 MLA?

These rules are NOT examinable at F6 MLA.

 

The Securitisation Transactions (Deductions) Rules were issued by 30 September 2011. IS this an excluded topic for F6 MLA?

These rules are NOT examinable at F6 MLA.

Is cooperation with other jurisdictions on tax matters an excluded topic for F6 MLA?

These rules are NOT examinable at F6 MLA.

Are Highly Qualified Persons Rules an excluded topic for F6 MLA?

These rules are NOT examinable at F6 MLA.

Last updated: 23 May 2013