TX (UK) frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the format of the TX (UK) exam?

Within Section A, candidates will be required to answer 15 objective test questions of 2 marks each. These questions may be either narrative or computational and can cover any areas of the syllabus.

Section B of the exam consists of three questions comprising five objective test items worth two marks each; therefore each question is worth a total of ten marks. Each question will be based around a common scenario "case" which can come from any area of the syllabus, and will be a mix of computational and narrative.

Section C of the exam comprises one 10 mark question and two 15 mark questions. The two 15 mark questions will focus on income tax and corporation tax and are likely to require candidates to perform a number of calculations or workings and then to bring these together into an overall tax computation. Questions in Section C will be predominantly computational, although each question may contain written elements. The 10 mark question in Section C can cover any area of the syllabus.

How should candidates revise for the TX exam?

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 TX is a compulsory exam 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 TX(UK) examiner's approach article on the website 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. 

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.

Why do the UK tax past exams use tax questions relating to old tax years?

The past exam questions 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 specimen exams 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 exams 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 Content Providers.

To what extent are TX (UK) candidates expected to provide explanatory notes with their calculations?

Where a requirement within Section C 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 should students do if they 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 within Section C.

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.

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

Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, candidates should be prepared to be examined on all of the relevant taxes within the syllabus at each sitting.

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

Although there is no intention to examine the interaction of capital taxes, the two taxes could be examined within the same question and the information given could be relevant to both taxes. 

How are the marks in the paper split between computational and non-computational?

All marks on the TX (UK) exams 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 or multiple choice 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. 

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