How to pass Advanced Taxation

Key messages

The ATX exam puts you in the position of a professional providing advice to clients regarding the tax implications of the financial decisions they make. The emphasis is on applying tax rules to specific client scenarios, demonstrating thorough technical knowledge, accuracy, and attention to detail.

All questions in the exam are compulsory, so you must cover the entire syllabus in your studies and revision. The good news is that all your knowledge from TX can be brought forward so you have already covered the main syllabus areas. The ATX syllabus extends the coverage of the core topics and introduces some new technical content, with a focus on the analysis and application of technical knowledge.

Be prepared

Section A

This section has two questions. The first, for 35 marks, will require the answer to be in a specific format, for example a report. The other question is worth 25 marks.

Section B

This section has two questions, both of which are worth 20 marks. These questions will be based on structured information that can be read quickly.

In the exam

There are 4 professional marks available in question 1, so make sure you produce the document requested in the requirement, with clear and logical advice for your client.

Pay careful attention to the marks awarded for each requirement in the long questions, as this will indicate how much time you should devote to each requirement.

For all questions, consider the following approach:

  • Read the requirement carefully

  • Identify the relevant issues

  • Identify the recipient of the answer (is it for a client, or for the firm’s internal use?)

  • Note the verb for the level of detail required

  • Identify which calculations you will need to do

  • Follow any instructions for layout of calculations and the format of the answer

  • Simplify workings where possible

  • Plan the answer to ensure key points are covered

  • Make use of the spreadsheet and word processing functions where appropriate

  • Review your numerical answers for accuracy, and written ones for clarity, spelling, and logic

  • Read the requirement again to ensure that all relevant points have been addressed

This is a challenging exam in which time management is crucial. Once your time allocation for a question is up, move on. You can come back to any incomplete answers at the end of the exam if time allows.  

 

Key Resources

Book of Laws