module specification

AC5007 - Key Principles of Taxation (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Key Principles of Taxation
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20% 35 2 x 1 hour in-class tests
Coursework 20% 35 A case study based on a given scenario (1000 words)
Unseen Examination 60% 35 3 hour closed book exam ACCA Requirement to test all LO
Running in 2019/20 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module is Level 5, 30 credit core module.
Module Aims:
1. To learn key features of different forms of taxation in the UK.
2. To assess the impacts of different tax policies
3. To develop skills in tax computations based on the currect Finance Act
4. To introduce key concepts in effective tax planning
The module also aims to develop students in  the following skills:
 Academic reading and writing
 Analysing data
 Research
 Application of knowledge and presenting data


1. Introduction to the UK tax system  LO1
2. Income tax computations for taxpayers in a variety of circumstances    LO3
3. Trading income, including basis periods, trading losses and capital allowances   LO3
4. Partnership taxation (basis periods and notional losses)    LO3
5. Income and benefits in kind from employment and NIC (employed and self employed contributions)  LO1/LO2
6. Income from property  LO1/LO3
7. Capital gains tax for individuals  LO2/LO3/LO4
8. Corporation tax computations, loss relief, group relief, and capital gains tax.  LO2/LO3/LO4
9. Value added tax
10. Consideration of Incorporation as part of tax planning for small businesses
11. Inheritance taxation issues

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching will take the form of a weekly one and a half hour lecture and one and a half hour seminar. The lecture will provide the key principles behind taxation, an evaluation of different forms of taxation and application of UK tax rules through guided examples.

The seminar programme will run through question banks to develop students computational skills and apply understanding to personal and business taxation scenarios. Independent study is supported through further problem sets, set reading and past exam questions.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to:
1. Evaluate key features of UK personal and business taxation 
2. Critically analyse the economic and social impact of taxation policies
3. Compute and interpret  tax liabilities under current UK rules for income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, inheritance tax and VAT
4. Explore tax planning opportunities and relate them to personal tax circumstances

Assessment strategy

Assessment consists of 3 components:
1) 2 x 1 hour in-class tests, consisting of multiple choice questions and short answer questions (20%)
2) Case study based on a given scenario, 1000 words (20%)
3) 3 hour closed book examination (60%)
The 3 hour exam is required in order to obtain exemptions from the professional bodies exam (ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW)


Essential  texts:
• Melville, A. Taxation, (Current Finance Act);  Pearson
• James, S. and Nobes ,C. (2017) The Economics of Taxation; 17th edition, Fiscal Publications.
Other texts:
• Jones, C. Newman, R. and Hayes, C. Tolley’s Tax Guide (Current  Finance Act)

• Taxation Magazine: