Tag Archives: ufe tax

Getting through tax if it’s your weakness

If you’re like me, you may have a certain distaste for tax. I never found tax to be as intuitive as other competencies and perhaps it’s because I have an overall aversion to memorizing rules and regulations in general. This, of course, led me to spend a lot of time studying tax out of the fear that I’d be the one guy to fail because I couldn’t score that one or two RC in tax. Luckily I was not. Here are some ideas to keep in mind and to help mitigate the damage.

You only need an RC

The rule is you always strive for the C. But a handy thing to keep in mind is that in reality, if worst case scenario happens, you can get away with only scoring an RC in tax in order to pass. I’ve generally found that there is at least one indicator where you can get an RC in tax, even if it’s your weakness. Again, I’ll remind that something like 96% of people pass at this Level so from that you can see that there has always been a reasonable way to pass tax.

Remember to use your time well

Many that feel weak in tax tend to invest too much time when they write tax competencies. Remember that your overall response has to be good and you don’t want to spend outrageous amounts of time on one aspect of it. Like I said above, there is usually at least one place where you can get a reasonable tax mark.

This goes as well for tax experts. Remember this is the UFE so you don’t need to show off everything you know about tax. Stay focused and respond to what’s necessary and move on.

Go back to basics when in trouble

If you start getting into trouble and you have no idea what to write, go back to basics. Often you just need to id issues in tax to grab an RC. Recognize that there is tax issue and offer basic advice from what you know.

Tax Act?

I hate going into this thing but if it’s an issue you could easily search then use those keywords and see if you can quickly get anything that might help out of there.

Maybe it was the once in a blue moon, but I remember I was able to dig up rules around Personal Use Property (PUP) and Listed Personal Property (LPP) on SOA/UFE. There are a number of such issues that could potentially arise.

 

What other tips do you have to get through tax?

Getting through tax if it's your weakness

If you’re like me, you may have a certain distaste for tax. I never found tax to be as intuitive as other competencies and perhaps it’s because I have an overall aversion to memorizing rules and regulations in general. This, of course, led me to spend a lot of time studying tax out of the fear that I’d be the one guy to fail because I couldn’t score that one or two RC in tax. Luckily I was not. Here are some ideas to keep in mind and to help mitigate the damage.

You only need an RC

The rule is you always strive for the C. But a handy thing to keep in mind is that in reality, if worst case scenario happens, you can get away with only scoring an RC in tax in order to pass. I’ve generally found that there is at least one indicator where you can get an RC in tax, even if it’s your weakness. Again, I’ll remind that something like 96% of people pass at this Level so from that you can see that there has always been a reasonable way to pass tax.

Remember to use your time well

Many that feel weak in tax tend to invest too much time when they write tax competencies. Remember that your overall response has to be good and you don’t want to spend outrageous amounts of time on one aspect of it. Like I said above, there is usually at least one place where you can get a reasonable tax mark.

This goes as well for tax experts. Remember this is the UFE so you don’t need to show off everything you know about tax. Stay focused and respond to what’s necessary and move on.

Go back to basics when in trouble

If you start getting into trouble and you have no idea what to write, go back to basics. Often you just need to id issues in tax to grab an RC. Recognize that there is tax issue and offer basic advice from what you know.

Tax Act?

I hate going into this thing but if it’s an issue you could easily search then use those keywords and see if you can quickly get anything that might help out of there.

Maybe it was the once in a blue moon, but I remember I was able to dig up rules around Personal Use Property (PUP) and Listed Personal Property (LPP) on SOA/UFE. There are a number of such issues that could potentially arise.

 

What other tips do you have to get through tax?

Heads up – Standards change over time (Especially prior to 2011!)

A great issue was brought up in the comments on an earlier post  – Do you need to be concerned about outdated standards in older cases? The answer is yes, you should be aware.

This is particularly applicable to tax which changes on a yearly basis but it’s also worth noting that IFRS/ASPE are still sort-of new in Canada. Prior to 2011 Canada still used Canadian GAAP and GAAS which were more internationalized in 2011. This means that older simulations (particularly 2009 and 2010) could reference outdated treatment or outdated standards in the solutions.

The good news is that a “consortium made up of members from each of the four provincial CA professional programs” reissued of the previous years UFE simulations and solutions so be sure to grab those off of the candidates portals of your Institutes if you’ll be going back that far. I should have mentioned this before.

Aside from this major change in standards, the UFE reports are not updated when tax rates or accounting/audit standards change over time so it’s up to you to recognize when somethings out of date. Before you start worrying needlessly, the good news is that this is not something you need to worry about a lot since most of the standards examined are stable. If you wrote SOA, it was the exact same situation.

On a related note, for 2013, your institute should have made you aware of the technical update which can be found here if you’ve forgotten about it which talks about changes from the published version of the Competency Map.

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