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3 Apr
2020

Assessment criteria on MOLE | Good Grade Guarantee!

The assignment represents 20% of the total assessment ofthis module, with the formal examination being 80%.Assessment criteria on MOLEYou must attempt both the assignment AND the examThe module pass mark is based on an ‘overall mark’ for themodule (the coursework and the exam mark combined)3Question (and more details on coursework itself)Required•You are required to write an essay in which you critically discussthe following:Attitudes towards the adoption of tax minimisation practices/strategieshave changed in recent years. Consequently, it is no longer acceptablefor taxpayers to structure their affairs within the terms of the law inorder to minimise the tax they pay.4GuidanceYou should include consideration of the following terms, beingcareful to distinguish between them as appropriate: tax avoidance,tax planning and tax evasion **Your essay should include a consideration of changes in attitudestowards the adoption of tax minimisation practices/strategies **You must consider alternative viewpoints in your discussion (i.e.in order to provide a reasoned discussion in relation to thestatement given) **Your answer should be informed by case law and suitableliterature, including a balance of that drawn from academia andthe professional press and other relevant resources that youdeem appropriate . Credit will be given for evidence of relevant research and careful attention to correct referencing.(** indicates – see assessment criteria)Sources of information?• Some sources provided on coursework – most linked intoreading list on MOLE• You will find others, but you can use those suggested!• Different view points – try professional journals too(Taxation, Tax Journal – available via library, also tryjournals of the professional bodies)• Generally – could try websites of HMRC/professionalbodies perhaps• Case law – may be new to searching for this – hand-outto be provided on MOLE with indicative cases. Hopefullyyou will have a little practice if you look up the casessuggested in Lectures 2,3 and others5Sources of information?I am often asked what the difference is between professionalmaterial and academic material.•Professional materials – the target reader is the practitioner, orthose in industry – e.g, Taxation, The Tax Journal, Economia, TaxAdviser, the Tolleys tax series (see Lexis Library), professionalbody material (e.g. ACCA, ICAEW, CIOT etc)•You might also use HMRC materials – see for instance HMRCmanuals/webpages/guidance•Academic materials – these are academic journals e.g, TheBritish Tax Review, Accounting Forum, British AccountingReview, Australian Tax Forum, ejournal of Tax Research, CriticalPerspectives on Accounting, various law journals of USuniversities etc etc6Do we have to consider case law? Why include this in atax assignment?• It is mentioned in the assessment criteria• Tax is driven by tax legislation and common law(case law) – these are the sources of the rules andprinciple• To consider ‘tax avoidance/minimisation/planning’without some consideration of ‘the courts’ in thisfield would leave a bit of a ‘hole’ in the discussion• But….need to produce a rounded answer, it is notall about case law.• Start some reading; it will become clearer!7What is the answer? • There is no right or wrong answer• Expect to see a good discussion, which enables you to reach areasoned conclusion from your analysis of the issues.• Critically discuss– the assignment has been set as it is topical/emotive/people have different views, it is not a ‘one sided’ discussion. Variousopinions and assumptions which you may agree with, or alternativelychallenge. You will need judgement in how to approach this andsupport for any argument you make. That is, you maycompare/contrast/refer to similarities/differences and so on – need abalanced discussion.• Keep a check on the assessment criteria AND the actual questionasked – make sure you address all aspects.• Needs good essay structure – at simplest – introduction, discussionand conclusion – your conclusion should follow on from yourdiscussion.• Only have 2000 words, ‘spend them’ wisely.8Tax minimisationstrategies/planning/ avoidance• Refer to lecture 1 for (very) brief discussion/contrastwith evasion• Terminology – you are asked to consider.• You may come across other terms in your research eg,avoision….• You will be aware very topical – many differentopinions on the subject• You do not need to understand or explain complex taxavoidance schemes.• Some useful resources on reading list, books/articlesetc9Tax Avoidance?Planning Avoidance Evasion11Searching for material (1)Journals/books – can search individually or use cataloguesearch with “tax” in title or key word boxes.Library journal databases – access via MUSE, for exampleHeinonline (access to law journals, various countries)JSTORWestlawLexisLibraryLaw databasesAlso for case law material.Lexis also has access to‘Tolley’s Tax Cases’ – distilslots of information into veryuseful summary12Searching for material (2)Tax cases:These may be found onWestlaw (also home to the British Tax Review – go tothe ‘journals tab’ and then click ‘full text articles’ you willsee the British Tax Review there)LexisLibrary (also home to Taxation and The TaxJournal)You need the name of at least one party involved in thecase to find it.You will also be able to “search” for the cases moregenerally in order to obtain “commentary” on the cases – i.e.to see the general principles, what the case “held”, howrelevant, to which areas of taxation etc.13Referencing material (1)The aim of any referencing system is to enable a reader togo and find the material you refer to for themselves.The end reference list should be set out in the followingorder, with the following headings:Table of statutes (If you wish to include reference to the law)Table of cases (for case law)ReferencesAll of these should include ONLY items referred to in themain text.Likewise, all items referred to in your main text should beincluded in your end list.14Referencing material (2)Statutes – in end list, e.g.,Table of statutesGreat Britain. Finance Act 2000. Elizabeth II. Chapter 17.(2000) London: The Stationery Office.Great Britain. Finance Act 2004. Elizabeth II. Chapter 12.(2004) London: The Stationery Office.Statutes – in main text, e.g.,‘… the Finance Act 2000…’15Referencing material (3)Cases – in end list, e.g.,Table of casesAllen v Jackson (1875) 1 ChD 399Cases – in main text, e.g.,‘In Allen v Jackson (1875), it was stated that…’NB – you might find lots of references to the caseyou wish to look at – if it went through manycourts. You need the most recent date – no need togo back through the detail of the lower courts.16Referencing material (4)Books and journals – in end list, e.g.,ReferencesAldridge, P. (1984). ‘Precedent in the Court of Appeal.Another View’. The Modern Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 2,pp. 187-200.Cross, R. & Harris, J.W. (1991). Precedent in English Law.4th edn., Oxford: Clarendon Press.In alphabetical order of first named author.17Referencing material (5)Books and journals – in main text, e.g.,‘Aldridge (1984) says in his article…’‘Cross and Harris (1991) comment that… ‘If a direct quote, need inverted commas and page numbers,e.g., ‘Cross and Harris (1991, p. 6) say “……” ’.If three or more authors, all names in full in end list, but inmain text: ‘Bloggs et al. (1982) say that…’18Referencing material (6)Web-based material – in end list, e.g.,‘Protecting Innovations by Utility Models: What is a UtilityModel?’ [on-line]. World Intellectual Property Organization.Available at: URLhttp://www.wipo.int/sme/en/ip_business/utility_models/utility_models.htm*[Accessed 5 February 2xxx].If the piece has an author, refer to it in the same way as fora journal article.Web-based material – in main textAs journal articles, but if no author, use the title of thearticle.19General advicePlease write in a good, academic style.This means that you should not use conversational forms,such as ‘don’t, ‘isn’t, etc.Referencing guidance is available via Starplus – I will put alink in the coursework folderUseful resources re essay writing, critical thinking, criticalwriting available on “301” – search for this on MUSE. Linksalso to “The Academic Skills Hub” (TASH).Try also the Writing Advisory Service (WAS) if you need helpwith essay structure etc (not content).20Recommended additional readingLymer & Oats, Chapters 11, 12 and elements of Chapter 14Various chapters on Tax Planning in ACCA Manuals P6Advanced Taxation book (copies in library/electronic version onMOLE) illustrates ideas of choices available to taxpayers as to how tominimise tax (might help with understanding re planning/avoidance).NB, the ideas behind tax planning and avoidance are the sameirrespective of the tax year under consideration. Some articles attached to end of coursework – please note – 3articles are linked – the “Smoke and Mirrors” articles – if interestedplease read in the following order – Sikka (2010), Morris andHasseldine (2012), Sikka (2012)Some useful links on the ‘resource list’ on the MOLE site – linksto electronic books and other resources21Note re Turnitin•Turnitin “matches” text in submitted coursework to articles,newspapers, websites, other submitted coursework, journals andall manner of material•If you use the words of others ‘heavily’, even if you reference it,this can be penalised. Particularly problematic if you don’treference – this indicates plagiarism and not just poor scholarlyactivity or skills•Do not think that by changing the odd word, that matches do notappear – they do – and a simple click enables the reviewer to seethe exact source, the matched text etc. So, changing the word‘company’ to ‘firm’, or missing out a word or two, does NOT stopmatches and you run into potential issues with potentially severeconsequences.•You need to paraphrase ideas (still need to cite the source if youdo), to put ideas into your own words and show understanding.FAQs • How many cases do I need to include?This will depend upon the direction the essay takes. You do need to consider cases, asper the assessment criteria, but there are also other aspects to include (seeassessment criteria/guidance). You will therefore need to provide some sort ofbalance between the discussion of relevant cases/principles and the other aspectsof your assignment.• How much detail about a case is needed?You only have 2000 words so you need to be selective. Make each word count. Casesoften have a long ‘story’ and a short ‘principle’, which you can use to illustratevarious issues.Think – are the details relevant/significant/? Are you actually answering the questionset? Or…are you just describing the story about the case which does not get to the‘point’?• What are you looking for?A rounded essay that answers the question asked and addresses the assessmentcriteria. There is no right or wrong answer. The content may depend on what youread/discuss etc. The assessment criteria is a guide as to what to include in answerto the question – but do not forget to answer what is actually asked in therequirements too.• Can we refer to international aspects or does it just have to be UK only?This is up to you, you do not just have to refer to UK aspects. 22FAQs • How much should I write about x or y?This is for you to decide. I have not put a percentage on the assessment criteria, as I want to leavescope for imagination, and avoid a purely formulaic approach to the construction of theassignment – so you will have to use your judgement alongside assessing your work against theinformation on the assessment criteria.• Not sure how to write an essaySupport with essay writing is available in various places – see the study skills sessions at 301 GlossopRoad (search 301 on MUSE). The English Language Teaching Centre offer a Writing AdvisoryService for all students where you can book to see an advisor – again search for this on MUSE.In general, answer the question set, paying due regard to the assessment criteria and ensure youressay flows and is not disjointed. Some students are tempted to answer each of the assessmentcriteria separately (as opposed to the question set) which makes the essay disjointed – do linksections together and ensure it reads well etc and answers the question overall.• What are the penalties for exceeding the word limit? Can we go, say 10% over?No. PLEASE DO NOT EXCEED the word limit. THIS IS A SUMS REQUIREMENT. The procedures reword counts and exceeding word counts follow the general guidance. See details on the level 3MOLE site/coursework specification• Further help with referencing?See link to library help in the coursework folder23FAQs• Can I use subheadingsYes, if you want. It can be a good way to organisethought and group similar ideas and issues together• Any tips from previous years?See generic feedforward on MOLE in the courseworkfolder• Can we ask further questions?Discussion board will be available on MOLEThe opportunity to ask questions will be given in alecture so you all get the same information.24

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