Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module ECOS2281: Tax Compliance

Department: Business School (Economics and Finance) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

ECOS2281: Tax Compliance

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap Location Queen's Campus Stockton
Tied to N407


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to understand the general objectives of tax and to calculate income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax and VAT in straightforward scenarios.
  • To enable students to prepare tax computations and provide tax advice to individuals and companies in straightforward scenarios.


  • Objectives and types of tax
  • Ethics, law and administration
  • Income tax and national insurance contributions
  • Capital gains tax and corporation tax on chargeable gains
  • Corporation tax
  • Inheritance tax
  • VAT and stamp taxes

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module students should:
  • Have an understanding of the general objectives of tax, the influences upon the UK system of tax and the different types of tax in the UK
  • Have an appreciation of the ethical issues arising in the course of performing tax work and be able to identify the obligations the UK system of tax imposes on taxpayers and the implications for taxpayers of non-compliance
  • Be familiar with capital gains tax, income tax, inheritance tax, National Insurance, corporation tax, stamp taxes and VAT
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of this module students should:
  • Be able to calculate the amounts of income tax owed by or owed to individuals and trustees and the amounts of national insurance payable
  • Be able to calculate the capital gains tax payable by individuals and trustees and the chargeable gains subject to corporation tax
  • Be able to calculate the corporation tax liabilities of companies
  • Be able to calculate the amount of VAT owed by or owed to businesses
  • Be able to calculate the amounts of inheritance tax due on lifetime transfers and transfers on death by individuals, personal representatives and trustees
  • Be able to calculate the amount of national insurance payable by individuals, businesses and companies
  • Be able to calculate the amount of stamp taxes due in straightforward transactions
Key Skills:
  • Skills in data handling and synthesis
  • Problem solving skills
  • Critical analysis and judgement skills
  • Consultancy and advisory skills
  • Ability to take responsibility for their own advanced studies, to undertake and manage independent investigation and adhere to deadlines.
  • Have developed a range of generic transferable skills relating to library research, synthesis of data, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and reflection on learning.
  • Ability to communicate effectively through written materials and visual aids

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning will be based on knowledge transfer from lectures, seminars and personal study; investigation of cases and real world organisations which will underpin the seminars will encourage students to develop awareness of cultural differences and apply these to the development of their skills in managing themselves and others in such contexts.
  • Seminar activities and discussions will provide the technical awareness of topics in a comprehensive form.
  • The formative multiple-choice test and mock examination will provide feedback to students regarding their ability to practise taxation in different scenarios and cases.
  • The summative examination will test students’ understanding of the main concepts and technical treatments through problem solving and reflection on learning.
  • The summative assignment will test students’ understanding of ethical perspectives on tax through a critical discussion and case analysis of selected unethical tax practices.
  • Candidates must achieve a mark of 55% or above in the summative examination component, in addition to passing the overall module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 17 Held across a 15 day teaching block 3 hours 51
Revision Lecture 1 Annual 1 hour 1
Seminars 4 Held across a 15 day teaching block 2 hours 8
Revision Webinar 1 Annual 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 139
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual case study analysis 2,500 words (maximum) 100% Same
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2 hours 30 mins 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

1.5 hour multiple-choice test and 2.5 hour mock exam

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University