Syllabus Information

Type of Examination:  Assessment at home (non-timed)

Prior knowledge:

Competence at ICB Level II


Candidates must have achieved the following ICB Bookkeeping examinations, or gained exemptions from them, before applying: 

  • Level I Certificate in Basic Bookkeeping 
  • Level II Certificate in Manual Bookkeeping 
  • Level II Certificate in Computerised Bookkeeping

Candidates must also:

  • have completed the preceding ICB qualification within the last two years 
  • hold valid ICB student registration or ICB membership


This syllabus comprises both Personal and Business Taxation and relates to preparing tax computations and returns for businesses (sole trader) and individuals.


Syllabus Detail:

Element (1) Prepare Business Taxation Computations

(A) Prepare capital allowance computations
(B) Adjust accounting profits and losses for trades and professions

Learning Outcomes: (A)

  • Computations are made in accordance to current tax law and practice
  • Expenditure on Capital Assets is classified in accordance with the statutory distinction between Capital and Revenue
  • Make adjustments for private use by business owners
  • Entries and calculations relating to such computations are correct


  • First Year Allowance (FYA), Writing Down Allowance (WDA), Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) 
  • Capital Expenditure on plant and machinery, and motor vehicles

Learning Outcomes : (B)

  • Adjusted profit is calculated for inclusion on the tax return
  • Make necessary adjustments for private use by business owners
  • The bases of assessment are correctly applied
  • Complete accurately the supplementary pages on the tax return for a sole trader
  • Identify NI contributions payable by self employed
  • Returns are submitted to HMRC within the required timescale
  • Identify due dates for payment of Income Tax
  • Professional advice is given to clients on the recording of information for the tax return and confidentiality is maintained at all times

Element (2) Prepare Personal Taxation Computations

(A) Calculate income from employment
(B) Prepare Computations of Property and Investment Income

Learning Outcomes (A)

  • Computations of earnings including benefits in kind, allowable expenses are accurately prepared
  • Returns are completed accurately and submitted to HMRC on a timely basis
  • Professional advice is given to clients on the recording of information for the tax return and confidentiality is maintained at all times


  • Emoluments: UK resident employees
  • Allowable expenses, contributions to pension schemes and charitable contributions

Learning Outcomes (B)

  • Schedules of dividends and interest received on shares and securities are accurately prepared
  • Schedules of property income are accurately prepared, profits and losses determined and appropriate relief applied
  • Returns are submitted to HMRC on a timely basis


  • Sources of investment income from banks, building societies and property income, holiday lets and wear and tear

Elements of CGT to include:

Annual exemption

Allowable expenses

Exempt assets


Private residence relief

And part disposals

Duties of a Bookkeeper 

The relationship of the client with the bookkeeper

The elements in this module and learning outcomes are partly based on the former AOSG national standards for Personal and Business Tax. 

It is recommended that candidates taking this test should study the ICB's Self Assessment Tax Returns Manual (available as a textbook from the online shop), or similar material, to ensure they are sufficiently prepared.

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Candidates should be aware that by successfully completing the Level III Diploma in Self-Assessment Tax Return Completion does not qualify them as a Tax Advisor.

This basic course is designed to enable members to complete self-assessment tax returns for clients with small businesses and simple straightforward tax affairs. Under no circumstances should members who only hold this qualification be offering tax advice, which may well invalidate their Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.


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