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LAWS3150 Tax Law (Income Tax)

Module Overview

The complexity of the UK tax system is well-known but less well-understood. Although we are all liable to pay some form of taxation, for many people there is little realisation of the many ways in which they are taxed, and for those who do, there are persistent issues concerning the fairness of their tax burden. Although the government requires there to be taxation to raise revenue to pay for its expenditure, who should pay, and why? Can taxpayers legitimately reduce their tax bills? What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion? As an ordinary taxpayer, perhaps employed as a lawyer, how is your income from employment, and from other sources, taxed to Income Tax?

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Tax Law (Income Tax) is intended to equip you with an understanding of why taxation is imposed, how the UK tax system is administered, the problem with tax avoidance, an overview of part of the personal tax system relating to income tax, an ability to read and interpret statutes (one of the only modules that does this) and the ability to advance arguments for policy changes

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • why people have to pay tax and why the tax system is structured as it is.
  • the role of HMRC, its powers and the appeals system
  • tax avoidance and how it can be dealt with.
  • how the annual income of a taxpayer is assessed
  • how to determine the taxable income and deductible expenditure of a self-employed person
  • the distinction between a self-employed person and an employee;
  • how to determine the taxable income and deductible expenditure of an employed person
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • find your way around, and interpret, a wealth of complex legislation
  • make constructive criticism of legal materials, in particular, statutes and appellate judgments
  • given a factual scenario, identify the relevant facts and legal issues and evaluate the legal position in a critical and imaginative way
  • Use your numeric skills to calculate tax liabilities by reference to a range of textual and numerical data
  • expound upon the contemporary problems which currently beset the tax system
  • analyse and interpret complex statutory and case material
  • identify and critically assess the policies and values underlying parts of the tax system
  • evaluate legal materials and effectively apply them to practical tax problems
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop and present written arguments supported by appropriate evidence demonstrating an appreciation of academic integrity.
  • develop an eye for detail.


The topics to be considered within the module are, indicatively: • the economic justification for the present system of UK tax; • the choice of tax base; • the administration of the tax system and the appeals procedure; • the interpretation of tax statutes; • tax avoidance; • income tax, with special reference to employed and self-employed income the distinction between those who are employed and those who are self-employed.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Seminars of tutor led discussion, structured around suggested preparation for each session, to provide you with knowledge and information and to enable you to be critical about that knowledge and information. Seminars will be devoted to problem-solving. • Tutorials of pre-prepared questions focused on developing your problem solving skills. Learning activities include • Directed reading assisted by reading lists. • Accessing electronic resources in the form of legislation, journals and case materials; • Developing knowledge of, and ability to explain orally and in writing, the principles of substantive law and key policy objectives surrounding contemporary issues in tax law; • Reviewing and critically evaluating complex material, in particular, statutes; • Tackling and solving factual legal problems; • Using textual and numerical data to identify relevant information to calculate extent of tax liabilities; • Constructive participation in group discussions and exercises allowing you to participate in oral discussions and present arguments coherently • Demonstrating effectively the new, or improved, skills by, for example, an oral presentation of a case on behalf of either the Crown or the taxpayer in a fictitious appeal from an assessment to tax, and by critically assessing reports and journal articles. • Managing tasks within a given timeframe.

Preparation for scheduled sessions60
Wider reading or practice20
Total study time150





MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2.25 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2.25 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2.25 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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