Everything you need to know about preparing for Final CA Paper on Indirect Taxation

Everything you need to know about preparing for Final CA Paper on Indirect Taxation

In this article, we are sharing the tips & tricks on Preparing for Final CA Paper on Indirect Taxation.

What is the structure of the CA Final IDT paper?

IDT at CA Final level is extremely scoring and dynamic. It is important to be thoroughly aware of the important sections to score well in this paper.

The paper is divided into 70 marks of subjective questions and 30 marks of MCQs. The syllabus is split into 2 parts – Goods & Services Tax and Customs.

What are the examiner’s expectations?

  1. The questions are often worded with intricate details embedded in a tricky way. It is important to correctly analyse the data and ensure you don’t miss out on such details
  2. Conceptual clarity will also be of utmost importance.
  3. Some emphasis will also be laid on recall of the major sections.
  4. The examiner will assess the ability of the student to relate the sections, apply latest amendments and ability of the student to apply the section correctly

What should be the source of content?

  1. Content provided by your Coaching Provider along with your personal summary notes can be used as a base. However, ensure that it is comprehensive in its coverage by cross checking it with ICAI material
  2. Case Study Booklet issued for MCQs.
  3. Past Examination Papers, RTPs and MTPs.
  4. Referencer developed by ICAI for a summarised version of the notes.
  5. Prepare a list of section numbers to help during your revisions.
  6. Once you are done covering your base syllabus, you can go practice additional questions from other sources (like scanners) to ensure that you are hands-on with the various sections.

What is the ideal learning methodology & time to be invested?

ReadingSourceTimeExpected Outcome
1stA detailed study of every section involved


80 – 100 hours· Make section and assessment procedure timeline summaries

· Highlight the important sections and try to memorise the language

· Cut down the list of questions to practice since they can be repetitive

2ndA summarised version of the syllabus45 – 55 hours


· Finalise on your summarised sections for revision before exam day

· You should be able to comfortably recollect the provisions and section numbers

· Plan as to how you will revise for the exam days

3rdA quick revision to cut-down pre-exam study time20 – 25 hours· Go through the summarized notes and appear for a mock exam

Pro Tip:

  1. Quoting section numbers in your paper is critical for a good score. Focus should also be given on the key words of every provision
  2. Save time while solving MCQs by quickly scanning through the case study and understanding the ask of the questions before going into the detailed solving
  3. Ensure that you mark 1-2 questions of each important section for practice to learn how present the answers appropriately

What is the appropriate order in which the syllabus should be studied?

Studying your IDT syllabus in the given sequence will be useful in building conceptual clarity. Avoid ad-hoc selective studies and do not skip on the customs & FTP related chapters; follow a method of smart studying.

Goods & Services Tax

Priority IPriority II
Supply under GSTGST in India – An Introduction
Charge of GSTTax Invoice, Credit and Debit Notes
Exemptions from GSTAccounts and Records; E-way Bill
Place of SupplyPayment of Tax
Time of SupplyImport And Export Under GST
Value of SupplyAssessment And Audit
Input Tax CreditInspection, Search, Seizure and Arrest
RegistrationDemands And Recovery
ReturnsLiability to Pay in Certain Cases
RefundsOffences And Penalties
Job WorkAppeals And Revisions
Advance Ruling
Miscellaneous Provisions
Customs & FTP
Priority IPriority II
Levy of and Exemptions from Customs DutyClassification of Imported and Export Goods
Types of DutyImportation, Exportation and Transportation of Goods
Valuation under the Customs Act, 1962Warehousing
Duty DrawbackForeign Trade Policy

Pro Tip:

  1. Learn about the weightage distribution over various topics as per ICAI
  2. Once you are done with the first read of your syllabus, do the ICAI MCQ booklet
  3. Chapters such as Supply, Time, Place, Value of Supply, Exemption, Introduction, etc. are more likely to appear in MCQs
  4. Maintain a tracker for amendments that are relevant for your and the past few attempts – higher chances of them turning up in the exam
  5. Refer to the Referencer developed by ICAI to prepare a summarised version of the notes

What are the writing skills that will help you ace the paper?

The best way through an IDT paper is to know a rough format of your answers in advance by practicing a few answers of the important chapter in writing.

  1. Present the answers to the questions in the following manner:
    • – Section Number and Provision (only if you are sure)
    • – Solution
  2. Ensure that you bullet your answers and underline the key words, wherever relevant
  3. Ensure that you write working notes for all the important provisions in the computation sums
  4. Try to attempt the entire paper – attempting the full 100 marks can maximise your chances of scoring more
  5. It is very important to choose the right order for attempting the paper – ensure that you manage to attempt 40 marks in the first 1-1.25 hours
  6. In case you cannot figure out the solution to a particular question within a designated time, make sure you move ahead to the next question

How to prepare on the eve of the exam?

A day before the exams, read all the important sections, which would have been adequately highlighted and noted.

On the day of the IDT paper Break DayOn the exam day
GST in India – An IntroductionRegistrationRefund
Supply under GSTReturnsClassification of Imported and Export Goods
Charge of GSTRefundsImportation, Exportation and Transportation of Goods
Exemptions from GSTJob WorkWarehousing
Place of SupplyTax Invoice, Credit and Debit NotesForeign Trade Policy
Time of SupplyAccounts and Records; E-way Bill
Value of SupplyPayment of Tax
Input Tax CreditImport And Export Under GST
Assessment And Audit
Inspection, Search, Seizure and Arrest
Demands And Recovery
Liability to Pay in Certain Cases
Offences And Penalties
Appeals And Revisions
Advance Ruling
Miscellaneous Provisions
Levy of and Exemptions from Customs Duty
Types of Duty
Valuation under the Customs Act, 1962
Duty Drawback

Pro Tip:

  1. Generally, you will get a maximum of 20 hours to study before your exam. It is absolutely possible to revise the entire syllabus in 20 hours, provided you have a thorough grip on the content
  2. Start writing your exam with the question you are most comfortable with – it will help to boost your confidence for the paper
  3. Ensure that you sleep for a minimum of 7 hours sleep before your exam day

What are the major challenges faced by students while attempting the Exam on the D Day & how must I prepare in advance to meet those challenges?

Recollecting and associating questions to the related sections· Ensure that you are well-versed with the sections so that you can quote them and enhance your answer quality

· Appear for at least 2 mock exams in a time bound format so that you can get an idea of how to deal with the entire syllabus

Inability to manage time in the paperUnnecessary time should not be devoted on a particular question. In case you cannot figure out the solution to a particular question, designate some time to it at the end of the paper
Inability to understand the content expectations of the examinerRead up the past RTPs and Exam Papers to gain an understanding of the answer format. Read up Summary of examiner’s comments from past attempts on the ICAI Website.

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