Share this content

Tax Reference Books for General Practitioner

I am ACCA qualified and recently set up small practice (about 90K fees), no particularly large or complex clients thus far.

Currently use a tax consultant (CIOT) for anything I don't know or feel I need a second opinion on. However, I feel I ought to at least have some core reference material on hand in one form or another and was wondering what people thought of the following:

Tolleys Tax Annuals - Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT
Tolleys Tax Guide - apparently voted the nations fav tax book by members of AccountingWeb according to Tolleys promo literature! (or is this merely duplicating the content of aforementioned annuals?)
Hardmans Tax Rates & Tables

Didn't think there would be much regularity of work requiring the Inheritance Tax, Trusts or NIC manuals so would continue to use outside consultant for such queries.

Are the Yellow and Orange Tax Handbooks going a bit too far for a non tax specialist or do people consider these to be essential reference material?

Have noticed a recent theme developing of people being slated for not finding past threads using search facility and I'm sure I have read something similar in past but can't find it so apologies in advance!!!


Please login or register to join the discussion.

I think that CCH online is a fantastic reference facility. However, the free telephone support which comes with it is not great so give that a miss.

Thanks (0)

Yes & Not Sure
Yes, the CPE is free. You will have to check with the ICPA regarding third party verification.

Thanks (0)

@ Robert Clubb
ICPA looks like a good prospect, how does their CPD work - is it free, and does it count as "structured CPD" verifiable by a third party?

Thanks (0)

Have a word with.................
As part of the subscription with the ICPA (yes, I know you are ACCA) you get Tottel IT, CT & VAT books free!

You also get free use of a technical helpline and PI insurance.

Compare the price of membership with having to buy them individually yourself. It may be worthwhile.

Thanks (0)

I use a firm in Birmingham called BNB who offer a tax helpline. They charge a small monthly fee but are very good at explaining things much more easier than a book

Thanks (0)

Tottel CTSA
Actually the author of the CTSA for the last 2 years editions has changed
- the previous author died. The format has completely changed being much more practical with examples / calculations/ tips

Dont assume that just because you did not like the books years ago that they are still the same.

There is also a new 'overall' editor - the same Mark who edits/ writes www

Thanks (0)

Tax Annuals

I have always used Tottels and have found them a great starting point, however I have always had to supplement the information with the HMRC manuals and other reading for practical examples.

I am now starting to think that the Tolleys guides, being more detailed will mean all the information I need is in one place. This should hopefully free up time for more productive work which would justify the additional cost.

My practice is small so I am trying to justify the costs.

Thanks (0)

Pay for what you get..

I bought Tottel's range a few years ago due to the price being considerably cheaper than Tolleys. I was sorely disappointed.

They didn't go into nearly enough detail. Don't waste your money.

Thanks (0)

Tottel CTSA
If you want a good and not basic corporation tax book which 'holds your hand' when completing the Corporation Tax Return but also covers CT in detail in words that you can understand look at the Tottel's Corporation Tax Self Assessment book

Thanks (0)

It is FLMemo.

It is an excellent one volume book (two, if you want VAT as well) and online version if you like that sort of thing, but it is obviously not as comprehensive as the full range of Tolley Annuals.

However, beware of FLMemo's repeat selling policy. They send you a letter each year which you think is an invitation to buy the new edition. It is not. You need to read it carefully to see that it says that the new edition will be sent to you (and billed) automatically if you do not positively contact them to decline it.

Thanks (0)

As an alternative or as an addition
you could join CCH's practioners help line. I get it free with the fee proctection service. I would recommend this to everyone.

Thanks (0)

I used to buy Tolleys Annuals, IHT, Capital Allowances complete pack but for last 4 years the costs have increased so much that it has been prohibitive. I have switched to Annuals published by Tottel and the cost for IT, CGT, IHT, TRusts and Taxation, VAT, Corporation Tax (6 books) for £125 plus VAT @ 9% instead of Tolleys £637 charged by Tolleys. I would highly reccommend Tottel as their books are also written by leading authors.

I buy Hardmans Tax tables and Legsilation pack from CCH again lot cheaper than Orange and Yellow books.

Thanks (0)

Don't forget the Revenue's Manuals. Available online with a poor search engine butif you do more than the basics in rax the investment in your own version (eg Tolley's discs) is essential.

Thanks (0)

Have you had a look at FlMemo. You get the manual and also access to their web site where you can search the manual to help find what you are looking for quicker. They also send out regular emails advising of updates


Thanks (0)

Just set up and have £90k of fees
What do you mean by "just set up"?

I suspect a lot of readers have been going a few years and don't have £90k!

Thanks (0)

In my opinion..

Tolleys Tax Guide is just way too basic. Fine for looking up day to day stuff that you are unsure of or to remind yourself of things that have escaped your memory but if you are researching a client query or responding to a revenue enquiry then there is just not enough meat in there.

Just get the annuals. My tax guide gathers dust. Don't bother with Hardmans either. All the rates and tables are available freely on the internet. The legislation is also freely available on the internet but I do have the yellow and orange handbooks handy as I do like to refer back to them rather than be searching t'internet.

Thanks (0)

Like Tolleys Tax Guide
As a CIOT, I must admit I like the Tax Guide. There's just enough in there to point you in the right direction, but its not too technical. I use it as a starting point for further research.

Thanks (0)

Revisiting this

I wouldn't mind revisiting this topic - I'm tempted by the Tolley's guides now that I'm a CIOT member, but even with the discount you're talking £700 for the entire library which is just extortionate.

The Tottels ones sound much cheaper and more attainable, but one person really hated the lack of detail in them here - are there any more opinions on these?


Opening poster - you have someone who consults you on tax matters - nice! How did you find them? Most traders are only willing to deal with their own accountant or don't want to spend any money on quality advice! :-)


Thanks (0)