Withdrawing from the Written Examinations

We recognise that ATT students tend to lead busy lives, in many cases combining their studies with full-time tax careers, and therefore may not be able to sit an exam for which they have registered.

The policy regarding ATT examination withdrawal, deferral and refunds, including the fees which may apply, depend on the timing of the application for withdrawal and the reasons for the request.

Free deferral period

Candidates have until 14 days after the exam entry closing date (or 14 days after the late exam entry closing date for candidates who pay the late entry fee) to defer their exam entry to the next session. Exam entries will only be deferred by one session. After this date, withdrawal from the written examinations is subject to a full forfeiture of the exam entry fees.

Emergency deferrals

After the free deferral period has closed, emergency deferrals may be awarded in extenuating circumstances when a situation has arisen which could not have been foreseen. Examples of extenuating circumstances include serious illness, injury, maternity, death or serious illness of a close family member or other serious personal circumstances. Supporting evidence must be provided, together with a written explanation of the circumstances (an email is preferred).

Please note that work and/or other commitments which may have restricted your time to prepare for or sit an exam is not considered to be extenuating circumstances, and should be applied for during the free deferral period.

Cancelling exam entries

Candidates can request to cancel their exam entries and claim a refund up to 14 days after the date they submitted the exam entry, subject to the following cancellation fees:

  • £15 per exam for exam entries received before the exam entry deadline
  • £30 per exam for exam entries received during the late entry period.

    The late entry fee of £100 is not refundable.

The applicable cancellation fee will be deducted from the amount refunded.

After 14 days, exam entries can no longer be cancelled and exam entry fees are non-refundable.

You will find more information and guidance on withdrawing from the written examinations in the frequently asked questions below. If you have a question which is not included here, please education [at] att.org.uk (contact us).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for a free deferral?

If you would like a free deferral of your exam entry, you must request the deferral by the following dates:

For the May examination sitting:


If you entered to sit:

Deadline to defer:

Before the exam entry closing date (28 February)

14 March

During the late exam entry period (1 – 31 March)

14 April

 

For the November examination sitting:


If you entered to sit:

Deadline to defer:

Before the exam entry closing date (31 August)

14 September

During the late exam entry period (1 – 30 September)

14 October

 

How do I get a refund?

You can request to cancel your exam entries and claim a refund up to 14 days after the date you submitted the exam entry. The following administration fee will be deducted from the amount refunded:

  • £15 per paper - if the exam entry application was received before the exam entry closing date (May: last day of February | November: 31 August)
  • £30 per paper - if the exam entry application was received during the late entry period (May: 1 March – 31 March | November: 1 September – 30 September) The late entry fee of £100 is not refundable.

After this time, the fees are not refundable.

If eligible, the refund will be returned via the original payment method.

To request a refund, please contact the Education team at education [at] att.org.uk.

 

What if my employers are paying for the exam entry?

If you selected the employer invoice option, please be aware that examination fees are still payable for the session in which the examination entry was originally submitted. Payment must be received within 30 days of the date the invoice was issued.

You can request to cancel your exam entries up to 14 days after the date you submitted the exam entry, subject to payment of the applicable cancellation fees. After 14 days, exam entries can no longer be cancelled.

Students may not withdraw from exams for which payment has not been received, and will not be permitted to sit further ATT exams until any outstanding fees have been paid.

What if I have selected the employer invoice option?

If you selected the employer invoice option, please be aware that examination fees are still payable for the session in which the examination entry was originally submitted. Payment must be received within 30 days of the date the invoice was issued.

Students may not withdraw from exams for which payment has not been received, and will not be permitted to sit further ATT exams until any outstanding fees have been paid.

What are 'extenuating circumstances'?

Extenuating circumstances may be defined as any unforeseen situation which you feel may have affected your ability to prepare for, and sit the examinations. Such circumstances might include, but are not limited to, serious illness or injury, maternity, or death or serious illness of a close family member. Each request is reviewed on an individual basis, and the decision to transfer your exam entry is at the sole discretion of the ATT.

Please note that work and/or other commitments which may have restricted your time to prepare for or sit an exam is not considered to be extenuating circumstances, and should be applied for during the free or paid deferral periods.

When should I apply for an emergency deferral?

The deadline to submit an application for emergency deferral is 14 days after the examinations. We advise you to submit your application as early as possible, as it can take up to ten business days to review an application.

If you are concerned that you are not able to submit any evidence within this time, please notify us and provide a written statement explaining the circumstances as soon as possible so that we are able to maintain an accurate record of your request. Candidates who are genuinely unable to submit the evidence within this time (for example in circumstances such as hospitalisation), may then be permitted to submit the evidence later.

Requests will not be considered after the examination entry closing date for the following session has passed, in any circumstances.

What information should I include?

Please confirm your full name, your student number and the exams you wish to defer in the application email.

When applying for an emergency deferral, the ATT cannot assume or predict how the circumstances might have affected you. Therefore, in order for your request to be reviewed, you must provide a written statement (an email is preferred) which explains how the circumstances might have affected your ability to prepare for and sit the examinations, along with evidence in support of the circumstances.

What should I provide as evidence?

In order for your request to be reviewed, you must provide formal evidence confirming the circumstances you have outlined.

Examples of evidence include a detailed doctor's letter, maternity form or death certificate. Where circumstances relate to your health and wellbeing, evidence should clearly and concisely set out your symptoms and the period of time during which your health was affected. Where evidence is in letter form, it must be printed on headed paper. The ATT cannot interpret prescriptions, X-rays or photographs, and will also not accept phone calls or informal correspondence as appropriate evidence.

Evidence should be in English. If this is not possible, then you must submit a copy of the original document together with a translated, notarised copy.

It is your responsibility to provide relevant documentation. The ATT is not able to obtain any documentation on your behalf.

The information you supply will only be made available to those who are directly involved in the process, and the ATT will consider your request in confidence. For the avoidance of doubt, the ATT will never release information about your circumstances or any of your personal details without your express permission.​

 

How do I defer my ATT examinations?

Requests to withdraw from the examinations must be sent to us in writing (an email is preferred). You can submit your request along with scanned copies of any necessary evidence to the Education Team at education [at] att.org.uk.

Alternatively, if you need to send the request by post, please ensure you keep a copy of any evidence and obtain proof of postage. The ATT cannot be held responsible for any correspondence which goes missing in transit.