Tax Pathway FAQs

If you have any questions please take a look at our FAQs below or contact a member of our Education Team

Tax Pathway FAQs

Why become both a Taxation Technician and a Chartered Tax Adviser?

A Taxation Technician, or ATT, is recognised as holding the leading professional qualification for individuals who undertake UK tax compliance work.  A Chartered Tax Adviser, or CTA, is recognised as holding the ‘gold standard’ qualification in professional tax expertise.  The CTA is a global brand –recognised and respected internationally as a mark of technical excellence and professional integrity for tax advisers.  

To have both the ATT and CTA designations in taxation recognises the highest level of professional taxation competence possible in the UK.

What are the benefits of the Tax Pathway?

The Tax Pathway offers a structured, flexible and efficient route to full CTA/ATT qualification.

How is the Tax Pathway different from the traditional, sequential route, of the ATT followed by the CTA?

Under the Tax Pathway, students register with both the ATT and the CIOT at the same time and complete the two qualifications in a streamlined way, allowing employers to design training Pathways according to business needs.

There is free choice of ATT papers so students can follow a specialist route from the beginning, which is different to the sequential route, where there are two mandatory papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2) that all ATT registered students must sit.

The membership requirements for both the ATT and CIOT remain the same regardless of the chosen route through the qualification.  

Which exams are compulsory under the Tax Pathway?

The only exams which are compulsory are the three, one hour, Computer Based Examinations (CBEs):

  • Principles of Accounting
  • Law,
  • and Professional Responsibilities & Ethics

These must have been sat and passed before students are able to enter for their final written CTA paper(s). The exam choices for the other elements of the Pathway are at the discretion of the employer/student. 

What is the entry criteria for the Tax Pathway?

There is a minimum age of 16. No previous academic or professional qualifications required – however, in order to pass the examinations a reasonable standard of English and mathematics. Students will also need to provide a referee.

The Tax Pathway is open to those who currently work or plan to work in Tax.  The employer support is crucial – from securing the training support and study leave, to gaining the experience in tax to be confident to attempt and successfully complete the two qualifications

Why can't students transfer onto the pathway if they have passed more than two written ATT papers?

On the Tax Pathway students must pass core Knowledge 1 (two ATT written papers) and Core Knowledge 2 (a third ATT written paper or the CTA Awareness paper) before they progress to the CTA Advanced Technical or Application and Professional Skills (APS) papers.   

Students can sit Core 1 on its own (or work towards it by sitting just one ATT paper at a time) or they can sit Core 1 and Core 2 at the same time (timetable permitting).

However, students (probably in conjunction with their employer) need to make a careful decision as to which is more suitable for them and their firm at Core 2,  i.e. whether to sit a third ATT paper or the Awareness paper. This decision point needs to be reached at this early stage regarding the appropriate Awareness modules, to allow the permitted Advisory papers to be taken later.   

Unfortunately, students who have already passed this decision point are too advanced in the traditional ATT structure to join this new Tax Pathway.  

How will the tax pathway help employers to recruit students?

Students who know they want to be tax professionals will be able to study for two linked qualifications relevant to their career from the time they become trainees.

This will be an attractive recruitment tool and provide a structured and supportive career path.

Can current ATT/CTA students join the Tax Pathway?

For further information on transferring to the Tax Pathway please click here

What exemptions are available?

Details on exemptions can be found here 

I have passed the old ATT Paper 2 in Business Taxation and Accounting Principles (BTAP) - do I have to sit the new Accounting Computer Based Exam?

Not at ATT level, but you will have to sit and pass this before you can enter for your final written CTA paper(s).  Passing the old Paper 2 BTAP means you are exempt from sitting the Accounting CBE when becoming an ATT member

Do students have to work in a tax role?

The Tax Pathway assumes students will be employed in a tax role and be gaining practical and professional experience which is a key factor in passing the ATT and CTA qualifications.

Professional experience is also required to gain membership of both the ATT and the CIOT.

How do students register?

Students can register and pay online here

How long does it take to finish the Tax Pathway?

Depending on the student, the qualification could take between three to four years.

However, the amount of time needed for studying, revision and taking the examinations is dependent upon how the employer and student manage their training programme and is therefore variable. 

Can a student step off the Tax Pathway?

If a student decided not to continue to the end of the Tax Pathway, for whatever reason, then they can stop at the ATT level and gain this qualification.

Notification to the ATT is required so that records can be updated, please email [email protected] if this is the case. 

Can I become an ATT member part way through the Tax Pathway?

Yes you can. 

As long as you have sat and passed your chosen three written papers at Core 1 and 2, plus the three Computer Based Exams (CBEs) in Law, Ethics and Accounting, you can apply to become a member of the ATT as long as you also have two years’ experience. 

See here for full details.