Tax Pathway FAQs

If you have any questions please take a look at our FAQs below or contact a member of our education [at] (Education Team)

Tax Pathway FAQs

Why become 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.

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. The membership requirements for both the Association and Institute 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 Principle of Accounting, Law and Professional Responsibilities & Ethics which must be passed before sitting the last written paper. The exam choices for the other elements of the Pathway are at the discretion of the employer/student. 

What are the 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 important – 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 Advisory or Application and Interaction 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 this 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 students or CTA students join the Tax Pathway?

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

What support is available from the ATT and CIOT?

ATT and CIOT provide students and employers with support. 

Students will find more information here and employers will find more information here

If there are any questions or other support needed, please contact the education [at] (Education Team)

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. 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

Is there a time limit for students on the Tax Pathway?

No, student registration lasts for five years and you must have a valid registration to sit the examinations. You will be able to renew the registration after five years if necessary.

ATT papers which have been passed in Core Knowledge 1 will remain valid for however long a student is in the Tax Pathway.

At Core Knowledge 2, regardless of whether an ATT paper or the CTA Awareness paper is taken, this pass will be valid for seven examination sittings after it was achieved (three and a half years). 

CTA examinations are valid for three and a half years (i.e. 7 examination sessions) following the sitting the paper was passed e.g. if you sat and passed a paper in November 2017 it is valid up to and including May 2021 examination session.

Do I have to pay any fees?

The fee to register as a Tax Pathway student in 2020 is £320. This lasts for five years.

If an existing ATT or CTA student would like to transfer onto the Tax Pathway, the balance of the Pathway student registration subscription will be payable and the registration period is the remaining period from the date of the initial registration to the end of five years. 

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.

Work experience and membership

To be eligible for membership of the ATT, two years’ practical experience in UK taxation is required. 

To be eligible for membership of the CIOT, three years’ relevant recent professional experience is required.

Experience gained to satisfy the requirements for the ATT may be applied towards the experience required for the CIOT.