Important information for the ATT Exams from 2012

From the May 2012 exam e-assessments will replace the paper on 'Practice, Administration and Ethics'. In addition some of the papers have been renamed and renumbered.

Changes to the ATT Examinations from 2012

The current examination structure has been in place for nine examination sessions and the ATT has therefore been carrying out a review to ensure that the syllabus and examination structure remain relevant.

Paper 7 on Practice Administration & Ethics has proved a difficult paper for students. It is a purely written paper and is viewed by many as a "dry" subject. However, it is vitally important that the subject matter included within the syllabus is studied and understood by those who are to become Members of the ATT.

Following the November 2011 examination, Paper 7 will be replaced by two E-Assessments; one in Law and one in Professional Responsibilities & Ethics. The administration (i.e. tax) part of the Paper 7 syllabus will instead be tested in the individual tax papers to the extent that it is relevant to each paper. Certificates of Competency will not be available for success in the E-Assessments. Those who have passed the current Paper 7 will have three years to pass the other required papers for Membership of the ATT (subject to expiry dates of passes and/or Certificates of Competency held in other papers) or renew their existing Certificate of Competency. If the Paper 7 pass expires then the two E-Assessments will need to be passed. Existing rules will continue to apply regarding application for a Certificate of Competency in Paper 7 passed up to and including the November 2011 examinations.

A pass in the ATT's Professional Responsibilities & Ethics E-Assessment will qualify for a credit for the Chartered Institute of Taxation's E-Assessment in Professional Responsibilities & Ethics. A pass in the ATT's Law E-Assessment will qualify for a credit for the Chartered Institute of Taxation's E-Assessment in Law. Questions in the ATT's E-Assessments will be drawn from the same question bank as the Chartered Institute of Taxation's E-Assessments.

Law and ethics will remain on Papers 1 to 6, but the requirement for law to comprise 10-15% of each paper will be dropped. (The degree of law tested on each paper will in future be determined by its relevance to that paper.)

The overall impact of the changes is that an individual will have satisfied the examination requirements for membership of the Association if they:

Hold, or are entitled to hold, three valid Certificates of Competency from Papers 1 to 6 (including the two compulsory papers - Personal Taxation and Business Taxation & Accounting Principles); and
Hold or are entitled to hold a valid Certificate of Competency from the old Practice Administration & Ethics paper or have passed the separate ATT E-Assessments in Professional Responsibilities & Ethics and Law.

Forthcoming changes to paper names

Apart from the removal of Paper 7, the main change to the examination structure for 2012 onwards will be the renaming and renumbering of some of the papers:

Paper 1

Personal Taxation

Paper 2

Business Taxation & Accounting Principles

Paper 3

Business Compliance

Paper 4

Corporate Taxation

Paper 5

Inheritance Tax, Trusts and Estates

Paper 6

VAT

The Business Compliance paper is moving from Paper 6 under the current structure to Paper 3 under the new structure. This move is primarily designed to raise its profile.

The current Paper 3 (Business Taxation: Higher Skills) is being renamed Corporate Taxation. The paper is not intended to be a Corporation Tax paper; rather it will focus on the taxes that affect corporate businesses and their owners.

Further details regarding the booking process for the E-Assessments and the syllabus for the Corporate Taxation paper will be available on the ATT website as soon as possible.

We would be pleased to assist with any queries. Please do contact the Education Team ateducation [at] att.org.uk or on 020 7340 0551.

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