Opinion Former Article

Students to benefit from greater flexibility in their taxation studies

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) have launched a new streamlined route to the ATT and CTA qualifications, improving the flexibility offered to employers.

The new Tax Pathway1 will enable students to study for both the ATT qualification and the gold-standard CTA qualification together in potentially less time than at present, while maintaining the quality and rigour of the prestigious awards.

The biggest benefit that employers and students may find with the new Tax Pathway will be that they can choose which ATT papers to sit at the beginning of their study path because no papers are mandatory at that early stage. This is complemented by flexible study options to suit everyone on the Tax Pathway, from classroom teaching to online distance learning.

Michael Steed, ATT President, said;

“The ATT is delighted to launch the new Tax Pathway with the CIOT. The Tax Pathway has been designed to deliver the highest quality qualifications in tax while reducing time out of the office, study costs and duplication of study. The combination of two highly respected qualifications offers the most efficient route available to the highest standard in tax advice and practice and gives students a qualification on the way.”

Students following the Tax Pathway route will spend less time out of the office as they will have one fewer exam to sit. The cost of qualifying is therefore likely to be less than following the sequential qualification route for ATT and CTA and students will be able to sit some exams earlier than if they had followed the sequential route. The exams are based on current tax law, ensuring students are up-to-date with the changing developments in the field of taxation. No pre-requirements are necessary before starting the Tax Pathway route, although students must be aged 16 or over and have a reasonable standard of English and maths.

Bill Dodwell, CIOT President, said:

“We welcome the development of the new streamlined route to both ATT and CTA qualifications. This provides students and their employers with an effective way to develop and demonstrate their skills as fully rounded tax professionals. Reducing the time out of the office allows greater focus on the ‘on the job’ training which is a core part of building skills”

If someone is keen to register, they can sign-up as an ATT student now and then transfer to the Tax Pathway from 1 September 2016.

The change to increase flexibility in tax qualification studies will be welcomed by the industry. Morgan McKinley’s Salary Guide 2016 confirmed that high demand for tax professionals outweighs candidate supply, across most areas within the larger practice firms.2

Debbie Anthony, Tax Partner, Deloitte, said:

“The Tax Pathway offers an excellent grounding in tax compliance along with the highest standard of advisory and application skills. The transition through the Tax Pathway from the ATT qualification to the CTA qualification will help to equip our students with the technical knowledge and skills they need to succeed at the different stages of their early careers. Obtaining the ATT qualification will not only help motivate students as they continue to work for their CTA qualification but also provides recognition of their achievement.”

The Tax Pathway was launched at an event in London on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

Notes for editors

1.       For more information about the Tax Pathway, visit https://hub.tax.org.uk/pathway

2.       http://economia.icaew.com/news/march-2016/talent-shortage-drives-salaries-up

3.        The Association of Taxation Technicians

The Association is a charity and the leading professional body for those providing UK tax compliance services. Our primary charitable objective is to promote education and the study of tax administration and practice. One of our key aims is to provide an appropriate qualification for individuals who undertake tax compliance work. Drawing on our members' practical experience and knowledge, we contribute to consultations on the development of the UK tax system and seek to ensure that, for the general public, it is workable and as fair as possible.

Our members are qualified by examination and practical experience. They commit to the highest standards of professional conduct and ensure that their tax knowledge is constantly kept up to date. Members may be found in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia.

The Association has over 8,000 members and Fellows together with over 5,600 students. Members and Fellows use the practising title of 'Taxation Technician' or ‘Taxation Technician (Fellow)’ and the designatory letters 'ATT' and 'ATT (Fellow)' respectively.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

The CIOT’s 17,600 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’

Contact: Hamant Verma, External Relations Officer, 0207 340 2702 HVerma@ciot.org.uk (Out of hours contact: George Crozier, 07740 477 374)

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