ATT syllabus
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To complete ATT, you must pass two core certificate papers and one optional certificate from a choice of four. You also need to complete two eLearning assessments.

Pathways to ATT

Check our detailed timetable to check dates and availability at your chosen centre. Sittings run every six months with exams in May and November.
 Sitting 1Sitting 2Sitting 3
Pathway 1Personal TaxationBusiness Taxation & Accounting Principles
Options paper
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Pathway 2*Business Taxation & Accounting PrinciplesPersonal Taxation
Options paper
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Pathway 3Personal TaxationBusiness Taxation & Accounting PrinciplesOptions paper
Pathway 4*Business Taxation & Accounting PrinciplesPersonal TaxationOptions paper

* Students on Pathway 2 and 4 will supplement their Business Taxation & Accounting Principles course with recorded lectures covering assumed P1 knowledge. Pathways 3 and 4 are most suitable for students on apprenticeships.

Students must sit their optional certificate after or at the same time as their final core certificate as the optional certificate may refer to content from the core certificates.

Modules and structure

The ATT syllabus is a series of seven free-standing Certificates of Competency, enabling students to gain knowledge in a specialist area of tax without necessarily having to study for the full qualification. Each Certificate of Competency is valid for 3 years and can be renewed upon evidence of CPD.

In order to achieve the ATT qualification, students must pass the two core certificates, one non-core certificate of their choice, and both the Law and Ethics CBEs.

The certificates

Core: Personal Taxation (PTAX)
Core: Business Taxation & Accounting Principles (BTAP)

Choose one from:
Business compliance (BC)
Corporate Tax (CT)
Inheritance Tax (IT)
VAT (VAT)

Computer Based Exams
Law
Professional Responsibilities & Ethics

Format of certificate papers

Each Certificate paper is three hours in length. The pass mark for each paper is 50%

Questions will not be set which require knowledge of:

  • any statute receiving Royal Assent or any statutory instrument made less than five months before the examination date;
  • with the exception of Inheritance Tax, any legislation repealed or superseded more than five months before the examination date;
  • any case reported less than three months before the examination date.

Questions may be set:

  • on prospective legislation passed more than five months before the examination date even if it is not in force;
  • on matters which are not specifically listed in the syllabus but which are related to topics within the syllabus (for example, accountancy principles for the computation of business income);
  • on matters which require a knowledge of taxes which are not specifically within the syllabus of a particular paper but are within the syllabus as a whole.

Certificate papers are in traditional form with a mixture of computational and written questions and no question choice. The short-form questions carry marks of between two and four marks each and in total account for 40% of the available marks.

There will therefore be between 10 and 20 such questions in each paper. The remaining available marks are accounted for by between three and five longer questions carrying from 10 to 20 marks each. Questions requiring a knowledge of law will normally attract between 10% and 15% of the available marks in each of the technical papers (either as an element of questions or as a stand-alone question).

Law is also an integral part of the ATT Certificates. The content of the Law element of each Certificate is set out in the ATT manual entitled "Essential Law for Tax Practitioners" You are strongly recommended to purchase this book.

 

Core certificates

Personal Taxation (PTX)

Personal Taxation

Overall objectives

  • To prepare the information of income and capital gains to be included in the SA personal tax return.
  • To prepare any associated computations in relation to the above.
  • To be able to submit the return and computations under UK self assessment.
  • To be able to complete a client’s claim for tax credits.

Specific objectives

  • To be able to identify all relevant forms of income and to prepare the income tax computations for an individual.
  • To be able to identify capital gains transactions and calculate the computations and liability.
  • To be able to prepare the appropriate entries on tax returns for both income tax and capital gains.
  • To understand both the differences and similarities between the self assessment and tax credit systems.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To deal with the administration process of SA returns.
  • To demonstrate understanding of relevant legal issues/implications when dealing with the tax affairs of individuals.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.
Business Taxation & Accounting Principles (BTAP)

Business Taxation & Accounting Principles

Overall objectives

  • To prepare the information to be included in SA tax returns for sole traders or partners.
  • To prepare the information to be included in the SA partnership tax return.
  • To prepare the information to be included in CTSA returns for companies.
  • To prepare any associated computations in relation to the above.
  • To be able to submit returns and computations under self assessment and CTSA.

Specific objectives

  • To prepare the income tax computations for trades and professions for all aspects of the business life-cycle.
  • To prepare corporation tax computations for individual companies.
  • To be able to identify those transactions which have a capital gains impact and compute the liabilities.
  • To be able to complete the appropriate entries on tax returns.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of accounts which form the basis for tax computations.
  • To be able to prepare basic accounts.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To deal with the administration process of SA and CTSA returns.
  • To demonstrate understanding of legal issues/implications when dealing with the tax affairs of the self-employed and companies.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.

 

Optional certificates

Business compliance

Business compliance

Overall objectives

  • To be able to deal with employer obligations under PAYE, NIC and related matters under the tax system.
  • To be able to complete and submit VAT returns.

Specific objectives

  • To compute PAYE and NIC deductions and ERNIC liabilities.
  • To be able to identify the correct treatment of non-cash items, travel expenses and lump sum payments.
  • To prepare computations on benefits in kind.
  • To be able to identify and distinguish the various forms of share options and the related tax and NIC liabilities.
  • To be able to complete all relevant forms in relation to PAYE and NIC on the above.
  • To be able to deal with all aspects of payroll administration, including all deductions and credits.
  • To be able to demonstrate knowledge of UK VAT and related calculations.
  • To be able to prepare a basic VAT return.
  • To deal with the VAT administration process.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To demonstrate understanding of legal issues/implications affecting business compliance.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.
Corporate Tax

Corporate Tax

Overall objectives

  • To be able to deal with all aspects of the Business Taxation & Accounting Principles syllabus in more complex situations.

Specific objectives

  • To be able to identify the tax implications of setting up, or disposing of, a business including the consideration of alternative mediums.
  • To be able to advise on the tax implications of the incorporation of a business.
  • To demonstrate understanding of legal issues/implications when dealing with the incorporation of companies.
  • To be able to advise on the tax implications of changes in the membership of a partnership.
  • To demonstrate understanding of the tax treatment of Limited Liability Partnerships.
  • To be able to advise on the tax implications of the legislation relating to personal service companies.
  • To be able to advise on the tax implications of family owned companies.
  • To be able to advise on the taxation treatment of groups of companies.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To demonstrate understanding of legal issues/implications when dealing with the tax affairs of the self-employed and companies.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.
Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax, trusts and estates

Overall objectives

  • To prepare the information to be included in the SA Trust & Estate Tax Return.
  • To prepare any associated computations in relation to the above.
  • To be able to submit the return and computations under UK self assessment.

Specific objectives

  • To demonstrate understanding of the distinction between types of trusts to complete the appropriate entries on tax returns.
  • To be able to distinguish between the entries required on all relevant forms.
  • To be able to prepare all relevant computations to complete the above.
  • To be able to calculate the tax liability on income arising to the estate of a deceased person.
  • To be able to compute the capital gains tax for trustees, executors and beneficiaries.
  • To be able to identify the IHT implications of lifetime gifts for individuals.
  • To be able to prepare basic computations of the inheritance tax liability arising on a death.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To deal with the administration process of SA returns.
  • To demonstrate understanding of legal issues/implications when dealing with trusts.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.
Value added tax

Value added tax

Overall objectives

  • To prepare the information to be included in the VAT Return for a taxable trader.
  • To be able to compute any annual or periodic adjustments to be included within a VAT return.
  • To be aware of any special schemes available for taxable traders generally, and to be able to complete returns where such schemes apply.

Specific objectives

  • To understand the accounting and other documents and records required to be maintained for VAT.
  • To identify traders requiring registration or able to deregister for VAT.
  • To define a taxable person; supply; time of supply and place of supply.
  • To be aware of the basis of valuation of supplies.
  • To be able to identify different types of supplies.
  • To be able to prepare a computation involving partial exemption using the standard method, and to be able to compute annual adjustments.
  • To be aware of the VAT treatment of imports and exports including international services.
  • To be able to determine deductible input tax.
  • To understand the provisions relating to transfers of a going concern.
  • To be able to compute the adjustments necessary for the capital goods scheme.
  • To be able to identify the VAT implications of land transactions.
  • To be able to prepare a VAT return where a special scheme applies.
  • To be able to explain the rules relating to groups of companies and group registration.
  • To understand the regime of penalties & interest on late payment and the implications of other irregularities for VAT.
  • To show awareness of professional ethics issues.
  • To demonstrate understanding of relevant legal issues/implications affecting VAT transactions.
  • To be able to communicate with clients in a professional manner in written correspondence.

 

eLearning

Law and professional responsibilities & ethics

Computer Based Exams (CBE)

Professional responsibilities & ethics objective

The objective of this CBE is to test your understanding of the obligations of a Chartered Tax Adviser in the areas of Professional Responsibilities & Ethics. The syllabus comprises:

  1. Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines – effective from 31 March 2011
  2. Professional Conduct in Relation to Tax – effective 4 January 2011
  3. PII Guidelines
  4. PII Regulations
  5. CPD Regulations and Guidance 2011

All of these publications are available for download without charge from the Association's website.

You are also required to have an awareness of the following:

  1. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  2. Money Laundering Regulations 2007 – a summary of this is included with the
  3. material we will provide to you.
  4. CCAB Anti-Money Laundering Guidance (and Supplementary Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Tax Practitioner)

You do not need to download these documents as the required detail is included in the Essential Law book.

Law objective

The objective of the CBE is to test your knowledge of law within the relevant areas of tax. Questions will be based on the manual Essential Law for the Tax Practitioner which is available for purchase from the Association. If you have studied Scots law you will be allocated alternative questions compliant with that jurisdiction, where appropriate.

Detail

Each of these CBEs will be of one-hour duration and made up of two different question types:

  • Multiple choice questions - where you will be required to identify one correct response from a choice of four.
  • Multiple response questions - where you will be required to identify several correct responses from a choice of up to six.

You will be allocated up to 50 questions to answer within the hour permitted for each CBE. At least 30 of the responses to the questions must be correct to pass each CBE.

The questions for a CBE will be randomly selected before you start the test and therefore each one will be unique.

A short section will be provided before the start of the hour-long CBE in order to allow you to familiarise yourself with the format of the examination.

Elements of the law and ethics material are examinable in the Certificate Papers. Guidance is provided in the relevant study manuals as to which areas should be covered.

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ATT syllabus