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CTA / CTA Syllabus
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In order to gain your CTA qualification you must:
Depending upon whether you’re ATT, ACA or ACCA qualified you can take different pathways to complete your CTA qualification. Sittings take place every six months with exams in May and November. Choose a course that suits your learning style and check the timetable for course availability at your chosen centre.
You must pass the Computer Based Exams by the closing date for exam entries for the sitting at which you will sit your final written tax paper.
Sit your Awareness paper (made up of three selected modules) before or at the same time as your Application paper. The Application paper can test content from Awareness so it’s important to gain Awareness knowledge before you take your Application exam.
The CTA new modular structure requires candidates to pass four written papers on taxation which can be taken separately or altogether. In addition there will be two one-hour CBE, one on Professional Responsibilities & Ethics and the other on Law.
Candidates choose two of the below advisory papers:
Candidates choose three of the below awareness papers, but these cannot be the same as the corresponding Advisory papers chosen.
Candidates choose one of the below application and interaction papers:
The two CBEs, Professional Responsibilities and Ethics, and Law, must be completed before candidates are able to enter for their last tax examination paper.
The objective of the Advisory papers will be to test your knowledge at an advisory level, on the areas of taxation which you choose, in accordance with the defined syllabus for each paper.
A three hour paper will examine each of the following:
The Advisory papers will form the first day of the examinations and will be divided into two sessions. You will be required to sit two of the four papers.
The grouping is as follow:
It is considered that the groupings as shown will accommodate the choices of the majority of candidates who wish to sit the examination in a single sitting. There is no restriction on you choosing two Advisory papers from the same group. In such circumstances, however, you will not be able to sit both papers at the same examination sitting.
Each Advisory paper is a 'stand alone' paper. If you receive a mark of 50% or more of the total marks you will receive a credit in that paper.
You will be expected to answer all questions which make up the paper. The questions in each of the four Advisory papers will be for either 10, 15 or 20 marks each.
The objective of the Awareness paper is to examine core areas of the various taxes which you may not deal with on a daily basis and which do not form part of your chosen Advisory papers.
The paper will comprise one three-hour paper covering five modules. You will choose three out of the five modules and you will answer all the questions on each of your chosen modules. All Awareness modules must be attempted at the same sitting.
The modules are:
The modules answered at the Awareness level cannot be the same papers which you have sat, or intend to sit, as your Advisory papers. In this regard, and for the avoidance of doubt, if you have decided to sit the Taxation of Owner- Managed Businesses Advisory paper you are precluded from choosing the Taxation of Unincorporated Businesses module at Awareness level.
The format of each module will be 12 short-form questions. Each question will be worth five marks. To obtain a credit, you will be required to obtain 50% or more of the total marks awarded for the whole paper at the same sitting. There will not be a requirement to obtain 50% of the marks in each individual module.
The Awareness paper will take place on the morning of the second day of the examinations.
The objective of the Application and Interaction paper is to test the ability to apply to a practical case study the knowledge gained in sitting the Advisory and Awareness papers and to demonstrate how the various taxes interact.
The paper will be in the form of a case study, which you will have three hours to answer. There will be a choice of case studies based on the Advisory papers and Awareness paper modules, these being:
You will answer one of the three case studies worth 100 marks. The pass mark will be 50%.
The subject matter of the case study may include any of the items specified at Advisory level for those topics. It may also include elements of any subject within any of the Awareness modules. For example, the case study on the Taxation of Companies will be mainly corporation tax based but may also include areas such as shareholder issues, VAT and SDLT. Issues involving consideration of professional responsibilities, ethics and/or law should also be expected to feature in the case studies.
This will not be a 'time pressured' case study. The emphasis will be on allowing you to have time to submit a complete answer, thus demonstrating your ability to deal with practical situations.
The Application and Interaction paper will take place on the afternoon of the second day of the examinations.
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:
All of these publications are available for download without charge from the
You are also required to have an awareness of the following:
You do not need to download these documents as the required detail is included in the Essential Law book.
The objective of this 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.
Each of these CBEs will be of one-hour duration and made up of two different question types:
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 assessment 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.
The two CBE must be completed before candidates are able to enter for their final tax examination paper.
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*ACCA students must have passed the Advanced Tax P6 Paper.