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Your guide to the revised CTA exam

The CTA qualification is getting a major overhaul – and it is looking good

November 2017

The Chartered Institute of Taxation recently unveiled major changes to its CTA qualification. So what were the ‘big ones’?
Well, current rules allow students to carry forward passes in written exams for five sittings. This will, from 2017, be extended by two sittings to a ‘seven sitting rule’. So an exam passed at the November 2017 exam session will now be valid up to and including the May 2021 session.
This increase from five to seven will be applied to all existing students who have a valid CTA written exam pass on 1 November 2017 and thereafter. It will not apply to any student where the five sittings have already expired.
Then from the May 2018 CTA exam session the two Advisory exams, Taxation of Major Corporates (TOMC) and Advanced Corporation Tax (ACT) will be merging. The new exam will be called Taxation of Major Corporates, with the first sitting available in May 2018.
The big news (as we said in last month’s issue) is the move to make the CTA qualification open to all from 2019. The current requirement is for students to have a prior qualification, which enables them to claim a ‘Confirmation of Eligibility’ to sit the CTA exams. This will be removed.
This means that access to the qualification will be open to anyone. The CIOT stressed here that the exams are set at a high standard and in order to give themselves the best chance of success students who do not have previous qualification in accounting or law will be strongly advised to register for the Tax Pathway route to qualification. See https://hub.tax.org.uk/pathway
Two modules in the Awareness exam will also be withdrawn in 2019 – Accounting and Environmental Taxes, Excise Duties & Stamp Duties.
A new Principles of Accounting will be examined via a CBE from March 2019.
Students who are exam qualified in a professional accountancy qualification will be able to apply for an exemption from the Principles of Accounting CBE. However, the exemption must be applied for before the student registers for their final written exam.
Students who are exam qualified with ATT, ACCA (must have passed P6), ICAEW, ICAS and ICAI (must have passed NI tax papers) will be able to apply for an exemption for the Awareness exam. Again, the exemption must be applied for before the student registers for their final written exam.
The Application and Interaction Exam is also being renamed and will be called Application & Professional Skills. Students will be sent pre-seen information two weeks prior to the exam giving the background details relevant to the client in the question. Trainees will not be permitted to bring a copy of the information into the exam with them, but will be issued with a copy (separate to the exam question) at the start of the exam. The restructured exam will be competency based and a minimum
grade will be required in a range of competencies.
For more information on the changes visit www.tax.org/RevisedCTA

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