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CTA - The international standard

On January 30 2012 the Chartered Institute of Taxation announced that it is to license the Irish Tax Institute to use the designations ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and ‘CTA’ as the first step in developing the CTA brand as an international ‘Gold Standard’ in tax. On May 29 2012 the CIOT announced the same arrangement with The Tax Institute in Australia. The note below sets out what a client or employer can expect from a CTA.


A Chartered Tax Adviser, or CTA, holds the ‘gold standard’ qualification in professional tax expertise and can be relied upon to provide the highest quality tax advice to business and personal clients.

The CTA designation is recognised and respected internationally as a mark of technical excellence and professional integrity.

In order to attain CTA standard a tax adviser must pass rigorous examinations demonstrating a high level of technical knowledge of the tax system and an understanding of the high standards of ethical and professional conduct required of them.

In order to retain CTA standard a tax adviser must demonstrate commitment to their ongoing duty to maintain their professional knowledge and skills. This includes keeping up to date with all developments in the tax system in the areas in which they practice. CTAs are supported in this, and monitored to ensure they fulfil their commitments, by their membership of a respected professional body.

All CTAs are subject to high professional and ethical standards. These are governed by the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. The professional rules governing CTAs are published on the website of the adviser’s professional body so that all may have a clear understanding of the level and quality of service a client should receive from their tax adviser. There is a robust and independent disciplinary structure in place in the event of a client feeling their CTA has failed to meet these high professional standards.

CTAs are accountable to and supported by a respected professional tax body. In the UK this is the Chartered Institute of Taxation. In the Republic of Ireland this is the Irish Taxation Institute. In Australia this is The Tax Institute.

These professional bodies share a commitment to the advancement of tax practice, not only in relation to the setting and promotion of high professional standards, training and technical knowledge, but also in relation to the promotion of tax education and research. The bodies share a commitment to increasing public understanding of tax matters and to engaging with legislators and tax authorities in the pursuit of a tax system which works effectively and efficiently for all concerned – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities.

CTAs are required by their code of practice to only practice in areas in which they have expertise, geographically and technically. For example, a CTA practising in the UK and advising on corporate taxes is required to have expert knowledge of the UK corporate tax system. A CTA practising in Ireland and advising on corporate taxes is required to have expert knowledge of the Irish corporate tax system. A CTA practising in Australia and advising on corporate taxes is required to have expert knowledge of the Australian corporate tax system.

The right to designate CTAs is held by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) by virtue of its Royal Charter, awarded by the Privy Council in 1994. Recognising that the qualifications, professional standards and requirements for membership of the Irish Taxation Institute (ITI) and The Tax Institute in Australia are at a similarly high level to the CIOT’s own, the CIOT has granted the ITI and The Tax Institute licenses to designate their qualifying members as CTAs. This is in keeping with the CIOT’s objective of promoting excellence in taxation internationally.

In summary, whether you are an employer or a taxpayer seeking expert advice, you can be reassured that when you hire a CTA you will be taking on a tax professional who has proved themselves to be of the highest calibre.

 

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