Revised CTA Examination Q&A

Sample Questions and Answers

When will the first sitting of the revised examination structure take place?

May 2019, but two features will be introduced earlier: the extension of the ‘five sitting rule’, to a ‘seven sitting rule’ (from November 2017), and the merger of the Taxation of Major Corporates and the Advanced Corporation Taxation Advisory examinations (from May 2018).

Will the credit/exemption rules change?

Yes, from 2019, the rules will have changed as follows:

  • Exemptions will not be available for the Application and Professional Skills examination (which replaces Application and Interaction).
  • Students who are exam qualified in a professional accountancy qualification will be able to apply for an exemption from the Principles of Accounting CBE. The exemption must be applied for before the student registers for their final written examination.
  • Students who are exam qualified with ATT, ACCA (must have passed P6 – Advanced Taxation), ICAEW, ICAI (must have passed the Northern Ireland tax papers) or ICAS will be able to apply for an exemption from the Awareness examination. The exemption must be applied for before the student registers for their final written examination.
  • The exemption/s obtained by being exam qualified will be permanent once granted and will not need to be reapplied for, should the CTA written examinations not be completed within seven sittings.

Do ATT exam qualified students get any exemptions under the new structure?

Yes, ATT exam qualified students will be able to apply for an exemption from the Awareness examination.

Will there be a model question and marking scheme for the new Application and Professional Skills examination?

Two pilot questions and marking schemes showing the required skills, and the pre-seen material will be available soon. These will be for the Taxation of Individuals and the Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses questions.

How far in advance will the pre-seen material be available in advance of the Application and Professional Skills Examination?

Two weeks. Students will not be permitted to bring this copy into the examination hall with them. A new copy of the pre-seen material will be provided at the start of the examination.

What has happened to the Indirect Tax route?

We have updated it. There will no longer be a defined route. Indirect tax students currently have to sit the compulsory Accounting module in the Awareness examination. This module will be withdrawn and replaced with a Principles of Accounting CBE, sat by all students (exemptions available). The Environmental Taxes, Excise Duties and Stamp Duties module in Awareness will also be withdrawn. After consultation with employers the CIOT will no longer examine environmental taxes. Stamp Duty and Excise Duties will move into the Advisory papers. The two indirect Taxation Advisory examinations will be renamed to Domestic Indirect Taxation and Cross-Border Indirect Taxation. Students who sit the two Advisory Indirect tax examination papers will sit any three of the Awareness modules, excluding the VAT module.

Are you going to examine the devolved taxes more in the new structure?

Yes, there will be an option for students to apply Scottish Land and Building Transaction Tax, or Welsh Land Transaction Tax, to questions so students will only need to learn one of the taxes. However, the Scottish rate of tax and residence will be examinable in the Individuals Advisory paper so all students will be expected to know the rules and rates in all parts of the UK and be prepared to apply the rates appropriate to the scenario of the question.

How will these changes to the CTA Examination Structure affect the ACA CTA Joint Programme?

The ACA CTA Joint Programme will remain the same with the exception of the Taxation of Major Corporates (TOMC) examination. This examination is being merged with effect from May 2018 with the CIOT Advisory examination, Advanced Corporation Tax, with minimal syllabus changes. It will be called Taxation of Major Corporates (TOMC). The merged TOMC exam will no longer be sat at ICAEW exam dates and centres, but will be sat at CIOT exam centres in May and November. CTA passes in the three Joint Programme specialisms (Taxation of Major Corporates, Owner Managed Business, Indirect Tax) will now be valid for seven examination sittings after they were first passed, rather than five.

How will these changes affect the ATT CTA Tax Pathway?

Students will need to pass the new Principles of Accounting CBE before they sit their final written examination on the Pathway. A pass in either the third written ATT examination or the Awareness examination will be valid for seven sittings rather than five. Any other CTA written examination passes will also be valid for seven sittings rather than five (with the exception that credits for Application and Interaction will lapse following the November 2020 examination session).

How long will a pass in the new CBE in Principles of Accounting be valid for?

It will be valid for nine examination sittings of the written papers (the same as the current rule for the CBEs in Professional Responsibilities & Ethics and Law).

If a student intends to complete their final written CTA paper in the May 2019 examination session how do they submit their exam entry, given that the required Principles of Accounting CBE will not be available to take until March 2019?

For this examination session, May 2019, and the following one, November 2019, we will allow students to submit an examination entry for their final written paper without having first completed the Principles of Accounting CBE.

Assuming all required written papers are passed in the May or November 2019 exam session, students will then have until 31 March 2020 to complete their Principles of Accounting CBE.

If they are not successful by that date, then the normal seven sitting rule will apply, i.e. the passes in the written papers will remain valid for seven examinations following the examination session at which they were achieved. The Law and Professional Responsibilities & Ethics CBEs will still need to have been completed before an entry for a final written paper can be submitted.

I have completed the exams of another professional body but did so a number of years ago. Am I still able to make an application for an exemption against the Awareness paper?

Those who have successfully completed all of the examination and assessment requirements of the ATT, ICAEW, ICAS and ICAI (must have passed the Northern Ireland tax paper) will be able to apply for an exemption, regardless of the date they did so. Those who have completed the examination and assessment requirements of ACCA must have done so under the 2007 syllabus onwards, in order to be eligible for an exemption from the Awareness paper.

Exemptions can be applied for from 1 January 2019.

I have already passed my CBEs in Law and Professional Responsibilities and Ethics and I intend to sit the other CTA examinations before the end of 2018 and then claim an exemption from the Awareness paper in early 2019 when this becomes possible.

Assuming I pass my remaining examination papers at the November 2018 sitting, do I have to pass the new Principles of Accounting CBE to complete the CTA exam requirements?

Yes. The new exam structure takes effect from 2019 and anyone who has not completed all of the CTA exam requirements before then will be required to complete the Principles of Accounting CBE. Students who have passed their last written paper in the November 2018 examinations and claim an exemption from Awareness in early 2019 will have until 30 September 2019 to pass this or claim an exemption from it. This is a one-off situation as the CBE in Principles of Accounting will not be available until March 2019. If students are not successful by 30 September 2019, then the normal seven sitting rule will apply, ie the passes in the written papers will remain valid for seven examinations following the examination session at which they were achieved.

What qualifications would allow an exemption from the new CTA Principles of Accounting CBE?

Those who will be eligible to apply for an exemption in the Principles of Accounting CBE:

  1. Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  2. Accounting Technicians of Ireland (formerly known as IATI)
  3. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  4. Association of International Accountants (AIA)
  5. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  6. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
  7. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  8. Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
  9. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  10. Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA)
  11. Institute of Chartered Accountants New Zealand (ICANZ)
  12. South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  13. Institute of Chartered Accountants India (ICAI)