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Training abroad?

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ACA-CTA Joint Programme

If you are thinking about specialising in tax accountancy you could benefit from ICAEW’s joint study route with the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). The ACA-CTA programme means you are able to train to become a chartered accountant and a chartered tax professional at the same time. The joint route means you won’t study the same subjects twice and will qualify more quickly.

Register as an ACA student

Why study the ACA-CTA joint programme?

  1. Two qualifications

    Achieve two internationally recognised professional qualifications: ICAEW’s ACA and the CTA

  2. Fewer exams

    You won’t be examined on the same thing twice and will qualify in three to four years

  3. Broader knowledge

    Holding the ACA and CTA mean that you’ll be better equipped for client work and a career in tax

At a glance

  • Key

    Requirements

    Three GCSEs A*-C, including Maths and English, A levels and at least a 2.1 degree

  • Calendar

    Duration

    Three to four years

  • Prices vary

    Cost

    Employers will often cover the cost of training


Study options

  • Globe

    Distance

  • Desktop

    Online

  • Clock

    Classroom for CTA modules

What is the ACA-CTA Joint Programme?

ICAEW and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) have created the ACA-CTA joint programme which enables you to specialise in tax from the start of your accountancy career.

On completing the programme you will qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser, and be eligible to apply for membership of ICAEW and CIOT and use ACA and CTA after your name.

How is the ACA-CTA programme structured?

You will complete the professional development, ethics and practical work experience components of the standard ACA and CTA qualifications, including the CTA’s Professional Responsibilities & Ethics exam.

You will also undertake 14 of the 15 ACA modules (this excludes the Business Planning module). 

The final element of the course will be related to the area of tax you choose to specialise in. The three options available are:

  • taxation of major corporates;
  • taxation of owner managed businesses; or
  • indirect tax.

Taxation of major corporates

Designed for those who want to specialise in the tax affairs of FTSE 350 companies or other large corporates, this specialism prepares you to deal with the tax affairs of the likes of Cineworld, Debenhams or even Coca Cola.

Alongside completing the standard elements of the ACA-CTA Joint Programme you will also complete the ICAEW and CIOT Taxation of Major Corporates exam and one of the following CIOT exams:

  • A CTA Advisory paper (excluding Advanced Corporation Tax)
  • A CTA Application and Interaction Case Study; or
  • An ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) examination (either Paper 2.09 UK or Paper 2.10 US).

You must sit the Taxation of major corporates paper before the ACA Case Study, and it is recommended that it is taken with the ACA Advanced Level exams. Beyond this it is for your employer and you to decide the best order of exams.

Taxation of owner-managed businesses

Designed for students specialising in the tax affairs of owner-managed or private businesses, this specialism prepares you to deal with the tax affairs of a wide range of clients, from local family businesses through to limited liability partnerships operating overseas.

Alongside completing the standard elements of the ACA-CTA Joint Programme you will also undertake the CTA Advisory examination: 'Taxation of owner-managed businesses'.

You will also need to complete one of the following CIOT exams:

  • A CTA Advisory paper (excluding Owner-Managed Businesses)
  • A CTA Application and Interaction Case Study; or
  • An ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) examination (either Paper 2.09 UK or Paper 2.10 US).

Indirect tax

Indirect tax is the tax of goods and services rather than income or profits, if you choose this route you’ll advise businesses on VAT and other indirect taxes, including international trade issues linked to Customs and Excise Duties.

Alongside the standard elements of the ACA-CTA joint programme you will have to complete two CTA Advisory examinations:

  • VAT on UK Domestic Transactions, IPT & SDLT; and
  • VAT on Cross-Border Transactions & Customs Duties.
You must sit the VAT on Domestic Transactions, IPT & SDLT paper before you complete the ACA Case Study, and it is recommended that this CTA Advisory exam is taken alongside the ACA Advanced Level exams.

How to register for the ACA-CTA joint programme

You need to register as an ACA student with ICAEW and when you have received your ACA student number you can register with CIOT and become a student on the ACA-CTA joint programme.

Don't forget that you will need to secure a training agreement with an ICAEW authorised training provider to meet the work experiences requirements of the programme.

Jackson Lim

Jackson LimSenior Tax Associate, PwC

Location: Chicago, USA

Next steps

Training internationally

If you want to train for the ACA in another country, you must ensure you are entitled to work in that country. It is your responsibility to understand what work visa you need and how to secure one. ICAEW cannot support you in this process, but your potential employer might be able to offer advice.

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