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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 Adviser 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. Discover more here.

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 CIOT’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 Taxation.

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, Rolls Royce, or even Coca Cola.

Alongside completing the standard elements of the ACA CTA Joint Programme you will also complete the CIOT Advanced Technical examination on Taxation of Major Corporates, and one of the following CIOT exams:

  • An additional CTA Advanced Technical paper
  • A CTA Application and Professional Skills Case Study; or
  • An ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) examination (either UK Paper 2.09 or USA Paper 2.10).

You must sit the Taxation of Major Corporates paper before the ACA Case Study. 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 Advanced Technical examination: 'Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses'.

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

  • An additional CTA Advanced Technical paper (excluding Owner-Managed Businesses)
  • A CTA Application and Professional Skills Case Study; or
  • An ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) examination (either UK Paper 2.09 or USA Paper 2.10).

You must sit the Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses paper before the ACA Case Study. Beyond this it is for your employer and you to decide the best order of the exams.

Indirect Taxation

Indirect taxation is the tax of goods and services rather than income or profits, and 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 Advanced Technical examinations:

  • Domestic Indirect Taxation; and
  • Cross-Border Indirect Taxation.

You must sit the Domestic Indirect Taxation paper before you complete the ACA Case Study.

Beyond this it is for your employer and you to decide the best order of 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 Lim

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.