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Moving from ATT to CTA. CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME Completing the ATT is a fantastic achievement and you should be very proud.

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Completing the ATT is a fantastic achievement and you should be very proud.

You now hold a prestigious tax qualification that involved some challenging exams. If you have not yet become a member see herefor details of the benefits membership brings.


I’ve worked so hard is that not enough???

I thought you might say that!

Remember, the ATT is an excellent qualification in its own right.

But have you heard of the CTA?


Yes I have, but it’s hard isn’t it?

Of course it’s hard!

As a member of the CIOT you will be alongside the top tax professionals so you want it to be hard don’t you?

Do you want people to say you are a good tax adviser because it’s easy or because you have achieved something special?


Is the CTA different from the ATT or is there just more to learn?

The CTA syllabus is a bit wider, but at the end of the day ‘tax is tax’ and all the knowledge you have from the ATT will form the building blocks for your CTA studies.

The difference is in the expectations of the questions.

See here for an ATT question on property tested in November 2012

See here for a CTA question on property tested in November 2013


You can now see that the difference is in the approach:

The ATT question is geared to compliance – these are the rules and this is how you work those rules.

The CTA question is advisory – you will be expected to spot for yourself the area being tested and apply principles to novel situations. The scenario given by a client is never the same as the text book so you need to be prepared for that.

BUT tax is tax and the ‘rules’ are the same.


Is there much more study time involved?

Everyone is different and because the exams are modular you control the pace of your studies, but where you were recommended to study for at least 12 months for the ATT, the recommendation is 12 to 18 months for the CTA.


I love numbers, if these are advisory exams will it all be writing?

There will be more writing in a CTA exam than an ATT exam because you are giving advice, but there will still be calculations to do. Sometimes the best way to explain something is with the numbers.


What if I fail?

You will be disappointed of course and no-one likes to retake.

But you won’t have lost all the knowledge you have gained along the way.

The question you should be asking is…


What if I pass?

The CTA qualification is widely recognised as the ‘gold standard’ of tax qualifications and CIOT members are highly respected.