Chartered Institute of Taxation


In today’s world this is a solid qualification, and with the ever changing taxation world, something that I suspect many students have looked, but having looked at
the entry qualifications appears to be quite difficult to enter into.
If you are a member of one of the major accounting bodies then you can apply for student membership, but if not the hurdles are high and numerous.
I took a look at this as for a friend who was thinking this was a good career choice and this is the way of registering as a student outside of the quals. I mentioned above:
If you have completed a BA (Hons) Accounting and 5. Taxation, LLB (Hons) Business and Revenue Law, LLB (Hons) Law with Taxation or LLB (Hons) Revenue Law from Bournemouth University. If you have passed the BCL/MJur from the University of Oxford having taken two of the following three courses:

  1. Dissertation on a tax topic
  2. Personal Taxation
  3. Corporate and Business Taxation
    If you have completed the previous Intercollegiate LLM (Tax) from the University of London or the LLM (Tax) from Queen Mary or Kings (both University of London).
    If you have passed the MA in Taxation at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies, London University.
    If you have completed The Chartered Insurance Institute’s Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.
    If you are engaged under a training contract with an employer and are following that employer’s tax training programme which has been approved for this purpose by The Chartered Institute of Taxation. As a minimum this will require preparatory training and examinations in UK taxation, accounting and law of a standard at least comparable to the examinations of the Association of Taxation Technicians
    It does appear that the university route is limited and that other routes are quite restrictive.
    Even after qualifying you need to practice taxation for 3 years before you can have full membership of the Institute.
    My own view on talking to my friend was don’t bother as the effort exceeds the rewards as if you area qualified accountant you can still practice and specialise in taxation.
    Whilst I recognise this qualification is very useful I do just think that there are too many barriers and the entry rules should be slackened.
    What are peoples thoughts?

As someone who has a real interest in taxation and has completed several of the modules already as well as having worked in the tax department of a law firm I have very mixed feelings over this. Firstly I would say that tax is very complex and extensive study is necessary in order to be qualified to give advice in this area. I certainly still often feel a bit bemused by it all and I’ve had more training than average. However, I do feel that to a certain extent the tax professionals are put up on a pedestal and make the whole industry seem more closed than it needs to be. This results in organisations being able to charge more for such advice and the complexity of the taxation world being increased as people become nervous of tacking this area of work.



I have never thought that tax experts were set on a pedestal but I am not in a position to argue. The fact is that they seemed top rise to prominence after the Dewhurst -Vesty issue and since then they have been seen as a vital part of any company’s planning. This has of course been compounded by the growth of offshore tax havens and the way in which these have and are changing.
The need for tax planning is high as the governments are always seeking ways to increase revenue without raising % levels.
The taxation expert may well benefit from being an accountant but I do not think this is a prerequisite. What I think is necessary is a mind that allows you to scheme and plan. This allows for planning where the experts are more needed.
The issues which I would like guidance on, and maybe you with your experience are the right person to ask, is what is the difference, if any, between a tax practitioner in practice and one who is employed by the company. Is there any and if so what is it, and which gives a broader range of skills?


Hi Wise Old Head

My experience of tax professionals has come more from a legal perspective so it may not necessarily apply across all other types of institutions as I would imagine legal professionals are more worried about dealing with figures than perhaps other accountants would be. There is no denying that there are a lot of complexities associated with the tax rules and therefore whilst in-house individuals will have the opportunity to gain seriously in-depth knowledge in that specific industry they may then lack understanding in the broader areas. Therefore if you are looking to stay in a specific industry then being in-house is a real asset, if you want greater flexibility then working for a more general firm would be better.
That’s just my opinion though and as I say I’m coming at it from a slightly different perspective so I am more than happy to be proven wrong!


I think that there is a great need for tax consultants on a in-house basis. I have very specific experience of the oil & gas and mining industries and from this I can tell you that the requirements here are very unique.
It is not just a question of understanding the rules of HMRC, some of which target these industries, but of understanding local laws, as well as DTR(Double Taxation Relief). Incorrect planning will create a severe financial impact on the business and when one considers the level of profits being made the tax accountant certainly has his place.
Tax planning is best done form within the company as the tax accountant will be in better possession of the facts. This is not a retrospective area of work but very much a proactive area.
I am not suggesting that the tax practitioners in practice do not have their place. Far from it, but maybe they are best suited to companies who do not need a full time tax accountant, or who can give an overview of internal planning set up by a company. As they will be surrounded by accountants they will have the advantage of being able to seek their advice as to whether the planning complies with audit and accounting laws.