The CTA examination is a modular examination structure. There are two sittings of the examination in May and November of each year.

On registering with the CIOT you must register as either a direct or an indirect tax student.

If you are planning on sitting the indirect tax route then you will have to follow a specific examination route.

You are required to sit four papers on taxation. Three of these are three and a quarter hours in length (this includes 15 minutes of pre-examination reading time). Please note the Awareness paper is only three hours in length and does not include any pre-examination reading time.

The four taxation papers are as follows:

  • Two advisory papers
  • One awareness paper
  • One application and interaction paper.

In addition there are two one-hour E-Assessments, one on professional responsibilities & ethics and one on Law.

Both E-Assessments must be passed before applying to sit for your final written paper(s).

Examination pass mark

The pass mark for each taxation paper is 50% of the total marks. Candidates who receive a mark of 50% in any paper will be awarded a credit in that paper. It is not necessary to sit all four tax papers at the same sitting, (although you may if you wish).

The two E-Assessments can be sat separately. You will be able to sit the E-Assessments at a time of your choosing at examination centres throughout the UK. You will be asked to answer 60 questions on a variety of multiple choice and multiple response formats, in some cases related to a practical scenario. Alternative questions for Scots Law candidates will be provided where appropriate. To pass the paper, 40 or more questions out of 60 must be answered correctly.

Important CTA exam information

The written examination is held each year in May and November.

You need to be registered as a student with us for at least six months before the first written examination you intend to sit, however you can sit the E-Assessments 21 working days after your registration has been confirmed.
You should be registered by:

  • 30 April for the November examination
  • 31 October for the May examination of the following year.

You can register as a student and enter for the exams online via the CTA website. You are not automatically entered for the exams when you register as a student.
The last date for submitting an examination entry is as follows:

  • 28 February for the May examination
  • 31 August for the November examination.

In exceptional circumstances the institute and association may, at its absolute discretion, accept an application for late entry on payment of an additional fee, currently £100.
The papers can be sat in any order you wish, unless sitting the Indirect Tax route.
View the Tax Exams Structure.

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