The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is the senior professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with all aspects of taxation. With a membership based broadly across the professions and across occupations in industry, commerce, the public sector and the taxation authorities, the bond between members, whether they are salaried employees, partners in large professional firms, or sole traders, is a common interest in taxation.
The CIOT was founded in 1930, achieved charitable status in 1981 and was granted its Royal Charter in 1994. The Institute’s purpose, as laid down in its governing articles, is to: advance public education in, and promote the study of, the administration and practice of taxation. The grant of the Charter by Her Majesty the Queen in April 1994 has been the event of greatest significance in the Institute’s history. The Charter is formal recognition that the practice of taxation has become a separate profession.
By setting the highest standards of excellence and integrity the Institute’s aim is to continue to be the leading UK body for tax professionals. Education is a major part of this objective.
The Institute’s first examination was held in 1932 and consisted of four papers. The British College of Accountancy commented that the examinations were too hard and so an intermediate exam was introduced. This system of intermediate and final examinations existed until 1989. At that time The Association of Taxation Technicians was established and its examinations took the place of the old Institute’s Intermediate examination.
Completing the ATT examination is one way of qualifying for Confirmation of Eligibility, which is a prerequisite to sit the examination and then to advance to membership status of the Institute.
The Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) qualification was introduced in 2003, in recognition of the demand for a specialist diploma to meet the needs of international tax practitioners in the corporate area. Just as the CTA qualification indicates that the individual has a certain level of competence in UK tax matters, so the diploma indicates a high level of competence in international taxation. Completion of the ADIT examination also entitles students to apply for Confirmation of Eligibility for the CTA examination, as well as an exemption from one of the tax papers.
The letters ATII and FTII to denote Associates and Fellows of the Institute respectively had been in use since 1935, until September 2002 when they were replaced with the new designatory initials, CTA and CTA (Fellow). This was to reflect the fact that Members of the Institute may use the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’, as granted by the Privy Council in September 1997.
The Institute’s influence on direct tax administration in the last 70 years is inestimable. There can hardly be a single measure on which its comments have not been taken into account.
Membership of the Institute is made up of Associates (CTAs), and Fellows (CTA (Fellow). These members include tax specialists running their own practices, tax barristers, those who work for law and accountancy firms, including most of the UK’s leading tax experts, and HM Revenue & Customs and other government personnel.
Continuing professional development
The Institute organises two weekend residential update conferences, one-day conferences on Indirect and International Indirect Tax and on the Finance Bill, all on an annual basis.
Members also have the opportunity for participation in technical and social activities organised by the Institute’s branches, situated in the UK and abroad.
Although the Institute does not employ taxation trainees or tax advisers directly, it aims to promote taxation as a career. This is achieved through advertising, attending careers fairs and supplying free careers literature to any interested parties.
Members and students have use of the Institute’s Tony Arnold Library, which is situated at King’s College London, including access to theses and bodies of work written by successful candidates for Fellowship and a number of online information databases. This includes access to (and an entry in) an online directory of Chartered Tax Advisers, showing all Institute members and their areas of specialisation.