How the ADIT qualification works


To complete the ADIT qualification students must study and pass three written exam papers (or modules) focused on different aspects of international tax. The ADIT qualification is designed to give flexibility. Students can choose subjects that suit them best. Therefore, only Module 1, Principles of International Tax, is compulsory and students choose any two modules from a wide range of jurisdictional and thematic options.

All three modules can be sat in a single exam session, attempted over two sessions or sat in separate exam sessions, one at a time. Each written exam paper is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and is sat online. All ADIT modules are examined each June and the most popular modules are also examined in December.

Find out more about each of the modules below:

Module 1 Principles of International Tax

This module provides the breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding of international tax needed to succeed in an international tax career and is predominantly based on the OECD Model Tax Convention.

Focus is on key international tax issues including principles of international tax law, residence, double taxation conventions and treaty interpretation, transfer pricing, the work of the OECD and international tax avoidance.

The Principles of International Tax exam paper is split into 2 parts with questions designed to test the application of concepts to real world scenarios:

  • Part A five essay-type questions worth 25 marks each
  • Part B two scenario-type questions worth 25 marks each.

Students must answer four questions in total, including at least one from each part.

Tolley Exam Training provides study support for Module 1.

Jurisdictional Modules

Jurisdictional modules are country specific and expect a detailed knowledge of a country’s tax regime regarding international tax matters.

The jurisdictional modules are:

2.01 Australia Option
2.02 China Option
2.03 Cyprus Option
2.04 Hong Kong Option
2.05 India Option
2.06 Ireland Option
2.07 Malta Option
2.08 Singapore Option
2.09 UK Option
2.10 US Option
2.11 Brazil Option

Jurisdictional exam papers are split into 3 parts. The exact number of questions per part varies for each jurisdiction.

Module 2.09 UK Option for example, is split as follows:

  • Part A two mandatory questions worth 25 marks each
  • Part B two questions worth 20 marks each and students must answer one
  • Part C five questions worth 15 marks each and students are required to answer any two

Tolley Exam Training provides study support for Module 2.09 UK option.

Thematic Modules

Thematic modules are designed to test a detailed knowledge of international tax issues in relation to a specific area of taxation, or transactional grouping. This may require awareness of multiple countries’ tax systems to the extent they interact with that specific area.

The thematic modules are:

3.01 EU Direct Tax Option
3.02 EU VAT Option
3.03 Transfer Pricing Option
3.04 Energy Resources
3.05 Banking Option

Thematic exam papers are split into 3 parts. The exact number of questions per part varies for each thematic module.

Module 3.03 Transfer Pricing option for example, is split as follows:

  • Part A two mandatory questions worth 25 marks each
  • Part B two questions worth 20 marks each and students must answer one
  • Part C five questions worth 15 marks each and students are required to answer any two

Tolley Exam Training provides study support for Modules 3.01, 3.02, 3.03 and 3.04.

Please note that the June 2022 ADIT Paper 3.04 exam will only examine the syllabus content in relation to Upstream Oil and Gas.

Extended Essay Option

Instead of one of the jurisdictional or thematic modules, students may submit an extended essay of 15,000 to 20,000 words on an international subject of their choice (subject to approval).

Read more about the extended essay option here:
https://www.tax.org.uk/adit/extended-essay

Tolley Exam Training does not provide study support for the extended essay option.

Student and Examination Entry

To sit the ADIT exams, you must first register as a student with the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), then there is a separate exam registration process for each ADIT exam paper. This is a separate process to registering as a student with Tolley.

ADIT students are welcomed from all parts of the world and the only pre-condition for ADIT student registration is the possession of an email address.

Registration deadlines are as follows:


June SittingDecember SittingWeblink for registration
Student Registration2nd March2nd Septemberhttps://www.tax.org.uk/adit/register
Exam RegistrationMid March (late registration to end of March) Mid September (late registration to end of September) https://www.tax.org.uk/adit/exam-entry

Online Exams

ADIT exam papers are sat online using the purpose-built exam application, Exam4. Exam4 is available to download from the Institute on your own laptop/desktop four weeks before the exam for practice.

On the exam day, the exams are sat at a location of your choice, such as home or office.

Refer to the Institute’s website for more information on Exam4:
https://www.tax.org.uk/adit/managing-exams

Permitted Texts

Students are allowed to use certain texts as reference materials during the examination. A full list of permitted texts and the rules associated with their use can be found on the Institute website and students should check this each sitting: https://www.tax.org.uk/adit/permitted-books

There are specific guidelines on how permitted texts maybe used. For example, text may be underlined, highlighted and sidelined, index flags may be used but no other annotations. Permitted texts must be the original bound copies, not electronic copies.

Requests to use of self-printed copies of permitted texts must be made direct to the Institute in line with their guidance.

Modular and Standalone Certificates

Modular and standalone certificates are available on passing certain modules as outlined below.

Module(s)Certificate
Module 1 Principles of International Taxation only Standalone certificate
Thematic module only Standalone certificate
Module 1 Principles of International Taxation and any one of the jurisdictional or thematic modules Modular certificate

Once students have passed three modules, they may apply to be an international Tax Affiliate of the CIOT which entitles them to use the designatory letters ‘ADIT’ after their name.