ICAS, the Professional Body of Chartered Accountants, is the world's first professional body of accountants, receiving its Royal Charter in 1854. ICAS was the first to adopt the designation "Chartered Accountant" and the designatory letters "CA".
The ICAS Tax Professional qualification was introduced in 2011 and is designed for any tax professional working in a compliance or advisory role. The syllabus and examination covers all three key UK tax topics and ensures that a successful candidate has a depth of tax knowledge and skills required of a tax professional working in a mixed client environment. Candidates completing the qualification will hold the designatory letters "ITP" – ICAS Tax Professional and will be awarded affiliation status to ICAS.
The standalone qualification provides the tax skills and knowledge required of a tax professional working in a varied client environment and comprises three levels. The first level consists of three two-hour examination papers covering Principles of Taxation, Financial Accounting and Business Law. These provide the fundamental knowledge on which the technical tax knowledge will be built. The second level comprises three examinations, each lasting 2 hours 30 minutes (plus 15 minutes reading time). These will require the candidate to react to client scenarios, and the papers will cover:
- Taxation of Individuals
- Taxation of Companies
- Indirect Taxation
These papers can be sat in any order, and either at one time or across several sittings. Both ICAS and Tolley are happy to advise on the best ways to approach these. Examinations will be available at least twice a year. The third level will comprise a Test of Professional Tax Expertise, assessing the competences and skills of a tax professional. The award of the qualification requires the successful completion of the above elements along with relevant training in ethics. Certain exemptions may be available from the first and third levels.
The dual qualification combines the breadth of technical knowledge and the application of skills expected as a CA, with a depth of tax technical knowledge and skills. The dual qualification takes the existing three levels of the CA qualification and additionally requires candidates to pass a Principles of Tax paper at the Test of Competence level, and the Taxation of Individuals, Taxation of Companies and Indirect Taxation papers. These three papers will be taken instead of the TPS Taxation paper.
Registration and exam entry
Prospective candidates should contact ICAS to register for the qualification and to apply for exemptions based on any existing qualification. For information on exemptions and the process for registration please visit www.icas.org.uk/ITP
You are allowed to take certain publications into the examination:
- Tolley's Yellow Tax Handbooks and Tolley's Orange Tax Handbook; or
- CCH Editions Ltd Tax Statutes and Instruments including the Index Volume
- Publications brought into the examination must be bound copies. They can be underlined, sidelined, highlighted and indexed. However, there can be no annotations on the book or on any of the indexing.
The pass mark for each paper is 50%.
Results will be released 4-6 weeks following any examination diet. Individuals can collect their results from the ICAS website or receive them by SMS text message.
For more details visit the Institute's website at www.icas.org.uk