Illuminating reasons to be an ICAS tax professional

Five reasons to be an ITP

26 August 2016

In 2015, PwC produced a report on British property tax systems and concluded that they were now the most complex in the world. The UK and the global economy needs professionals who can understand and navigate the intricacies of the UK’s tax code, which currently sits at over 17,000 pages long with 10m words.

This is longer than the longest book ever written; the ten volume novel, Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus by Madeleine de Scudéry, published between 1649-1654. Tax professionals in Hong Kong have a remarkably easier time with their 276-page tax code – it could at least fit in a briefcase!

ICAS has entered into partnership with CIOT (Chartered Institute of Taxation) to offer a joint CA CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser) exam route from September 2019. This will allow students to study towards two prestigious qualifications in accountancy and tax.

The joint programme allows students to specialise in one of three areas of tax:

  • Owner-managed businesses
  • Major corporates
  • Indirect taxation

The highly-sought after skills of a qualified tax professional are increasingly in demand, so find out the top five reasons to consider your next career move.

1. Tax is always evolving

Changes are introduced to tax laws annually and tax professionals must constantly update their knowledge to keep on top of these changes. Specialisms within tax are diverse and there are opportunities to specialise in areas such as VAT, Corporate or International tax. Each specialism requires its own constantly evolving knowledge and skillset.

You will never stop learning as a CTA.

2. Tax Professionals can earn excellent salaries

Newly qualified Tax professionals can expect to be amongst the highest earners among their accountancy peers. A recent salary survey by Hays Recruitment found that newly qualified Tax Professionals could expect to earn around £35,000 with this figure rising to £40,000 for positions based in London. Salaries rise rapidly in line with experience with UK-based Tax Directors being paid in excess of £100,000 per annum.

As a CTA you can expect to be well paid.

3. Tax Professionals are in demand

Qualified Tax Professionals are highly sought after both within the UK and Internationally.  A recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters found that demand for tax professionals across the UK increased by 8% in the first quarter of 2016 as increased scrutiny over the financial dealings of large corporations created pressure to improve transparency.

As a CTA you are likely to see demand for your skills for the foreseeable future.

4. Tax offers global opportunities

With the increase in cross-border trade and organisations opening new offices abroad, there is a focus to operate as efficiently as possible. Global organisations are increasingly looking to hire in-house tax professionals to ensure their business is tax efficient. A recent report on global tax trends by Morgan McKinley found there to be a strong demand for tax professionals internationally, especially in the Far East and Middle East.

A career in tax could take you all over the world.

5. Tax is important

As Benjamin Franklin once said “there are only two things that are certain in life; death and taxes.” Tax professionals can help manage this great certainty by making tax more efficient and manageable for their clients. The value of a good tax professional cannot be underestimated.

As a CTA you will be doing an important and highly respected job.

Find out more about becoming a CA CTA


  • ICAS Tax Professional

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