The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) has
launched a new professional tax qualification for chartered
accountants who want to specialise in tax consultancy.

The chartered tax consultant programme was developed due to demand
from ICAI members for a professional tax qualification.

The programme will teach tax planning and tax compliance through
interactive and practical learning grounded in tax law, as well as
real life tax consultancy topics.

It will be taught in three stages.

The first stage will be taught to ICAI chartered accountancy
students through a tax specialisation elective available in their
final year exams.

Study for this elective will begin later this year and the first
examinations will be held next year.

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The next two intensive stages are studied post-CA qualification.
They will begin in 2011 and be taught over a year.

Current ICAI members can begin the qualification at the second
stage.

ICAI tax technical manager Norah Collender told The
Accountant
the core objective of the qualification is to
ensure the chartered tax consultant can read and interpret tax
legislation and apply it to their clients’ situations.

Collender said the CA tax content is quite substantial in itself.
The key emphasis in the new qualification is study of the actual
legislation, including the primary sources of the law.

There is also a more integrated approach to taxation, which
Collender said is based on the reality of day-to-day work.

“When a client asks a question, you are the one who has to think
laterally and think across all the tax heads and ensure you cover
off all issues in order to give the best possible advice to the
client,” she explained.

Other practical skills include the ability to understand the risk
preference of clients.

The official launch for the qualification was held this month and
Collender said there has been an unprecedented level of
response.

The institute has already received bookings for the 2011 stage two
course.

Ireland also currently has a professional tax qualification, the
registered tax consultant, granted by the Irish Taxation
Institute.