Progress your career by specialising in tax

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*This content is brought to you by Tolley.

Are you nearing the end of your AAT studies or already an AAT member?  Did the tax element of your studies spark your interest or are you looking to work in tax?  If so, then a natural next step is to gain the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) qualification and specialise in tax.

Where can a career in tax take me?

A wealth of opportunities

Every area of your day-to-day life is impacted by tax, from the food that you eat and the clothes that you wear, to the funding of public services and transportation routes.

Because tax affects all areas of life and business, tax professionals have a lot of flexibility about the type of role and industry they work in, as well as providing portability to move between roles and industries throughout their career.

If you choose a career in tax then you may decide to specialise in a particular area. As a personal tax specialist you could be advising high net worth individuals on tax-efficient investments, or assisting with Inheritance Tax and Trusts and Estates planning for their future. As a corporate tax specialist you may calculate how much Corporation Tax a company has to pay, or look at the tax implications of business transactions, or how to reward staff in a tax efficient way. There are also indirect specialists who work in VAT and international specialists working with cross-border transactions. Whether you choose to be a generalist or a specialist, there is a job in tax for you.  

You’ll have the opportunity to work in industry within in-house tax departments, or in practice for accountancy and tax practices, as well as for charities, the government or even on your own.  You may want to explore the world of tax research and writing, apply your knowledge to help develop information technology solutions for tax practitioners, or even have the calling to teach tax! As a tax professional, you’ll also have ample opportunity to work abroad. 

Always in demand

With every budget, the tax rules change and individuals and organisations need tax professionals to provide expert advice navigating complex tax legislation. For you this means a diverse career, always learning, always challenging yourself and always being in demand to help your clients understand the impact of the changes in the tax law.

This can provide a stable career path; jobs in tax are relatively secure and employers are always looking for good quality candidates with the right skills for a career in tax.

Financially rewarding

The fact that tax professionals are always in demand is also reflected in how much you can earn.  If you prove yourself, you can realistically aim for a management position within three years.  The table below provides an indication of salaries.

Practice LondonRegions
Partner£100,000 to £2.5m£85,000 to £1m
Director£90,000 to £200,000£75,000 to £150,000
Senior Manager£60,000 to £100,000£50,000 to £80,000
Manager£55,000 to £75,000£40,000 to £53,000
Assistant Manager£42,000 to £55,000£32,000 to £40,000
Tax Senior£32,000 to £45,000£25,000 to £35,000
Tax Assistant£25,000 to £35,000£18,000 to £27,000
Source: Association of Taxation Technicians

Wide-ranging skills

A career in tax is never dull! It’s sometimes perceived that the most important skill you need is numeracy.  However, tax is not just about the numbers. Tax is weaved into business transactions and personal finances. Tax is more a puzzle to solve, than a finite number to crunch.

As a tax professional you’ll be developing a whole range of transferable skills, such as communication, negotiating, planning and problem-solving skills. As tax is constantly changing you’ll be working in a face-paced environment, using commercial acumen to advise your clients on the best way to structure or run their business – a really critical role in helping to shape the strategic direction of the business.

‘A career in tax allows me to use and build a variety of skills within a highly regarded and reputable profession. The profession offers huge development and progression opportunities which is very important to me. Furthermore, the profession is, and always will be, highly sought after, so the job security that comes with a tax career is an added benefit.’

Connor Whelan, Tax Analyst at Costa Coffee

How do I go about it?

The first step to specialising in tax is to undertake the ATT qualification – the essential tax qualification for anyone wanting to work in tax compliance and a professional benchmark respected and recognised by employers and clients.

To qualify you must sit and pass three tax papers, three Computer Based Examinations (CBEs) and have two years of practical experience. The three written papers provide a solid grounding with papers in Personal and Business Taxes; as well as an opportunity to choose a specialism with a third paper.

Exemptions available

If you are AAT Level 4 exam qualified then you may be eligible for an exemption from the Principles of Accounting Computer Based Exam, allowing you to streamline your journey to becoming ATT qualified.

Where does Tolley fit in?

Tolley Exam Training provides a variety of high-quality tuition options to help you pass your ATT exams first time.


We are the only organisation to focus exclusively on professional tax training so you can rest assured that we are experts in our field.

High pass rates

Our ATT pass rates consistently outperform the national average by at least 15%.

Expert tutors

Our training courses are run by some of the most well-known and experienced tutors in the country and they create all the materials they teach.

Flexible study options

We offer a wide range of study methods including a Guaranteed Pass Scheme, virtual Online Tuition Live sessions, face-to-face classroom courses, mix-and-match options and distance learning courses – so you can choose the option that works for you.

Continuous support

Our online Tolley Academy allows you to easily track your progress, interact with fellow students and tutors via our Forums, and practice your exams online in a format that replicates the ATT exams.

‘Tolley’s courses, material and tutors are second to none.  The amount of work they put into making sure the courses are productive and materials easy to follow is evident.’

Joel Kara, Tolley student

To start your tax journey visit or fill out this form and a member of the Tolley Exam Training team will be in touch.

*This content is brought to you by Tolley.

Tolley specialises in tax products for tax specialists.

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