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The Higher Apprenticeship in Tax is a pathway of the Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship Framework. This framework has been developed by ICAEW in partnership with employers and other professional bodies. It offers a new route into the accountancy and finance professions.

This Higher Apprenticeship provides technical knowledge, business skills, a professional qualification and the wider business competencies that employers have told us they are looking for to enable recruits to operate effectively, and quickly become productive employees.

Apprentices on this pathway may work in a range of tax areas such as personal tax, corporation tax or tax compliance. Work undertaken will vary depending on the specific requirements of employers, but may include assisting with the preparation of tax returns and completion of various tax forms, dealing with tax-related communication and helping with advice and tax consulting. Apprentices on this pathway have the opportunity to gain ICAEW’s Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) qualification.

Entry requirements

The Higher Apprenticeship in Tax is available to anyone living in England or Wales with good literacy and numeracy skills and not in full-time education.

There are no mandatory entry requirements or minimum academic entry criteria except where employers set their own. However, gaining a Higher Apprenticeship is a competitive process, and employers may choose to set their entry criteria to maximise the chances of apprentices’ success and future progression. As an example, you might be asked to have:

  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including Maths and English
  • 160-260 UCAS points, which could be from A-levels, BTECs or other qualifications, or equivalent work experience (which might include an earlier apprenticeship);  good communication skills and vocational experience
  • IT literacy
  • A desire to develop a career in tax or a related Professional Services sector.

Other routes of entry including the 14-19 Diploma, Welsh Baccalaureate and Young Apprenticeships also provide a useful grounding for this Apprenticeship

Potential job roles and responsibilities

Apprentice job titles include tax trainee/assistant/junior.

Apprentices will be required to assist in the preparation of tax returns; help to complete various tax forms; handle client communications relating to their tax affairs; prepare simple accounting statements; carry out research to support tax work; and/or contribute to a range of tax advice to clients.

Progression from the apprenticeship

Following successful completion of the Higher Apprenticeship in Tax you can further your career by progressing onto ICAEW’s ACA qualification and becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. This may be through progression to the Level 7 Higher Apprenticeship in Audit or through a Training Agreement with the same, or a different, employer.

You may also progress:

  • To a more senior role within your existing employer’s organisation or elsewhere
  • On to further or higher education to undertake business-related or other qualifications, including Foundation Degrees
  • To pursue a range of tax or finance Level 5 and above.
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