FTA tax body invites new UK members

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Those working in tax are being offered a short window of opportunity to join the Federation of Tax Advisers (FTA) before it introduces a new examination-entry requirement from 1 June 2006.

The FTA represents experienced tax professionals who often do not have any other qualification. It is particularly popular with experienced, time-barred accountants, HMRC staff and those who leave HMRC for practice. The Federation’s members are normally involved in the administration of self assessment tax.

The FTA was established in 1997 and admits those to membership who can demonstrate a level of competence and experience in tax. From 1 June, entry will normally be by examination, though very experienced tax advisers may be able to join through Accredited Prior Learning.

The new examination is being run in association with the training provider, BPP. The distance learning course takes six months before candidates can then sit a three-hour test on a range of tax issues. Support for the initiative is being given by dCode.co.uk – the online tax and law news service.

In the meantime, the opportunity to join the FTA on the pre-1 June ‘non-qualified’ basis is likely to see a rush of applications before the door is bolted.

Those interested can find further details and an application form here: http://www.fta.uk.com/agents.htm

Paul Harmsworth, CEO of the FTA commented: "The FTA has enjoyed an increasing membership since its formation in 1997. I believe that 2006 is the time to take a more aggressive stance regarding the support for the (currently) unrepresented adviser." The initiative follows a survey amongst FTA members which highlighted the need for greater corporate representation, improved technical support and other member benefits. The FTA is introducing a range of member benefits over the coming months. Mr. Harmsworth added: "The larger and respected tax bodies representing qualified accountants and tax advisers do not provide any help, naturally, for individuals who may have extensive experience but have lacked the time to complete a full qualification process, much of the content of which may be irrelevant to their practice. The FTA offers a chance for such experienced professionals to gain the recognition they deserve."


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