CTA1 Foundations

Graduate from The Tax Institute’s CTA1 Foundations

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Practical skills to broaden or re-launch your career

Academic studies are one thing. Work experience, another. What about skills outside your normal everyday tax tasks? CTA1 Foundations exposes you to a wide range of Australian tax issues, building skills to extend your career options, or the confidence to re-enter the tax profession.


The Australian tax landscape is complex and varied. Skills are needed across a broad range of topics. If you are only familiar with a narrow aspect - or you want up-to-date insights to re-join the profession, from here or overseas - CTA1 Foundations will bridge the gap. Developed and delivered by experienced tax experts, this is a thoroughly practical subject that can be applied to real-life situations, straight away.

Learn not just the routine tax compliance tasks, but the legislative basis behind them. Build your confidence to extend your career. Get up-to-date with Australia’s tax basics, as you re-join, immigrate from overseas or choose to focus your career on tax.

1300 TAX EDU
(1300 829 338)

6 credit points
30 CPD hours
face-to-face or distance
13 weeks
3 study periods


Core subject in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law


Attain the prestigious Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) designation


Recognised by both CA and CPA Programs


Request an Information pack

  • “The issues which candidates are exposed to are delivered in a straightforward way and mirror real life issues which candidates will face on a day to day basis.”

    Patrick Catena, FTI, Accountant, CTA2A lecturer
  • "I took a career break to care for my children. On return, the CTA2 equipped me to work at my previous level as a CA."

    Caroline Mate, CTA, Client Manager, Manser Tierney & Johnston
  • "If you’re serious about tax, I’d strongly encourage you to do the CTA2."

    Jay Smith, Consultant, Latitude Business Solutions
  • "The CTA1 balances technical material and practical application, bridging academia with the practice of tax law."

    Rachel Vijayaraj, ATI, Associate, Brown Wright Stein Lawyers
  • "The CTA2 demonstrates a keen interest in tax and that’s what employers look for."

    Tony Underhill, CTA, Principal - Tax, Grant Thornton Australia
  • “The Tax Institute provides you with skills to succeed in the workforce.”

    Angel Zhang, Graduate Tax Accountant, Grant Thornton
  • “The Tax Institute program is flexible and features industry-specific information relative to the needs of accountants and tax professionals.”

    Natalie Moore, , WMS Chartered Accountants
  • “The weekly webinars and on line study format made it possible to combine the course work and full time work.”

    Wendy Miller, FTI, Special Counsel, Damien Greer
  • “[The Tax Institute] teaches not only theory, but also emphasises application, in contexts encountered by practitioners on a day-to-day basis.”

    Nicholas Trotter, FTI, Consultant, Griffith Hack
  • “Completion of Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law has provided me with skills and up to date knowledge beneficial to my return to tax accounting.”

    Margaret Hill, Tax Accountant, Collier Tax & Accounting
Learning outcomes

ATL001 CTA1 Foundations is essential for all new entrants and re-entering individuals to the Australian tax profession. Providing you with a working knowledge of the key tax compliance requirements of the Australian tax system, and other principles and processes, through hands-on training from tax experts and professionals.

Who is this for?

  • accountants, bookkeeper or BAS agent
  • cadet, graduate or trainee accountant
  • consultant and financial advisers
  • Overseas professionals planning to work in the Australian tax profession
  • recent graduates
  • registration requirements for a tax agent licence
  • registered requirements for a BAS agent licence.

Entry requirements

  • 1. hold current membership of The Tax Institute1
  • 2. meet English language requirements if the language of instruction for your 6 years of high school qualifications was not English.

1. [A discounted membership is available at the time of enrolment for all new members. Membership fees attract GST. Membership will expire on 30 June. Find out more about membership benefits and resources]

Learning outcomes

On completion of ATL001 CTA1 Foundations you will be able to, but not limited to, advice and prepare individual income tax returns for a variety of clients on a limited range of issues while applying the ethics, responsibilities and duties of a tax professional.

Subject structure


  • introduction to the Australian tax system
  • Tax Agents Services Act (TASA) 2009 and The Code Of Professional Conduct
  • individuals
  • businesses
  • structures
  • goods and services tax and payroll
  • capital gains tax
  • fringe benefits tax.

Modes of study

Face-to-face study

Face-to-face study allows candidates to attend lectures once a fortnight at CBD venues in mainland capital cities, and some regional locations (subject to minimum numbers).

Distance study

Distance study utilises group web/teleconference tutorials every 2-3 weeks.

Intensive study

The intensive study format is typically held over a reduced 6 week period through Distance study. Candidates receive all the regular resources and access to pre-recorded webinar/teleconference tutorials.

Assessment-only study

Assessment-only study allows candidates to accelerate their studies by progressing directly to the assessments for the subject based on prior study, qualifications and experience. Candidates will only receive access to past exam papers and online checkpoint tests prior to the exam.

Enrolment inclusions

Resources made available to a candidate (excluding assessment-only study) are:

  • access to an online learning portal
  • study materials (soft copy)
  • access to CCH recommended readings
  • recorded webinars
  • online checkpoint tests
  • past exam papers (where applicable)
  • email access to the subject convenor for technical questions
  • assessment preparation resources
  • research skills webinar
  • support from trained subject coordinators.

Assessment structure

Assessment taskPass markWeighting
Online checkpoint tests 50% 40%
Exam 50% 60%

Please note that all assessment tasks must be passed in order to complete the subject.


Tax profession and employer

The Tax Institute is a not-for profit membership-based organisation which has been supporting and educating the tax profession for over 70 years. With over 12,000 members ranging from graduates to tax experts in the Big 4, mid-tier and SME firms, The Tax Institute is known as Australia’s leading educator and professional association in tax.

All subjects are designed and delivered by leaders in the tax field, providing candidates with flexible and applicable knowledge which can be used immediately in the workforce. As a higher education provider, our subjects hold recognition with other learning institutes, the Tax Practitioners Board, and other accounting and international bodies.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

RPL is a process for providing candidates credit for prior learning gained from The Tax Institute’s accredited education provider register. To apply for RPL, please complete the RPL form.

If you believe that your subject is the equivalent of one of The Tax Institute’s subjects, but it is not on the register list, please contact the Education Adviser team for further information about your RPL application.

Advanced standing

Advanced standing is a process of transferring credits from subjects you have previously completed with The Tax Institute. To apply for advanced standing, please complete the advanced standing form.

Your tax professional instructor
Tom O'Sullivan, Subject convenor

Tom O'Sullivan, Subject convenor

Tom is a tax lead at Wolters Kluwer, CCH. Tom writes for the Australian Federal Tax Reporter, Australian Master Tax Guide, and other leading tax publications.

Key study dates
Subject Study period 1 Study period 2 Study period 3
ATL001 CTA1 Foundations
ATL001 CTA1 Foundations Intensive

Call us at 1300 TAX EDU (1300 829 338) or email us.

ATL001 CTA1 Foundations1
New member fee2 $300
Subject fee3 $1,650

View our structured education policies

1. [Prices are per subject.]
2.[To enrol in an education subject it is a requirement to become a member of The Tax Institute. All new members will receive Affiliate membership valued at $454.00 upon enrolment (Fellow membership required for CTA3 Advisory) until June 30 in the subsequent calendar year. You are also eligible to upgrade to voting membership valued at $649.00 for no additional cost if you meet the required membership eligibility criteria. Attracts GST, price quoted is GST inclusive.]
3. [Subjects accredited within the Graduate Diploma do not attract GST.]