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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.

Holders of professional qualifications from Australian accounting bodies may be eligible for exemption from this subject.

Scroll to bottom of page for more information on:

  • Entry requirements and learning outcomes
  • Subjects and study modes
  • Recognition
  • Your tax professional instructors
  • Timetable
  • Fees

Subject code: ATL001
Credit points: 6
Level: Introductory
Cost: $1,690
CPD: 30 hours
Delivery: online
Study per week: 10 hours
Study length: 12 weeks (6 weeks intensive)
Study periods: 3 per year (and 3 intensive)

1300 829 338


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

Get Your Information Pack

Complete the form with your details to receive an email with expanded program overviews and exclusive sample learning materials.


Entry requirements and 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

To enrol in this fundamental subject, you’ll need to be able to meet English language requirements if your 6 years of high school learning was not conducted in English. 

Learn more about CTA1 Foundations, or Enrol Today. 

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.

Modules, study modes and assessment


  • introduction to the Australian tax system
  • Tax Agents Services Act (TASA) 2009 and The Code Of Professional Conduct
  • calculating tax payable and assessable income
  • deductions
  • structures
  • goods and services tax and payroll
  • capital gains tax
  • fringe benefits tax

Modes of study

Online study

Interactive webinars are presented by guest lecturers on their area of expertise over the 12 week study period. These are recorded and made available shortly afterwards. Candidates use an online learning platform to access modules, progress quizzes and reference materials. A subject Convenor, or tax expert, is available via email to answer tax-technical queries and candidates receive administrative support from the Subject Coordinator.

Intensive Online study

Over a six week study period, candidates view pre-recorded webinars and use an online learning platform to access modules, progress quizzes and reference materials. A subject Convenor, or tax expert, is available via email to answer tax-technical queries and candidates receive administrative support from the Subject Coordinator.

Assessment only

This option has been designed for candidates who do not require the learning or access to study materials. Six weeks prior to the exam, candidates are sent the progress quizzes which must be completed, at this time they also receive access to past exams.

Enrolment inclusions

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

  • access to an online learning portal
  • access to soft copies of study materials via the online learning portal from the subject commencement date
  • access to Legal Research and Reasoning Course
  • access to Thomson Reuters Australian Tax Handbook  
  • 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 module quizzes 50% 40%
Exam 50% 60%

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

Recognition of prior learning and advanced standing

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) 

RPL is a process for providing candidates credit for learning or qualifications completed before your enrolment with The Tax Institute Higher Education.

To apply for RPL (fee $165), please complete the RPL form. Evidence of your qualifications will need to be provided with this application. 


Advanced standing 

Advanced standing is a process of transferring credits from subjects you have previously completed with The Tax Institute and The Tax Institute Higher Education. To apply for advanced standing (no fee applies), 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.



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


ATL001 CTA1 Foundations
Subject fee: $1,690

View our education policies

1. This subject does not attract GST.

2. Applies per subject if enrolling before the early bird close date (except for assessment only study mode and CTA1 Foundations Intensive SP1 and SP2). Please note: Key dates and fees are subject to change without notice.

3. All Tax Institute Higher Education candidates are eligible to receive Education Membership of The Tax Institute for $199 (valued at $509) upon enrolment until 30 June in the subsequent calendar year. Member fees attract GST and price quoted is inclusive of GST.