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Important: Due to the ever-evolving nature of COVID-19, all Face to Face lectures have been replaced with online lectures.

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.

"[The Tax Institute] balances technical material and practical application, bridging academia with the practice of tax law."

Rachel Vijayaraj, ATI, Brown Wright Stein Lawyers

"The weekly webinars and online study format made it possible to combine the course work and full time work."

Wendy Miller, FTI, Damien Greer

“Studying with The Tax Institute gave me the confidence to understand and tackle detailed tax issues.”

Matthew Coombes, CTA, Borough Australia Pty Ltd

“What I learnt I’m applying every day in my work with clients. The notes I received are my tax bible.”

Lauren Whelan, HLB Mann Judd

“The topic areas provided me with technical and practical knowledge to apply to real-life situations.”

Geoff Tierney, CTA, ESV Chartered Accountants

“The fact that active and highly experienced practitioners are teaching the course content has been invaluable to me.”

Erin Shields, Dixon Advisory


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 first be or become a member of The Tax Institute. You’ll also 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

Face-to-face study

Face-to-face study allows candidates to attend lectures once every 2 or 3 weeks at CBD venues in mainland capital cities, and some regional locations (subject to minimum numbers).

Blended learning

A flexible learning approach using an online learning platform supported by live Q&A sessions with a subject matter expert.

Intensive study

The intensive study format is delivered over 6 weeks. Candidates receive microlearning sessions and recordings of the Q&A sessions.

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
  • 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. 

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. 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 Foundations1
New member fee2 $340
Subject fee3 $1,690

View our education policies

1. [To enrol in an education subject it is a requirement to become a member of The Tax Institute. Studying with The Tax Institute is available to members. Non-members will be required to join at time of enrolment. Membership fee covers the period through June the following year and is valued at $489. If required to be a voting member, you can upgrade for free (valued at $195). Member fees attract GST and price quoted is inclusive of GST.]
2. [Subject fees do not attract GST. CTA3 attracts GST. CTA3 fees are inclusive of GST. Subject fee is in relation to face-to-face, blended learning and intensive study modes.]
3. [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.]