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I am doing ATT and am confused as to which optional paper to take. Corporation tax or PAYE and business compliance or VAT. Any advice would be appreciated.


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By tom123
29th Jul 2012 21:01


1) choose on the basis of the area you work in

2) choose on the basis of which subject you prefer

3) choose on the basis of which has the better pass rate,


In the long run, I don't expect employers will enquire too much about which optional paper you took. Does your current employer have a preference for you to take.


I haven't decided which I will be taking yet, sorry not to be more certain,



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When I did mine a year and a bit ago by far the most popular seemed to be the Corporation Tax one (or Business Tax: Higher Skills as it was called then) as there was a lot of crossover with the basic business tax one.

I recall I only started looking at that paper around 4-5 weeks before the exam but I blasted through it as a lot of it repeated the basic paper (think I got the higher mark in the higher paper too....)

Of course it depends on whether you are looking the easiest way to pass the qualification, or whether you are trying to get the broadest knowledge....

I knew from the start I wouldn't bother with IHT & Trusts, as I see this as a more specialist area I intend to steer clear of, whereas as a sole practioner dealing with small businesses I thought going for extra business tax made more sense. In hind sight though I might have been better going for business compliance as I seem to be getting more involved with PAYE than I had expected.

Thanks (2)
By Monsoon
30th Jul 2012 12:08

I did VAT

I chose to do VAT, because I have a phobia of Group Company Accounts/Taxation (not something I come across in my practice).

I loved it.

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By dreamcatcher
30th Jul 2012 13:46

As with any option...

....paper choose the one that you will find easiest to pass unless you are looking to acquire new knowledge.

Tom123 is quite right 99% of employers won't care less option you took unless of course you are wanting to use the qualification as a stepping stone into a specialist role (ie pure VAT, Corporation tax etc).  Then do the paper necessary paper which will help you.

I did ATT a few years ago and option papers weren't part of the syllabus.  Excellent qualification that certainly opened doors for me.

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By sawales
01st Aug 2012 09:09

I didnt get the option...

When I did my AAT I wasnt given the option of which papers to take, the college chose for me to fit in with the resources they had!

Good luck!

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