STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients

This qualification is designed for those who need a detailed understanding of their UK-connected international clients’ tax position

All STEP courses are open for enrolment with delivery adjusted to ensure continuity of access to learning during the COVID 19 crisis. For courses not previously delivered online, teaching will be delivered through online classrooms and examinations via online assessment. For further information, please see advice on our primary education partner, CLT International’s, website

This qualification is a collaboration between STEP and CLT International (CLTI).

The STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients has been the single most valuable tool I have come across to understand the intricacies of the tax issues UK residents and trustees with UK resident beneficiaries face. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who deals with UK connected clients and beneficiaries.

Richard Masters, Wealth Planner, Citibank

Please click on the '+' icons below to view further information.

Course outcomes

How will this course benefit me?

As a result of successfully completing the course you will be able to:

  • describe accurately the concept of domicile
  • give guidance on a client's residence status
  • identify where trusts and companies are resident
  • discuss the details of income, capital gains and inheritance taxes and their relevance and application to the international client
  • demonstrate to international clients how they can benefit from the “remittance basis”
  • identify both “elephant traps” and wealth preservation opportunities in dealing with international client tax planning
  • explain the potential benefits and pitfalls of offshore trusts and offshore holding companies for the international client and advise them upon the income, capital gains and inheritance tax consequences

How will this benefit my employer?

Completing the Advanced Certificate will enable you to:

  • Represent your client’s interests effectively and offer accurate and compliant tax advice
  • Apply tax law for the practical benefit of international clients
  • Respond quickly to client tax planning needs
  • Demonstrate your firm’s commitment to quality client service
  • Offer your clients a more holistic and informed wealth management service

Course content and delivery

What does this qualification cover?

  • Domicile
  • Residence of individuals
  • Residence of trusts
  • Company residence
  • Income tax - individuals
  • Capital gains tax (CGT) - individuals
  • The remittance basis
  • Remittances - client scenarios
  • Inheritance tax
  • Inheritance tax and trusts
  • Offshore trusts – income tax
  • Offshore trusts – CGT offshore holding companies
  • The UK family home General Anti-Abuse Rule


How is it delivered?

The examination takes the form of a case study, with the case study scenario being provided prior to the examination. Participants will study via our online learning platform and will have access to a wide range of resources and support, including:

  • Downloadable, soft-copy course materials study the course materials when and where it suits you.
  • Module-by-module self-assessment – test your understanding of one module before moving on to the next.
  • Guidance on preparing for the case study assessment.
  • Three Virtual Classrooms covering subjects chosen on delegate feedback. The Virtual Classrooms are recorded so they may be watched at any time after the initial recording.

How long will it take to complete?

It is recommended that four-six hours per week of study should be undertaken for a minimum period of five months. The certificate will take between five to six months from enrolling to taking the examination.

Expert Contributors

This course has been contributed to by: Jenny Wilson-Smith TEP, a know-how solicitor with a particular focus on international clients and offshore trusts at Boodle Hatfield; Emma Haley TEP, an Associate and head of the technical know-how team at Boodle Hatfield; Eleanor Sepanski, Associate, and Geoffrey Todd TEP, Partner and Head of the International Private Client Group at Boodle Hatfield, both of whom were editors of the manual and who advise on offshore structures and international tax and estate planning with a particular interest in UK/US cross-border issues.

Julie Hutchison TEP is a lawyer and Head of International Technical Insight at Standard Life, with a focus on cross-border matters and the use of trusts. She is a former tutor in tax at Edinburgh Law School and has acted in an editorial capacity on this Advanced Certificate.

The award-winning Private Client Services Team at BDO, headed by Wendy Walton TEP, also lent their extensive expertise and experience to this Advanced Certificate.

Entry advice and requirements

Who would find this qualification useful?

For lawyers, accountants, tax advisors and those in financial services who need a more detailed understanding of their UK-connected international clients’ tax position. Studying this Advanced Certificate is an ideal way to gain an understanding of the changes to residence rules and other changes introduced by the 2013 Finance Act.

This course is aimed at TEPs (Full Members of STEP) or senior non-TEP professionals working in the private client field. Applicants are advised that they should have, as a minimum, a sound grasp of both the basic tax rules as they apply to UK clients and basic trust law.

What are the entry requirements?

Admission to Advanced Certificates depends on meeting the Entry Level requirements, outlined in the Qualifications and Membership Framework.

Further course information

How much will it cost?

The course fee for the Advanced Certificate is GBP845 plus UK VAT if applicable (GBP 795 plus UK VAT if applicable for STEP Full Members).

This fee includes:

  • A bespoke course manual
  • Self-assessment material
  • Distance learning support
  • Examination entry
  • STEP certification*

* Currently STEP certification does not carry any designatory letters or title but confirms that the assessment has been passed

Exam locations

Exams are held in:

  • Bahamas
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Geneva
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • London
  • Singapore
  • Zurich

Please contact CLTI if you are interested in enrolling on the course but are based in a jurisdiction not listed above.

For full details of course dates, please visit the CLTI website.

Hear from a past delegate

Having completed the STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients in 2013, Katrina Williams, Trustee/ Fiduciary; Director at Rawlinson & Hunter Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, spoke to us about her experience of the course and how it has benefitted her career over the years. Read our case study here (PDF 275KB)

How do I apply?

Specialist Diplomas

Successful completion of this course gives you 30 Diploma Level (DL) credits towards a STEP Diploma in Tax & Estate Planning. For more details of this and other specialist diplomas, please see STEP Diplomas

Once you have 120 DL credits, plus a minimum of 2 years’ relevant experience, you can apply for Full STEP membership, and the use of the post nominal TEP.

CPD Policy

Members are required to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills to ensure a high standard of practice.

Find out more

CLT International

Our training partner CLT International provides a range of courses for those working in the UK trust and estates industry.

Find out more


We offer a range of member categories to suit your professional requirements, qualifications and experience.

Find out more