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FAQ - IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation


What is the IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation (APCIT)?

The IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation is a structured training programme from IBFD that grants a unique qualification for tax professionals who wish to be recognized as experts in international taxation. Participants who meet the requisite standards at the end of the programme will be awarded the certificate by IBFD.

What will I learn, and how is the programme structured?

In terms of tax topics, the programme covers tax treaties (OECD/UN Model updates and OECD MLI), international tax planning (all new developments) and transfer pricing (post-BEPS and OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines).

For details of core subject matters included in the programme, please refer to the syllabus found here.

The programme is divided into three phases and followed by the final assessment. Case study-based assignments will be included in the programme to help students put into practice what they have learned from the online courses and webinars.

After registration, and at the start of the programme, participants will receive access to all on-demand webinars and online courses that are part of the curriculum. The programme has to be completed in 6 months, but access to the materials is available for 12 months.

What are the skills I will obtain after following the Certificate programme?

After following the certificate programme, a tax professional will be able to:

  • meaningfully contribute to a company’s international tax strategy
  • translate a global or regional tax strategy into domestic jurisdictions where business is conducted
  • undertake tax planning responsibilities in a wider geographical area and propose tax-effective business structures and operations
  • identify, address and control tax and transfer pricing risks arising from selected cross-border transactions
  • understand the implications of recent international tax developments in the post-BEPS era
  • prepare impact assessments and ensure that a business’s corporate structure, position and transactions are BEPS proof
  • proactively support the business functions and business line managers from a tax and transfer pricing point of view, and assist CFOs, directors, accountants and other peers in respect to the tax implications of business structures and transactions 
What are the benefits for companies or organizations who sign their employees up for this programme?

The IBFD certificate programme is a time and cost-effective solution for organizations that wish to equip their employees with expertise in international taxation from a reputable international organization.

After following this programme, the employee(s) will acquire the skills to effectively manage the organization’s operations in international taxation, as well as to understand and translate the latest developments into their daily tax management.

This certificate programme guarantees the organization that the employee(s) will gain the required knowledge upon completion, as participants must meet the requisite study standards, including an assessment at the end of the study programme.

What kinds of study materials will I be able to access?

Participants will receive access to all webinars and online courses that are part of the curriculum, and also to any additional reading materials and case study assignments.

Will I be able to track my study progress?

While studying the online courses in the programme, you will be able to track your progress and see how far you are with your study for each course.

To what extent am I free to decide how I work during the programme, or do I have to follow a fixed schedule of times and dates?

You are free to choose how you wish to follow the programme; however, all case study assignment and final assessment dates are fixed. It is important to take note of this before committing to the programme.

During the programme, will I be able to communicate with IBFD tax experts and APCIT participants?

You will be able to interact with the IBFD international tax experts about the assignments during the related feedback webinar sessions. In addition, you will have access to the APCIT Discussion Forum, on which you can interact with your fellow APCIT students.

How can I qualify for the IBFD certificate at the end of the programme?

To be awarded the IBFD APCIT certificate, you need to follow 80% of the programme, which means:

  • completing at least 80% of each of the online courses
  • following/watching at least 80% of the total number of recorded and live webinars included in the programme (assignment feedback webinars are not included in the total number)
  • submitting all case study-based assignments, respecting their specified deadlines
  • successfully passing the final assessment (or the re-sit), with a passing grade of at least 50%.

Please note that the case study assignments related to phases I and II, as well as the final assessment, can cover the whole of the course material.

If you fail to qualify for the certificate, you will need to repurchase the programme and successfully complete it again.

How does the certificate compare with a professional affiliation (e.g. ACCA)?

The certificate is not the same as a professional affiliation and thus does not regulate participants’ professional conduct. The certificate is an acknowledgement from IBFD that the holder has completed a rigorous learning programme in international tax, has passed the final assessment and has met the requisite standards as an expert in this field.

How does the certificate compare with a university qualification (e.g. LLM)?

In contrast with academic qualifications, the certificate provides a business-driven, professional qualification. The programme is designed for busy tax professionals who may not have the time to commit to a full-time LLM programme at a university but still wish to improve their skill set in international taxation and their career prospects in the tax world.


Who will benefit from the IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation?

The programme is suitable for busy professionals who wish to become recognized experts in international taxation and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

What sort of qualification do I need in order to register for the programme?

The following recommendations are for guidance only; it is finally up to each prospective participant to decide whether or not they consider themselves eligible to follow the programme.

The recommended entry requirements are the following:

  • Demonstrated education in tax, international tax, finance, economics, law, accounting or any relevant, related field
  • At least 2 years of relevant work experience in tax or fiscal affairs in either the private or governmental sector

Commitment and time frame

When can I register for the programme?

Generally, registration is open until 1 week prior to the start of the programme. Check the deadline date mentioned here:

IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation

When exactly does the programme start?

There are two starting dates per year: 1 April and 1 October. The programme will run for 6 months from both dates. The starting dates of the programme are fixed and cannot be deferred.

How much time do I have to complete the programme?

The programme must be completed in 6 months. Study materials included in the programme (online courses, all webinars) will be accessible for 6 months only (the duration of the programme).

Do I have to do all three phases of the programme within the 6-month period?

Yes, the different phases cannot be separated and must be taken consecutively.

How much time do I need to commit to successfully complete the programme within the allocated time frame?

The amount of time required to complete the programme depends on the experience of the participant. On average, you will need to dedicate approximately 3 hours a week to finish the programme within the allocated time frame.

Assignments and final assessment

What will assignments consist of, and how many will be included in the programme?

There will be two assignments in the form of short case studies, in which you will be required to demonstrate your ability to put into practice the knowledge gained after each phase in the programme. The first will be included at the end of phase I and the second after phase II. Feedback on assignment responses can take the form of either a webinar or short personal feedback.

Please note that the online courses contain case studies and final tests. These are not compulsory and do not count towards the final assessment: they are intended to help you assess your own progress. The case study assignments mentioned above will be sent to you separately on the dates mentioned in the programme calendar.

What is the final assessment?

A final assessment is incorporated at the end of the programme to ensure that only participants who meet the requisite standards are awarded the certificate. This assessment will take the form of an online, multiple-choice test. Participants must complete at least 80% of the entire study programme (see under "How can I qualify for the IBFD certificate at the end of the programme?") and submit all assignments in accordance with their specified deadlines before they can be given access to the final assessment.

When can I take the final assessment?

At the end of the phase III, a week will be selected during which you can choose a specific date and time at which you would like to take the final assessment.

Can I take the final assessment earlier?
The dates for each component of the programme are fixed. Moving the date of the assessment will not be possible.
Can I retake the final assessment if I fail?

Yes, you can retake the final assessment once for free. If you fail the final assessment and the re-sit, you will need to register again for the programme and successfully complete it to obtain the certificate.

What will be the content of the re-sit?

The re-sit will involve new questions.

Can I choose to do the programme without the final assessment?

Participants are free to do the programme without the final assessment. However, in that case, participants will not be awarded the certificate.

Can I obtain CPE (continuing professional education) credits?

Subsets of the IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation programme are eligible for CPE points with many professional accrediting bodies (see the whole list here). For each individual online course, participants can download a certificate of completion; for webinars, participants will automatically be sent a certificate of completion, by email, indicating the recommended CPE credits. Participants should submit this certificate and any other information required to their relevant professional bodies in order to obtain CPE credits.

Technical concerns

What software/hardware do I need to follow the webinars and online courses included in the programme?
  • For webinars, please consult FAQ – Webinars under the section “Technical concerns”.
  • For online courses, please consult FAQ – Online Courses under the section “Technical concerns”.

In order to access the online courses and/or webinars, we strongly recommend using Google Chrome as the preferred browser.

Course fees and payment

How much does the programme cost?

For pricing information, see the course description:

IBFD Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation

What does the fee cover?

The fee covers all components and study materials included in the programme (the online courses, the webinars, the case study assignments, the final assessment and one re-sit of the final assessment, if necessary).

When do I have to make the payment?

The fee is due at the time of registration, but before any material is accessed. You can only pay by credit card. Payment must be made in full at the time of registration; there is no option for instalments.

Will I get a refund if I withdraw from the programme without completing it?

The fees are due at the time of registration, and no refund will be given if participants choose to withdraw from the programme once it has already started. Participants are encouraged to commit to the 6-month time frame to complete the programme.

Can I transfer the registration to another person?

As the certificate provides a personal qualification, once the programme has started and access granted to the original registrant, registration cannot then be transferred to another person.

Can I postpone my registration to a later certificate programme session?

Once the programme has started and access given, registration cannot be postponed or pushed forward to another programme session.

Maintenance of the certificate

For how long will the certificate remain valid?

The certificate is awarded with a date of completion. As such, the value of the certificate may diminish over time.

Cancellation policy

Can I cancel the programme after payment?

Registration can be cancelled in writing. The following fees will apply:

  • at least 7 days prior to the starting date, an administration fee of EUR 250 or USD 250 (excluding VAT) will be charged;
  • less than 7 days prior to the starting date, the full fee will be charged.

Once the programme has begun, IBFD will not offer any refunds.

Copyright and disclaimer


All course materials of IBFD International Tax Training, IBFD Asia Sdn. Bhd. and IBFD (Beijing) International Taxation Consulting Co. Ltd. are copyright protected, and it is not permitted to record, reproduce or distribute any part of the courses or related materials.


The information supplied during courses provided by IBFD International Tax Training, IBFD Asia Sdn. Bhd. and IBFD (Beijing) International Taxation Consulting Co. Ltd. is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. IBFD International Tax Training, IBFD Asia Sdn. Bhd. and IBFD (Beijing) International Taxation Consulting Co. Ltd. will not be liable for any direct or consequential damages arising from the use of such information or from any decision based thereon.

For technical assistance, please contact IBFD Customer Support. For questions regarding the content, please contact the IBFD Online Training team.
FAQ applicable from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022