Vocational Training Course to Become a Specialist Tax Assistant.

The content of the training is determined by the Ordinance on the Professional Training of Specialist Tax Assistants and the framework curriculum. The training course takes three years but can also be shortened pursuant to Section 8 German Vocational Training Act. The training course can in particular be shortened if the trainee has achieved the higher school-leaving certificate qualifying for university entrance or has already successfully undergone other vocational training. Training comprises a practical and a vocational college element. Whilst the practical training takes place in a tax consultancy firm, the vocational college part is conducted by the Vocational College for Logistics, Tourism, Real Estate and Tax. Trainees spend two days a week at vocational college. During the holidays, the trainee spends five days a week at the tax consultancy firm.

Vocational Training Pay

The Executive Board of the Berlin Chamber of Tax Consultants passed the following vocational training pay recommendations with effect from 1 January 2016:

For the first year of vocational training        EUR 700.00
For the second year of vocational training   EUR 800.00
For the third year of vocational training       EUR 950.00

Practical Training

In the course of the practical training in the tax consultancy firm, trainees are introduced to the work of a specialist tax assistant and gain the knowledge necessary to practice the profession. The trainee learns to understand tax facts and circumstances in a business context and to fulfil the tasks entrusted to him/her independently as part of a team.

Vocational College Training

At vocational college, teaching concentrates on general business economics, taxation and accounting.

General economics teaches the basic economic and legal knowledge which the trainee requires to practice the profession. The practical application of this knowledge is of course especially important in this context. The topics dealt with include the basics of the economic system and economic policy as well as the law of obligations, the law of property, employment law, commercial law and corporate law. In addition, trainees are taught fundamental business insights across different professions and taking into consideration the many different system interconnections between markets, the overall economy and society.

Taxation equips the trainees with knowledge of the spheres of value added tax, income tax, corporation tax, trade tax and the Tax Code in particular. This is intended as preparation to enable them to produce tax declarations.

Accounting is a partial area of economics and serves to record and monitor the income, expenditure and movements of goods arising within an enterprise. In this way, the entrepreneur is in a position to monitor the business success of his/her enterprise and explain this to third parties, for example the tax authorities and banks. Accounting and the annual financial statements and the balance sheet are prepared for this purpose.

Interim Examination

The interim examination is a written examination. It takes place before the end of the second year of vocational training, is set for a maximum of 180 minutes and examines the subject’s taxation, accounting, economics and social studies with the learning content of the first two years of vocational training. The details are regulated in Section 7 paragraph 2 of the Ordinance on the Professional Training of Specialist Tax Assistants. Participation in the interim examination is a precondition for admission to the final examination.

Final Examination

The final examination takes place half way through the final year of vocational training. It comprises three written examinations and one oral examination. Written examinations are conducted in the subject’s taxation, accounting, economics and social studies.

In taxation, the candidate must demonstrate by solving practical cases that he/she has skills and knowledge of economic and tax law contexts. The examinations in particular concentrate on taxes on income, earnings and turnover as well as the taxation procedure. The examination takes 150 minutes.

The examination in accounting takes 120 minutes. The candidate works on tasks from the spheres of accounting and annual accounts.

The examination on economics and social studies takes 90 minutes and focuses on the economic, legal and social contexts of the professional and working world. The topics examined in particular include employment law, the law of obligations, property law, commercial law and corporate law.

In the fourth examination on client-oriented work processes, the candidate must demonstrate the capacity to prepare and present practical professional processes and problems. The oral examination takes approximately 30 minutes. The oral examination may deal with general tax and business law, the law of individual taxation, principles of accounting and balance sheet preparation, and invoicing.