Studying Tax

April 2023

Ukrainian student Vlad Kupriienko defies Russian invasion to join ranks of ADIT graduates.

Vlad Kupriienko, a senior associate for PwC Ukraine in Kyiv, graduated from the ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) following exams in December.

He was one of the 570 students to sit 609 online exams, despite his preparation being thrown into turmoil by the invasion in February last year.

Vlad, 27, was visiting his mother-in-law in the Dnipro region at the time and was due to return home to Kyiv on the day of the invasion. Instead, the couple stayed for several months, with the region subject to numerous missile attacks from Russian forces.

He said: “She lives there alone, not far from a combat zone. In the early months of the war, it was unclear how the events would unfold, so we couldn’t leave her for quite a long time.

“A large part of my family, including parents, currently lives in Sevastopol. It was autumn 2021 when I saw them for the last time, and I can’t say how soon I’ll be able to see them again.”

He added: “It has definitely been mentally difficult for everyone. Now almost everyone in Ukraine lives with regular missile shelling and electricity outages – yet, of course, totally unmatched to what it’s like at the front line.”

When the couple were able to return home, they still found regular reminders of the war in Kyiv.

Vlad said: “We live not far from a power plant which is regularly targeted. One day missile debris landed in the children’s playground nearby our house. So, however far you seem to be from the war, you never really are.

“Being neither a combatant nor internally displaced person, I’ve never had ‘direct touch’ with the war. However, it is just a constant feeling that something has unequivocally changed, that there is no turning back to the previous life.

“Yet Ukrainians have become stronger, more mature, determined and united than ever before.
I think people are now rethinking their existence and just try to live in the moment and value simple, ordinary things.”

Despite the ongoing turmoil, Vlad continued to study, putting in many hours of extra preparation for his exams in December.

The hard work paid off when he received his results in early February, but Vlad says he is not done yet. He now intends to join the Chartered Institute of Taxation as an International Tax Affiliate and is considering studying for further qualifications to expand his professional services repertoire.

He said: “I certainly consider it a great accomplishment. I remember vividly hearing about the ADIT qualification for the first time and I thought I would consider it as a personal triumph if I managed to complete the full set.

“I feel grateful. To live on and take exams can now be considered a luxury that few can afford.”

In December’s exams, 377 students passed at least one exam, with 73 students, including Vlad, joining the growing ranks of ADIT graduates by successfully completing their third ADIT module.

Eleven students also achieved the distinction grade for excellence in their exams.

The ADIT qualification is now held by 1,762 tax practitioners in 86 countries and territories around the world, including more than 300 who have chosen to subscribe with the CIOT as International Tax Affiliates.

CIOT President Susan Ball said: “The ADIT exams are not easy, so to attain the full qualification amid the continued turmoil we are seeing in Ukraine is a hugely impressive achievement. On behalf of the CIOT, I extended warm congratulations to Vlad and the many other ADIT students around the world who have passed their latest exams.”

The following candidates will also receive awards for their achievements in the exams:

Matthew Birchall of Macclesfield, who is employed by HMRC in Salford, was awarded the Heather Self Medal for the best overall performance in Module 1 Principles of International Taxation.

Chia Chiang Tan, of London, was awarded the Raymond Kelly Medal for the best overall performance in Module 2.09 United Kingdom option.

Scott Huxford of Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, who works for HMRC in London, won the Tom O’Shea Prize for the best overall performance in Module 3.01 EU Direct Tax option.

Priyanka Dhamotharan of Chennai, India, landed the Croner-i Prize for the best overall performance in Module 3.03 Transfer Pricing option.

  • Mashaal Amir Khan of Sharjah, UAE, who works for Deloitte in Dubai and sat Module 3.02 EU VAT option, is awarded the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers’ Prize for the highest mark in Module 3 (all other options).