Notice: If you do NOT live in California, you aren't required to take this California version of the CTP program. If you don't need to or don't wish to learn California tax preparation, you should take our regular Chartered Tax Professional Online Training Program instead of the California version of the program.
The California Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) Certificate Program is composed of six modules in Federal income tax preparation, plus a California supplement. After successfully completing the first two Federal modules and the California lessons (most students finish in just 10 weeks or less), you'll be qualified to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. taxpayers. While you apply what you've learned and earn money as a California tax preparer, you'll continue your studies in advanced individual tax preparation, which will enable you to serve clients with more complex tax situations and increase your earning potential. Next you'll learn to prepare returns for small business corporations and partnerships and more complex sole proprietorships.
As you complete the modules of the CTP program, you can accumulate the required 500 hours of experience as a tax professional to qualify for the prestigious Chartered Tax Professional designation. There is a shortage of qualified tax preparers and a great demand for seasonal tax preparers. Alternatively, you can become self-employed as a tax professional.
Upon successful completion of the program, you'll receive a certificate of completion from the college or university you registered with, in addition to a very impressive CTP certificate, which you'll earn when you meet the final experience requirements. As a CTP, you'll also have the tax knowledge and experience to prepare for the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) exam if you wish to add the coveted EA credential to your professional designation as a CTP.
Each module consists of 10 three-hour lessons and can be completed in five to ten weeks (one or two lessons per week). The entire program could be completed in less than eight months, but many students will take 18-24 months, during which time they'll also gain experience and earn money as tax professionals.
If you're a CPA, CFP, attorney, or if you hold some other professional license, you may be able to satisfy some or all of your continuing education requirements through your program work in the CTP program. Income tax knowledge is valuable to many professionals because financial decisions usually involve tax consequences for their clients. Providing tax preparation services is also a great way to diversify and recruit new financial services clients.
The Steps to Becoming a CTP
1. Successfully complete The Income Tax School series of six 30-hour Income Tax Programs (four additional Programs beyond the 60-hour Comprehensive Tax Program). An average grade of at least 80% must be attained (our adult students average 90%+).
2. Meet the experience requirement of working at least two tax seasons (a minimum of 500 hours) as a tax preparer while in the program (prior tax preparation experience will count for experienced tax professionals who test out of the basic and/or intermediate programs).
After completing this comprehensive certificate program, you'll be well prepared to handle almost any individual and small business income tax situation you encounter. You'll also be ready to take the next step in your career as a tax professional by preparing for and taking the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) exam. The EA designation is the most significant credential in the income tax preparation industry, even more relevant than the CPA designation.
California Tax Education Council (CTEC)
The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) was established by the California State Legislature to promote competent tax preparation within the State of California. CTEC is a California non-profit corporation founded under the legislative authority included in the California Business & Professions Code 22250-22259.
Tax return preparers who wish to prepare returns for a fee must become registered through CTEC. Attorneys, CPAs, and Enrolled Agents are already licensed; therefore, they aren't required to be registered through CTEC.
In order to register with CTEC to become a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), you must:
1. Complete a 60-hour qualifying education (QE) program from a CTEC-approved provider.
2. Purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond from a surety bond company.
3. Complete and submit a CTEC New Provider Application by mail, or register online at www.ctec.org. The CTEC registration fee is $25.
More information is available at www.ctec.org, or by contacting CTEC at 1-877-850-2832, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon registering, you're given an initial eighteen months to complete this program. Should you need more time beyond the eighteen months, an extension of eighteen months is available with a fee of $65 per month.