A Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) is someone who has completed a specific series of tax courses in individual and small business income tax preparation. This nationally recognized innovative online certificate program enables students to start working and earning money while completing coursework toward the CTP professional credential.
After successfully completing the first course in the CTP certificate program, you will be qualified to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. taxpayers and will also have the tax knowledge to successfully pass the IRS Competency Exam.
A CTP is also able to prepare returns for small business corporations and partnership and more complex sole proprietorships. As a CTP you will 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.
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.
Attention California Residents!
If you live in California and plan to become a preparer of Federal and/or state income tax returns, you must meet the requirements of the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) to become licensed to practice as a California Tax Preparer. Therefore, you should take our California Chartered Tax Professional certificate program, which will enable you to meet the CTEC requirements while also earning your professional CTP designation.
An internship offers you practical experience to enhance your education, while helping you earn hours to satisfy the CTP experience requirement. You may be paid as an intern, and you can make professional connections that can lead to career growth.
To qualify for an internship, you must have completed at least the first 30-hour program in the Chartered Tax Professional Certificate Program with a grade of 80% or higher. You may be paid a modest hourly wage to work (or work unpaid if both parties agree) on a trial basis. Although internships aren’t guaranteed, hundreds of firms nationwide register each year to work with CTP interns.
Upon registering, you're given an initial eighteen months to complete this program. Should you need more time beyond the eighteen months, an extension per course within the program is available with a fee of $65.