California Tax -- 2021 Filing Season


This course provides five credit hours of California tax law coverage as required annually for Certified Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs). The course begins with a discussion of significant stimulus-related federal legislation and its comparability to California law. Legislation covered includes:

  • the American Rescue Act of 2021 (ARPA)
  • the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (COVIDTRA or TRA)
  • the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act)

Additionally, the course covers California's rules for determining employee versus independent contractor status. The determination made in the California Supreme Court's Dynamex case has been codified by California AB5. Sometimes referred to as the "gig workers bill," there are significant differences between California law and federal law for many workers.

Recent legislative action pertaining to this and other new rules includes coverage of:

  • AB 5 and AB 2257, both related to worker classification
  • AB 1577, which changes California law related to PPP loan forgiveness and expense deductions so that California now conforms with federal law
  • AB 1876, AB 2247, and SB 1447, which change rules related to the CalEITC, the dependent exemption credit, and the small business hiring credit

Key areas of nonconformity between California and post-TCJA federal law are summarized and highlighted, as are other areas of nonconformity.

The course also provides explanation and practical examples covering the California-income sourcing for personal income of many types, including corporate distributions and stock options.

There is detail provided about California withholding requirements and backup withholding requirements for income tax and real estate transactions tax. Readers are provided an overview of the penalties for tax underpayment and the methods for removing the requirement for backup withholding.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students will recognize and recall correct treatment of the following:

  • conformity and nonconformity of California law to federal, especially with respect to federal stimulus legislation (the CARES Act, ARPA, the TRA, and the FFCRA)
  • current California legislation covering the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors
  • conformity issues created by the TCJA's overhaul of the federal tax system
  • California-income sourcing for personal income, including wages, income from a trade or business, corporate dividends, and stock options
  • withholding and backup withholding requirements for personal income tax as well as California's somewhat unique rules for withholding on real estate transactions
  • penalties for tax underpayment, the imposition of backup withholding requirements, and the methods for removing backup withholding requirements

Tax Year: 2020

Designed For

California Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) seeking to meet their annual five-hour California law requirement, and who need coverage of the significant changes made by the California legislature, as well as the effects of federal stimulus legislation. The course is also valuable for California CPAs and other tax preparers, as well as corporate management and HR professionals involved in determining business process and procedures.


General familiarity with personal income taxation -- federal and California

Advanced Preparation


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