How to Become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)

by Jennifer Smith, CPA, JD, CDEI | Jun 09, 2020
How to Become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)

How to Meet Your CTEC Requirements

Do you want to become a professional tax preparer in the State of California? If so, you need to take the time to register with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) and become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP).

CTEC License, Certification or Registration?

Many people search online for how to obtain a CTEC license — but the term “CTEC license” is not technically correct. The term “CTEC certification” is not correct either. CTEC actually doesn’t issue any licenses or certifications. Technically, tax preparers are registered with CTEC. The misuse of these three terms is common but understandable.

If you are looking for how to get your CTEC “license”, you really want to learn how to register with CTEC and become a CRTP (CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer).

Who Needs to Register With CTEC?

According to California state law, anyone who assists with or prepares state or federal income tax returns, in exchange for a fee, is required to complete a 60-hour CTEC tax education course and then register with CTEC.

However, all of the following are exempt from registering with CTEC:

  • Attorneys who are members of the California State Bar
  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
  • Enrolled agents (EAs)
  • Certain specified banking or trust officials

If you don’t fall into any of the exemption categories and want to be a professional tax preparer in California, it’s time to take the steps to become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer!

Steps to Become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)

If you are seeking to register for the first time as a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer (CTRP), there are several steps you will need to take.

     1. You need to complete a qualifying 60-hour CTEC tax education course within 18 months of when you register with CTEC.

     2. You need to purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond.

     3. You need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS.

     4. Finally, you need to register with CTEC and submit the $33 registration fee to CTEC online.

Beginning July 1, 2020, CTEC registered preparers will need to submit fingerprint images to CTEC for submission to the Department of Justice and pass a criminal background check.

After everything has been verified and finalized, CTEC will issue you a Certificate of Completion along with an identification card that will have your name, CTEC number and the current year.

Where Do I Take My CTEC Course?

WebCE is excited to announce that we now offer our own qualifying 60-hour CTEC tax education course online! WebCE is consistently the top online resource for professional certifications and online continuing education courses. With WebCE, you can quickly become a CTEC-Registered Tax Preparer in California, even with no prior tax experience.

WebCE will make taking your CTEC course and completing your CTEC registration as easy as possible. Get started today with WebCE's CTEC 60-Hour Qualifying Education Course!

CTEC Qualifying Education