Posted by: Hayden Williams Category: CTEC Registered Tax Preparer Comments: 0 Post Date: June 7, 2017

Step By Step Guide To Becoming A California Tax Preparer

Are you looking to become a Certified Tax Preparer? Maybe you have a keen interest in finance but have neither the financial support or inclination to attend college for four years to become a qualified accountant.  

The good news is that becoming a Certified Tax Preparer is not as hard as many would imagine, and here at Tax Course Central, we can provide you with all of the tools and qualifications that you need to build a successful business, in California. 


 Become A


Step 1 – Complete A CTEC 60 Hour Course

To become a Certified Tax Preparer you must complete a 60-hour CTEC Approved basic income tax course. One of the conditions of the course is that it must have at least 45 hours of federal income tax instruction, and 15 hours of California state income tax instruction. The 60 Hour CTEC Approved Course developed and created by Tax Course Central fully complies with all of the requirements, and has been designed in such a way as to walk you through the process clearly and succinctly.

Contained within the course are some different sections, and upon completing each section there is a set of review questions, enabling you to test your knowledge and understanding of the previous chapter. Students are encouraged to repeat these tests as often as they feel necessary until they are fully confident that they have a sound understanding of the course material.

Although there is technically no time limit within which to complete the course, we encourage our students to complete it as quickly as possible. We want to ensure that our students gain the appropriate qualifications, and obviously the quicker they complete the course, the quicker they can begin to earn money as a consequence. It is also important to note that there is a section of the course that relates to the current year’s tax requirements, and obviously these can change on an annual basis.

We take great pride in both the resources we provide and the level of customer service and support given to our students. We regularly receive positive feedback and thanks from our students, and we are always available to answer questions or queries via phone, email or live chat. Unlike some other companies, we do not simply sell you the course and then leave you to your own devices, when you buy our course you become a part of the Tax Course Central family, and we feel this is one of the things that truly sets us apart from the competition.

Upon completion of the course, you take your final exam, where you need to exceed the required pass mark of 70 percent. All of the hours of study you complete and the exam results are automatically sent by our systems to the IRS and CTEC as further verification that you have met the requirements.


CTEC 60 Hour Course Description Video

If Interested In Enrolling In The 60 Hour Course, Click Here.




Step 2 – Register For A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

The next step on your journey towards becoming a Certified Tax Preparer is to register for you PTIN number. There are four steps in the overall process, and each step is equally important. The fact that you have passed part one will count for nothing if you have not obtained a PTIN number from the IRS.

Full details of where and how to apply for your PTIN can be found at the following URL;jsessionid=hSlgZoxbWIZjEDYEFcvUJ3Dz.ZiP4Pa2ol3e

Having your PTIN is essential as that piece of information much be included on every tax return that you complete, where you are charging a fee for your services.Think of the PTIN as a unique identifying number, similar to your social security number. You are not authorized to prepare any tax returns without this number, so it is essential that you apply and subsequently keep on top of your annual renewal requirements.

N.B.: Whenever you apply for your PTIN number, certain checks will be conducted by the IRS. Please be aware that if there are any issues with your recent personal tax returns, the IRS can slow down your application, or in the worst case scenario deny your registration. It is therefore worthwhile ensuring your records are in order, before moving forward with the application process.

The Tax Preparer Helpline is always a great place to contact should you wish to discuss your eligibility. They can be found at  916.845.7057

Finally, ensure that you apply for a PTIN for the year in which you intend to work as a tax preparer. For example, if you are reading this in December 2017, and you apply on 22nd December 2017 for 2017, when it comes to 2018, you would then be required to pay the renewal fee as you would be working in a different calendar year. Although this may sound like an unlikely scenario, we are always keen to ensure that our students get the maximum value from their qualification, and we are aware of situations in the past where this has happened.

The good news is that you are now well over half way towards owning your own Tax Preparer business.



Step 3 – Purchase Tax Preparation Bond

Although this next point is a legal requirement, it makes good business sense. To become a Certified Tax Preparer, you must have a Tax Preparer Bond, that gives you cover up to and including $5000. This is a legal requirement in California, so it is essential that you maintain your coverage. 

Think of a bond as the equivalent to insurance; a form of protection for the local community, should your actions cause specific problems or issues. These bonds can be purchased for as little as 25 dollars.

One of the reasons why the bond is so cheap is because it is extremely rare for the tax preparer to face any liability. This is because the responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided on the tax form is that of the taxpayer. The only time a tax preparer is likely to be found liable is if they deliberately commit fraudulent or illegal acts.

You can find cheap tax preparer bonds at


Step 4 – Register With CTEC

The final step in the process of becoming a Certified Tax Preparer is to complete the registration process at CTEC. Please remember that you are unable to register until you have completed the 60 Hour Tax Preparer Course, are in possession of your PTIN number, and have your $5000 bond in place.

Visit the California Tax Education Council website, which can be found at , and follow the instructions. This is a quick and easy process, but as with all of the steps should you have any questions or need any advice give our friendly customer service team a call, and they will guide you through the process.

As soon as you complete this final step, you have fulfilled all of the requirements, and are now a fully qualified tax preparer in the state of California.

We have an extremely high success rate, and provided you are focused and determined to succeed, there is no reason whatsoever that you will not be successful in your attempts to complete the course. We provide high-quality materials, and offer a first class support system, to ensure your success. The possibilities and potential that this course unlocks cannot be underestimated. Don’t hesitate, enroll today and begin your path to success. Call us at (800) 349-8905 to enroll.

If you have any questions about this process, or would like to get started today, give us a call at (800) 349-8905 to speak to one of our tax course specialist. Becoming a Certified Tax Preparer is an excellent choice for your future, and we are here to help you make that dream possible.

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