California Tax Education Council

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CTEC Takes a Closer Look at CE Courses

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 0 comments

CTEC staff is still getting phone calls from CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) who mistakenly believe CTEC education is no longer required now that the IRS Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) program has been suspended.

Please be advised that the federal court ruling to suspend the RTRP program has absolutely no impact on CTEC.

The IRS tax preparer program is completely independent of CTEC requirements. CTEC registration is still required by California law.

All paid tax preparers who are not attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents, must register with CTEC each year, obtain a $5,000 surety bond and complete CTEC educational requirements.

In fact, not only is CTEC still in full force, the board is now working to strengthen its educational requirements for CRTPs.

At its last board meeting in May, the Curriculum Provider Standards Committee introduced new policy procedures for CTEC-approved education providers.

Some highlights include…

  • Taking a closer look at overly simplistic courses that provide little, if any, educational value to students. For instance, if a course shows to be technically inaccurate, poorly written, incomplete, or has other quality issues, that course may be disqualified by CTEC course reviewers.
  • Adopting a different method of determining continuing education (CE) hours, similar to methods used by the National Association of State Board of Accountancy (NASBA).
  • Enforcing an audit program on CTEC-approved education courses. The audit program took effect in January and so far three of the four courses that were reviewed failed the audit. Those courses are now being recommended for disqualification, which means CRTPs should be especially careful this year when choosing an education provider.
  • Shortening the grace period for education providers to report CE hours to CTEC from 45 days to 10 days.

The 2013/2014 CTEC renewal cycle starts August 1, 2013 and ends October 31, 2013. It is recommended CRTPs complete their 20 hours of continuing education no later than mid-October to avoid registering late and paying the $55 late fee. 


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