California Tax Education Council

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CTEC Online Registration Required

Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 0 comments

CTEC staff is still getting phone calls from tax preparers who mistakenly believe CTEC registration 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.

CTEC registration is still required by California law.

Before the ruling, CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) had to comply with both CTEC and the new IRS exam and continuing education requirements if they were preparing federal tax returns for a fee.

That said, CRTPs are still required to obtain a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before they can register or renew with CTEC— the only IRS requirement not challenged in the lawsuit. Obtaining a valid PTIN from the IRS is an additional requirement to CTEC registration. It does not supersede California law.

According to California law, CRTPs cannot prepare any tax returns for a fee until their registration is current with CTEC.

All paid tax preparers who are not attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents, must still register with CTEC each year, obtain a $5,000 surety bond and complete CTEC educational requirements by October 31, 2013.

To renew online, CRTPs will need:

•   20 hours of completed continuing education (10 hours of federal tax law, 3 hours of updates to federal tax law, 2 hours of ethics, plus 5 hours of state tax law). The hours must already be uploaded into the CTEC database.

•   A valid PTIN from the IRS.

•   Current $5,000 surety bond.

•   Visa or MasterCard to pay the $25 registration fee.

To find an approved education provider who offers courses to fulfill the 20-hour requirement,  click on Approved Education ProvidersEducation providers have ten days from the date the course was completed to report the hours to CTEC. It is strongly recommended CRTPs complete their 20 hours of continuing education no later than mid-October.

CRTPs who do not renew by the October 31st deadline have until January 15, 2014 to renew late and pay a $55 late fee. CRTPs who miss the January 15th late renewal deadline, will have to re-take the 60 hours of qualifying education, pass a final exam from an approved education provider and re-register as a new CRTP.

For more information regarding the PTIN requirement and RTRP lawsuit, visit


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