California Tax Education Council

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PTIN Registration Starts September

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 20 comments

IRS registration to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) will start in mid-September.  All paid tax preparers who sign and prepare, or assist with preparing substantially all, federal tax returns will be required to have an IRS registration and valid PTIN starting January 1, 2011(includes attorneys, certified public accountants, CTEC-registered tax preparers and enrolled agents). 

Tax Preparers who already have a PTIN are still required to register with the IRS, renew their PTIN and pay a $64.25 fee.  All tax preparers must renew their PTIN and pay the fee each yearThe $64.25 fee is not set in stone and may increase in the future as costs are re-evaluated. 

The $64.25 fee is a mix of two costs from the IRS and a third party vendor.  The IRS is charging a $50 fee to help pay for technology costs, public awareness efforts and tax preparer compliance.  The third party vendor is charging a $14.25 fee to cover costs for the online registration system and customer support.

To register, tax preparers can go to and click on the Tax Professionals tab.  The exact start date to register online has not yet been announced.

In addition to the PTIN requirement, the IRS will require tax preparers who are not attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents to complete continuing education requirements starting in 2011 and pass a competency exam within three years of initial registration.   

CRTPs will not be exempt from the new testing or education requirements no matter their years of experience or other accreditations.  The same rule will apply to tax preparers in other states who are not attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents. 

CTEC will conform its federal continuing education requirement to the IRS’ so CRTPs are not forced to complete “double” federal education.  CRTPs will need to make sure the education provider is approved by the IRS before taking a course.  Any federal education completed before January 1, 2011 will not count toward the new IRS continuing education requirement.

CTEC will provide more details of the new hourly breakdown and federal education requirements when more information is available.  Until then please follow the below requirements to renew for the CTEC 2010/2011 registration cycle:

  • Complete 20 hours of continuing education (12 hours federal, 4 hours state, 2 hours ethics, 2 hours federal and/or state)
  • Provide proof of a $5,000 tax preparer surety bond showing the expiration date
  • Renew CTEC registration online or by mail no later than October 31, 2010

By law, CRTPs who fail to renew their registration by October 31, 2010 cannot prepare federal or state tax returns for a fee until they are compliant with CTEC


New commented on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What is the $5000.00 surety bond fee and if i want to prepare tax in CA for yr 2015, what license do i need to obtain.

CTEC replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The fees vary depending on the company you choose. Contact your insurance agent for more information on surrey bonds. To prepare tax returns in 2015, you'll need to complete a 60 hour qualifying education course from an approved provider. We have a list on our website- click here Once you complete the course, you'll need to get a PTIN from the IRS and register with CTEC.

Omitted for privacy commented on Friday, December 31, 2010

I cannot get the online CRTP RENEWAL to accept my logon as a prior preparer. I was late with the Course completion but completed it successfully over a month ago and have not yet been able to logon for renewal.

CTEC replied on Friday, December 31, 2010

It is hard to say without looking at your records. Please call our office 877-850-CTEC on Monday.

Elizabeth commented on Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do I need to have an EFIN? I have passed my class and I received a PTIN. I am new to all of this so I am not sure I understand what all I need other than 1) education requirement 2) $5000 bond 3) register with CTEC and 4) a PTIN from the IRS. Is there anything else I need?

CTEC replied on Friday, December 31, 2010

Regarding Elizabeth's comment... you should get an EFIN. Just make sure you register with CTEC and IRS each year. Eventually you will have to meet IRS exam and education requirements as well.

Zulema commented on Thursday, December 30, 2010

I want to volunteer to help low income families prepare their income tax returns. Do you know of any organizations that needs volunteers?

CTEC replied on Thursday, December 30, 2010

You can try looking into the VITA program.

Nadia Samsonova commented on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whow to pay $64.25? I've done my registration and PTIN, but where this button?

CTEC replied on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yes, that is how much IRS is charging for its annual PTIN registration requirement. Don't forget that if you are preparing federal and state tax returns for a fee in California, you must also complete CTEC registration requirements. Only attorneys, CPAs and EAs are exempt. If you still need to register with CTEC, please contact our office 877-850-CTEC for more information.

11/23/2010 commented on Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of the requirement to register for the IRS's PTIN is to have a business name and phone number, what if I do not have a business name and phone number Is it needed? how do I go about setting this up? I am planning on preparing taxes at home. Thanks!

CTEC replied on Friday, November 26, 2010

Since it is an IRS requirement, we suggest you clarify the next steps to take with IRS. The PTIN phone information number is 877-613-7846.

CPA who wishes to be anonymous commented on Friday, October 8, 2010

Response to (CTEC) - re: Accenture. Go to the IRS website and search "Accenture" and more information should pop up. I did that and of 11 total hits for Accenture on the entire IRS website, not one mentioned that contract going to them...Maybe the IRS an Accenture don't want the public to know this contract went to a non-US company?

David Youngwood commented on Monday, October 4, 2010

I registered this past Friday. Very easy. Are they going to send me my PTIN card with the expiration date on it? They should get the publlic access section up and running so people can verify preparers online

CPA who wishes to be anonymous commented on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have a question I cannot seem to find the answer to through the IRS or the regulations having to do with the vendor user fee on the newly passed requirement that all tax preparer obtain a "PTIN". I want know why doesn't the IRS advise publicly who the 3rd party vendor is that is administering the program and charging everyone a $14.25 fee on top of the $50 fee the IRS is charging. How can this all be put into place and there's no public discourse at all (or any information available) on who is actually administering this program for the IRS? They are already collecting fees and taking personal information, some of which will be made public. Why can't I know who the vendor is. Is there any way you can find out what's going on with that?

CTEC replied on Monday, October 4, 2010

We apologize for the delay in response. The 3rd party vendor is Accenture. Go to the IRS website and search "Accenture" and more information should pop up.

David Youngwood commented on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have the IRS announced a start date for registration. I check the website and all it says is registration starting in mid September...which we are in now.

CTEC replied on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No announcement yet. Hopefully any day now...