California Tax Education Council
tax professionals 
What is CRTP

All CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTP) must...

  • First complete 60-hours (45 hours federal and 15 hours state) of qualifying tax education from a CTEC Approved Provider

  • Obtain a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) from the IRS

  • Purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond

  • Register with CTEC within 18 months from the completion date on the certificate of completion

  • Registration Fee with CTEC $33

To renew your registration all CRTPs must...

  • Complete 20-hours (10 hours federal tax law, 3 hours federal tax update, 2 hours of Ethics and 5 hours for State) of continuing tax education each year

  • Maintain a valid PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) from the IRS

  • Maintain a $5,000 tax preparer bond

  • Renew the registration by October 31st of each year

  • Renewal Registration with CTEC $33

WHAT IF THE TAX PREPARER IS NOT REGISTERED?

California law requires anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee within the State of California and is not an exempt preparer to register as a tax preparer with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC). Exempt preparers are California certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents (EAs), and attorneys who are members of the State Bar of California.

As of January 1, 2005, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has the authority to identify and penalize unregistered tax preparers.

"Failure to register as a tax preparer with the California Tax Education Council, as required by Section 22253 of the Business and Professions Code, unless it is shown that the failure was due t reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.

(1) The amount of the penalty under this subdivision for the first failure to register is two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). This penalty shall be waived if proof of registration is provided to the Franchise Tax Board within 90 days from the date notice of the penalty is mailed to the tax preparer.

(2) The amount of the penalty under this subdivision for a failure to register, other than the first failure to register, is five thousand dollars ($5,000)."

Consumers can report unregistered tax preparers by filling out the Noncompliant Complaint Form through CTEC's website. All reports are kept confidential.


Who Must Register?

See the table below for more information:

If you: And you: Does the state of California require CTEC registration?
Are an inactive CPA or are a non-California CPA Prepare income tax returns for a fee in California Yes, or you must resume/become an active California CPA
Work for an exempt tax preparer Sign the income tax return Yes
Do not sign the income tax return (exempt tax preparer is the responsible party) No
Work for a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP) Take income tax data from a client and enter it into a computer (whether in person or other contact) Yes
Have no contact with clients and perform the clerical function of inputting tax information into the computer for your employer No
Are a nonexempt tax preparer Take income tax data from a client and enter it into a computer and/or prepare the income tax return Yes
Are a nonexempt tax preparer who prepares income tax returns that are bundled or included with other services Receive a fee for the bundle of services which include the preparation of the income tax return Yes
Are an employee of a business unrelated to income tax return preparation Prepare (or assist with preparation of) the company's business income tax return No
Compile the company's business income tax information for submission to a paid tax preparer who will prepare the income tax return No
 
P.O. Box 2890, Sacramento, CA 95812-2890    tel: (877) 850-2832    fax: (877) 851-2832    email: info@ctec.org