What you need to know about CTEC.


What is CTEC?
CTEC is short for the “California Tax Education Council,” which is a non-profit Corporation founded to
promote competent tax preparation within the State of California. “CTEC” is also used as the common name
for the Identification Number given to preparers registered in California to prepare tax returns. People who
complete the CTEC registration requirements to gain this number are known as “CRTPs” (California Registered Tax Preparers).

How do I become a CRTP?
First, all CRTPs must complete a series of tasks:
• Complete sixty (60) hours of qualifying tax education (45 California/15 Federal).
• Obtain a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) from the IRS.
• Purchase a $5,000 surety bond. (Note: This does not ‘cost’ $5,000 to purchase.)
• Register with CTEC within eighteen (18) months from the completion of training.

What if I am already a CRTP?
Congrats! You’ve already done most of the legwork. However, you will need to keep up a few annual
requirements to maintain your registration:
• Complete twenty (20) hours of training (10 hours of Federal tax law, 3 hours of Federal tax law updates, 2 hours of Ethics, 5 hours of State).
Maintain a valid PTIN.
Maintain the $5,000 surety bond.
Renew the registration by October 31st of each year. (There is a “grace period” until January 15th.)

What if I don’t register?
The State of California is pretty heavy-handed with preparers failing to register. The first such instance
involves a fine of $2,500. Each following time the preparer will be fined $5,000!

Well, how do I obtain the credits?
There are numerous CTEC Approved Providers offering courses. However, Federal Direct partners obtain discounted pricing for these courses.
• Full, first-time 60-credit hour course sets cost $199.99
CTEC Renewal Courses of 20-credit hours cost $99.99

Do I actually pay anything to CTEC?
Yes. The cost for both first-time and renewing CRTPs is $33. If the preparer misses the October 31st deadline, there is a $55 penalty added. If the preparer doesn’t complete CTEC registration within the timeframe, they must retake all the credits and start over from the beginning. This timeframe is eighteen months from the credit completion for new registrants, or from November 1st to January 15th for renewing preparers.

What about the Surety Bond?
The Surety Bond can also be purchased through separate insurance brokers and vendors. Federal Direct partners have access to bonds starting as low as $30/year.

That sounds pretty simple.
It sure does! In fact, most of the common questions and answers are located at www.ctec.org. The fine folks at CTEC are available by phone at (877) 850-2832. Partners of Federal Direct also automatically have access to support for their office. Should anything else come to mind, please feel free to give us a call!

Posted: October 29, 2015

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