Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pronto Tax School Basic Class

About The Basic Course

Are there other classes or schooling that I have to take in addition to Pronto Tax Class to become a paid professional tax preparer in the State of California?

No. Pronto Tax Class, with 45 hours federal and 15 hours California tax instruction, is the only tax education you need to become a paid professional tax preparer in the State of California. You do not have to take any other courses or tests to become a tax preparer in California, Pronto Tax School 60 Hour Basic Income Tax Course is all the tax education you need to get started.

Can I take Pronto Tax Class if I live in a state other than California?

Absolutely!  We have served people from many states and even other countries.  The 45 hours of federal tax instruction contained in Pronto Tax Class can help ANYONE IN ANY STATE get the federal tax education necessary to become a professional tax preparer.  However, you should check with your state about the state requirements for tax preparers. Oregon, Maryland, and New York state all have state education requirements that you should inquire about before you buy Pronto Tax Class. But if you live in any other state, yes you can take Pronto Tax Class, this course is applicable nationwide and worldwide and has been enjoyed by students numerous states and countries. That’s the power of the Internet!

Do I get a credential when I graduate from Pronto Tax Class?

Yes. You get a “Certificate of Completion” showing that you have completed a 60-Hour CTEC-Approved Basic Income Tax Course. You will need this Certificate of Completion in order to register with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) to become registered as a paid tax preparer in the State of California. Note that before you can become registered with CTEC, you must obtain a tax preparer bond covering you for up to $5,000. We have set up a special deal for our students with our tax preparer bond provider, enabling our students to get a two year tax preparer bond for only $50. If the process of becoming a tax preparer seems confusing at first, don’t worry, we explain everything step-by-step in the course and it is not hard.

Can I do business and corporate tax returns when I finish Pronto Tax Class?

Yes. There is no additional credential required to be able to do corporate tax returns–although of course we advise you to study up on that area of tax law and don’t get in over your head. Also, if the thought of doing taxes for businesses and corporations appeals to you, make sure that you’re on our mailing list so that when we start releasing courses specifically dedicated to business and corporation tax preparation, you will hear about those courses.  We have a major business tax return preparation course in development right now.

Why should I take Pronto Tax Class instead of one of the many other Basic Income Tax Courses that are out there?

We believe that Pronto Tax Class is the #1 best value basic income tax course on the Internet today.  The main reasons why we believe we offer the best value of any tax course on the market today include but are not limited to: 1) our course is based on REAL-LIFE tax preparation tips, not just academic theories, this is because our course creator has personally prepared over 10,000 tax returns for REAL clients, and 2) our course is not horrendously boring like so many other tax courses, we strive to keep it entertaining.

Can I take Pronto Tax Class even if I don’t want to do taxes for pay, I just want to do my own taxes?

For sure! Pronto Tax Class will provide you with a wealth of information about the tax system. If you are looking for a basic tax course that will get you familiar with all the various “loopholes” and “danger areas” in today’s complex tax code, Pronto Tax Class is a great choice for you to build the foundation of tax knowledge that will help you all throughout your life. While our tax course was originally created to help people become professional tax preparers, we have had many students who have taken our course to learn how to do their own taxes, to inform themselves about how the tax system works, or just to get smarter as a human being (always a good idea in today’s world).

Can I work at any tax place I want once I graduate from Pronto Tax Class?

Unlike some other tax courses, Pronto Tax Class is not about the company that’s offering the class. Pronto Tax Class is about YOU!!! It’s about where you want to be, what your goals are, what you want to do with your tax learning. Unlike some other tax courses, you don’t have to sign any kind of “non-compete agreement” before you can even take our class. The education and credential you receive from Pronto Tax Class is valid to work at any tax preparation company not just Pronto, and furthermore we are widely-regarded as one of the best tax preparation courses for people that want to start their own tax company.

Can I start my own tax business with Pronto Tax School?

We have helped many people start their own tax businesses just right out of this humble course.  This year, we took those efforts to a whole ‘nother level with our new Pronto Tax Business Opportunity Training Program, this program does require an additional investment and gives you a tremendous amount of value including comprehensive training and support in the areas of Training, Technology, Business Set-Up, Marketing, Sales, Support, and Year-Round Professional Development.  Go here for details on our Start Your Tax Business training program.  Keep in mind you do NOT need to invest in our program in order to start your own tax business, however for people who are really serious about building a long-term business on a solid foundation, our program has been developed to accelerate your success.

Can I start a tax business just by myself, as a part-time thing?

Yes!  There are three main types of tax businesses: 1) part-time seasonal “supplemental income” type business, 2) full-time seasonal, and 3) full-time year-round.  We provide training and pathways into all three types of tax businesses.  We do recommend a “buddy system” for new tax professionals.  Team up with another person early on, both of you take the Pronto Basic Tax Class, and then build together.  That’s a proven method in this business.

About The Company

Does Pronto offer any other tax courses or only Pronto Tax Class 60 Hour Basic Income Tax Course?

Yes, we offer a wide variety of courses and training options at

Do you need any education before you take Pronto Tax Class?

Think you have to have a college degree to prepare taxes professionally? But of course you need at least a high school degree, right? Think again. No education other than the 60-Hour Pronto Tax Class is necessary in order for you to get paid to do taxes. Indeed, becoming a paid professional tax preparer–especially in the State of California which is the best market in the nation for tax preparation services–is, in our experience, one of the best and highest-paying opportunities for people without college degrees or even high school degrees.{/slider}

Why does it matter that Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc. is a “CTEC-Approved Education Provider”?

Pronto Tax School, Inc. is approved by the California Tax Educational Council (CTEC) to offer both “Qualifying Education” and “Continuing Education” for California tax preparers. Fewer than 100 names are on the list of CTEC-Approved Qualifying Education Providers, so we are really honored to be included on this list. The approval process to become a CTEC-approved education provider is extremely rigorous and guarantees that we are offering quality tax education. Pronto Tax School, Inc. is also an approved education provider with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and our course is valid in all states for anyone who wants to become a tax preparer.

About The Purchase

If I buy Pronto Tax Class and it’s not right for me, can I get a refund?

We believe that Pronto Tax Class is one of the best online tax courses on market today, but we also realize that our tax course is not the right solution for everyone. Therefore, we offer a “No Hassle” full refund within 14 days of purchase. Up to the 14th day from your date of purchase, you can simply contact us and we will refund your Pronto Tax Class fee. After 14 days from date of purchase, no refunds are available. Review the Pronto Tax Class Sales Policy Page for more information about our Pronto Tax Class sales and refund policy.

What should I do if I have questions about Pronto Tax Class?

Please feel free to contact us by email or call the Tax Education Hotline at (310) 422-1283 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  We are real people who actually answer the phone when you call, or if we can’t answer at that exact moment you leave a message and we will call you back.  We are a family business with a small but dedicated staff, and we strive to treat our tax students with a personal touch. Call us if you want to talk, we are here to take your call at (310) 422-1283, let’s talk and see how we can help you.

About Becoming a Tax Preparer

In addition to passing Pronto Tax Class, buying a tax preparer bond, and registering with CTEC, what else do I have to do to become a paid professional tax preparer in California?

If you live in a state other than California, becoming a tax preparer is even easier than becoming a California tax preparer. But even in California, the process is pretty straightforward, and we give you step-by-step instruction in the course as well. But here’s the short version: First, you purchase and pass Pronto Tax Class, then you obtain your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then you purchase a tax preparer bond, then you register with CTEC. Note well: you must pass Pronto Tax Class, buy a tax preparer bond, and get your PTIN from the IRS before you apply for your CTEC registration.  Once you have taken those steps, you are now ready to register successfully with CTEC, and then once you do register, you will receive a Certificate from CTEC showing that you are officially “street legal” to do taxes for money in the State of California.Our Pronto Tax Class textbook gives you an exact step-by-step guide to what you need to do to become a tax preparer, you also will be emailed specific instructions upon completion of your course.

What can I do with the education and credential I receive through Pronto Tax Class?

The way we look at it, there are three basic options for what you can do once you have your Pronto Tax Class education under your belt. Number one, you can can apply for a job at a tax company such as Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc. or any other company that provides tax preparation services (there are thousands of tax preparation companies, so there is sure to be one in your area). Number two, you can do taxes “on the side” for friends and family, keeping your day job and just doing taxes to save you and your friends and family money while making $3,000-$10,000 per year for yourself. Number three, you can do taxes “on your own” as a full-fledged self-employed tax preparer.In our view, those are the three main options for what you can do after you pass Pronto Tax Class. Each one has its good points and also its challenges. As part of our Pronto Tax Class student support package, we provide a good amount of information to our students about how to go about pursuing these options.

Is it hard to do taxes?

It really depends on the tax return in question. It’s easy to do taxes when taxes are easy. A lot of people’s taxes are pretty simple and straightforward, and tax software makes it even easier. Naturally, you have to know what you’re doing with more complex tax situations, of which there are many (the IRS code is thousands of pages long after all). To be able to handle more difficult tax returns, you will need to gain experience and constantly educate yourself about tax law and practice. Fortunately, this is the kind of education and experience that can pay off handsomely, because remember that the more difficult the tax return, the more you can charge to prepare it. One key thing to look for as you are starting out as a new tax preparer is a mentor or someone who can assist you when you don’t know what you are doing; this year, in fact, we will be developing a mentoring program where some students may be eligible for personal mentorship with a Pronto Income Tax Preparer — call (310) 422-1283 if you are interested to get on the list for personal mentoring.

How much money does a tax preparer make?

We like the kind of questions you ask! As you might guess, the answer is “it depends.” We have an entire section dedicated to “Tax Earning Potential,” so we would encourage you to look there for further information about tax preparer pay. To give you the quick version, though, a good “unenrolled” tax preparer with a couple years experience will normally make about $20-$50 per hour during tax season. A very good tax preparer and/or a tax preparer who maintains an Enrolled Agent, CPA, or other designation may see his or her hourly pay go up into the $75-$150 per hour range during tax season. A top-flight Enrolled Agent, CPA, or tax attorney will likely make between $200-$500 per hour during tax season. Other factors that can affect your pay as a tax preparer is what company you work for, whether you are paid on commission or hourly, and obviously how many clients you have. For another perspective on tax preparer pay, check out this chatroom thread on the topic of typical tax preparer pay.  There are “levels” to the tax game and pay goes up each level: Tax Preparer, then Tax Consultant, then Tax Advisor.  Pronto Tax Class will get your foot in the door and at that point you’ll be ready to break into the business.

What does a tax preparer do after tax season?

You mean besides lounge on the beach? Here is an article we wrote that will give you some ideas about what a tax preparer can do to earn money after tax season is over.  It’s NOT hard to stay busy year-round and make money year-round if that’s what you want.

Can I make money if I only do my friends’ taxes and don’t actually get a “job” doing taxes?

You don’t have to do that many tax returns per year to make a decent bit of extra income every tax season.  The major tax preparation chains are charging right now average fees between $200 – $300 per client.  Let’s say that you take Pronto Tax Class, you put in the work, and you learn to do taxes for 10 of your friends, and let’s say you charge $100 per head.  So that would mean that your friends, as a group, would pay $1,000 for tax preparation, instead of the $2,000 – $3,000 they would have paid to their former tax people. This means that your friends would save around $1,000 (about $100 per friend) and you would now have an extra $1,000 in your pocket. Plus you can hit up your same friends next year and do it all over again. If you have 20 friends that will let you do their taxes, well then there you go, revise those numbers upwards. Note that we are by no means guaranteeing you anything. You have to go out there and earn the business, and you can’t automatically assume that all your friends will want you to do their taxes in your first year. All we are saying is that there is room in the market for affordable tax service, especially when you consider that many of the tax preparers at these major chains are not the vaunted “experts” they may claim to be, and are in fact new tax preparers making $9-$12 per hour. Nothing against someone who is making $9 per hour, we have all been there, but it is a complete and total fallacy to think that just because someone works for a big brand name company they are equivalent to a CPA.

When is tax season?

Tax season starts on or around January 15th and ends on or around April 15th. At the risk of mastering the obvious, tax season is when income tax preparation work is most plentiful. Tax places will start to hire up in early January, and the major tax companies will buy millions upon millions of dollars worth of commercials, and the tax refunds will begin to flow. While there is some tax preparation work to be had year-round, by far the vast majority of tax preparation work will be done during tax season, from January 15th until April 15th. Here is an article about the challenges and joys of seasonal tax preparation work.  As you move up the ladder into Consulting and Advice services your year-round work can increase.  You can also add a complementary client service such as insurance, financial planning, or bookkeeping.

Does everyone automatically get a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS?

You can obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) online at in about 15-30 minutes, at a cost of around $65. You don’t even need any education at all to get a PTIN. In most cases, it’s fast and easy to get a PTIN from the IRS. However, if you have unfiled tax returns yourself or are otherwise not “in compliance” with the IRS, your PTIN application may be denied. Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc. cannot be held responsible if you are denied a PTIN by the IRS. If you are concerned that you may be denied a PTIN, or have other questions about IRS-related rules and regulations, we would encourage you to contact the Internal Revenue Service directly at (877) 613-7846 to get answers to any questions you may have.

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Let's Make Sure We Direct You to the Right
Training for Your Needs!

Please click the button below for your primary tax credential.

Not sure which credential applies to your situation?  Click here to reach our support team and we'll help you decide.