Is It Hard to Pass the Course for Tax Preparer Continuing Education?


Is It Hard to Pass the Course for Tax Preparer Continuing Education?

By Tim Frye

California tax preparers are required by the CTEC organization to complete twenty hours of continuing education every year to be eligible to do taxes the following tax season.  If these hours are not completed by the set deadline, then the preparer will be disqualified from doing taxes in the upcoming season.  The bosses at CTEC are requiring that course providers be up to standard when it comes to the overall difficulty and relevancy of their test material.  So the continuing education test that will complete the required twenty hours is surely not going to get any easier, and this article will discuss the actual difficulty of the examination and its specific material. 




CTECs More Stringent Standards Set for Continuing Education Providers

The CTEC organization, which is in charge of making sure that tax preparers and their course providers are being held to sufficient standards when it comes to testing and overall performance.  So for the many tax preparers that are looking for that twenty hour continuing education course that they can just breeze through with ease, these classes are going to be harder to come by.  CTEC is not allowing course providers to make the course and subsequent test too easy to pass, and so these courses will no longer be on the market.  Preparers are going to have to actually put in the work and study time to pass the test, even though it is still open book.  With most courses offered the preparer can fail the examination, which means they completed with a score below 70%, and continue to take the course until they pass without having to pay the course fee over and over.

IRS Holding Tax Preparers to Higher Standards in 2013

The IRS has stepped up their game when it comes to making sure that tax preparers across the country are as sharp and competent as ever.  One reason for this is as the tax gap grows, in which the actual tax owed and the actual tax paid by taxpayers becomes wider than ever before, the IRS knows the some of this is due to tax preparer incompetency, and their overall ineptitude when it comes to preparing taxes.  There are stricter regulations being placed on preparers in terms of due diligence required when filing a return.  The continuing education courses are designed to keep tax preparers up to date and sharp on their tax knowledge during the off season, so the examinations in order to gain the hours are indeed getting more difficult every year.

Renew CTEC Course Material

The continuing education course for returning tax preparers consists of 15 hours for Federal subjects and 5 hours dedicated California taxation.  To be specific the IRS and CTEC require that the twenty hours be divided up into the following subsections:

-three hours federal tax law updates

-two hours ethics

-ten hours of federal tax law

-five hours of California tax law

Remember to note that both the CTEC and the IRS require preparers to complete the requisite twenty hours of continuing education.  So the course provider you choose must be certified by both CTEC and the IRS as an Approved education provider or you will not be given credit for both requirements. 

Looking for and a CTEC and IRS approved education provider that offers a great continuing education course at an AMAZING price?  Pronto education has the best course available.  Go to and purchase our course today for the incredible price of $37 out the door, and get your PTIN renewal out of the way now and don’t procrastinate.