If you’re visiting this page, it’s probably because you’ve completed your 60 hour CTEC basic income tax course–if that’s the case, congratulations!
But now you’re probably thinking to yourself…what do I do now that I’ve completed my 60 hour CTEC basic income tax course?
Don’t worry about a thing, just read these directions below so that you’ll have a smooth and easy process after completing your 60 hour CTEC course, we have all the steps laid out for you right here in this blog post! CTEC has made some updates to their registration process, so we’ve updated these instructions, as well.
(*Please note that these directions will be helpful to you no matter if you used Pronto Tax School, Inc. as your education provider or not.)
Complete 60 Hour CTEC Course
Well first of all you need to complete the 60 hour CTEC qualifying education course. This course is a requirement for working as a professional tax preparer in California. You can take the 60 hour CTEC course online and it must be provided by an education provider that’s approved by the California Tax Education Council, such as Pronto Tax School, Inc.
Keep the Certificate of Completion for the course for your records. However, you do not need to mail the Certificate to anyone, as the hours reporting to CTEC is done electronically.
Fill Out the CTEC “New Preparer” Application to Receive a “CTEC ID Number”
Here is a summary (from the CTEC website) of the step-by-step process for registering with CTEC –> https://ctec.org/App/Preparer/NewApplication/index
The first step is to complete the CTEC “New Preparer Application.”
Once you submit that application, CTEC will send you an email notification saying:
“Please provide your CTEC ID: Axxxxxx to your Education Provider in order for them to electronically report your education to CTEC. Make sure your Education Provider information is correct in the list below. If you need to add or update this information, select from the list below and click ‘Save.’ This will give your Education Provider access to your CTEC ID electronically.”
That CTEC ID Number, which will start with the letter “A,” is what your CTEC-Approved Education Provider will need in order to report your 60 Hour CTEC Basic Income Tax Course to CTEC.
If you took your 60 Hour Basic Income Tax Course with Pronto Tax School, email our Pronto Tax School support department (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include your name and your CTEC ID Number.
Our support team will then verify your completion of the course on our system and report your 60 hours.
We will confirm with you via reply email when we have reported your hours to CTEC (we will do that promptly).
You’ll then be able to proceed with the other steps of registering with CTEC.
Get Your PTIN at IRS.gov
The Internal Revenue Service issues every tax professional an “ID number” called a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). You can go online to IRS.gov and apply for your PTIN.
Typically it’s very easy and fast to get a PTIN and, again, you can do that right here at IRS.gov.
Get Your Tax Preparer Bond
Every California tax preparer is required to have a $5,000 surety bond. No this bond does not cost $5,000, rather it provides $5,000 worth of protection to the public if you cause some harm to the public by your actions as a professional tax preparer.
If you need any help with your tax preparer bond, we recommend Ingrid Ceballos at Pronto Insurance. In addition to being an insurance professional, Ingrid is a tax professional just like you, and she will definitely take care of you with great service in English or Spanish.
The phone number to reach Ingrid at Pronto Insurance and set up your CA tax preparer bond is 310-651-5060 and here is the office location information.
Complete Your Live Scan Fingerprinting / Background Check (New for 2020)
To complete your registration with CTEC, you now must pass a fingerprinting / background check process–the notorious “Live Scan.”
In other words, your application will be held by CTEC as “pending” until you complete the Live Scan.
CTEC provides you with the Live Scan forms you’ll need within their application process on their website (described above). They’ll also give you a list of Live Scan providers in your area.
You’ll need to then get that Live Scan done with the proper forms provided by CTEC. This way, the Live Scan provider will communicate the results to CTEC.
Complete Your Registration with CTEC
OK so now you have your course completion Certificate, you have your CTEC ID, your hours have been reported to CTEC, you have a PTIN, you have your tax preparer bond, you’ve completed your background check / Live Scan, and now (assuming your background check has no issues) you are in the position of waiting for CTEC to formally approve your registration as a CTEC tax preparer.
If you’re approved, CTEC will notify you via EMAIL.
If you’re denied, CTEC will notify you via REGULAR MAIL, United States Postal Service.
If you get denied, you do have some appeal rights, that you can take up with CTEC directly.
It can take a few weeks or even months to complete the entire CTEC registration process, so get on this right away if at all possible.
Here is a “flowchart” from CTEC that shows the process of registering with CTEC, if you’d like a visual representation.
Note: CTEC Uses a “Fiscal Year” of November 1 – October 31
Now one thing that confuses a lot of new CRTPs is CTEC’s use of a “fiscal year” of November 1 through October 31.
This means that anytime you register with CTEC, your registration “covers” the period leading up to October 31 of that year.
As a new tax preparer just completing the 60 hour course, when you register with CTEC may impact whether or not you need to take the annual 20 hour CTEC renewal course, and then renew your registration before October 31.
So, if you’re seeking to avoid needing to take that 20 hour CTEC renewal course, you will want to wait to complete your initial CTEC registration until November 1 or later of the current year.
In our opinion, you should be taking the 20 hour CTEC course anyways, so that you have all the most recent tax updates. Nevertheless, we do want to be clear that if you register before October 31, you’ll need to renew your registration by October 31. Whereas if you wait to register until November 1, your registration will be good until October 31 of the following year.
If you want to verify any of these rules with CTEC itself, please visit www.ctec.org and you’ll see their contact info there.
If You Plan to Work Self-Employed, Get Your EFIN
An Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) is required to electronically file tax returns to the IRS. And nowadays, electronic filing is required for any tax professional who files 10 or more tax returns per year.
If you’ll be working at a company, you’ll use the company’s EFIN to e-file. If you want to work on your own, you’ll need to apply for your own EFIN.
If it’s anytime close to tax season, you should apply for your EFIN immediately because it takes 45-60 days for IRS to approve it.
If You Plan to Work Self-Employed, Get Your Discounted Tax Software
Speaking of working on your own, if you need high-quality, super-affordable tax software, we have an exclusive discount on the best tax software for beginner-to-intermediate tax professionals.
We have a limited number of licenses at this pricing and we sell out every year.
Here are the details on our exclusive tax software deal and you can also download a demo version of the software at this link, to test it out.
If You Plan to Work Self-Employed, Let’s Talk
If you want to work for yourself as a self-employed tax professional, we typically recommend “starting small” and building up a home-based tax preparation and consulting business.
To help you understand what that looks like, we created this free ebook for you, called How to Work Fewer than 100 Days Per Year, While Earning More than Most People Who Work 365 Days Per Year. This ebook also tells you about the options for working as an employee in a tax business, in addition to the self-employment option. You can click here to download that free ebook now if that’s of interest to you.
We have helped hundreds of people start and grow their own tax businesses and we might be able to help you, too. Click here to download the free ebook to get more info about your options.
Need Your 20 Hour CTEC Course?
Last but not least just keep in mind that if you registered with CTEC for the first time before October 31, you need to do your 20 hour CTEC course before October 31, and then renew your registration for the “new” year of November 1 – October 31. Because remember, CTEC uses a fiscal year, not a calendar year.
Is this confusing?
Welcome to the wonderful world of taxes!
Might as well learn to pay attention now because you’re going to need that skill every day from here on out.
The good news is, by completing your 60 hour CTEC course and following these detailed directions above, you have PROVEN that you have what it takes to pay enough attention to be a true tax pro.
Once again, congrats to you!!!
If you have further questions, always feel free to email email@example.com or call the Tax Education Hotline (310) 422 – 1283.
Don’t forget to check out the other training programs we have at ProntoTaxSchool.com.
We would love to be a resource for you as you continue your journey as a professional tax preparer.
- After You Complete Your 20 Hour CTEC Course Here’s What You Do Next
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