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If you have not already completed your new tax preparer Qualifying Education requirement, you can get stated here:

CTEC 60 Credit Course

After completing your 60-credit Qualifying Education CTEC course, follow the instructions below to make the registration process as easy as possible.

  1. Complete your 60 credit hour CTEC Qualifying Education Course.
    • All CTEC credit reporting is done electronically.
    • This step does not have to be done first.

  2. Visit CTEC.org & Complete the "Application for New Tax Preparers" to Get your CTEC ID Number.

  3. Complete Live Scan Fingerprint Process.
    • CTEC now requires all new applicants to pass a background check and fingerprinting procedure (Live Scan) in order to become registered with CTEC.
    • Your application will remain "Pending" until CTEC receives your Live Scan report from the California Department of Justice.
    • Once approved, you will receive an email from CTEC with instructions on how to proceed with the registration process. Your certificate of completion will be sent to you within 4-6 weeks after approval and paid registration.

  4. Obtain or Renew Your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) with the IRS.

  5. Purchase a valid Tax Preparer Surety Bond.
    • As required by law, you must purchase a $5,000 Tax Preparer Surety Bond from a surety bond company in order to register with CTEC.
    • Bonds vary in length of coverage and cost, but the typical bond costs less than $50 per year of coverage.
    • Once you receive the bond, you will need to upload a copy of that bond to your CTEC account.

  6. Complete CTEC Registration & Submit Payment at CTEC.org.
    • We suggest waiting until after November 1st, if possible, to avoid having to also complete the CTEC 20 hour Continuing Education course for returning tax preparers before the immediate next tax season.
    • Important: California uses a fiscal year for registration. Finalizing your registration with CTEC prior to November 1st of the current year may lead to the CTEC 20 hour continuing education course being required as well.
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