All tax preparers operating in the state of California are subject to operating under the guidelines of CTEC (California Tax Education Council). CTEC is a non-profit corporation founded to promote competent tax preparation within the State of California. CTEC is also the common name for the identification number given to preparers registered in California to preparer tax returns. People who complete the requirements to obtain this number are known as “CRTPs” (California Registered Tax Preparers)
- How do I become a CRTP?
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 surly 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 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!
- 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 register 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 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 CTEC bond.
- Renew the registration by October 31st of each year. (There is a “grace period” until January 15th.)
- How do I obtain the credits?
There are numerous options available for obtaining your credits, but you should be sure to look for a CTEC Approved Provider. Federal Direct is a CA CTEC Approved Provider so all of your course work done through Federal Direct and Preparertraining.com will be reported to CTEC. Be sure to add your CTEC number to your account profile or when completing courses to ensure proper CTEC reporting and credit tracking.
- What about the Surety Bond?
The Surety Bond can also be purchased through independent insurance brokers and vendors. Typical bond pricing can be found for as low as $30/year.
Along with annually renewing your PTIN (preparers tax identification number), the state of Maryland requires preparers to take and pass an examination in order to qualify for registration as well as maintaining a minimum amount of bi-annual Continuing Education Credits.
- What does Maryland mean by “Individual Tax Preparers”?
MD considers “Individual Tax Preparers” to be those individuals, in good standing, registered by the State Board of Individual Tax Preparers who prepare, assist, advise, or assume financial responsibility of preparation for someone else’s federal or State income tax returns for ‘valuable consideration.’ Basically, the definition is anyone in good standing who prepares taxes for money or as a business venture.
- Who is exempt from Maryland Tax Preparer Registration?
Maryland considers five (5) classes of individuals for exemptions:
- Current, active CPAs registered by MD or any other state
- Any individual, in good standing, admitted to practice law in MD or any other state
- Any individual employed by a local, state, or federal governmental agency, but only for official duties
- Enrolled Agents (EAs) enrolled to practice before the IRS
- Any individual serving as an employee or an assistant to a registered Individual Tax Preparer, or serving under one of the four (4) prior classes of individuals listed above.
- What is the cost for the Test?
The test is administered through a third-party contracted by Maryland called PSI Services, LLC. The exam cost is $65 and can be scheduled through the PSI Services website:
- What is the cost for registering with Maryland?
The registration is bi-annual, meaning that it will need to be renewed every two years. The registration itself expires two (2) years after acceptance. The application for registering or renewing registration is $100 every two (2) years.
- What are the Continuing Education Requirements?
The Maryland board requires sixteen (16) hours of continuing education every two (2) years upon renewal of registration. Four (4) of these hours must be on Maryland-specific tax topics. However, two (2) of those “Maryland hours” can be satisfied by any federal or State course on Ethics.
- Where can I find more information on Maryland preparer requirements?
For the most up-to-date information on Maryland Tax Preparer Requirements you should visit the Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparer website at:
On the bottom black footer bar the text should be Maryland Specific
That sounds pretty simple.
It sure does! In fact, most of the common question and answers are located on the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s website or you can reach them directly at (410) 230-6257.
New York has their own requirements and regulations governing tax preparation of New York state level tax preparation. A NYTPIN (New York Tax Preparer Identification Number) must be obtained, and certain preparers must completed additional training to obtain and maintain this number annually. New York can penalize tax preparers if proper steps are not taken.
- Who is required to take continuing education in New York?
The new regulations issued by the New York Department of Taxation and Finance state that “commercial tax return preparers” need to take and maintain a specific amount of CE hours per year.
- Who is considered a commercial tax return preparer?
The State of New York considers those preparers who do the following to be classified as Commercial Tax Preparers, subject to the annual registration fee:
- Preparers paid to prepare ten (10) or more NY State returns during the preceding year, who will file at least one (1) return during the current calendar year
- Preparers paid to prepare ten (10) or more NY State returns during the current calendar year
- What are the Continuing Education requirements?
Initially, those required to take CE are required to obtain sixteen (16) hours of CE the first year, with four (4) for each year after that. Preparers who have prepared returns for three (3) separate years prior and filed at least ten (10) returns during this period must only take the minimum four (4) hours on an annual basis.
- Where can I obtain more info on New York preparer requirements?
For more info you should visit the New York tax preparer registration website at
You can also call them directly at (518) 457-1929
That sounds pretty simple.
It sure does! In fact, most of the common question and answers can be located on the NY Department of Taxation and Finance website at
Licensing and Regulation’s website or you can reach them directly at (518) 457-1929.
- Who is exempt from the New York continuing education requirements?
Enrolled Agents, Attorneys, Public Accountants, Certified Public Accountants and any employees under these types of credentialed preparers, or volunteer tax preparers or employees of a business whose only tax-related job is to prepare the state return for the business, are exempt from the New York Continuing Education requirements.
- Is there a testing requirement?
The State of New York requires all Commercial Tax Preparers to pass a state competency examination. This test must be passed within three (3) years after the state releases the test. In addition, if at any time the IRS requires a competency examination (such as a revision of the RTRP program or its equivalent), the preparer would have to pass that examination as well.
- Where can I obtain New York continuing education credits?
There is only one (1) authorized source for the required NYS tax continuing education, and that is through the State of New York’s Statewide Learning Management System (SMLS). CE that counts for satisfying the IRS requirements does not count. Only the courses offered through the SMLS count toward this requirement. You can find these courses through your Online Services account with the state, under the “Registration and Continuing Education Training Tax Return Preparers” page, by selecting SMLS. These classes are free.
State Level Tax Preparer Continuing Education, quick and convenient. Delivered online, credits automatically reported to the state agency, and available 24-7-365 to fit your busy schedule!