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Online Tax Professional Training

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Become a Tax Preparer in California

The State of California has some of the strictest requirements to work as a tax preparer, but also one of the greatest needs for these qualified professionals come tax season. This 100% online course will train you to work as a California Tax Preparer and meet the standards required by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

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Job Outlook for Tax Professionals

Using recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes found that California is one of the top states for tax preparers to earn the most money. The average annual salary for California Tax Preparers is approximately $60,000.

Burning Glass, a workforce analytics firm, found that the Greater Los Angeles area had one of the highest needs for tax preparers in the state.

California Tax Professionals FAQs

What is a chartered tax professional?

The designation of “Chartered Tax Professional” is given to tax preparers that pass six training modules on Federal income tax preparation. To earn this designation, individuals must meet and exceed the educational requirements set by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

How do I become a California tax preparer?

Per the State of California Franchise Tax Board, to work as a tax preparer in California, you must meet requirements set by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) and register with the CTEC. 

What are the CTEC requirements for becoming a tax preparer in California?

The CTEC requires that you:

  • Have a minimum of 60 hours of educational training from a CTEC-approved provider
  • Purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond from an insurance/surety agent
  • Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Is this course approved by the CTEC?

Yes. This course was developed in partnership with The Income Tax School, a CTEC-approved training provider.

Why are the standards for working as a tax preparer in California so strict?

Considering that many states depend on income tax revenue to fund public programs, overseeing tax preparation is vital to ensuring taxes are filed accurately and in good faith to the taxpayer. California is one of a handful of states that regulate tax preparers and require that they hold a license or meet certain state-mandates.

Course Objectives

  • Accumulate the required educational experience to qualify as a California Tax Preparer set by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC)
  • Gain the tax knowledge and experience needed to take the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam and Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Understand how to file tax returns for all individual U.S. taxpayers, small businesses, corporate partnerships and sole-proprietorships

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You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to take this course.


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  • California Income Tax Preparation
    How to prepare taxes for individuals in California; regulations and exceptions

  • Individual Income Tax Preparation
    Accounting ethics and laws that affect California's tax laws; auto expenses, self-employment tax, capital gains and losses

  • Small Business Income Tax Preparation
    Business types, accounting methods, and financial statements; general business credits, tax issues related to business, and the financial side of selling or liquidating a business.

Course Hours
: 200    Tuition: $2,295    Credits: 20

You may qualify for WIOA grant funding. Find out more.


Peoples Income Tax, Inc.

This is a self-paced course with additional support from experienced tax professionals at Peoples Income Tax, Inc., a subsidiary of The Income Tax School.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is 100% online. Start anytime.

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