Chartered Tax Professional for California Residents

The California Chartered Tax Professional Online Certificate Program will help you become qualified as a California Tax Preparer through the California Tax Education Council (CTEC). The California Chartered Tax Professional Certificate Program is composed of six modules in Federal income tax preparation, plus a California supplement. After successfully completing the first two Federal programs and the California lessons in the California CTP Certificate Program, you'll be qualified to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. and California taxpayers. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers.


  • Upon successful completion of this program, you'll be able to:
  • Practice as a qualified tax professional
  • Prepare tax returns for all individual U.S. taxpayers
  • Prepare small businesses corporate, partnership, and sole proprietor tax returns
  • Conduct a professional tax preparation client interview
  • Provide tax planning for individuals and small business owners
  • Meet the IRS e-File and due diligence requirements for tax practitioners
  • Understand the ethical responsibilities of tax professionals
  • Prepare for the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) examination


Notice: If you do NOT live in California, you aren't required to take this California version of the CTP program. If you don't need to or don't wish to learn California tax preparation, you should take our regular Chartered Tax Professional Online Training Program instead of the California version of the program.

The California Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) Certificate Program is composed of six modules in Federal income tax preparation, plus a California supplement. After successfully completing the first two Federal modules and the California lessons (most students finish in just 10 weeks or less), you'll be qualified to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. taxpayers. While you apply what you've learned and earn money as a California tax preparer, you'll continue your studies in advanced individual tax preparation, which will enable you to serve clients with more complex tax situations and increase your earning potential. Next you'll learn to prepare returns for small business corporations and partnerships and more complex sole proprietorships.

As you complete the modules of the CTP program, you can accumulate the required 500 hours of experience as a tax professional to qualify for the prestigious Chartered Tax Professional designation. There is a shortage of qualified tax preparers and a great demand for seasonal tax preparers. Alternatively, you can become self-employed as a tax professional.

Upon successful completion of the program, you'll receive a certificate of completion from the college or university you registered with, in addition to a very impressive CTP certificate, which you'll earn when you meet the final experience requirements. As a CTP, you'll also have the tax knowledge and experience to prepare for the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) exam if you wish to add the coveted EA credential to your professional designation as a CTP.

Each module consists of 10 three-hour lessons and can be completed in five to ten weeks (one or two lessons per week). The entire program could be completed in less than eight months, but many students will take 18-24 months, during which time they'll also gain experience and earn money as tax professionals.

If you're a CPA, CFP, attorney, or if you hold some other professional license, you may be able to satisfy some or all of your continuing education requirements through your program work in the CTP program. Income tax knowledge is valuable to many professionals because financial decisions usually involve tax consequences for their clients. Providing tax preparation services is also a great way to diversify and recruit new financial services clients.

The Steps to Becoming a CTP

1. Successfully complete The Income Tax School series of six 30-hour Income Tax Programs (four additional Programs beyond the 60-hour Comprehensive Tax Program). An average grade of at least 80% must be attained (our adult students average 90%+).

2. Meet the experience requirement of working at least two tax seasons (a minimum of 500 hours) as a tax preparer while in the program (prior tax preparation experience will count for experienced tax professionals who test out of the basic and/or intermediate programs).

After completing this comprehensive certificate program, you'll be well prepared to handle almost any individual and small business income tax situation you encounter. You'll also be ready to take the next step in your career as a tax professional by preparing for and taking the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) exam. The EA designation is the most significant credential in the income tax preparation industry, even more relevant than the CPA designation.

California Tax Education Council (CTEC)

The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) was established by the California State Legislature to promote competent tax preparation within the State of California. CTEC is a California non-profit corporation founded under the legislative authority included in the California Business & Professions Code 22250-22259.

Tax return preparers who wish to prepare returns for a fee must become registered through CTEC. Attorneys, CPAs, and Enrolled Agents are already licensed; therefore, they aren't required to be registered through CTEC.

In order to register with CTEC to become a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), you must:

1. Complete a 60-hour qualifying education (QE) program from a CTEC-approved provider.

2. Purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond from a surety bond company.

3. Complete and submit a CTEC New Provider Application by mail, or register online at The CTEC registration fee is $25.

More information is available at, or by contacting CTEC at 1-877-850-2832‪1-877-850-2832 FREE‬, or e-mailing‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Upon registering, you're given eighteen (18) months to complete this program.

  • Registration + Fees

    Begins: Open enrollment | REGISTER

    Course: OCPX800.01

    Tuition: $2,295

  • Outline

    1. California Income Tax Preparation

    1.  California CTEC Income Tax Supplement
    1. Electronic Filing
    2. W-2 and 1099 Forms
    3. Form 540 and 540A
    4. Filing Requirements
    5. Filing Status
    6. Exemptions and Dependents
    7. Dependent Care and Tax Credits
    8. Various Sources of Income
    9. Additions and Subtractions from Income
    10. Itemized Deductions
    11. Resident and Nonresident Returns
    12. Employee Business Expenses
    13. Sale of Real Estate
    14. Depreciation: MACRS and ACRS
    15. Community Property Rules
    16. Self-Employment
    17. Rental Property
    18. Capital Gains and Losses
    19. Ethics
    20. Penalties
    21. Extensions
    22. Amended Returns
    23. Political Activity Expenses
    24. Withholding on Nonresident Sales of Real Property
    25. Common Law Test for Employment
    26. Statutory Employees
    27. Independent Contractor Reporting Requirements
    28. Credit for Taxes Paid to Other States
    29. California Business and Professional Code


    2. Individual Income Tax Preparation

    1. Basic Income Tax Module
    1. Electronic Filing
    2. W-2 and 1099 Forms
    3. Form 1040 (1040 EZ/A)
    4. Interview Techniques
    5. Filing Requirements
    6. Filing Status
    7. Exemptions and Dependents
    8. Earned Income Tax Credit
    9. Due Diligence
    10. Child Care and Tax Credit
    11. Interest and Dividends
    12. Other Income
    13. Adjustments to Income
    14. Moving Expenses
    15. Itemized Deductions
    16. IRAs and Retirement Plans


    2. Intermediate Income Tax Module

    1. Employee Business Expenses
    1. Sale of Real Estate
    2. Depreciation: MACRS and ACRS
    3. Self-employment
    4. Rental Property
    5. Capital Gains and Losses
    6. Education Expenses and Plans
    7. Education Tax Benefits
    8. Ethics
    9. Kiddie Tax
    10. Taxpayer Relief Act of 1977
    11. Tax Saving Ideas
    12. Alternative Minimum Tax
    13. Office-in-Home
    14. Injured and Innocent Spouse
    15. Penalties
    16. Extensions
    17. Amended Returns


    3. Advanced Income Tax Module: Level I

    1. Earned Income Credit
    1. Clergy
    2. Investments
    3. At-risk Rules
    4. Passive Activities
    5. Injured and Innocent Spouse
    6. Tax Credits, Special Credits
    7. COGS, Business Start-up
    8. Depreciation, Amortization, and Section 179
    9. Employee Business Expense
    10. Office in Home
    11. Auto Expenses
    12. Self-employment Tax
    13. Statutory Employees
    14. Capital Gains and Losses
    15. Basis of Property
    16. Sale of Stock
    17. Installment Sales
    18. Rental Properties
    19. K-1s and 1099s
    20. Sale of Business Property
    21. Estimated Taxes
    22. Extensions


    4. Advanced Income Tax Module: Level II

    1. Amended Tax Returns for Individuals
    1. Special Needs and Concerns of Seniors
    2. Tax Issues for High-income Taxpayers
    3. Net Operating Losses
    4. Schedule D: Special Issues
    5. Tax Issues for Divorced Taxpayers
    6. Tax Planning Tips and Strategies
    7. Responding to the IRS
    8. Part-year Resident State Tax Preparation Principles
    9. Nonresident Alien Returns: Form 1040NR


    3. Small Business Income Tax Preparation

    1. Introduction to Small Business Tax Preparation
    1. Business Types
    2. Accounting Methods
    3. Financial Statements
    4. Business Income
    5. Schedule C
    6. COGS and Inventory
    7. Depreciation
    8. Section 179 Deduction
    9. Contractor vs. Employee
    10. Sale of Business Property
    11. Partnerships
    12. Corporations: C, S, LLC
    13. Employee Taxes
    14. Excise Taxes
    15. Estate Taxes
    16. Extensions
    17. Estimates
    18. Employee Benefits
    19. Retirement Plans


    2. Small Business Income Tax Course: Level II

    1. Understanding the Balance Sheet
    2. Partnership Issues
    1. Corporation Issues
    2. General Business Credits
    3. Tax Issues Related to Buying a Business
    4. Sale or Liquidation of Business
    5. Profit or Loss From Farming: Schedule F
    6. Amended or Corrected Business Returns
    7. What to Do When You Owe the IRS?
    8. Tax Preparation for Non-profits: 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), etc.
  • Requirements

    This program is compatible with the Windows XP and later operating systems and IE 7 and later browsers.

    Each of the four modules is accompanied by a student text. The entire text is provided online; however, hard copies of student texts are also provided at the start of each program for your convenience and future reference. You will receive the following materials:

    • Federal Forms
    • Federal Worksheets
    • Instructions
    • Publication
    • Tax Preparer Resources


    A high school diploma or equivalent is a prerequisite for this program. Accounting and specific math skills aren't required, just the aptitude to work with numbers and people and to read and interpret the tax laws.

    This program is suitable for all adults who seek a fast track to a professional white-collar career. Tax preparation is especially appealing to those who would enjoy helping other people by making the intimidating task of tax preparation a pleasant experience, while saving their clients money by minimizing their tax liabilities.

    Tax preparation is also an ideal career choice for those looking for part-time income. Homemakers with young children find tax preparation a convenient profession, as they're able to be off when their children are out of school for the summer, yet maintain their professional skills. College students prepare taxes as an opportunity to gain professional work experience and credentials to strengthen their resumes. Moonlighting professionals use tax preparation a source of extra income during winter months.

    Many employed and self-employed individuals such as financial services and real-estate professionals find tax preparation a complementary profession to earn extra money and generate leads for their other professional activities, while also enabling them to better serve their clients through knowledge of the tax consequences of their clients' decisions.

    If you are taking this course to begin a career in taxation you will need to meet the following requirements:

    • Complete Comprehensive Tax Course (located within program)
    • Register with the IRS and get a PTIN
    • Begin preparing tax returns as a tax preparer

    Please note that your continuing education requirements will begin once your PTIN has been issued.

  • Instructor

    Instructor support is provided through e-mail by experienced practicing tax professionals employed by Peoples Income Tax, Inc., of which The Income Tax School, founded in 1990, is a division. Peoples operates multiple tax offices in central Virginia and licenses income tax school systems and tax practice management manuals to independent tax firms nationwide. The school is certified by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) and all instructors meet SCHEV requirements.

    The school's founder and CEO, Charles E. McCabe, a 40-year veteran tax industry executive, has managed hundreds of tax preparation offices. Mr. McCabe has a B.S. degree from Adelphi University and an Executive M.B.A. degree and A.B.D. from Pace University. He is a national speaker, teacher, and author on income tax and tax practice management. Mr. McCabe is also Founding Chairman of the National Alliance of Tax Business Owners ( He serves on the Virginia Career College Advisory Board of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Dean's Advisory Council of the School of Continuing Studies of the University of Richmond.

  • FAQs

    1. Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

    Yes, because ed2go programs are online you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

    2. How long does it take to complete a program?

    Upon registering, you're given eighteen months to complete this program.

    3. Do I have to buy additional materials?

    All the materials you'll need are included, and their cost will be covered by your tuition. ed2go will ship all materials ground service upon enrollment.

    4. Can I get financial assistance?

    ed2go courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses.

    5. What happens when I complete the program?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

    6. Am I guaranteed a job?

    ed2go programs will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We don't provide direct job placement services, but our facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

    7. Who will be my instructor?

    Each student is paired up with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach.

    8. What software or hardware do I need in order to take online programs and what are the system requirements?

    In order to take our online programs, you must have access to a computer and the Internet. You can access the program contents from any Web-enabled computer. You don't have to use the same computer to log-in to the program every time. We recommend that you have a word-processing program (Microsoft Word is best) and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

    9. Can I use a Mac?

    Yes, you can use a Mac for this program.

    10. How can I get more information about the program?

    If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE chat (click the button below). If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Ask a question" button below. You may also call us at 1-855-520-6806. We will answer your questions promptly.

    11. When can I start the program?

    Our programs are all open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready. Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

    12. Are your tax programs something that an individual can study and do at home on their own, like a correspondence program?

    If so, are all the materials needed included? What does each program cost? How long does it take to complete each program? Our programs in income tax preparation are available for home study online, anywhere, anytime, 24/7. The programs are interactive, with instructional feedback and support from qualified instructors provided by e-mail. Everything you need to complete each program is available online, including the student text. The hard copy of the program isn’t a requirement; all materials needed are downloadable. However, we do include a hard copy so all students have it for future reference and for convenience. After successfully completing the COMPREHENSIVE course (the first course in the Chartered Tax Professional program), you’ll be able to prepare most individual tax returns for the general taxpaying public. You can gain practical experience while completing the advanced and small business tax programs.

    13. I just registered yesterday and got my user ID and password today. I'm excited to get started but was wondering if you recommend I wait for my book?

    You can if you want to; however, everything you need is available online. The book is a great tool to have while taking the program so you don’t have to print everything out. It’s also a great reference after you finish the program. Feel free to start your program now and just download anything you need until your book comes. It should only be a few days.

    14. What does online mean, and how will I know how I'm doing?

    Online means via the Internet. When taking an online program, you’ll receive instant feedback on the accuracy of each homework assignment, quiz, and exam. You must successfully pass each chapter (a 70% grade is passing) before you can move on to the next one. When you have a question or comment, send an e-mail to your assigned instructor through a direct link. Instructors will respond within one business day, maximum.

    15. How up-to-date are your programs?

    Our income tax programs have been or are in the process of being updated to cover the 2015 tax laws. As you know, the new tax laws that will affect 2016 tax returns have not been finalized as of yet. The 2016 laws usually become final in the last couple months of the year. We will issue tax law updates around the beginning or middle or December. The updates will detail the tax law changes for 2016. This allows you to take the current 2015 tax law program and become familiar with the tax laws as they are enacted for 2016. Just to note, all taxes using 2015 information done in 2016 use 2015 tax law. The practice problems in our program allow you time to apply the knowledge as you learn. The tax law updates provide the enhancement necessary to prepare you for the upcoming tax year. There is no additional cost for the tax law updates.

    16. Does this program qualify for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit?

    Yes. This program qualifies for CPE credit for CPAs.

    17. What makes your program different from your competitors?

    While many tax programs available focus mostly on theory, our programs are written and taught by veteran tax professionals who work year-round preparing taxes for the general public with Peoples Income Tax, Inc. Because our programs are written by tax professionals working in the tax industry every day, the material incorporates many real-life examples and truly enables the student to prepare taxes for the general public.

    18. Are you approved by CTEC?

    Yes. This California version of our CTP Program includes the curriculum approved by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) for qualifying education required for tax preparers to become licenses to practice in California.

    19. What program should I take to become a tax preparer in California?

    This California CTP Program is approved by CTEC as a qualifying program for California. There are additional requirements to become a tax preparer in California. Please visit CTEC Web site for more information.

    20. How can I be assured that no one will have access to my program information online?

    Students are issued a unique user ID and password that are required to enter the secure area of the Web site where their data is entered and stored.

    21. What is the actual response time to have questions answered by the instructor?

    Instructors will respond within one business day, maximum.

    22. Will I be able to complete an online assignment more than once?

    Yes. You must successfully complete each section with a score of 70% or better before you're able to move on to the next one.

    23. What happens if I'm unable to complete my online assignment in one sitting?

    If you’re in the middle of reading a chapter, you can simply log off. When you log back in you’ll be able to click back to exactly where you left off. If you must log off in the middle of an online graded assignment (a quiz, homework assignment, or an exam), you’ll have to start the graded assignment over when you return. To make things easier for our students, we recommend downloading the assignment and completing it offline. Then all you’ll need to do is just plug in the correct answers online. This is particularly helpful for students with a dial-up connection.

    24. How will I be notified if there is a correction for my online program?

    Corrections to your student text will be posted in the program Web site.

    25. What if I don't have enough time to complete my program within the time frame provided?

    The time allotted to complete your program has been calculated based on the number of hours for each program, so don't worry too much about not completing in time. If, after a concerted effort, you are still unable to complete, your Student Advisor will help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that a fee will be charged for an extension.

    26. Once I complete the program, how will I receive my certificate?

    Once you’ve successfully completed each program (and your final exam has been graded), you’ll need to fill out the Request for Certificate of Completion. Your instructor will then provide you with a certificate of completion by mail. Your CTP certificate will be issued after you’ve completed all programs with an average grade of 80% or more and have documented the 500 hours experience needed to qualify for the CTP designation.

    27. How would you compare your school to other tax schools?

    The Income Tax School is certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) as a private career school and is subject to the same standards as Virginia colleges governed by SCHEV. We are also a sponsor of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to provide CPE for CPAs. We’re approved by the Office of Professional Responsibility at the Internal Revenue Services as provider of qualifying continuing education for IRS Registration Tax Return Preparers (RTRPs) and Enrolled Agents (EAs). This approval does not extent to licensees of The Income Tax School. We’re approved by the Oregon Board of Tax Service Examiners.

    The Income Tax School’s programs were developed initially 19 years ago to recruit and train tax prepares for our multi-office practice in Virginia. Our curriculum is written and updated annually be experienced practicing tax professionals. All of the Income Tax School’s programs are provided online in an interactive format with instructor support by e-mail rather than by traditional home-study correspondence. We provide learning objectives, lesson quizzes with instructional feedback, and auto-graded exams. Although all of the student textbook content is online, we also provide a hard copy of the student text for convenience and future reference at no additional charge. Our programs are high-quality and are designed to provide students with the knowledge necessary to prepare tax returns professionally.