California Tax Education Council


 

CTEC APPLICATION PROCESS FOR NEW PREPARERS


Read before continuing with your application.

An asterisk on the application is a required field (* Required fields)

This is the application to apply for CTEC registration. Completing this application does not guarantee registration. Once your application is approved, you can begin the registration process.

If you were previously registered with CTEC and let your registration expire, you must re-take the 60-hour qualifying education course from an approved education provider, pass a background check and register as a NEW applicant.

If required, be sure to select the appropriate application cycle year and type of application.

STEP 1 - COMPLETE ONLINE APPLICATION FOR NEW PREPARERS

Click the link below to begin your Online Application. You will be required to enter all required personal information, complete a background questionnaire and create your login account. Be sure the email address you provide is current and accurate. Add a secondary email address (optional). Email addresses are used for communication during the background review process as well as registration renewal notification. You will be required to create a New User ID and Password. The New User ID and Password you create here will replace any previous User ID and Password that exists from your old account. 

NOTE: You have the option to start your required 60-Hour Qualifying Education (QE) Course before beginning the Online Application; however, if you take the 60-Hour QE Course but do NOT pass the new CTEC requirements of a background check and fingerprinting procedure (Live Scan), you will not be able to register with CTEC.

Click here to Start New Application    OR    Click here to Login and Access Your Existing Application


STEP 2 - COMPLETE LIVE SCAN PROCESS

CTEC now requires all new applicants to pass a background check and fingerprinting procedure (Live Scan) in order to become registered with CTEC. Login to your account, which you created in STEP 1, using the link below to access Live Scan forms and find Live Scan locations near you.

You will be required to complete the background questionnaire section. All offenses MUST be fully reported, even if they have been adjudicated, dismissed, expunged or have occurred more than 10 years ago.

You will have the ability to upload any supporting documents to be used in the background investigation process.

You will be required to download and complete a Live Scan Form. Take the completed Live Scan Form with you to the Live Scan location you have selected where they will complete the fingerprinting process and send the information electronically to the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Live Scan Facility will return the completed form to you for your records. DO NOT send this form to CTEC.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will notify CTEC electronically with your background information, which then will be reviewed by CTEC. This process can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks.

NOTE: Your application will remain “Pending” until CTEC receives your Live Scan report from the California Department of Justice.

Login to your Account to Access Live Scan Forms and Locations


STEP 3 - CTEC NOTIFICATION OF LIVE SCAN APPROVAL OR DENIAL

CTEC Live Scan reviewers will receive and review reports from the California Department of Justice. Either an approval or denial notification will be sent to the applicant. If approved, the notification will be sent via email within 1-2 weeks. If denied, the notification will be sent via USPS within 1-2 weeks. If approved, the applicant can then continue with the registration process below. If denied, the process to appeal will be outlined in the denial letter.

You may be contacted by CTEC (via email) if additional information is needed regarding your background check. If additional information is requested and no response is received, you may receive a proposed denial letter.

If 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.

If denied, the notification will be sent via email and USPS within 5 weeks.


CTEC REGISTRATION PROCESS


STEP 1 - TAKE A 60-HOUR QUALIFYING EDUCATION (QE) COURSE FROM A CTEC APPROVED PROVIDER

Complete the required 60-Hour Qualifying Education (QE) Course from a CTEC Approved Provider. Click the link below to find a CTEC Approved Provider.

Find a CTEC Approved Education Provider


STEP 2 - OBTAIN OR HAVE A VALID PERSONAL TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (PTIN) FROM THE IRS

Go to IRS.gov/tax professional to apply for a Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN). You are required to have this number for CTEC registration.


STEP 3 - PURCHASE OR HAVE 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. Use the Internet to search for surety bond companies. Once you receive the bond, you will need to upload a copy of that bond to your CTEC account. You will find directions on the uploading process once you are in your account.

View CTEC's Bonding Requirements


STEP 4 - COMPLETE ONLINE CTEC REGISTRATION AND SUBMIT PAYMENT

Once you have completed your 60-hour QE course from your CTEC approved provider, received your PTIN number from the IRS, and received your $5,000 tax preparer surety bond, you will need to complete the online CTEC registration process. Click the link below to access your CTEC account and finalize your registration.

Login to your Account to Access Online Registration