60 Hour ONLINE QE Course
45 Federal Law Hours 15 California Hours
Powered by The Income Tax School

If you wish to become a tax preparer in the state of California, you need to visit the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) website as you will need to register to become a California Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)

Price: $399 without books or $500 online with books


With Books:

Order this course with books and you will receive all of the reading materials that are viewable online to be printed and bound for your easy reference while completing the course. (Prices of books are included in shipping costs.)

How to Become a CRTP and Who Must Register?

All CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) must…

  • First complete 60-hours (45 hours federal and 15 hours state) of qualifying tax education from a CTEC Approved Provider
  • Obtain a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) from the IRS
  • Purchase a $5,000 tax preparer bond
  • Register with CTEC within 18 months from the completion date on the certificate of completion 

Comprehensive Tax Course Package Includes:

  • Online, self-study beginner tax course
  • Study anywhere/anytime with an internet connection
  • No prerequisites required.
  • Divided into 4 modules, 5 chapters per module, a total of 20 chapters, a total of 60 CE credit hours
  • FREE academic support from tax school instructors provided by email

We are a CTEC approved provider and we offer the qualifying tax education course.

# of Chapters # of Modules # of Quizzes # of Final Exam Estimated Time Per Chapter
Comprehensive-CA edition 20 chapters-FED; 20 chapters STATE 4 modules FED; 4 modules STATE 8 quizzes FED; 8 quizzes state 1 exam after every 5 chapters( 4 FED; 4 STATE) 6-9 hours FED; 3-5 STATE

Please keep in mind the estimated time per chapter is an average and depends greatly on the student’s comprehension of the subject matter, how quickly one progresses, and the time dedicated to studying.  All chapters may not take as long as stated, while others may take longer. 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to

  • Prepare most individual tax returns
  • Perform a thorough interview with a taxpayer
  • Determine a taxpayer's filing status and eligibility for exemptions
  • Accurately report income and deductions for a taxpayer
  • Determine a taxpayer's eligibility for credits and deductions
  • Complete Schedules C-EZ, C and E
  • Compute depreciation for assets and eligibility for Section 179
  • Accurately calculate a taxpayer's refund or balance due
  • Advise a taxpayer in tax planning strategies
  • Become a California CTEC Registered Tax Preparer if you completed the state supplement with this course for that specific state.

How do the courses work?

The Qualifying Course is powered by The Income Tax School. In the course, you will read material, print out material, work through learning activities, review questions, quizzes and/or tests offline, and plug in your answers online for automated grading. You will need to complete each item in the order in which it appears. You will need to complete each chapter in the order in which it appears as well. This is a self-study/self-paced program.  
The Income Tax School teaches students how to actually prepare tax returns manually, and CSTC provides expert instructor support by email to [email protected].  Practical application by preparing actual tax returns results in the tax preparation knowledge being internalized and the quizzes and exams also serve to support student learning.  You will learn how to prepare returns without using tax preparation software with comprehensive online tax courses. By preparing practice tax returns manually instead of having tax software do it for you, you will learn the tax laws and be prepared to correctly prepare tax returns. The tax returns that you are preparing are based on real-life scenarios. That enables you to internalize the knowledge and gives you a solid foundation you can continue to build on. We follow up with quizzes and an exam to make sure that the knowledge is really sinking in. You can download the quizzes and exam beforehand and prepare them of and input your answers online at your own pace when you are confident with your answers.

The Income Tax School teach tax preparation—not tax preparation to one particular software. This way, you can learn the art of tax preparation and apply it critically to different types of software. Remember: Software is only as good as the operator who is using—if you don’t have the knowledge, you won’t know if you are asking the right questions.

This course teaches you the fundamentals of federal tax law. And it doesn’t just teach you the law--you also learn how to apply it in your review questions and learning activities by preparing practice tax returns.

The best way to learn taxes is to learn what is available now and adjust your new skills and knowledge to tax law changes.  The IRS doesn’t finalize forms and instructions for the upcoming tax year until late fall, early winter and sometimes even later.  It is for this reason that tax courses will always be written based on the prior year’s tax law. Tax Law Updates bridge the gap between the material currently being studied and the tax code changes being implemented in the upcoming tax year.   Knowledge of previous year tax laws will be necessary to review the accuracy of a taxpayers’ prior year tax returns, to understand when and if an amended return is necessary, and to understand when information from a previous year’s return may need to be carried over to the current year return.

Sounds like a course you want to take, click the register button below!

Following the course, email CSTC Staff at [email protected] and let us know you have completed the course. We will verify you have passed with at least 70 percent and will then issue you a certificate and report your completion to CTEC.


  • CTEC’s annual registration cycle runs from November 1st to October 31st of the following year.
  • After your initial registration, you must complete 20-hours of continuing education annually from a CTEC approved provider and renew your registration with CTEC by October 31st each year.  If you do not renew by October 31st, your registration will expire and you are not permitted to prepare taxes until your renew.
  • There is a late renewal period that runs from November 1st through January 15th of the following year.  If you renew during that time period, a late registration fee will apply.
  • If you fail to renew by January 15th of any given year, you will be required to retake the 60-hour qualifying education course and register as a new preparer.
  • You must have a SSN to register with CTEC.
  • You must have a valid PTIN to register with CTEC.
  • CRTPs are registered, NOT licensed, certified or enrolled.  
  • Courses are offered year round — many CRTPs think classes don’t begin until August.  
  • Completing CE before the October 31st deadline, but registering after the deadline, does not exempt a CRTP from paying the $55 late fee.  
  • Unless specified, education providers do not register students with CTEC.
  • Almost a third of CRTPs do not take advantage of the IRS AFTR program.  To enroll, simply go to your PTIN account and agree to abide by Sub part B of Circular 230.

Term of Course

  • 6 months from date of registration to complete the course.
  • Extensions can be purchased through the Income Tax School if more time is needed.

Updated Content

  • Our current courses are based on last year's tax law because this year's tax code is not finalized until December. We provide all students with a free Tax Law Update once the IRS issues updates.

Topics Include

  • Electronic Filing
  • W-2 & 1099 Forms
  • Form 1040 (1040 EZ/A)
  • Interview Techniques
  • Filing Requirements
  • Filing Status
  • Exemptions & Dependents
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Due Diligence
  • Child Care & Tax Credits
  • Interest & Dividends
  • Other Income
  • Adjustments to Income
  • Itemized Deductions
  • Employee Business Expenses
  • Sale of Real Estate
  • Depreciation
  • Self-Employment
  • Rental Property
  • Capital Gains & Losses
  • Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Education Expenses & Plans
  • IRAs & Retirements Plans
  • Ethics
  • Kiddie Tax
  • Tax Saving Ideas
  • Same Sex Marriage
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Tax Law Updates