Every year, US taxpayers spend about 7.6 billion hours preparing their taxes. On the other hand, nearly 60% of them hire a tax preparer for professional help. The latest statistics show that California is the leading state with the highest employment level in tax preparers, at about 7k.
For knowing how to become a tax preparer in California, it is best to approach an expert. These top professionals offer highly engaging CTEC courses that help you gain the necessary skills and qualify for becoming a successful tax preparer. Here are the steps they guide you through to get certified as a tax preparer in California.
Completing the Tax Preparer Application With CTEC
You need to visit the CTEC website to complete your New Preparer Application online. You have to complete the Live Scan Process, which involves a background check and fingerprint scan. The California Department of Justice will review your Live Scan report and inform you if you can proceed with the registration process or your application got denied.
Professionals will ask you to check your email for approval notification and USPS for the denial letter to decide the next course of action.
Completing A CTEC Approved Qualifying Education Tax Course
Top experts explaining how to become a tax preparer in California will inform you to enroll in an online CTEC 60 hour Qualifying Education Course. The reason is that the California Tax Education Council requires you to complete the course to prepare tax returns professionally for clients in California.
Specialists will focus on teaching you about preparing California State and Federal tax returns. You may also develop skills, such as attention to detail and critical thinking to excel as a tax preparer.
Obtaining A PTIN and Purchasing A Tax Preparer Bond
You may obtain a PTIN through the IRS website, with the application process taking hardly 15 minutes. You may also apply by filing IRS Form W-12. It will take about 4-6 weeks for you to receive your PTIN.
As per the legal requirement in California, you must have a Tax Preparer Bond, offering coverage of up to $5k. It will cost you around $20 to $30 a year. It is a kind of insurance, protecting the Californian taxpayers if your actions create trouble for them. For instance, you help prepare taxes for California’s top 1% of tax filers, who have paid nearly 46% of income tax in the past, and because of your errors, they endure losses. The bond will help you in such situations.
Experts suggest applying for PTIN any time before, during, or after the course and shop for the bond online.
Registering With CTEC
To avoid retaking the course, leading experts in California recommend registering within 18 months from your CTEC course completion date.
You will have to visit the CTEC website and register as a CRTP, with the registration fee being $33.
Consult an Expert
Last year, California ranked as the highest income tax state, at 13.3%, applicable for those earning above $1 million a year.
If you want such high taxpayers to hire you as their tax preparer, consult a reputed CTEC course provider. While you will gather the correct skillset, you will get the expert guidance to diligently complete the steps to become a certified tax preparer in California.