California Tax Preparer Continuing Education

We are an approved Continuing Education Provider for California Tax Preparers. Our CTEC approval number is 6258. You can find us on the Approved Education Providers page as @ 1st Attempt.

We will report your CE credits to CTEC and you will be able to print out your certificate upon completion.


California 20 Hour Tax Preparer CE Updates

clock hour icon 20h course

This new 2021 package will give California tax preparers 20 hours of continuing education credit, and will meet the requirements for license renewal. It will cover the required topics of ethics, federal updates, federal tax law, and California-specific tax law. At the end of the package, you'll have met all of the requirements for license renewal, all at your own pace!

4.6 1047 Reviews

5 Hour California Tax Law Course

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This course is designed for California state tax preparers. Our discussion covers the federal government’s response to the pandemic, including the American Rescue Plan and the CARES Act, along with their effect on California in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, we cover the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and we’ll revisit basic California tax forms.

4.5 336 Reviews

3 Hour Federal Tax Updates

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This course provides 3 hours of Tax Updates content, and teaches on the topics of important federal tax updates for 2021, update of inflation adjustments for 2021, standard deductions and tax rates, explanation of filing information, refunds, amounts owed, and recordkeeping. Once you’re finished, you’ll be three hours closer to renewing your license, all at your own pace!

4.7 114 Reviews

2 Hour Tax Preparer Ethics Updates

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This course will satisfy the required 2 hours of Ethics for Tax Preparers and will cover the basic concepts of ethics for professional tax preparers by providing a review of Circular 230, alongside the rules relating to ethics and penalties for breaking those rules. Once you’re finished, you’ll be 2 hours closer to renewing your license, all at your own pace!

4.5 198 Reviews

10 Hour Federal Tax Law Course Updates

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This course will give California tax preparers 10 hours of continuing education credit for license renewal. This class focuses on federal topics, going over the basis of property, reporting of tip income, self-employed taxes, and dependent exemptions. At the end of the course, you'll have completed 10 credit hours for license renewal, all at your own pace!

4.5 79 Reviews

Continuing Education Requirements for CA Tax Preparers

As a registered tax preparer in the state of California, you're subject to the rules and regulations laid out by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC). And that means you need to take the required California 60-hour tax course to get registered with CTEC and you need to take CTEC continuing education courses to renew your registration each year. 

That might leave you with questions. How do you find a California tax preparer course CTEC has approved? What are the CE requirements for tax preparers in terms of hours? 

That's why we built this guide. It's a resource you can use to learn about the California-approved tax continuing education training you need to maintain your registration. 

CTEC renewal requirements

Every year, CTEC requires you to take at least 20 California tax preparer course hours. This CTEC continuing education (CE) needs to be taken from an approved education provider. 15 of the hours need to cover the federal tax curriculum, with the remaining five hours focusing on the California tax curriculum. 

Fortunately, you have options to meet these CE requirements for tax preparers. You can take your California tax preparer course hours in person, or you can complete them online. Choosing online California tax preparer continuing education gives you the flexibility to knock out your hours whenever your schedule allows.

That's not the only tax preparer renewal requirement that affects you, though. In total, the things you need to do to renew your registration each year are:

  • Complete 20 CTEC license renewal course hours (15 federal, 5 state)
  • Renew your preparer tax identification number (PTIN) with the IRS
  • Maintain the $5,000 bond you secured to get your registration
  • Renew your registration with CTEC
  • Pay the required renewal fee (it's $33 before October 31, $88 [including a $55 delinquent fee] after that date)

If you don't do these things by January 15 of the upcoming year, CTEC dissolves your registration. You'll be seen as a new tax preparer moving forward, which means taking the California 60-hour tax course again.

Is there a penalty for not registering with CTEC as a tax preparer?

Yes. If you're a non-exempt tax preparer and you don't register with CTEC before preparing taxes for a fee, they can assess a penalty of $2,500. If you get caught again, the penalty hikes up to $5,000.

What is a $5,000 California tax preparer bond?

Because you can take your 20 California tax preparer course hours online each year and submit your renewal online, too, the process is fairly streamlined. That might leave you with one question: what about the required bond?

Basically, this bond - called a surety bond - serves as protection for your clients. If you fail to properly serve a client, they can make a claim on your bond. If the surety company that issued your bond finds the claim valid, a portion or all of your bond can go to satisfy that claim. 

Don't worry. You won't have to pay $5,000 to get this bond. The premium on your bond should range between 1-15%, meaning you should be able to get this bond for anywhere from $50 to $750. 

Complete your 20 hours of California tax preparer continuing education, maintain your bond, renew your PTIN, and submit your renewal on time and you shouldn't have any problems maintaining your tax preparer registration.

California State Approval Letters

August 6, 2018


At Your Pace Online, LLC dba @ 1st Attempt

1383 2nd Ave. Gold Hill, OR 97525

Attn: Tony Bowers

RE: Correction submitted - 2018 New Provider Application for CE Self-Study Course – Provider #6258

As requested in our correspondence dated June 26, 2018, CTEC has received and reviewed the revised information submitted by At Your Pace Online, LLC dba @ 1st Attempt, regarding the above referenced course and has determined that the information submitted corrects the deficiencies identified during CTEC’s initial review. Your status as a CTEC approved education provider is, therefore, approved on condition you continue to abide by all CTEC education standards for this and other courses you offer. CTEC has the authority under CP28(e) to review, by audit, additional courses you offer.

Maintaining your status as an approved curriculum provider is dependent upon conforming to the policies, procedures and standards of the California Tax Education Council, including Chapter 14 (Sections 22250-22259) of the California Business & Professions Code, which can be found on our website.

  • Your CTEC Provider number is 6258.
  • You are authorized to offer Continuing Education (Self-study courses).
  • This approval automatically expires on June 30, 2021.

If you have any questions not covered in this mailing, please contact Tabitha Bolkish in the CTEC office. We look forward to working with you to implement, enhance and enforce meaningful guidelines for the education of tax preparers.

Thank you for your continuing efforts to provide quality education to the tax preparer community.


Ruth H. Godfrey Chair, Curriculum Provider Standards Committee California Tax Education Council (CTEC)