Chartered Tax Professional

Become A Chartered Tax Professional!

Chartered Tax ProfessionalThe Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) designation is the undisputed professional credential for persons who typically advise clients on income tax situations.

After completing this comprehensive program, certificants will be prepared to handle almost any individual and small business income tax situation encountered.

Why Become A Certified Tax Professional?

The tax code is increasingly complicated and always seems to be changing, especially to people who only deal with it once a year when tax time approaches. A CTP designation identifies you as someone who has in-depth, comprehensive knowledge of the tax code and can help almost anyone complete their tax returns correctly and optimally. This means that earning a CTP certification can put you in high demand.

How Do You Become A Certified Tax Professional?

If you are willing to put in the work, becoming a Certified Tax Professional is relatively straightforward. You do not need a college degree, although it can increase your status. You also do not need to pass a national exam. Instead, you need to take courses in five areas of income tax preparation:
  • Comprehensive Individual Income Tax Preparation
    This course covers the basic requirements for preparing individual tax returns. It includes 20 chapters broken into four modules and includes topics such as electronic filing, form 1040, forms W-2 and 1099, exemptions and dependents and other topics likely to arise on an individual’s tax return.
  • Advanced Level 1 Individual Income Tax Preparation
    The next level of coursework, this course gives you the information required to process more complicated returns, covering subjects like EIC, at-risk rules, business start-ups, amortization, Section 179, self-employment tax, home office and similar subjects.
  • Advanced Level II Individual Income Tax Preparation
    The most advanced stage of individual income tax knowledge, this CTP certification course covers such issues as high-income taxpayers, divorced taxpayers, nonresident alien returns, net operating losses and special Schedule D issues.
  • Small Business Level 1 Income Tax Preparation
    The final two courses required for the CTP designation deal with the business side of income tax preparation. Level one covers such areas as types of businesses, business income, accounting methods, partnerships, C, S and LLC corporation, estate taxes and related business tax issues.
  • Small Business Level II Income Tax Preparation
    The more advanced business tax course in the program includes such more complex areas as partnership and corporation issues, farming, business liquidation, 501[c]3 companies and more.
Show proficiency by passing the online exam at the end of each course with an 80 percent score or better, and you will receive your certificate, providing you have worked at least two tax seasons as a tax preparer during the process (see below). There may be some specific state requirements, as well (See Oregon and California). CPA Training Center offers both the online required courses for CTP certification and comprehensive CTP exam prep courses to give you the best opportunity to pass each course on the first attempt.

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Candidates must successfully complete a series of five computer-administered courses in income tax preparation. All courses are offered via the Internet and can be completed anywhere, anytime-24/7 – instructor support is included with each module.

Each course ranges from 30-60 hours, and the program can be completed in 5-10 weeks (one or two lessons per week). The entire program could be completed in less than eight months, but generally students complete the program in 18-24 months.

Required Courses
Examination Requirements

Candidates are required to take an online exam for each module and need a passing score of 80% or better.

Additional Requirements

Candidates must meet an 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 courses).

Continuing Education Requirements

Beginning with the year after qualifying as a Chartered Tax Professional, certificants must complete 16 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) annually to maintain their CTP status.

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