CRTP or CPA?

Which Designation Is a Better Choice for Your Income Tax Services?

CRTP Professional Education Requirements Compared to CPAs

Your tax returns will be prepared by a California Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), who has undergone a rigorous course curriculum and an examination specifically geared to federal and California income tax law, procedure and preparation. CPAs take a 4 hour exam on federal taxation only, only once in their career, and the examination does not include California tax law or procedure.

CPAs are not required to update their income tax knowledge and stay current with continuing professional income tax education to renew their CPA license. CPAs are required to complete 80 hours of education every two years, but none of it is required to involve either federal or California income taxation.

By contrast, CRTPs are required to renew their California state registration every year and are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of tax education, involving both federal and California tax laws and procedure, to qualify for renewal. Registration must be completed and renewed every year.

CRTP Professional Client Protection Compared to CPAs

Your tax returns will be prepared by a California Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), covered by a $5,000 consumer protection bond, which CPAs do not offer.

In the event of an incompetent CPA, no performance bond is available to compensate a client who has wrongfully suffered damages.

CRTP Professional Service Choices Compared to CPAs

Your tax returns will be prepared by a California Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), who is not prohibited by restrictive CPA regulations to provide a wide variety of services with flexible compensation options for your convenience. CRTPs may engage in coordinated services such as insurance coverage, investment advice through licensing, and financial planning without having arbitrary licensing conflicts as do CPAs.

CRTP Income Tax Specialization Compared to CPAs

Your tax returns will be prepared by a California Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), who is an income tax specialist. By contrast, CPAs are not required to be income tax specialists, usually have taken only only course in federal taxation in college, have only one section of the CPA examination relating to federal taxation, and may engage in a broad variety of accounting matters not related to income taxation. Many CPAs are not tax accountants and are not income tax specialists. By contrast, CRTPs are specifically trained and registered annually on income tax matters, both federal and California, to qualify for re-registration.

What’s a CRTP?

CRTP Professional Income Tax Designation
CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)
CTEC, California Tax Education Council

The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) was authorized by the State of California in 1997 to register and administer professional tax preparers in California. Only California and Oregon have such agencies to administer and monitor continuing professional education programs for tax professionals not otherwise administered by other agencies.

The designation authorized by CTEC is the CTEC Registered Tax Preparer accreditation (CRTP), which must be updated annually through renewal of both a $5,000 bond and proof of completion of 20 hours of authorized continuing professional education in specifically-approved tax courses.

CPAs are not required to complete any continuing education courses in taxation whatsoever, regardless of their practice specialty or marketing their materials.

Thomas Kalajian has satisfied these requirements continuously since 2001, and has consistently scored in the top 5% on his qualifying education test scores.