A & B Office

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions have been frequently asked by visitors to our site. You will find the answers to the most general questions below. If, after reviewing the questions below, you still cannot find an answer or need further assistance please click on the Contact Us link above.

Your website was recently redesigned, how do I get around?

Our website was recently redesigned exclusively for your convenience. Our goal is to provide you with a user-friendly experience by making each visit and transaction seamless. It’s highly recommended that you log-in with your CTEC id number if you have one, if you forget your password please click on the Forgot Password link. 

Once logged-in to the site, the Customer Account page will be your main navigation point. From here you will access your personal information, view order history, access the download center (materials), take online tests, and view important documents linked to your account - such as continuing education certificates. You will then be ready to browse through courses and materials, add them to your shopping cart, and begin your education!



How do I become a CTEC (California Tax Education Council) Registered Tax Preparer and obtain my tax license?

First, Obtain 60 hours of qualified education (QE) from a CTEC approved provider like A&B Office Tax School. Second, obtain a $5,000 Tax Preparer bond - our sister company FinanGroup/Saavedra Insurance Agency can provide you with a one-year bond at the discounted price of $59 (click for more information). Third, submit an application to CTEC along with a $25 registration fee. Once you have your passing certificate, bond, and are registered with CTEC, you will be on your way to a new career as a tax preparer!



Is A&B Office Income Tax Training School accredited?


A&B Office, Income Tax Training School is an accredited education provider and recognized by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) - provider number 1057. To confirm call (877) 850-2832, or visit CTEC for more information. We are also an accredited education provider of the Internal Revenue Service - provider number 4T3EX; visit the IRS for more information.



How do I know if a tax course meets the “Qualifying Education” requirements?

A “qualifying education” tax course meets requirements when no less than 60 hours of instruction is taught in basic personal income tax law, theory, and practice by an approved curriculum provider. Of the required 60 hours, 45 hours shall be concerned with federal tax curriculum and 15 hours shall be concerned with state tax curriculum (ethics material is also covered). All approved courses by CTEC have an assigned three part course number that includes a "QE" such as (9999-QE-9999). These numbers are available from the provider and are found on the course completion certificate that is issued from the school to students who successfully complete the course.


What is the continuing education (20-hr course) requirement?

Once you are registered with CTEC, you must complete 20 hours (15 hours of federal taxation, 5 hours of California taxation) of continuing education by October 31st of each year. CTEC begins taking renewal registrations from preparers on August 1st of each year.



When does the time period for continuing education start?

CTEC begins taking renewal registrations from preparers on August 1st of each year. Once you are registered with CTEC, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education by October 31st of each year. Student can register with CTEC after October 31 but will pay a late fee; CTEC may also impose additional requirements.



The IRS requires paid tax preparers to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), what does this mean for me?

Effective January 1, 2011, the IRS is requiring all paid tax preparers who prepare or assist with preparing federal tax returns to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Applicants will have to pay a $64.25 fee and renew their PTIN each year by December 31st (also applicable to new applicants). Since this is an IRS mandate, CTEC registered tax preparers (CRTPs) will no longer be allowed to renew their CTEC registration unless they have a valid PTIN. CRTPs will not be exempt from any of the new IRS examinations and continuing education requirements. The IRS has created a Return Preparer Office to handle the new registration system and continuing education requirements. CRTPs and all RTRPs will have to complete 15 federal CE hours each year. Register online at www.irs.gov and click on the Tax Professionals tab.



How do I obtain a statement of compliance from CTEC?

Within 18 months of completing a qualifying education course (60-hr course), obtain a $5,000 Tax Preparer bond from an insurance/surety company and complete a New Preparer application with CTEC. Mail the application to CTEC along with a check for $25. You will receive your statement of compliance as a Registered Tax Preparer within 4 to 6 weeks.  


How do I obtain a tax preparer bond?

FinanGroup/Saavedra Insurance Agency www.saavedrainsurance.com is our affiliate / sister company, they will provide a quick and convenient way to obtain a bond at a very affordable price. Note that you must be at least 18 years old, and submit the provided bond application to our school to complete the bond process. For more information on how to apply for a Tax Preparers bond click here.



I've been subject to the tax regulations and have been registered with CTEC; currently my tax bond is set through my employer. I want to prepare taxes on my own; do I need to start from the beginning and take the Qualifying Education requirements?

Your previous bond will most likely not cover your tax business outside of your employer. Until you obtain a valid bond to cover your new tax business, state law will prohibit you from preparing taxes.


I've never taken a home/self study course. Can I really learn on my own with mail or internet courses?

Certainly! Millions of people all over the world are using this method, especially now with the convenience of the internet. Many people are taking advantage of our home study courses and are preparing themselves for a new career, pay increase, job advancement, or simply for personal enrichment. Our new online courses are up to par with the latest online educational methods, much like many online university classes. We also have one of the highest passing rates in the industry.



Do I need prior schooling to take the 60-hr Qualifying Education course?

It would be helpful to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. However, if you can read and write, have average intelligence, and have the sincere desire to succeed in this new career - you should be able to master this course!


Are there any extras I must buy?

No. All of our courses have their respective cost/tuition; this covers the entire course from beginning to end and any subsequent support from the course instructor(s). All of the course materials are included in one affordable price.



How long will it take me to complete the Qualifying Education course (60hr)?

If you study regularly, you should be able to graduate within 30 days. The school automatically allows students 90 days to complete the course. Note that if an extension is needed we are able to allow up to four months to complete the course. The course and its final exam must be completed within 12 months from the date of purchase, after this date the course expires.


When can I legally prepare taxes?

You may begin preparing tax returns after you complete the required education, obtain your bond and are registered with CTEC.



What happens if I don’t complete my continuing education and apply for a statement of compliance with CTEC by October 31st?

Your status will be changed to "delinquent" until you complete the required education and complete the renewal application. You will also need to pay the $25.00 registration fee and a $55.00 delinquent/late fee. Your status will remain delinquent until your application is processed by CTEC. Note that during this time your bond may be canceled by your insurance/surety company, and a tax preparer may not conduct business without a current surety bond. The grace period for late renewals will also be cut short from 12 months to 10 weeks starting November 1, 2012. CRTPs who do not renew their registration by January 15, 2013, and each year thereafter, will have to re-take the 60-hour qualifying education course, pass an exam from an approved education provider and register as new CRTPs.


Does the statute allow CTEC to approve work experience in lieu of qualifying education?

CTEC is authorized to consider “a minimum of two recent years experience in the preparation of personal income tax returns” to determine if an individual has achieved “the equivalent of the required qualifying education.” Those who prepared taxes in violation of the statute may not use such time to qualify for this exception. Call CTEC to receive an Experience In Lieu of Education Application. The above means that anyone who has had a CPA, EA, or Attorney License for the last two years; anyone who was employed by one of those three for the last two years; or anyone moving to CA from out of state with two years experience, may apply to receive an exemption from taking the full 60-hr qualifying course. You may only use this application - which must be requested by e-mail at info@ctec.org, or by calling 1-877-850-2832 - if you fit into one of the above categories. Please do not try to use this application if you do not qualify.



Who is exempt from the Tax Preparers Act (Business and Professions Code)?

Generally speaking, CPAs, Attorneys, Enrolled Agents and anyone employed by these individuals are exempt from the Act. For a full description of all requirements please refer to Section 22258-22259. Copies of The Tax Preparer Act and a "General Information for Tax Preparers" are available from CTEC.


Who is required to comply with the Tax Preparers Act?

Any person who for a fee, assists with or prepares a State or Federal tax return, or assumes responsibility for such a return, or who offers these services.


Do I have to pay a separate application fee for multiple business locations?


No. You only need to pay one fee for each preparer.