CTA® Certificate Program Includes:
A 9-month program that consists of two income tax courses totaling 73 continuing education (CE) hours. Plus, a 100-hour experience requirement that can be completed over two tax seasons to receive the CTA® designation.
- FREE Tax Law Updates as they become available
- FREE AFTR Course available upon completion of Comprehensive Tax Course. Available when IRS releases access – Learn more about AFTR and the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)
- Once you have successfully completed the Chartered Tax Advisor Certificate Program, you are eligible to claim a sharable digital badge. Learn more about badges.
*Note: All course content, student resources, and other offers that come with the listed courses are included in the Certificate Program as well. For more details, visit the individual course pages.
Certificate Programs are a series of courses designed to be taken one at a time. In order to earn the CTA® designation, you must pass the courses with at least an 80% average grade on all graded assignments and meet the 100-hour experience requirement. Upon completing these requirements, you will be certified by The Income Tax School and can add the CTA® designation to your professional title.
Depending on when you purchase, you could start your first course and by the time you’re ready to start the next one a new edition could be available. For this reason, we give you access (and ship your books) to each course one at a time, to ensure you get the most up-to-date version available.
Upon purchase, you will receive login credentials and may start the Comprehensive course right away. These courses are not webinars, so you can work at your own pace and access the course content at any time. You have 6 months to complete Comprehensive and an additional 3 months for Advanced I, though many students finish earlier. A course extension may be purchased from our online store, if needed.
After completing the Comprehensive tax course, you’ll have enough tax knowledge to start earning money as a tax preparer. This will enable you to start logging hours toward your experience requirement.
Already Have Some Tax Knowledge?
If you’ve already taken the Comprehensive Tax Course from us, you can still register for one of our Chartered Tax Certificate Programs and we’ll submit your completed course into the program. Or, if you already have some tax knowledge under your belt from another source, you may test out of the Comprehensive Tax Course only, register for one of the programs and move on to the next course. The cost to test out of the Comprehensive Tax Course is $100. Start by purchasing the test out and our school administrators will advise you how to proceed from there.
Certificate Programs FAQs
What’s the difference between Certificate Programs and course bundles?
Course bundles are sets of two ITS courses that, if bought together, come at a discounted rate. Certificate Programs are similar in that they are multiple courses bought together at a discounted rate, but also earn a credential from ITS. The minimum grade requirement is higher (80% average instead of 70%), and there is an experience requirement proving that you’ve applied your knowledge in the field. Completing a Certificate Program allows you to add the CTC or CTP credential to your professional title as proof that you are certified by Surgent Income Tax School.
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What’s the difference between the CTC and CTP Certificate Programs?
Both the Chartered Tax Consultant (CTC) and Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) begin with our Comprehensive Tax Course, so any beginner has the option to choose the program that works best for them. The difference is how much further education beyond the Comprehensive course you wish to take. The CTC program includes Small Business I and Small Business II, while the CTP program includes all five of our tax learning courses. For more information on the course content and requirements for each program, visit the program pages.
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How long do I have to complete the programs?
You can access and complete all our courses online, 24/7, provided you have internet access. The Certificate Programs are a series of courses designed to be completed one at a time. Course terms are listed below:
Comprehensive – 6 months
Small Business I – 3 months
Small Business II – 3 months____________________________________end of CTC Program – 12 months
Advanced I – 3 months
Advanced II – 3 months___________________________________end of CTP Program – 18 months
To learn more about each course, click the links to the individual course page.
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Do I take the courses all at once, or one at a time?
One at a time. Depending on when you purchase, you could start your first course and by the time you’re ready to start the next one a new edition could be available. For this reason, we give you access to each course one at a time, to ensure you get the most up-to-date version available. This is also true if you order hard copy books with your course. Books are shipped one at a time so that you get the newest edition possible.
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Do I have to complete the courses in order?
Yes, although we can offer some flexibility. By default, students start with the Comprehensive Course, then move on to Advanced I and II, then Small Business I and II. If you’d like to complete the Small Business courses before the Advanced courses, notify our school administrators and we can make the change for you. We will not allow you to take either of the second level courses before completing the first level courses, however.
If you already have some tax knowledge and experience, you can try to test out of the Comprehensive Course and move straight to the advanced courses.
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Am I required to buy hard copy books?
Hard copy books are completely optional. Some students prefer to work through reading materials offline and simply use the online platform to complete assignments, quizzes, and tests. The hard copy books are also a useful tool for tax preparers to use as a reference after they’ve completed the course and are filing tax returns in the field. You do not have to wait for your hard copy book to be shipped to you before beginning your course, but you can if you wish.
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I’m buying a course on behalf of someone else, what should I do?
For business owners operating their own tax school who wish to license our courses for their students: email email@example.com or call 1-800-984-1040.
Many customers come to us and are buying a course or seminar for someone else. They could be buying the course for their spouse, or a business owner purchasing for an employee(s), or an employee signing up for a course that their employer is paying for. In those cases, use the following steps:
- Select your course(s)
- Proceed to checkout
- Fill the billing address and payment fields with the information of the person paying for the course.
- In the Additional Comments section: enter the names and emails of the person(s) taking the course(s)
Example: Jane is a business owner who wants to purchase the Comprehensive Tax Course for Megan and the CTP Program for Jeff. Jane puts both the Comprehensive course and the CTP Program in her cart and proceeds to checkout. Jane enters her information for the Name, Email, Billing Address, and credit card info, then specifies “Megan Smith – Comprehensive course. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff Jones – CTP Program. Email: email@example.com” in the Additional Comments section.
Jane will receive a receipt of purchase by email and will be given login credentials of her own by default. Our school administrators will then manually create student accounts for Megan and Jeff and add their respective courses to their accounts. Please allow up to 2 business days for this to take place.
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The Refund Policy below is applicable only for courses students purchase directly from The Income Tax School or Peoples Income Tax School. Students who purchase any courses through third party schools or other organizations must address all refund issues with the entity through which they made that purchase.
Please note: Operator’s Starter Kit, License Renewal, Tax Practice Management Manuals (Marketing, Policies and Procedures, Personnel, and Expansion), Print/Hard Copy Books for Individual Course Purchase, the Guide to Start and Grow Your Successful Tax Business, and the two Business Start-up Guides are non-refundable.
Online for Individual Students
Payment Plan Terms & Conditions for Courses Purchased Before 3/11/21
Chartered Tax Certificate Programs for Online Individual Students
Virginia Student Enrollment Agreement for Courses Purchased Before 3/1/2021
Surgent EA Review Refund Policy and Pass Guarantee
Academic Honesty Policy
Licensee Guarantee and License Agreement
Reseller License Agreement