Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) Certificate Program

(3 customer reviews)


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No prior tax knowledge required

A Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA®) is someone who has completed a specific series of tax courses in individual tax preparation, and completed a 100-hour experience requirement. This nationally recognized, innovative, online certificate program enables students to:

  • Start working after the first course, which helps internalize the knowledge learned
  • Earn money, while completing remaining coursework for the CTA® credential
  • Free Shipping on student books shipped within the contiguous United States

Product Description

CTA® Certificate Program Includes:

A 9-month program that consists of two income tax courses totaling 78 continuing education (CE) hours. Plus, a 100-hour experience requirement that can be completed over two tax seasons to receive the CTA® designation.

*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 CTA, CTC, or CTP credential to your professional title as proof that you are certified by The Income Tax School.

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What’s the difference between the CTA, CTC, and CTP Certificate Programs?

Simply put: Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) is our lowest-level program, Chartered Tax Consultant (CTC) is our mid-level, program, and Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) is our highest-level program. The number of courses in each program increases as you go up, as well as the number of hours for the experience requirement. 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
Advanced I – 3 months________________________________________end of CTA Program – 9 months
Small Business I – 3 months____________________________________end of CTC Program – 12 months
Advanced II – 3 months
Small Business II – 3 months___________________________________end of CTP Program – 18 monthsTo 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 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:

  1. Select your course(s)
  2. Proceed to checkout
  3. Fill the billing address and payment fields with the information of the person paying for the course.
  4. 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:, Jeff Jones – CTP Program. Email:” 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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Payment Plan

Refund Policy

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

Chartered Tax Certificate Programs for Online Individual Students

Virginia Student Enrollment Agreement

Surgent EA Review Refund Policy and Pass Guarantee

Academic Honesty Policy

Licensee Guarantee and License Agreement

Reseller License Agreement

3 reviews for Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) Certificate Program

  1. Stacey M.

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed taking the CTA certificate through The Income Tax School. As soon as I received my books (within 2 days) and logged on I could tell how organized the Certificate Course was going to be. If I needed to call The Income Tax school, everyone was very helpful and responded immediately. The content and the online class was easy to comprehend and work through based on the way it was written. It was also very helpful to see my progress as I worked through each chapter. I loved it so much that I have now upgraded to the CTC course. I am so glad that I found your certificate courses – the knowledge that I am gaining is helping me in my new career choice in Tax Preparation.

  2. Jamie

    The CTA program at The Income Tax School was one of the most rewarding experiences. This program takes you on a tax journey you will never forget. I have gained knowledge in all facets of tax and have never felt more confident that I do now to pursue my career in taxation. This program prepares you for every detail you could encounter in the field of tax. I enjoy preparing tax returns and this program has finalized this enjoyment for me. The instructors are extremely helpful and guide you through wherever you have a problem. It is truly a wonderful environment where everyone wants you to succeed and become the best tax preparer you can be. I recommend the Income Tax School for furthering your tax knowledge, learning updates on tax law, and gaining truly rewarding designations that will only enhance your career. There is no better way to be taught than through the Income Tax School.

  3. Mark

    I am really enjoying these courses. It is hard, but the curriculum does a great job both in the way it is written and the order that concepts are presented.

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Add Books? (Optional)

Hard copy books are non-refundable

  • Standard Comprehensive Books - $79.00
    Standard Advanced I Books - $62.00
    California Comprehensive Books – California Residents only - $95.00

Add Tax Business Start-Up Guide? (optional)

If you would like to start your own tax business, we highly recommend using this guide. "Reading the start-up business guide book has been a transforming experience to my business life." ~ Nathaniel R. Causley, Jr., J.D., Founder, President & CEO, Global Tax Centers

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