Discussion:CTEC certified

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Ztom (talk|edits) said:

5 March 2011
We have a tax preparer in our town that advertises they are ctec certified. This person is not a CPA, my understanding is you cannot use the word certified in any ad if you are not a CPA. Any comments and what the h... do they mean, you just send ctec some money etc so you can practice in Ca

Skassel (talk|edits) said:

5 March 2011
You are correct that in the state of California, the word "certified" is reserved strictly for CPA's. However, good luck getting anyone to do something about it. You could contact the California State Board of Accountancy and file a complaint. It is within the scope of their authority to police it.

Mscash (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
This is playing word games. To prepare returns for compensation in California you must be an accountant, CPA, EA or be an unenrolled preparer by passing an exam administered by the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) http://ctec.org. The word "Certified" doesn't appear anywhere on its web site.

IDrinkYour Milkshake (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
You can only use the word "registered". Board of Accountancy won't do crap, but the CTEC will.

Tkelly911 (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
I am a California "certified specialist" in tax but I am not a CPA.

IDrinkYour Milkshake (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
"I am a California "certified specialist" in tax but I am not a CPA."

Then you are breaking state law if you advertise as such.

IDrinkYour Milkshake (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
Tkelly911,

Should have read your profile first, my apologies.

Skassel (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2011
This is the information to which I was referring:


10.30 - Solicitation.

 (a) Advertising and solicitation restrictions. (1) A practitioner may not, with respect to any Internal Revenue Service matter, in any way use or participate in the use of any form of public communication or private solicitation containing a false, fraudulent, or coercive statement or claim; or a misleading or deceptive statement or claim. Enrolled agents, in describing their professional designation, may not utilize the term of art certified or imply an employer/employee relationship with the Internal Revenue Service.

Tkelly911 (talk|edits) said:

7 March 2011
Yeah, no problem Milkshake, I was just pointing out what Skassel is so correct about, that there are many limits on the federal, and each state, as to what you can call yourself. There is no consistency. I understand that in some states enrolled agents are restricted in their use of identifying labels, but that therefrom arises a conflict of sorts.

It doesn't really matter to me as long as you are competent. And we all know how that can go.

Skassel (talk|edits) said:

8 March 2011
I saw a mailing yesterday claiming someone to be a CTEC Certified Tax Expert. NO way that is legal.

IDrinkYour Milkshake (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
It isn't. Report them to the CTEC.

RonH (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
I have a question. I am a CPA licensed in the state of Colorado. I will also be an EA once the IRS process my Form 23. I just moved to California( my wife get a really good job). I did get my CTEC so I can do taxes in California for the current year( what a joke. I took it form H&R Block) Now, my understanding is that I cannot advertise or put on my business card CPA, but I can put it in my bio. that I am a licenses CPA in the state of Colorado. Right now all I am advertising is that I am License and bonded. I think this is right. California rules are much different then Colorado. Funny, I been a CPA for 12 years. Now, I am not. Please let me know if this is right.

Flybynight (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
It's a matter of state interpretation. Generally speaking, I believe that you are allowed to put CPA, so long as it is unquestionably clear that you are not licensed as a CPA in CA and that you are only licensed in CO. When you indicate that you are a CPA licensed in CO, you are simply stating a true fact, which state law almost uniformally allows.

I believe that the problem only arises when the disclaimers are inadequate, ambiguous, or misleading.

RonH (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
That is not what I been told by another CPA.( I have a CPA in the same building I am working at who is making sure I don't call myself anything but a CTEC) I called up the state board (not very helpful) and they told me that because Co does not require 1yr of experience working under a CPA? I need to get the 1YR experience by someone here in California. I worked for a CPA for 4 years in Co. California would not except that experience. If anybody have a clue how this works in California, please let me know. I would love to be able to call myself a CPA again. Also, It would be great if I can put on my business card that I am a CPA license in the state of Co.

Flybynight (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
If you plan on being in CA for a while (it sounds like you do), why not just apply under the reciprocity rules? Most states have rules regarding reciprocity or mobility that may work for you. There's nothing wrong with being licensed in two states and it sounds like you'll be in CA for the medium-long haul anyhow. Hopefully one of our CA CPAs who know the state can chime in, but that's my 2c.

EDIT: It seems that you have tried under reciprocity. I find it amazing that they would not accept work experience from a CPA outside the state, but CA is insane.

Flybynight (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
This is an interesting past discussion that you might want to check out:

http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Discussion:CPA_and_EA_soliciting_clients

RonH (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
Thanks Flybynight,

I did read that discussion. I think my understanding is correct. I can not allowed to put CPA on my business card or advertise that I am a CPA. I can only list it in my Bio. I have been told that its hard to get a cpa in California to hire you if you are over the age of 40. Also, they don't like to hire CPAs from out of state. I will see after May if I can get into a small CPA firm.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
California is basically saying that your CO CPA license is worthless because CO doesn't have the same standards as CA does? Wow. It seems like you could find a local CPA who is willing to look over your shoulder for one year, would they actually have to hire you? They couldn't just supervise the work you did on your own?

RonH (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2011
Hi Kevinh5,

Good question. California Board states that you must be supervise by a person that holds a active California CPA. I am not sure if I need to be employed under that person. I would think I would have to be a w2 employee. Does anybody know how this works?

IDrinkYour Milkshake (talk|edits) said:

16 March 2011
You do not need to be employed, just supervised.

RonH (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2011
How does that work? You are a 1099?

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2011
Check with the Board of Accountancy. And Kevin, all states are strict with reciprocity. I could only get a provisional license in Oregon because I was licensed before 2002, when CA loosened up its rules. Google 'CPA reciprocity'; I've seen a great chart which lists which states have what requirements and which have reciprocity agreements.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2011
It is RonH who needs to know this, Joan. I'm just repeating what he wrote.

RonH (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2011
Thanks all of you for your help. Joanmcq, I will Google "CPA reciprocity"

Thanks RonH

Mr cheese (talk|edits) said:

27 March 2011
First of all, if you're a cpa licensed in any state, the IRS and the state of California will recognize your license and allow you to prepare tax returns, regardless of the state you currently reside and work in. A cpa who obtains a CTEC "what-cha-ma-call-it" is waisting time and money.....you don't need it and after the year 20XX, it will no longer hold any weight at the federal level as CTEC's are classified as "unenrolled agent/preparer....whatever" and will be required to be tested and registered at the federal level. If you really craved that extra set of letters after your name, you should have taken the time to study and pass the EA exams, which would have earned you the right to legally hold yourself out as an expert tax genius and all-knowing swami.

That whole, holding out thing for cpa's really comes into play when you perform attest services or hang an advertisement sign outside your office shingle or hold out...etc....

Mr cheese (talk|edits) said:

27 March 2011
Eh...just noticed you took and passed the EA exams after all RonH....my humble appologies "expert tax genius and all-knowing swami".

Skassel (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2011
BTW, there are a number of tax resolution firms that are now advertising that their tax consultants are "CTEC certified tax experts".

Flybynight (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2011
Ugh. Hopefully CTEC will do something about that.

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