California Registered Preparer's Certificate

California law requires that prospective tax preparers successfully complete 60-hours Of initial qualifying education and then 20-hours of annual continuing education in order to maintain their CRTP designation. With all the tax changes, it’s important that

The person preparing your taxes keep up with these changes by completing his or her annual education requirements.

California law requires that in order to Protect you the consumer, a CRTP must Maintain a $5,000 tax preparer bond, issued By a surety bond company admitted to do business in California. This bond protects you against fraud, misstatement and unlawful acts or omissions that might be perpetrated by a CRTP.

California law requires that before a CRTP can render and tax preparation  services, her or she must provide you,  in writing, with the CRTP’s name, address, telephone number, as well as the name of the CRTP’s bond company and bond number.

California law requires that when a person prepares a tax return, for a fee, without the appropriate lawful credential, he or she could be penalized up to $5,000. According to California Business and Professions Code 22253.2,

Failure to register as a tax preparer with the California Tax Education Council will result in: (1) The amount of the penalty under the subdivision for the first failure to register is $2,500. This penalty shall be waived if proof of registration is provided to the Franchise Tax Board within 90 days from the date of notice of the penalty is mailed to the tax preparer. (2) The amount of the penalty under this subdivision for a failure to register, other than the first failure to register is $5,000.


It may increase your probability for additional taxes, interest, fines and penalties;It may minimize your opportunity to claim valid deductions; and It may prevent you from having any legal recourse if fraud or unlawful acts occurred because the person preparing your taxes was not bonded.


Fails to give you his or her name, address, phone number and current bond information prior to rendering tax services;

  • Gives false or misleading bond information;

  • Refuses to sign your return ---- something is wrong;

  • Asks you to sign a blank form to be filled in later;

  • Refuses to give you a copy of any document he or she signs;

  • Did your taxes last year but may not be registered to prepare them this year;

  • Was recommended by a family member or friend, but is not registered to prepare taxes for a fee;

  • Makes any fraudulent, misleading, or untrue statements to get someone to use his or her services;

  • Charges a fee based on a percentage of the refund;

  • Claims to be a CRTP but is not listed on the CTEC website, .







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