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Choosing Your Professional 
Tax Preparer.

It is California Law

According to California law anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee and is not an attorney, certified public accountant (CPA), or enrolled agent with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) can be penalize with up to $2500.00

Each CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP) is required to completed annual tax education courses and purchase a bond to protect you against fraud. Always check the professional status of the preparer before handing over your tax information.

According to California law, effective January 1, 2005, the Franchise tax Board (FTB) has the authority to identify and penalize unregistered preparers.

If preparers not registered with CTEC are caught illegally preparing returns for a fee, FTB will issue a $2,500 penalty. If preparers fail to comply within 90 days, FTB will issue an additional penalty of $5,000.

What is a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer?

ALL CRTPs must:

*First complete 60 hours of qualifying tax education.
*Then complete 20 hours of continuing tax education each year.
*Always maintain a $5,000 tax preparer bond.

How to Verify A CRTP

Every year CRTPs are given a compliance certificate  and registration card showing the current year, their name, and CTEC number (the number always starts with an "A").

You can verify your CRTP's status through CTEC's website click on "verify a Tax Preparer" or cal (877) 850-2832 

Consumers can report unregistered preparers by filling out a "Noncompliant Complaint Form" on  CTEC's website All reports are kept confidential.

Beware Of A Preparer Who....

*Refuses to sign your return.
*Refuses to give you a copy of your return.
*Charges a fee based on a percentage of the refund.
*Promises you a refund before reviewing you tax information.
*Was recommended by a family member or friend, but you cannot verify their professional
 status as either an attorney, CPA, CRTP or EA.
*Claims to be a CRTP, but will not show proof of current bond.
*Fails to give you in writing, his or her name, address and phone number; and, if claiming to be
a CRTP, his or her current bond information.
*Ask you to sign a blank form to be filled in later.
*Does not have a written privacy policy.
*Prepared your return last year, but may not be registered to legally prepare the return this 
*Claims to be a CRTP, but their name is not listed on CTEC's website

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