How much does a $5,000 California tax preparer surety bond cost?
California tax preparer surety bonds are issued instantly online and cost just $55 for two years of coverage, $70 for three years of coverage, or $80 for four years of coverage. There is never a credit check required, meaning all applicants are pre-approved at the same cost.
How do I get a tax preparer bond in California?
Simply select which term you would prefer and click Buy Now to visit our secure bond checkout where you provide the name and address of the tax preparer to be bonded and complete your purchase. In just a few minutes you will be bonded as a tax preparer in California.
|Bond Type||Bond Amount||Cost|
|$5,000 Tax Preparer Bond 2-year term||$5,000||$55|
|$5,000 Tax Preparer Bond 3-year term||$5,000||$70|
|$5,000 Tax Preparer Bond 4-year term||$5,000||$80|
Why are California tax preparers bonded?
The California Tax Education Council requires tax preparers to obtain $5,000 surety bonds as part of the registration process.
By posting a California tax preparer surety bond, principals (tax preparers) pledge to conduct business in compliance with the provisions of Division 8, Chapter 14 of the Business and Professions Code. Specifically, these bonds protect any person from a principal’s misstatements, misrepresentations, dishonesty, fraud, deceit or any other unlawful acts or omissions.
How long are tax preparer bonds valid?
Tax preparer bonds in California are valid for two, three, or four years from the effective date, depending on which term you select. The surety can cancel the bond by giving written notice of cancellation to the principal at least 30 days prior to the effective cancellation date.
Who has to register as a tax preparer?
Not all professionals providing tax preparatation services are required to register with CTEC, however, tax preparers who meet any of the following criteria must be registered in California:
- Inactive CPA or a CPA who is not in California and prepares income tax returns
- Employees of a CTEC tax preparer who sign income tax returns
- Nonexempt tax preparer who takes client data regarding income tax and enters it electronically to prepare a return
- Nonexempt tax preparer who receives a fee for bundling services including the preparation of an income tax return
Ready to buy your California tax preparer bond? Get started now!
How to become a certified tax preparer in California
To become a certified tax preparer and provide tax preparation services in California, applicants must register with the state and meet the following requirements:
- Take a 60-hour qualifying education course from an approved provider
- Get a $5,000 a surety bond
- Obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
- Submit an application to the California Tax Education Council (CTEC)
How do I renew my CTEC registration?
CTEC registrations must be renewed annually for as long as the tax preparer wishes to continue charging a fee for tax preparation services. To renew a CTEC registration, tax preparers must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education from a CTEC approved provider, renew their PTIN number with the IRS, maintain a current surety bond, and renew their registration. A $33 registration fee must also be paid by October 31. Fees paid after the 31st will be increased to $55.
Since many surety bonds for tax preparers are issued for multiple years, they only need to be renewed every 2, 3, or 4 years. No matter how many years your bond is in effect, your surety provider should contact you between 60 and 90 days prior to its expiration date, leaving you plenty of time to renew.