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California Tax Preparer Bond

How much does a tax preparer surety bond cost in California?

The California Tax Education Council requires tax preparers to obtain $5,000 surety bonds as part of the registration process.

SuretyBonds.com issues these bonds instantly for three years of coverage for $50 or five years of coverage for $80. Simply select which term you’d prefer and click Buy Now to visit our secure bond checkout to complete your purchase. Be on your way to being bonded as a California tax preparer in just a few minutes.

Because these bonds can be written on longer terms than most, it is important to ensure that you are not currently bonded before contacting SuretyBonds.com, as first-term bonds are non-cancellable, non-refundable legal documents.

Bond Type Bond Amount Cost
$5,000 Tax Preparer Bond 5-year term $5,000 $80
$5,000 Tax Preparer Bond 3-year term $5,000 $50

Why do I need this bond?

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.

What’s the fine print?

Tax preparer bonds in California remain valid for either three or five years from the effective date, depending on which term you purchased. 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.

How to become a tax preparer in California

To legally practice tax preparation services in California, applicants must first register with the state. To be eligible for registration, applicants must adhere to the following:

  • Take a 60-hour qualifying education course from an approved provider
  • Post a surety bond of $5,000
  • Obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Submit an application to the California Tax Education Council (CTEC)

Additional Resources

State of California California Tax Education Council (CTEC) Registered Tax Preparer

CTEC Bonding Requirements

Business and Professions Code Section 22250-22259

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