It’s Tax Time! Is Your Tax Preparer Legal?

It’s Tax Time! Is Your Tax Preparer Legal?

California law defines who can prepare taxes for a fee. Do you know who they are?


Sacramento, CA — (HISPANIC PR WIRE-PRNewswire) — January 16, 2008 — Four types of professionals can legally charge consumers to prepare tax returns in California: A CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP), an Attorney, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an Enrolled Agent (EA).

Each year thousands of innocent taxpayers fall prey to tax scams or misinformation. Many consumers assume the person they pay to file their tax returns is responsible for errors. This is often a costly misunderstanding. According to the IRS, you are responsible for your taxes regardless of the situation or outcome.

It sounds daunting, but consumers can protect themselves by first asking a tax preparer these questions:

— Will you sign my return?

— Do you have proof of a surety bond?

— When will you complete my tax returns?

— Can you provide me with a receipt for your services?

— How will you determine your fee to prepare my tax returns?

— Do you outsource your tax service?

CTEC was established in 1997 by the California State Legislature to protect the public by registering tax preparers within the state. Each CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP) is required to purchase a surety bond and complete annual tax education requirements. Last year CTEC registered more than 40,000 tax preparers.

For more information about CTEC, call us toll free at 877-850-CTEC (2832) or visit us online at

It’s Tax Time! Is Your Tax Preparer Legal?