California Tax Education Council

Find/Verify a Tax Preparer

Individuals who prepare federal or state tax returns in California, or assist in the preparation, must comply with the California Business and Professions Code, Section 22250-22259 by completing the required education, maintaining a $5,000 tax preparer bond, and registering with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

All CTEC registered tax preparer (CRTP) registrations are due to be renewed annually by October 31 in order to allow individuals to prepare taxes (or assist in the preparation) for a fee in California. Individuals who have not complied with registration requirements by the due date MAY NOT prepare taxes for a fee. CRTPs who fail to renew their registration by October 31st have until January 15th to renew late and pay a $55 late fee. Individuals who do not renew by January 15th, and each year thereafter, will be required to re-take the 60 hours of qualifying education, pass a final exam from an approved education provider, maintain a $5,000 tax preparer bond and re-register as a new CRTP. According to California law, CRTPs cannot prepare any tax returns for a fee until their registration is current with CTEC.

Just as a reminder, an individual preparing taxes for a fee may also be a CPA (, an Enrolled Agent (, or an attorney ( You may wish to check the websites indicated to be sure the individual in question is not a CPA, EA or attorney, and, therefore, exempt from registering with CTEC. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact CTEC.

To find/verify a tax preparer and registration status, enter a valid CTEC ID or one search criteria below. You may enter one or more criteria. Additional criteria will narrow the search. Partial spellings are OK.
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Having trouble locating a preparer?

If you are unable to locate a tax preparers CTEC credentials:

  • Check spelling of name
  • Check if exempt preparer
    • CPA (California Board of Accountancy)
    • Attorneys (The State Bar of California)
    • EA's (IRS)

You may report the tax preparer if you are unable to locate the tax preparers CTEC credentials or if EA, CPA, Attorney exempt credentials could not be located.

* Reports are anonymous and go directly to the Franchise Tax Board's CTEC Enforcement Staff.

Click Here to Report Tax Preparer