Tax Preparer Bond Guide

How to Get a California Tax Preparer Bond

#1: Determine Your Requirements

California is the only state that requires you to get a tax preparer bond at the moment. Currently, a $5,000 bond is required by CTEC (California Tax Education Council). You must obtain your bond first, and then register with CTEC. You may get your tax preparer bond before you complete your tax course. If you’re still a student, you can get your bond while still in school and submit your tax school completion certificate along with the bond to register with CTEC.

#2: Get Approved for Your Bond

You can simply apply for your CTEC bond online and get instantly approved.

#3: Sign and Submit Your Bond to the State

Once you have your tax preparer bond in your hands you will need to:

  • Sign your bond
  • Make a copy for your records
  • Send your signed bond to the state (along with any other important paperwork provided by your bond agency or the state)

How Much Does a CTEC Bond Cost?

Pricing is a percentage of the bond amount, which is mostly based on your personal credit. You can use our free bond premium calculator tool to get an instant price estimate, or you can apply online to get an exact quote.

What is a Tax Preparer Surety Bond?

A tax preparer bond is a guarantee that protects the public (your clients) when you provide tax preparation services. The bond protects your clients from financial harm as a result of fraud, misstatement, dishonesty, misrepresentation or any other unlawful acts. If you perform any of the unlawful acts listed above, claims can be filed on your bond which you must pay (including any legal costs). If you have other tax preparers employed under you, they will also be covered by your bond and will be subject to the same rules and regulations.

Tax Preparer Bonds Claims Can Put You at Risk

As mentioned above, you’re responsible to pay any bond claims in full which can be as large as the full bond amount. The indemnity agreement that you must sign to get your tax preparer bond is a legal contract that pledges corporate and personal assets if you cause claims committing unlawful acts when providing tax preparation services. Take a look at our guide to learn more about how surety bond claims work.