What is a "tax preparer bond" and where can I get one?
A tax preparer bond is a type of
insurance policy intended to guarantee that the insured (the
tax preparer) will comply with California Tax Education Council
standards while acting as a tax preparer, and that any fines or fees
levied for noncompliance will be paid.
Pursuant to the California Business and Professions Code, a tax preparer may not conduct business without having a current surety bond, and a tax preparer must provide evidence of compliance with the bonding requirement before rendering any tax preparation services.
A policy in the amount of $5,000 is required by statute. This does not mean that tax preparers will pay $5,000 to get a bond. Most bond providers charge an annual premium ranging from $16 to $30, depending on the length of the policy. Bond providers offer policies ranging from one year to five years – longer term periods usually have lower annual rates.
It does not matter if a bond is purchased before or after a tax course, but preparers must have a bond by the time they register with CTEC. Preparers must provide CTEC with the name of the bonding company, the bond number, and the bond’s validity period at the time of initial registration or renewal.
Below is a list of 10 popular bond providers (in alphabetical order by domain name). This list was compiled solely for informational purposes. The California Tax School is not affiliated with any of these companies. Please do your research and choose your bond provider carefully.