Getting Professional Help with Taxes
California law requires anyone who prepares income tax returns for a fee to be either an enrolled agent (EA), California Tax Education Council (CTEC) registered tax preparer (CRTP), attorney, or certified public accountant (CPA). While there is no such requirement for most CDTFA taxes and fees, it is recommended that you select a qualified tax professional when you need help with the preparation of returns or for assistance with audits or appeals.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration does not recommend or endorse any individuals or firms, but for your convenience we have compiled a list of resources where you can learn more about selecting the right help.
- California Society of Enrolled Agents
- California Tax Education Council
- The State Bar of California
- California Board of Accountancy
- California Society of CPAs
- California Tax Service Center
3 Tips for Finding Good Tax Help
Do Your Research: Find tax help that will be responsive to your questions, honest, ethical, understanding of your tax situation, and available after the returns are filed or audit is complete.
Watch out for Scams: Use extreme caution in selecting tax help that guarantees a refund or reduction in tax, claims they can save you more money than the competition, or is not clear and upfront about their fees.
Remember You are Responsible: A credible, professional tax practitioner will not ask you to report inaccurate information, sign a blank return, or make false claims.