(a) A tax preparer shall maintain a bond issued by a surety company admitted to do business in this state for each individual preparing tax returns for another person. The principal sum of the bond shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000). A tax preparer subject to this section shall provide to the surety company proof that the individual is at least 18 years of age before a surety bond may be issued.
(b) The bond required by this section shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California and shall be for the benefit of any person or persons damaged by any fraud, dishonesty, misstatement, misrepresentation, deceit, or any unlawful acts or omissions by the tax preparer, or the tax preparers employed or associated with it to provide tax preparation services.
Terms Used In California Business and Professions Code 22250.1
- Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- State: means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. See California Business and Professions Code 21
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
- Subdivision: means a subdivision of the section in which that term occurs, unless some other section is expressly mentioned. See California Business and Professions Code 15
(c) The tax preparer filing the bond shall identify all tax preparers employed or associated with the tax preparer and shall provide for each employee or associate the evidence required by subdivision (a) to the surety company. A tax preparer employed or associated with a tax preparer shall be covered by the bond of the tax preparer with which the tax preparer is employed or associated. However, in no event shall the total bond required for any single tax preparer and the tax preparers employed or associated with it be required to exceed one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000). The aggregate liability of the surety to any and all persons regardless of the number of claims against the bond or the number of years the bond remains in force shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for any one tax preparer. Any revision of the bond amount shall not be cumulative. The liability of the surety on the bond shall not include payment of any civil penalties, fines, attorney’s fees, or any other cost provided by statute or regulation.
(d) The tax preparer shall file an amendment to the bond within 30 days of a change in information contained in the bond, including a change in the tax preparers employed or associated with the tax preparer.
(e) (1) A tax preparer shall not conduct business without having a current surety bond in the amount prescribed by this section.
(2) Thirty days prior to the cancellation or termination of any surety bond required by this section, the surety shall send a written notice of that cancellation or termination to the tax preparer and the California Tax Education Council, identifying the bond and the date of cancellation or termination.
(3) If a tax preparer fails to obtain a new bond by the effective date of the cancellation or termination of the former bond, the tax preparer shall cease to conduct business until that time as a new surety bond is obtained.
(f) Notwithstanding Section 995.710 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a tax preparer shall not make a deposit in lieu of bond.
(g) A tax preparer shall furnish evidence of the bond required by this section upon the request of any state or federal agency or any law enforcement agency or the California Tax Education Council.
(h) On and after July 1, 2019, a tax preparer shall report a paid claim against its surety bond to the council, and the council shall post a notice of the claim on its internet website.
(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 497, Sec. 17. (AB 991) Effective January 1, 2020. Repealed as of January 1, 2023, pursuant to Section 22259.)