California is one of the few states to have set requirements for professional tax preparers. State law requires anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee to be either an attorney, certified public accountant (CPA), CTEC registered tax preparer (CRTP) or enrolled agent (EA).
Choosing a tax preparer who is not one of those four professionals may prevent you from legal recourse against fraud. It may also increase your chances for additional taxes, interest and fines. Always verify the legal status of a tax preparer before handing over your private tax information.