California tax education council 

The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) is a nonprofit organization established by the California State Legislature to protect taxpayers against fraudulent tax preparers. Since its inception, most public awareness efforts have focused on educating Californians on how to find a legal tax preparer. Recent focus groups showed most taxpayers understood what the law requires or knew how to find a tax preparer through the appropriate channels. 

Although it was promising news, there was one sector of fraud they hadn't paid much attention to -  tax preparers who do not sign tax returns, also known as "ghost tax preparers." It is an issue even the IRS struggles to get under control. 

These so called "ghosts" disappear without a trace right after tax season - always leaving clients holding the bag with tax returns full of errors and fraud. Because they never sign the tax return, government authorities struggle to find ways to track them down.

Until now.

CTEC is taking the lead to educate taxpayers about ghost tax preparers. It is the first time an entire public awareness effort has focused on tracking down ghost tax preparers within the State of California.

A microsite was developed to educate taxpayers and track campaign results. Outdoor advertisements, media interviews, social media and educational videos were also implemented to attract traffic.

graphic work in collaboration with difbst I Video work in collaboration with uptown studios


Public Relations

Advertising + Media Buys

Social Media

Website Design

Graphic Design + Illustration


Print + Packaging

According to an independent study, CTEC awareness increased to 18% (compared to 13% in 2018) during the 2019 campaign. More than 303,000 Californians visited the CTEC website to learn more about ghost tax preparers.

An animated infographic microsite was created in 2016 to help CTEC expand its reach to Millennials.

The microsite was a nominee for the Awwwards, which recognizes and promotes the talent and effort of the best developers, designers and web agencies in the world.

The microsite received more than 400,000 visitors during the 2016 tax season.


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