Quick Tip: Beware of 'ghost' tax preparers

Your tax returns are due soon and the IRS wants you to avoid unethical tax return preparers who may steal your return.

One thing to lookout for is a "ghost" preparer. This means they could be unqualified and promise a big refund then charge fees based on a percent of it. They may even doctor your return to fraudulently allow for a larger refund.

The problem is, you have no one to go back to if there is a problem.

Many times "ghost" preparers get away with this by not signing the return or including their tax preparer ID number, therefore the IRS doesn't know they exist.

To make sure you don't become a victim:

  • Always check your tax preparer's credentials and qualifications

  • Make sure they sign and include their ID on your form

  • Verify through the IRS directory of Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications
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