LASD News

#FraudFriday- #IRS “Ghost” Tax Preparer


#FraudFriday- #IRS “Ghost” Tax Preparer

#FraudFriday#IRS “Ghost” Tax Preparer
It’s tax season and the Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to avoid the dangers of “ghost” tax return preparers.

Fraudster “Ghost” preparers advertise online or appear in public as legitimate tax preparers. Once they have the victim’s money, information and tax documents, they “complete” the taxes and purposefully do not sign the return, as preparers are required to do. The returns are sent to the IRS. Or, for e-filed returns, they prepare but refuse to digitally sign as the paid preparer.

Once the paperwork gets to the IRS, the tax return is rejected because there is no tax preparer information listed anywhere. The IRS sends the documents back to the victim, who is now left to do the taxes again! The victim can’t locate the fraudster preparer because they have “ghosted” and are nowhere to be found!
These shady preparers may also:


• Require payment in cash only and not provide a receipt.
• Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits erroneously or claim false deductions to enable the taxpayer to get a larger refund.
• Direct refunds into their own financial account rather than the taxpayer’s account.

Things the taxpayer should do and look out for when doing taxes:
• Review their tax return carefully before signing 
• Ask questions if something is not clear. 
• For any direct deposit refund, taxpayers should make sure both the routing and bank account number on the completed tax return are correct.
• Research a tax professional’s tax preparer credentials and qualifications. 
Don’t be a victim! Do your research during Tax Season.