Tis the Season – Avoid Ghosts
Don’t Be a Victim – Avoid Ghost Tax Preparers
The IRS refers to unethical tax preparers as ghosts. You see them; they prepare your tax return; and then they disappear.
How to Identify a Ghost Preparer:
First, tax preparers who are paid a fee to prepare your return are required to have a valid 2019 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). They are required to sign your return and show their PTIN on your return as the tax preparer.
Ghost preparers do not sign the return. Instead, they print the return and inform you (the taxpayer) to sign the return and mail it to the IRS. If the return is e-filed, they refuse to digitally sign the return as the paid preparer.
Dishonest and unscrupulous ghost tax return preparers look to make a fast buck by promising a big refund or charging fees based on a percentage of the refund.
Ghost preparers have been known to increase your income to be eligible for certain tax credits and fabricate tax deductions – both schemes to reduce the taxes you owe or to increase your refund.
The IRS offers tips to help taxpayers choose a tax return preparer wisely. IRS resources include IRS Publication 4445-G , the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications, and the IRS Choosing a Tax Professional page.
In addition when searching for a competent and experienced tax preparer, check the preparer’s website, look for testimonials, do a Google search,
and review Better Business Bureau complaints. , and CPA, enrolled agent, or tax attorney, check for ethical violations findings.
If you would like to discuss your business or personal tax planning, tax preparation and other financial concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.
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About F. Bryan Haarlander, EA, CTRS:
Bryan Haarlander is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and who owns and operates a specialized tax services firm serving clients in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, which includes the cities of Chester Springs, Coatesville, Collegeville, Devon, Downingtown, Exton, Frazer, King of Prussia, Paoli, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Radnor, Reading, Wayne, West Chester in Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, as well as clients in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and throughout the continental USA.
A Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, Bryan is well-known for his IRS tax resolution expertise and his book How to Resolve Your IRS Tax Debt Problems.