What Are Ghost Tax Preparers?

The IRS warns taxpayers that they should avoid unethical tax return preparers at all costs. They are called Ghost Preparers and by law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing tax returns must have a valid 2019 Preparer Tax Identification or PTIN.

What To Look Out For

Most Ghost Preparers do not have a valid PTIN. They are often here today and gone tomorrow. They do not sign the tax return and don’t make themselves available to help you with any issues that may arise through the year. Generally you will find that Ghost Preparers have little to no internet presence.

Ghost Preparers usually:

  •  Require payment in cash only & not provide receipts
  • Invent income to to erroneously qualify “clients” for tax credits or claim fake deductions to boost their refunds
  • Direct refunds into their own bank account rather than the taxpayer’s account

The IRS recommends that taxpayers choose tax preparers who are credentialed, trustworthy and RELIABLE. If you would like assistance filing your tax return this year, take advantage of VTPS, our Virtual Tax Preparation Services. End with a CTA to book a tax consultation.