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February 16, 2023

Ghost Tax Preparers Make Your Refund Disappear

Tax Day is nearly two months away, but we know some of you early birds out there might already be doing your taxes. Use caution when choosing a tax preparer. If you accidentally choose a ghost tax preparer, the decision will haunt you for a long time afterward.


What’s a ghost tax preparer?


It’s a criminal who specializes in tax return fraud, but they use a smarter strategy than simply filing a false return. This type of scammer poses as a tax preparer to obtain your personal information. Then, they claim tax credits you don’t have to inflate your refund.


In return for their services, they demand a percentage of the now-huge refund as payment. Or, the fraudster may put his account number on the return and promise to send you the money once it arrives. Instead, he doesn’t sign the return and disappears with your refund – thus the name “ghost.” 


Become a tax preparing ghostbuster when you:

  • Use the IRS directory of credentialed tax preparers to find a legitimate professional.
  • Watch the tax preparer work and stop them from adding false tax credits. Report the person to authorities as a potential scammer.
  • Refuse to accept a return unless the preparer signs it.


So, are you ready to make those ghost preparers vanish? We hope so! Have a safe tax season!

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