March 23, 2024
  • The IRS is warning taxpayers about a new scam in 2021: ghost tax preparers who won’t sign returns.
  • These ‘ghosts’ could fake income or deductions for a higher refund — and leave you responsible.
  • It’s one of a growing number of scams to look out for this tax season.
  • See Personal Finance Insider’s picks for the best tax software »

If someone else is preparing your taxes this year, the IRS has a warning about a new tax scam. “Ghost preparers” are promising higher refunds by faking information on tax returns, refusing to sign them, and leaving taxpayers responsible. 

Each year, the IRS adds new information to its site about reported tax scams. Last week, the agency released a warning about tax preparers falsifying information, promising higher returns by faking income and adding deductions you normally wouldn’t qualify for, then refusing to sign for their work where required on paper or digitally. 

Here’s what to look out for as you start to prepare your 2020 taxes.

Your tax return should include a tax ID and signature

The IRS urges taxpayers to watch out for any tax preparers who refuse to sign a prepared tax return — it could result in a taxpayer being held responsible for inaccurate information on the return or a refund being deposited to the wrong account.

Ghost preparers don’t sign for their work or include the required…

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