It's tax season, and who you choose to file your taxes matters.
The IRS issued this warning about unethical "ghost" tax preparers.
According to the IRS, a ghost preparer does not sign a tax return they prepare. They instead will print the return and tell the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. For e-filed returns, the person will prepare but refuse to digitally sign as the paid preparer.
The IRS warns not signing a return is a red flag that the paid preparer may be looking to make a fast buck by promising a big refund or charging fees based on the size of the refund.
The Troubleshooter Takeaways are to make sure your tax preparer has a valid preparer tax identification number, or PTIN, which is required by law. Next, make sure the preparer signs the return and that you get a receipt. Also, make sure your bank account has listed that you're getting a refund.
Again, if a tax preparer will not sign a return that is a big red flag.