Tax filers should beware of 'ghost preparers' | KOB 4

Tax filers should beware of 'ghost preparers'

Joshua Panas
Updated: February 25, 2020 08:38 AM
Created: February 24, 2020 05:46 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A person can reduce their chances of becoming of a victim of tax fraud by filing early, according to the IRS.

A spokesperson for the IRS said people should be on the lookout for “ghost preparers.”


Those are scammers who prepare tax returns but don’t sign them or record a valid preparer tax identification number – both required by law. “Ghost preparers” are known to ask for cash up front, record fake deductions for a bigger refund and route refund checks into their accounts – not the taxpayer’s.

“You want a return preparer whose got a great reputation, whose going to be there long after the filing season is over to answer any questions you have," said Brian Watson, IRS Special Agent.

New Mexicans can add an extra level of security when they file their returns. They can request to be part of the Identity Protection PIN Program.

"It's a six-digit number. That number then replaces you having to strictly use your social security number and then you use that number to file your tax return to the IRS,” Watson said.

Tax Day is April 15. 

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