Although most tax return preparers are honest and perform their duties professionally, there are some return preparers who dupe taxpayers by filing false tax preparer returns either with the taxpayer’s consent or without it. Some fraudulent return preparers influence and persuade taxpayers to use false income figures or false deductions to receive exaggerated tax refunds. Some others file inaccurate tax returns on the behalf of their clients without their knowledge to receive bloated refunds.
Fraud by return preparers became widespread over the years. To curb it, the IRS began to issue Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to every qualified and practicing return preparer. Every return preparer is required to include this unique identification number on every tax return they prepare. This unique number helps the IRS track the tax preparer that prepared a tax return in case of fraud or tax issues.
Taxpayers can also ensure that their tax return is accurate by reviewing the information their tax return preparer has included in the return. They must also check their Social Security Number (SSN) and PTIN before sending the form to the IRS.
Staying protected from fraudulent tax preparers is not difficult if taxpayers resist the temptation from promises of bloated refunds and review their tax returns before filing them.