Tax preparer warns people to do research on who handles their taxes
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – T’is the season to file your taxes.
And as you get ready to file, you want to stay clear of ghost tax preparers.
WCBI spoke with a tax preparer who has been in the business for over three decades and wanted to sound the alarm.
If you’ve been on Social Media lately, you may think everybody is in the tax business.
“Don’t think it’s strange,” said Diana Tate of In A Rush Tax Services.
Ghost tax preparers are multiplying and subtracting from your return.
“You should really be concerned about it, because you are responsible for if you owe the IRS and you are getting money, not due to you are responsible for that,” Tate said.
Tate said that the IRS is warning tax filers about ghost tax preparers.
A ghost preparer is someone who prepares your taxes but does not sign or include their information on the return.
This can cause harm to the filer because it leaves them on the hook for any mistakes or misrepresentations made by the preparer, while the ghost preparer tries to be untraceable and unresponsible for any penalties or audits.
“Some of them are not buying software. You can get different stuff like e-file dot com, and turbo taxes; some of them are just doing it and of course, paying the little fee and charging the people an unreal amount of money because most of them are the ones that are preparing the taxes the ghost tax preparers their fees are much more expensive,” Tate said.
Tate said she sees this far too often, and it creates more challenges for reputable, professional tax preparers.
“I have several bring them to me to fix them and they don’t even have a copy a lot of their tax returns are going in different accounts some of them don’t get the money and some of them are getting double charged,” Tate said.
And Tate said you should not fall for the money traps you see on social media; all money has to be and will be accounted for when you file your taxes.
“Money is the root of all evil, so you have to realize all money ain’t good money; some money is not yours to have, so you are going to pay it back eventually. It will catch up to you,” Tate said,
Tate gave a few tax tips:
- Shop around and know how much your tax preparer will charge.
- Get a signed copy from the tax preparer.
- And know your rights as a taxpayer.
The IRS has a couple of red flags to look for: If the paid preparer refuses to sign off on the return, and if they don’t have or don’t include a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number or P-TIN.