1. Beware of ‘ghost’ tax return preparers
The IRS warns taxpayers to avoid unethical tax return preparers, known as ghost preparers. By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing federal tax returns must sign the return and include their Preparer Tax Identification Number.
‘Ghost’ preparers, however, avoid signing the tax return. Instead, they often inflate any potential refund and print the return and instruct the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. Or, for e-filed returns, they prepare but do not digitally sign it as a paid preparer to avoid scrutiny.
The IRS.gov Choosing a Tax Professional page has information about tax preparer credentials and qualifications. The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help identify many preparers by type of credential or qualification.
Taxpayers can report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If a taxpayer suspects a tax preparer filed or changed their tax return without their consent, they should file Form 14157-A, Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit.
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2. IRS urges businesses to e-file cash transaction reports; It’s fast, easy and free
IR-2019-20, February 21, 2019
WASHINGTON — The IRS yesterday urged businesses required to file reports of large cash transactions to take advantage of the speed and convenience of filing these reports electronically. See IRS news release.
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3. Taxpayer Advocate report includes study on pay-as-you-earn withholding system
The 2018 Annual Report to Congress includes the study “A Conceptual Analysis of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) Withholding Systems as a Mechanism for Simplifying and Improving U.S. Tax Administration.” This study discusses the possible expansion of PAYE systems (tax withholding processes) and may be of interest to both small and large businesses.
WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry today urged taxpayers to take steps to protect themselves online to help in the fight against identity theft. Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are looking to steal taxpayers’ personal information and ultimately their money. But, there are simple steps taxpayers can take to help […]