Ghost Tax Return Preparer?!? What the?!?

What the heck is a “ghost tax return preparer”?!?

Are tax returns preparers being recruited from the great beyond!!!

I assure you no poltergeists are involved!

Did you know that the IRS mandates that a PAID tax return preparer sign ALL the U.S. tax returns they prepare?!? Furthermore, that paid preparer’s name and address must also be on the tax return.

Featured below the 2019 Form 1040 for your reference. Notice how the “paid prerarer’s” information and signature are right below your signature! They are assigned their very own special “Paid Preparer Use Only” section on the return!!

U.S. tax return form 1040

So what is a Ghost Preparer?

A “Ghost” preparer is someone who neither provides their signature and information on the U.S. tax return.

This leads me to a few questions:

  1. If you did a good job on the return, why would you not want to sign your work?!?
    Artists sign their paintings, lawyers sign their motions, authors sign their books, legislators sign their bills, and so on. In addition, I like that I sign all the U.S. returns I prepare; for me it means I stand by my work.
  2. And from a business standpoint… How does not signing your own work (when required to do so) lead to client trust and confidence?

At Gautron Management Services Inc.

  • We are tax professionals who take pride in our work.
  • We sign each and every U.S. Tax Return we prepare. In fact, the vast majority of cases it is signed before we even deliver it to our clients!
  • Furthermore, We value education and make sure to far exceed the minimum annual required number of Continuing Education credits. The more we know, the better we can serve the needs of our clientele.
  • By the way, we strive to provide excellent customer service as well.

The embedded article dives a bit deeper into the topic of ghost preparers.