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Make a Complaint About a Tax Return Preparer

If you have been financially impacted by a tax return preparer’s misconduct or improper tax preparation practices, you can report it to the IRS on Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer.

Most paid tax return preparers are professional, honest and trustworthy. The IRS is committed to investigating those who act improperly. For example:

  • Embezzling a client's refund.
  • Altering documents.
  • Creating or omitting income to generate a larger refund.
  • Creating false exemptions or dependents to generate a larger refund.
  • Creating false expenses, deductions or credits to generate a larger refund
  • Failing to sign tax returns they prepare and file. (Note: If electronically filed, your copy may not contain a signature.)
  • Failing to enter a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) on a tax return or improperly using a PTIN belonging to another individual.
  • Refusing to provide clients with a copy of their tax return.
  • Neglecting to return a client's records or holding the records until the preparation fee is paid.
  • Using an incorrect filing status to generate a larger refund.
  • Preparing client returns using off-the-shelf tax software or IRS Free File, both of which are intended for use by individuals.
  • Falsely claiming to be an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, or enrolled actuary.

The completed Form 14157, along with all supporting information, can be mailed or faxed, but please do not do both. Mailing and faxing the form may delay the processing of your complaint.

If mailing Form 14157, send to:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Return Preparer Office
401 W. Peachtree Street NW
Mail Stop 421-D
Atlanta, GA 30308

If faxing Form 14157, send to: 855-889-7957

Note: If you are completing a Form 14157-A, Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit, and a Form 14157, send both completed forms to:

Internal Revenue Service
AM – Preparer Complaints Mail Stop 58
3333 Getwell Road
Memphis, TN 38118

The IRS provides guidance for choosing a tax professional.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Feb-2015