Date: February 22, 2021 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org On February 22, 2021, Ryan Dalletezze was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by 12 months of supervised release. Dalletezze was also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $291,579. According to court documents, from 2013 to 2016, Ryan Dalletezze prepared tax returns through a Virginia Beach company, D&D Tax Services LLC. Dalletezze was a "ghost preparer," in that he received money as a paid preparer but failed to report or identify himself on his customers' returns. Dalletezze routinely claimed exemptions on his customers' returns that were false, such as education and business expenses, energy credits, and business losses. Dalletezze's customers had no knowledge of the fraud. Dalletezze personally received the resulting refunds and kept substantial portions for himself. The filing of these false and fraudulent returns resulted in a tax loss of over $291,000. "In the midst of the 2020 filing season, this case is a good example of why it's extremely important to choose a reputable return preparer," said Kelly R. Jackson, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge of the Washington DC Field Office. "Taxpayers should cautious of preparers who fail to review their tax return with them prior to submission to the IRS and/or refuse to sign the return as a paid return preparer. Although most preparers provide honest and professional services, there is a small number of dishonest preparers who set up shop during filing season to steal money, personal and financial information from clients. Taxpayers can avoid falling victim to unscrupulous preparers by following important steps. Tips when choosing a tax preparer: Look for a preparer who is available year-round in case questions arise after the filing season. Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which is required for paid preparers. Inquire about the preparer's credentials and check their qualifications. Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund or claim to offer a bigger refund than their competition. Never sign a blank or incomplete return and review it before signing. Refunds should go directly to the taxpayer, not the preparer. For more tips on choosing a tax professional or to file a complaint against one, visit IRS.gov. Taxpayers who suspect tax violations by a person or business, may report it to the IRS using Form 3949A, Information Referral.