Most paid tax return preparers are professional, honest and trustworthy. However, the IRS is committed to investigating those who act improperly.
If your individual tax return and/or refund have been impacted
You can report a tax return preparer for misconduct, such as:
- Filing an individual Form 1040 series return without your knowledge or consent.
- Altering your tax return documents.
- Using an incorrect filing status to generate a larger refund.
- Creating false exemptions or dependents to generate a larger refund.
- Creating or omitting income to generate a larger refund.
- Creating false expenses, deductions or credits to generate a larger refund.
- Misdirecting your refund.
How you report a tax return preparer for misconduct associated with your individual tax return depends on whether or not you received a notice or letter.
If your tax return and/or refund have not been impacted. You can report a tax return preparer for improper tax preparation practices, such as:
- 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.
- Failing to sign tax returns they prepare and file. (Note: If electronically filed, your copy may not contain a signature.)
- Neglecting to return a client's records or holding the records until the preparation fee is paid.
- 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.
- If you are a tax return preparer and discover that another tax return preparer is committing any of the practices mentioned above.
To report a tax return preparer for improper tax preparation practices, complete and send Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer (PDF) with all supporting documentation to the IRS. The form and documentation can be faxed or mailed, but please do not do both. Faxing and mailing the form may delay the processing of your complaint. Do not use Form 14157:
- If you suspect your identity was stolen. Use Form 14039. Follow “Instructions for Submitting this Form” on Page 2 of Form 14039.
- To report alleged tax law violations by an individual, a business, or both. Use Form 3949-A. Submit to the address on the Form 3949-A.