Dishonest tax preparers tend to surface around tax time.

Working with such so-called professionals can lead to refund fraud and identity theft, not to mention get you in hot water with the IRS.

Avoid becoming a victim by doing some research on any professional with whom you work.

Every tax preparer should have a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, with the IRS. In addition, their registration with the agency will show whether they have appropriate qualifications, including whether they are an enrolled agent, certified public accountant or attorney.

More from Personal Finance:
If you failed to withhold enough tax in 2018, the IRS has a nasty surprise for you
Why getting a big tax refund isn’t always a good thing
Here are the people most likely to get a bigger tax refund this year


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