Tax Preparers Get Busted for Fraudulent Practices

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Every tax season is full of stories and tales of people who go to great lengths to avoid paying taxes. In addition there are dozens of reports of unscrupulous tax preparers that get caught trying to cheat the system: either their clients or the IRS, or both.

We want to share a few of those stories with you, which come from Accountingtoday.com. The first tale comes from Latham, NY, where a 52-year-old tax professional has pleaded guilty to false returns. The preparer admitted to preparing 16 returns that contained all kinds of false information, from false deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses to energy efficiency credits. The false returns were submitted between 2008 and 2011. He could face as much as three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

Elsewhere, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to permanently bar three Liberty Tax Service franchises in South Carolina after they allegedly prepared false returns in order to give their clients’ refunds a boost. According to the complaint, one franchise filed returns that included a “bogus ‘arts and crafts’ business on one of its client’s return and a bogus ‘hair care’ businesses on another’s.”

Meanwhile, another preparer, in Louisiana, will be spending two years behind bars and another year of supervised release, along with paying a hefty fine of more than $225,000 after he was convicted of filing a false personal income tax return and preparing bogus returns for many of his clients.

These are just a few examples of dishonest tax preparers that are out there. So now that tax season is in full swing, make sure you choose a tax preparer you can trust.

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