Monday, December 4, 2023
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Federal Court Bars Florida Tax Return Preparers and a Business

A federal court in Miami, Florida, has entered permanent injunctions against Rudy Aly, Rhonda Hudge, Cindy Odige, and TUPS Tax, LLC, barring them from preparing federal tax returns for others and owning or operating a tax preparation business.

Aly was enjoined after failing to respond to the United States’ complaint. Hudge, Odige, and TUPS Tax consented to their injunctions.

The court also ordered that Aly disgorge $406,071.43, representing the proceeds that he received for preparing false or fraudulent tax returns from 2018 to 2020. The court also ordered Hudge to disgorge $15,562.75, and Odige and TUPS Tax to disgorge $48,000 based on their settlement agreements with the United States.

In the complaint, the United States alleged that Aly and Hudge prepared tax returns that included fraudulent claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), often based on fabricated business income or expenses or bogus household help income. The complaint also alleges that Aly and Hudge prepared tax returns that falsely claimed credits for residential solar energy improvements and education expenses. Odige signed and filed fraudulent returns prepared by Aly, the complaint alleges.

As part of their settlements, Hudge and Odige did not admit to the allegations in the complaint but agreed to injunctions and to pay disgorgement.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

As the 2023 tax season continues, taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant against unscrupulous tax preparers.

Taxpayers seeking assistance can access the IRS’s free directory of federal tax preparers. The IRS also has programs offering free basic return preparation for qualifying seniors and individuals with low to moderate income. In addition, IRS Free File, a public-private partnership, offers free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites for individuals whose adjusted gross income is under $72,000. For individuals whose income is over that threshold, IRS Free File offers electronical federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free.

In the past decade, the Department of Justice Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found online.  If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division.

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