Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Nine Florida Tax Preparers

The United States filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking to bar nine Florida tax return preparers and their associated business from assisting in the preparing of federal income tax returns for others.

The complaint alleges that Richard Louis, Teddy Davis, James Merrill, Daniel Ouku, Demetrius Knowles, Harold Bornelus, Joseph Garrett, Marlyne Wah and Romeo Davis prepared and filed thousands of federal income tax returns for customers through or in connection with the unincorporated entity known as Taxman.

According to the complaint, one scheme used by the defendants was to claim fraudulent Residential Energy Credits on their customers’ tax returns. Louis and Taxman also allegedly falsified and overstated business and itemized deductions on their customers’ tax returns and prepared tax returns for customers claiming the incorrect filing status.

As alleged in the complaint, defendants’ pattern of preparing returns that understate their customers’ taxes or that overstate their customers’ refunds has resulted in defendants’ customers receiving refunds to which they are not entitled. As further alleged in the complaint, based on the returns it has examined, the IRS estimates that the United States has lost millions of dollars in tax revenue as a result of defendants’ actions.

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

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 on this page.

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