WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department asked a federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, today to bar Susan Ann Sperl and Randall Thompson from preparing federal income tax returns for others. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, also seeks to bar Sperl and Thompson from promoting an alleged nationwide tax scam called the SusanTax Membership Program (the Program). The lawsuit alleges that the defendants falsely advise customers that they can deduct personal expenses on their federal income tax returns by falsely claiming to have home-based businesses. The Program’s marketing materials fail to state that a home-based business must have a business purpose and an intent to make a profit, and that business expenses must be necessary and related to the business purpose.
The government’s complaint also alleges that the defendants open an office in Southern California during each tax-filing season to target members of a California Indian tribe, due to the large fees they could obtain from tribe members.
“The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working to stop abuses of the tax system,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “All those who participate in the preparation of false or fraudulent tax returns cheat their customers as well as the federal treasury.”
According to papers filed in the case, Sperl is also known as Susan Ann Boyer, and lives in Kingston Springs, Tennessee; her son Randall Thompson lives in Dickson, Tennessee.
The complaint states that Sperl, Thompson, and their subordinates have prepared returns for customers in 22 states and that their return-preparation misconduct in a two-year period has cost the federal treasury an estimated $4 million. The suit asks that the court require the pair to give the Justice Department their customers’ names, Social Security and telephone numbers, and mailing and e-mail addresses.
This suit is part of an ongoing Justice Department and IRS crackdown on preparers of false and fraudulent tax returns. More information about these cases is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2006.htm. More information about home-based business tax avoidance schemes can be found in IRS Publication 4035, available at http://www.irs.gov. More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html.