A federal court in Dallas has permanently barred Joseph Rivas of DeSoto, Texas, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, to which Rivas consented without admitting the allegations against him, was signed by Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The government complaint in the case alleged that Rivas claimed fake mortgage-interest deductions, illegally deducted Social Security taxes as state and local taxes, and fabricated employee business expenses, among other fraudulent items, on his customers’ tax returns. According to the complaint, the harm to the United States from Rivas’s misconduct could be $7.8 million or more.
The court also ordered Rivas to provide the government with a list of all persons for whom he has prepared federal tax returns since Jan. 1, 2010.
The IRS lists return preparer fraud as one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2012. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax-return preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.