A federal court permanently barred Toney Fields and Trumekia Shaw, who do business as Fields Mo’ Money Taxes in Nashville, Tenn., from preparing federal tax returns, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order was signed by Judge Kevin H. Sharp of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. It found that the defendants engaged repeatedly in fraudulent conduct that interfered with enforcement of federal tax laws.
The government complaint in the civil injunction lawsuit alleged that Fields is a licensee of Mo’ Money Taxes LLC and MoneyCo USA LLC, both located in Memphis, Tenn. According to the complaint Fields and Shaw get an improper jump on their competition by opening Mo’ Money Taxes in Nashville immediately after Christmas, before the tax year ends. According to the complaint, Fields and Shaw use customers’ end-of-year pay stubs to prepare tax returns, before employers have issued Internal Revenue Service (IRS) W-2 wage-statement forms to employees. Preparing tax returns based on pay stubs rather than proper W-2 Forms violates IRS rules. Fields and Shaw allegedly use the pay stubs to create fake W-2 Forms to include with the returns. End-of-year pay stubs frequently omit income and distributions that are shown on employer-issued W-2 Forms. This inevitably results in errors on federal tax returns.
The complaint alleged that Fields and Shaw inflate or claim false tax credits on customers’ tax returns. According to the complaint, Fields and Shaw frequently claim improper dependent exemptions in order to claim inflated earned-income credits or child tax credits for their customers. The complaint also alleged that the defendants include false filing statuses and bogus claims for charitable contributions on customers’ returns. The complaint says the government estimates that the defendants’ misconduct may have caused revenue losses of over $5 million from the more than 1,100 tax returns they prepared in 2011.
The IRS lists return preparer fraud as one of its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams .
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 .