The United States filed a complaint yesterday asking a federal court in Atlanta to enjoin Joan Leger and her company, The 1804 Tax Group Inc., doing business as Liberty Tax Service, from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The complaint alleges that since 2009 Leger, who resides in Stone Mountain, Ga., and the tax preparation businesses she owns have prepared almost 6,000 tax returns. According to the complaint, Leger understates her customers’ tax liabilities and overstates their refunds by creating or inflating deductions, wages, income, expenses or credits in order to maximize the earned income tax credit, in addition to wrongly claiming other credits and deductions. Leger’s practices include fabricating losses for non-existent businesses or businesses not owned and operated by the taxpayer, falsely claiming unreimbursed business expenses and falsely claiming the educational tax credit. In total, the government’s complaint alleges that the loss to the U.S. Treasury from Leger’s activities may exceed $2 million.
Return preparer fraud is one of the Internal Revenue Service’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013 which can be viewed at www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2013. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website at www.justice.gov/tax/taxpress2013.htm .