The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit today in the federal court in Nashville, Tenn., to stop Gilberto Cortes and his business, Mundo Hispano Services, from preparing federal tax returns. According to the complaint, Cortes and his business have prepared more than 7,000 tax returns since 2010.
The complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee alleges that Cortes understates his customers’ federal tax liabilities or generates larger than warranted refunds by improperly claiming the additional child tax credit on their income tax returns. According to the complaint, thousands of Cortes’ customers have improperly claimed the additional child tax credit. As a result, his customers have received, on average. over $2,300 in improper benefits per return. In total, the complaint alleges that Cortes’ activities over the last three years have potentially cost the U.S. Treasury $12.8 million or more in lost income tax revenue.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013 . The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a tax preparer. In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website . An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found at this website . If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.