WASHINGTON – A federal court has permanently barred Cecil A. Collier from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order was signed by Judge W. Louis Sands of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The court also ordered Collier to provide a list of his customers to the government and to mail a copy of the order to each person for whom he prepared a federal income tax return since Jan. 1, 2007.
According to the injunction order, Collier, working under the trade name “Cairo Fast Tax,” employed at least two schemes to generate false or overstated claims for earned income tax credits, and correspondingly excessive tax refunds, on his customers’ tax returns. The order states that Collier falsely claimed dependents or qualifying children, and falsely overstated customers’ earned income to create inflated tax credit amounts.
According to the court, of the returns prepared by Collier that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited for issues concerning the earned income tax credit, 98 percent of them required adjustments. The order states that Collier’s tax preparation may have caused government losses exceeding $12 million.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2011. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax return preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .