WASHINGTON - A federal court has permanently barred Carmen Gonzalez from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, to which Gonzalez consented without admitting wrongdoing, was signed by Judge Joel A. Pisano of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. According to the government complaint, Gonzalez, of Allentown, Pa., operates Carmen Tax Services in New Brunswick, N.J.
The complaint alleged that Gonzalez repeatedly failed to comply with due-diligence requirements imposed by federal law on tax preparers who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) on their customers’ returns. According to the complaint, Gonzalez also falsified deductions and listed bogus dependents on her customers’ returns in order to claim the maximum EITC for them.
The court order requires Gonzalez to send a letter to all customers for whom she prepared a federal tax return since Jan. 1, 2005, informing them that she has agreed to the injunction and is no longer permitted to prepare tax returns for others.
The Internal Revenue Service has listed return preparer fraud as one of its “Dirty Dozen ” tax scams for 2011. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers and tax fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .