A federal court has permanently barred Crystal Ireland, of Detroit, who does business as Master Mind Preparation, from preparing federal tax returns that claim the earned income tax credit, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, to which Ireland consented, was signed by Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The complaint in the case alleged that Ireland failed to comply with due diligence requirements imposed by federal law on tax preparers who claim the earned income credit on customers’ returns. According to the complaint, Ireland fabricated businesses and reported fake business income on her customers’ tax returns in order to claim the maximum credit for them.
The complaint alleged that the Internal Revenue Service penalized Ireland in 2010 for failing to comply with federal law due diligence requirements, yet a 2011 follow-up investigation revealed ongoing failures and fraudulent claims. According to the complaint, Ireland prepared at least 2,300 returns from 2008 through 2011, with unusually high refund rates ranging from 97 to 99 percent for those years.
The permanent injunction order also bars Ireland from preparing forms Schedule C on which she knowingly fabricates income or expenses, preparing tax returns on which she knowingly claims a dependent that does not actually qualify as a dependent of the taxpayer, and preparing tax returns on which she fails to identify herself as the paid preparer or falsely identifies someone else as the paid preparer.
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.