Justice Department Files Suit to Stop San Diego Man from Preparing Tax Returns
The Justice Department announced today that the United States has filed a civil injunction suit against Michael I. Turner, of San Diego to stop him from preparing federal tax returns.
The government complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleges that Turner, who has prepared returns since at least 2004, has failed to sign or affix a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to many of the returns that he has prepared. In addition and according to the government, Turner takes bogus deductions on his customers’ returns in order to claim larger refunds for his customers. His customers then recommend Turner as a tax preparer to their friends, which helps Turner to expand his customer base and further increase his own profits. Specifically, the government alleges that Turner claims inflated or fabricated deductions on the Schedule A of his customers’ Form 1040 tax returns, claiming that his customers have large non-cash charitable contributions and unreimbursed employee expenses. The complaint also alleges that when Turner’s customers are audited, Turner has provided false documents to those customers in an attempt to assist them in substantiating charitable contributions and employee expenses that they did not incur. According to the complaint, however, Turner has instructed his customers not to identify him as their tax return preparer in communications with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The government alleges that Turner continues to prepare tax returns. According to the complaint, Turner applied for a PTIN in 2010, and has prepared at least 68 tax returns for the 2012 tax year using that PTIN.
The government seeks, among other things, that the court bar Turner from acting as a tax return preparer or assisting others in preparing or filing federal tax returns or other tax forms or documents. The government also requests that the court bar Turner from appearing as a representative on behalf of any person or entity before the IRS, and from owning, managing, controlling, working for or volunteering for a tax-return preparation business.
In the past decade the Justice Department Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax preparers. More information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .