The United States has asked a federal court in Jacksonville, Fla., to stop Thomas G. Bandzul from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the government complaint, Bandzul has repeatedly prepared federal tax returns that unlawfully understate customers’ federal tax liabilities. The suit alleges that Bandzul concocts bogus or inflated deductions, business expenses, education credits and charitable contributions, which he falsely reports on his customers’ federal income tax returns.
The suit alleges that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has examined over 250 tax returns prepared by Bandzul and found that over 90 percent of tax returns understated the taxpayer’s liability. According to the complaint, the total harm to the U.S. Treasury caused by Bandzul’s misconduct could exceed $17 million.
The suit further alleges that, in some instances, Bandzul filed returns that claimed a refund larger than what Bandzul had disclosed to the taxpayer. Once the refund was paid, Bandzul retained the additional amount without the taxpayer’s knowledge.
Claiming bogus tax refunds is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.