The United States has asked a federal court in Atlanta to bar Larry J. Heath, who operates Heath’s Income Tax II in Cartersville, Ga., and his brother Andrew R. Heath, who operates Excellent Tax Service of Acworth, Ga., from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the government complaint, the Heaths and their businesses have repeatedly prepared federal tax returns that unlawfully understate customers’ federal tax liabilities. The suit alleges that the defendants concoct bogus losses, expenses, education credits, business expenses and charitable contributions, which they falsely report on their customers’ federal income tax returns.
According to the complaint, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) previously suspended Larry Heath’s IRS-issued electronic filing identification number (EFIN) because of the large number of erroneous returns he prepared. In response, the complaint alleges, Larry Heath purported to “sell” his business to two different individuals and used their EFINs to continue to file tax returns.
The suit alleges that the IRS has examined thousands of income tax returns prepared by the Heaths and their businesses and found that 94.5 percent of tax returns required IRS adjustments. According to the complaint, the total harm to the U.S. Treasury caused by Larry and Andy Heath’s misconduct could exceed $100 million.
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 .