The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court to bar Ronald Manis of Carbondale, Ill., from preparing tax returns for others. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, alleges that Manis routinely prepares federal tax returns for individuals and corporations improperly claiming deductions that result in his customers understating their federal tax liabilities.
The government complaint also alleges that Manis prepares federal tax returns for his customers, claiming as business expenses his customers’ non-deductible personal expenses, including the cost of lavish personal vacations. According to the government complaint, Manis engages in this conduct “in a misguided attempt to mint his reputation as a uniquely skilled and knowledgeable tax return preparer.”
In September 2011, Manis pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file his own federal income tax returns for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and was initially sentenced to probation. In May 2012, his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to three months in prison. According to the government complaint, Manis was released from federal prison on July 20, 2013.
The government suit also alleges that Manis falsely represented himself as a fully licensed Certified Public Accountant to customers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and that Manis illegally used an electronic filing number belonging to a friend to electronically file customers’ returns after the IRS denied Manis’s application for an electronic filing number.
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's website.