The United States has sued tax preparer Joseph Rivas, seeking to bar him from preparing any federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction suit alleges that Rivas of DeSoto, Texas, claimed fraudulent deductions and expenses on his customers’ tax returns.
Rivas allegedly claimed fake mortgage interest deductions, illegally deducted social security taxes as state and local taxes and fabricated employee business expenses, among other fraudulent items, on his customers’ returns. According to the complaint, the harm to the United States from Rivas’s misconduct could be $7.8 million or more.
The government is also seeking a court order requiring Rivas to provide a list of all persons for whom he has prepared federal tax returns since Jan. 1, 2010.
The Internal Revenue Service lists return preparer fraud as one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2012. 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 .