Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Utah Tax Preparer
The Justice Department announced that on Nov. 1, 2013, it asked a federal court to bar Sergio Fernando Sosa and his company, Sergio Centro Latino, from preparing tax returns for others. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, alleges that Sosa, who has been preparing returns in Orem, Utah since at least 1994, routinely prepares federal tax returns for individuals and corporations that improperly claim deductions and result in understated federal tax liabilities for his customers.
The complaint also alleges that Sosa prepares federal tax returns for his customers that falsely claim unqualified individuals as dependents, and that include false claims or inflated claims related to the Earned Income Tax Credit, false claims or inflated claims related to the Additional Child Tax Credit, false inclusion of expenses and deductions related to fictitious business entities, underreported income and inflated expenses of legitimate business entities, and failure to calculate or incorrect calculation of self-employment tax liabilities. According to the complaint, Sosa has continued to engage in this conduct despite the fact that numerous penalties have been assessed against him for similar violations of the tax code.
The complaint alleges that Sosa’s actions have resulted in an estimated loss of as much as $416 million to the United States for tax returns prepared since 2008.
Return preparer fraud is one of the Internal Revenue Service’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013, which can be viewed at www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2013 . The Internal Revenue Service has tips for choosing a tax preparer: www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Choosing-a-Tax-Professional . In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website at www.justice.gov/tax/taxpress2013.htm