Justice Department Sues to Stop Birmingham-Area Tax Return Preparers
The United States has asked a federal court to stop three Birmingham-area tax return preparers from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The government complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, alleges that John Lewis, Artels James and Perry Wright, working under the trade name "Tax World," prepare returns for customers that falsely claim the earned income tax credit and report other false income and expense items.
The government complaint alleges that Lewis, James and Wright prepared returns claiming the earned income tax credit, or claimed a far greater credit than warranted, on customers’ returns even though they knew or should have known that the customers were not entitled to the credit claimed.
The complaint alleges that defendants employed two schemes to wrongfully claim the credit: falsely claiming dependents or qualifying children where the claim could not be substantiated; and overstating earned income. The complaint also alleges that Lewis, James and Wright claimed fabricated business deductions on some customers’ returns.
Over the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained more than 465 injunctions to stop tax fraud promoters and dishonest tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department Web site.