Justice Department Sues to Stop Florida Tax Return Preparer from Preparing Federal Tax Returns for Others
Return Preparer in Plantation, Fla., Allegedly Overstated Refunds through Fictitious or Inflated Income, Filing Statuses, Exemptions and Tax Credits
The United States has asked a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to per manently bar Keisha Stewart and her co mpany, Professional Tax Services Inc., from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Depart ment announced today.
According to the co mplaint, Stewart and her co mpany prepared federal inco me tax returns that in f lated inco me or included f ictitious inco me to quali fy her custo mers to receive or maximize the earned inco me tax credit. The co mplaint states that Stewart also clai med tax credits that are refundable or decrease the a mount of tax on her custo mers’ returns, including false education credits (A merican Opportunity Credit) and residential energy credits. According to the co mplaint, Stewart also falsely clai med head of household status on behalf of custo mers who did not qualify in order to i mproperly decrease her custo mers’ reported tax liabilities. The co mplaint also alleges that Stewart clai med false dependents on behalf of custo mers and also clai med the child and additional child tax credits on behalf of those custo mers. Allegedly, Stewart typically included these ite ms on her custo mers’ returns without their knowledge. The govern ment alleges that Stewart’s returns have resulted in over $1.6 million of loss annually to the United States during the tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS' 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 IRS 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.