Justice Department Sues to Stop Louisiana Tax Return Preparer
Return Preparer in La Place, La., Allegedly Overstated Refunds through Inflated Expenses, Deductions, Credits, and Fabricated Businesses
The United States has asked a federal court in New Orleans to permanently bar Shawanda Nevers (aka Shawanda Bryant, aka Shawanda Hawkins, aka Shawanda Johnson) of La Place, La., from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the complaint, Nevers has prepared federal income tax returns in Louisiana through a business named 3LJ’s Industrial Service Solutions LLC. The complaint alleges that she has prepared returns that unlawfully understate income tax liabilities and overstate refunds through a variety of schemes.
According to the complaint, Nevers prepared returns that claimed losses by fabricating expenses for fictitious businesses or overstating expenses incurred by legitimate enterprises. The deductions for these fictitious or overstated expenses were claimed on a Form Schedule C – Profit or Loss From Business, which Nevers often included in her clients’ returns without their knowledge. The returns Nevers prepared directed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to deposit the resulting refunds into her account, from which she deducted a fee before remitting the balance to her clients. The complaint states that the IRS has examined a sample of tax returns that Nevers prepared for her clients for the tax years 2009 through 2011 and almost all of the returns examined had Schedule C losses that audits proved were either overstated or falsified. Altogether, the complaint alleges that Nevers’ activities may have resulted in as much as $6 million of loss to the United States.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s 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 .