The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in McAllen, Texas, permanently barred Maria I. Cantu from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. Cantu, a tax preparer in McAllen, agreed to the civil injunction order.
The order also requires Cantu to turn over to the United States a list of all persons for whom she prepared federal tax returns or claims for a refund for tax years 2010 through 2012, and to notify these customers of the permanent injunction against her. The order authorizes the United States to monitor Cantu’s compliance with the terms of the order.
The complaint alleged that Cantu prepared returns that contained false, improper or inflated deductions or tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit. The complaint also alleged that these activities led to her clients filing returns which unlawfully understated income tax liabilities and overstated refunds.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013 . The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a tax preparer. In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website . An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page . If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.