| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
TDD (202) 514-1888
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
WASHINGTON – The United States has asked a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to permanently bar Keisha Stewart and her company, Professional Tax Services Inc., from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
According to the complaint, Stewart and her company prepared federal income tax returns that inflated income or included fictitious income to qualify her customers to receive or maximize the earned income tax credit. The complaint states that Stewart also claimed tax credits that are refundable or decrease the amount of tax on her customers' returns, including false education credits (American Opportunity Credit) and residential energy credits. According to the complaint, Stewart also falsely claimed head of household status on behalf of customers who did not qualify in order to improperly decrease her customers' reported tax liabilities. The complaint also alleges that Stewart claimed false dependents on behalf of customers and also claimed the child and additional child tax credits on behalf of those customers. Allegedly, Stewart typically included these items on her customers' returns without their knowledge. The government 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.