| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT SHUTS DOWN FLORIDA TAX RETURN PREPARER
Return Preparer in Plantation, Fla., Allegedly Overstated Refunds through Fictitious or Inflated Income, Filing Statuses, Exemptions and Tax Credits.
WASHINGTON – A federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., permanently barred Keisha Stewart, a tax preparer in Plantation, Fla., from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. Stewart agreed to the civil injunction order, and a stipulated final judgment of permanent injunction was entered against her by the court on March 20, 2014.
The complaint alleged that Stewart prepared federal income tax returns for customers that inflated income or included fictitious income to qualify her customers to receive or to maximize the earned income tax credit; claimed false tax credits that are refundable or decrease the amount of tax on her customers' returns, including phony education credits (American Opportunity Credit) and residential energy credits; falsely claimed head of household status on behalf of customers who did not qualify in order to improperly decrease their reported tax liabilities; and claimed false dependents on behalf of customers and also claimed the child and additional child tax credits on their behalf.
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.