Justice Department Asks Federal Court To Shut Down Clinton, Miss., Tax Preparer
Jackson-Area Tax Preparer Allegedly Files Tax Returns For Customers Without Substantiating Claimed Refundable Credits
WASHINGTON – The United States filed a complaint seeking to bar Kavivah Branson, aka Kavivah Bradley, and her Jackson, Miss., business, Branson Tax Service, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The civil injunction complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleges that Branson, of Clinton, Miss., prepares federal income tax returns for customers that understate the tax actually due. According to the complaint, Branson allegedly claims improper earned income tax credits and education credits for her customers without performing required due diligence and despite lack of supporting documentation. This results in understated taxes, and because the improperly claimed credits are refundable, the complaint alleges Branson also often overstates her customers' refunds. Consequently, even taxpayers who do not report any federal tax liability can receive a refund up to the amount of the refundable credit claimed.
According to the complaint, over 99 percent of the 2,401 returns Branson has prepared since Jan. 1, 2009, sought a refund, and 97 percent of the 287 returns the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has audited to date understated the customer's tax liability by an average of $5,006. Given the number of returns Branson has prepared since 2009, her alleged actions could result in millions of dollars of tax harm to the United States.
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.