Federal Court Bars Louisiana Woman from Preparing Federal Tax Returns
Return Preparer Allegedly Overstated Refunds Through Inflated Expenses, Deductions, Credits and Fabricated Businesses
A federal court in New Orleans has permanently barred a La Place, Louisiana, woman from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The injunction, to which Shawanda Nevers, aka Shawanda Bryant, Shawanda Hawkins and Shawanda Johnson, consented, was entered by U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan for the Eastern District of Louisiana. According to the complaint, Nevers had prepared federal income tax returns in Louisiana through a business named 3LJ’s Industrial Service Solutions LLC. The complaint alleged that she prepared returns that unlawfully understated income tax liabilities and overstated 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 customers’ 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 would deduct a fee before remitting the balance to her customers.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014. The IRS has tips for choosing a tax preparer on their website. 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.