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Friday, May 5, 2017

Federal Court Finds that Washington, D.C. Tax Return Preparer Violated Injunction and Orders Him to Pay Nearly $30,000 as Civil Contempt Sanction

Defendant Admits That He Violated Injunction Barring Him from Preparing Returns

A federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland has found that Marvin L. Binion Sr. violated the Court’s previous permanent injunction barring him from preparing tax returns for others and from operating a tax preparation business, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. The Court ordered Binion Sr. to comply with the previously entered injunction and to pay the United States $29,914.38 for its costs incurred in investigating whether Binion Sr. had complied with the injunction.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus of the District of Maryland entered the order, with Binion Sr.’s consent, finding that Binion Sr. violated the court’s May 8, 2013 permanent injunction. According to the United States’ supplemental filing in this case, despite the 2013 injunction, Binion, Sr. was preparing tax returns for others and running and/or profiting from a tax return preparation business called Universal Tax Services located at 717 Kennedy Street NW in Washington, DC. The United States also alleged that Binion Sr. had his customers mail in paper returns without identifying him as the paid tax return preparer. Before the government filed suit for an injunction against Binion Sr. in 2013, a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland sentenced Binion Sr. in 2008, to prison for aiding and assisting in the filing of false income tax returns.

 

In addition to imposing a civil compensatory judgment for the government’s investigation costs, the court also ordered Binion Sr. to produce bank records and customer lists to the United States, and to send a letter to his customers informing them that he is barred from preparing federal tax returns for others.

 

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2017 and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.

 

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’s 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.

Updated May 5, 2017