Federal Court Shuts Down Texas Tax Return Preparer
A federal court in Beaumont, Texas, entered a permanent injunction against Sylvia Rodriguez, aka Sylvia Ornelas, barring her from preparing federal tax returns for others and owning or operating a tax preparation business, the Justice Department today announced.
The court found that Rodriguez engaged in fraudulent and deceptive conduct that substantially interfered with the administration of the tax laws.
In its complaint, the government alleged that Rodriguez prepared tax returns making false or fraudulent claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the fuel tax credit, and the American Opportunity Credit. In addition, Rodriguez allegedly reported fictitious business and inflated federal income tax withholdings on her customers’ returns. Also, according to the complaint, Rodriguez did not give some customers copies of their filed tax returns, or gave them returns that were different from those that were filed.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website about selecting a return 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.