Houston Federal Court Shuts Down Tax Return Preparer
On Oct. 16, a federal court in Houston, Texas, permanently enjoined Felisha Gibson and Ms. Lesa’s Tax Service LLC from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. Gibson agreed to a civil injunction order entered against her that requires her and Ms. Lesa’s Tax Service LLC to cease preparing tax returns for others. The injunction also requires Gibson to produce a list of her customers to the United States.
According to the government’s complaint, Gibson, through her business located in Houston, Texas, routinely prepared federal tax returns for customers that reported false, improper, or inflated expense deductions and business income, as well as false claims for education tax credits and improper dependents. For example, the complaint alleges that a customer reported that Gibson fabricated a business with income and expenses for tax years 2013 and 2014, and falsely claimed an education credit in her tax returns even though the customer never attended college.
Return preparer fraud is one of the Internal Revenue Service (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 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.