Justice Department Seeks To Shut Down Louisiana Tax Return Preparer
A tax return preparer in Avondale, Louisiana prepares fraudulent tax returns for her customers and files false tax returns using taxpayers’ identifying information without their knowledge or authorization, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the Justice Department today. The suit, filed in federal court in New Orleans, asks the court to permanently bar Adrienne Robinson Thomas (doing business as AT Tax Services) from preparing federal tax returns for others.
The complaint alleges that Thomas unlawfully understates her customers’ income tax liabilities and overstates these customers’ refunds. According to the complaint, Thomas unlawfully prepares federal tax returns that lower her customers’ federal tax liabilities by claiming bogus earned income tax credits, bogus child tax credits, false education credits, and fabricated household employee income and withholdings. The government alleges Thomas also files wholly fabricated tax returns using the identifying information of taxpayers who did not hire her to prepare their federal income tax returns.
Return preparer fraud was one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2018 and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has some tips on its website for choosing 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.