Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Maryland Tax Return Preparer
The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, to permanently bar a Silver Spring, Maryland, tax preparer, doing business as Eplanet, Eplanet LLP, Eplanet Corp., and Eplanete Corp., from preparing tax returns for others.
The government also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent Komi Gbotcho from filing any returns for the 2014 tax year.
According to the complaint, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that Gbotcho, through Eplanet, has prepared more than 1,300 tax returns for the 2010 through 2013 tax years. The suit alleges that Gbotcho prepared returns claiming false or inflated deductions, such as deductions for personal property rental expenses, unreimbursed employee business expenses and home improvement expenses, without some customers’ knowledge. The suit contends that the false and inflated deductions generated larger refunds for Gbotcho’s customers than they were entitled to receive, and that the losses to the U.S. Treasury could amount to as much as $3.4 million.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015. The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a tax preparer. In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers and tax scheme promoters. 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.