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Press Release

Justice Department Seeks To Shut Down West Michigan Tax Return Preparer

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to permanently bar Jim Sanzone, who does business as Lakeshore Professionals LLC from preparing federal tax returns for others.

The complaint alleges that Sanzone inappropriately claims deductions and credits for customers on their tax returns, causing them to receive tax refunds or increased refund amounts to which they are not entitled.

According to the complaint, Sanzone claims false deductions and credits on customers’ federal tax returns by including fabricated or inflated claims for charitable contributions, medical expenses, mortgage interest and state and local taxes paid on tax returns that he and his business prepared since 2010.  Sanzone also allegedly reports fake business expenses in order to fraudulently reduce customers’ taxable income.  The complaint also alleges that Sanzone prepares tax returns for customers that falsely claim education credits, even though the customers did not attend school or have qualifying education-related expenses, and so were ineligible for the credit.                

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014.  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.  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.

Related Materials:

USA v. Jim Sanzone, etc
Complaint for Permanent Injunction

Updated July 7, 2016

Press Release Number: 14-1012