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Press Release

Justice Department Sues to Stop Florida Tax Return Preparer

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Return Preparer Allegedly Overstated Refunds Through Fabricated and Inflated Deductions and Credits

The United States has asked a federal court in Tampa, Florida, to stop Octavio Cruz and his company, Advantage Accounting Corp., from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.

Cruz has been preparing tax returns since approximately 1998 with the assistance of his family. Operating first as Cruz and Cruz Accounting, and later as Advantage Accounting Corp., Cruz directly or indirectly prepared more than 30,000 tax returns for customers since 2009. The complaint alleges that Cruz prepares returns that unlawfully understate income tax liabilities and overstate refunds by fabricating and/or exaggerating deductions and tax credits his clients are not eligible to take. Cruz’s practices include fabricating losses for nonexistent businesses on customers’ Schedule C – Profit or Loss From Business, and falsely claiming child care and residential energy credits for which they were not eligible and did not incur. Cruz also prepared returns which falsely claimed American Opportunity Credits for taxpayers who did not incur the education expenses or go to college. Altogether, the complaint alleges that loss to the U.S. Treasury from the defendant’s activities may total millions of dollars.

Return-preparer fraud is one of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 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 fraudulent 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:

United States v. Octavio Cruz, et al.
Complaint for Permanent Injunction

Updated July 7, 2016

Press Release Number: 14-869