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Friday, January 22, 2016

New Jersey Court Permanently Bars South Florida Man from Preparing Tax Returns for Others

A federal court in New Jersey has permanently barred a South Florida man from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. 

Felix Taveras Santos, of Doral, Florida, is prohibited individually and doing business as Latino Tax LLC, from operating a tax return preparation business in the future, pursuant to the civil injunction order.  Santos agreed to the entry of the injunction but did not admit to the allegations in the civil complaint against him.  

According to the complaint, Santos and his business, which was located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, prepared false and improper returns during the 2010 through 2014 filing seasons.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited 43 federal tax returns that Santos or one of his employees prepared, and the audits resulted in adjustment of 80 percent of those returns and a total income tax deficiency of approximately $100,000, according to the complaint.  The complaint alleged that Santos and his employees understated their customers’ tax liabilities or inflated their refunds by improperly:

  • claiming child tax credits, including for children who lived outside of the United States;

  • declaring dependency exemptions, for instance, for customers who had no proof that they supported the children; and

  • using incorrect filing statuses, such as single or head-of-household for customers who were married.

The injunction order requires Santos to provide the United States with a list of his customers since 2010 and to send a copy of the court’s injunction order to all customers for whom he and Latino Tax LLC prepared returns starting in 2010.

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015.  The IRS has some tips on its 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 and tax scheme promoters.  Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website.  A list of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found here.  If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.

Press Release Number: 
Updated March 21, 2022