Pennsylvania Federal Court Bars Woman from Preparing Tax Returns for Others
A federal court in Philadelphia has permanently barred a woman and her business from preparing tax returns for others and from operating a tax return preparation business, the Justice Department announced today.
The injunction order, which was signed by U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel, also requires Denise Almanza to close her existing tax preparation business, Denise’s Centro De Servicios P.C.
The United States brought the civil injunction suit in September 2014, alleging that Almanza inappropriately reduced her customers’ income or wrongfully claimed tax credits on their returns, which caused the customers to receive tax refunds or increased refund amounts to which they were not entitled.
Specifically, the suit alleged that Almanza improperly claimed the additional child tax credit on customers’ income tax returns, which allowed her customers to receive, on average, over $2,900 in improper benefits per tax return. Almanza and her business have prepared more than 14,000 federal tax returns since 2010, according to the complaint. In total, the complaint alleged that Almanza’s activities over the last four years have potentially cost the U.S. Treasury millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.
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 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.