Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, May 14, 2009

U.S. Court Permanently Bars Meriden, Conn., Tax Preparer from Preparing Tax Returns for Others

Tax Return Preparer Allegedly Created Fictitious Schedule C Businesses for Customers and Forged Documents to Substantiate Charitable Deductions for Customers

A Connecticut federal court has permanently barred John Waszczak from preparing federal tax returns for others. The court also ordered Waszczak to provide his customer lists to the government and to mail copies of the complaint and the court order to his customers. Waszczak consented to the civil injunction order.

According to the government’s complaint, Waszczak operated a tax return preparation service under the name H & J Tax Service in Meriden, Conn. The complaint states that Waszczak prepared 9,638 returns for the tax years 2003-2006. According to the complaint, on many of these returns, Waszczak overstated expenses on customers’ Schedules C or fabricated Schedule C businesses for his customers. In addition, the complaint alleges that on many of the returns that he prepared, Waszczak improperly deducted personal clothing and commuting expenses as business expenses.

The government alleged that Waszczak habitually included a $500 non-cash charitable deduction on every Schedule A that he prepared because this amount did not require the taxpayer to submit additional document to the IRS to substantiate the deduction. The complaint also alleges that Waszczak forged a pastor’s signature on a letter to substantiate a customer’s cash donations to a church even though the customer had not made those charitable donations.

Based on the average actual tax loss per examined return, and assuming that all returns prepared by Waszczak resulted in similar averages losses per return, the government estimates that it has incurred losses of approximately $24.6 million for the four-year period that Waszczak prepared returns.

In the past decade, the Justice Department has obtained injunctions against more than 400 tax return preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its efforts to enjoin unscrupulous tax return preparers and tax-fraud promoters is available on the Justice Department Web site .

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014