Tax business owner charged with preparing and filing false tax returns
ATLANTA – Local tax business owner Thomas Holmes has been arraigned on federal charges of willfully preparing and filing federal income tax returns that fraudulently claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
“Citizens expect tax preparers like Holmes to accurately prepare and file their returns,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “His alleged abuse of the tax system for financial gain undermines public confidence in the system. We have dedicated resources to combat this kind of theft, and we will aggressively prosecute those who believe they can file false tax returns, thereby cheating everyone else.”
“Holmes took advantage of his clients’ trust and lined his pockets with fraudulent tax refunds. If you use a return preparer to file your taxes, ask to review the tax return before it is filed with the IRS and ask for a copy of the filed tax return. If you become suspicious that your return preparer isn’t filing the correct information, report that return preparer to the IRS,” said Steve S. Bahhur, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge of IRS-CI, Atlanta Field Office.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Thomas Holmes ran a tax preparation business in Austell, Georgia called TKO Tax Pros. Between 2013 and 2017, Holmes, through TKO Tax Pros, prepared and filed thousands of federal income tax returns on behalf of clients. The indictment alleges that on many of those returns, Holmes willfully listed false information, such as false Schedule C business losses and false Schedule A itemized deductions, causing the tax returns to claim thousands of dollars in refunds that taxpayers were not entitled to. When the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued refunds to these taxpayers, Holmes allegedly kept a portion of the fraudulent refunds for himself and paid the balance to his clients. During the relevant time period, Holmes made hundreds of thousands of dollars for his tax preparation services.
Thomas Holmes, 41, of Austell, Georgia, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 10, 2019 on 22 counts of willfully preparing and filing fraudulent federal income tax returns on behalf of eight individual taxpayers.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Annalise Peters is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.