Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Return Preparer Indicted for Scheme to Receive False Tax Refunds

Monday, January 27th, 2020 @ 2:40PM

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CFEG reports that on October 1, 2019, in a federal district court in the Southern District of Texas, an IRS volunteer income tax return preparer was charged in an 18-count indictment with making false statements on an income tax return, theft of Government money, and aggravated identity theft. The volunteer was subsequently arrested in connection with the charges.  https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/oi_highlights.shtml

According to the indictment, from January 2015 through April 2018, the IRS volunteer owned and operated several tax preparation businesses. During two tax filing seasons, he worked as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) return preparer. The VITA program is a nationwide initiative sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide help with income tax filing to low and moderate income people. The volunteer took taxpayer return information from the VITA locations to prepare and file taxpayers’ returns from his residence, without proper authorization. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/oi_highlights.shtml

According to TIGTA the volunteer prepared the tax returns using false Schedules A, false Schedules C, false earned income tax credits, and/or false child and dependent care credits. He used false information to request larger refunds than the amount to which the taxpayer was entitled. He then paid the taxpayers the refund they expected and kept the portion that had been falsely claimed. He did not sign the returns as the preparer, but instead falsely used the names of others. The investigation showed that the volunteer filed approximately 258 tax returns in the course of this scheme, claiming refunds totaling $1,196,871. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/oi_highlights.shtml

Additionally, according to TIGTA this volunteer knowingly transferred, possessed, and used one victim’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number in relation to the theft of Government money. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/oi_highlights.shtml

According to TIGTA, if convicted, this volunteer income tax assistance return preparer could be ordered to forfeit all property which constitutes, or is derived from, proceeds traceable to these offenses. He could also face a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment relative to the theft counts, three years’ imprisonment for making false statements on tax returns, and a mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment for the aggravated identity- theft count. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/oi_highlights.shtml

When IRS volunteer income tax assistance return preparers engage in criminal conduct such as making false statements on an income tax return, theft of Government money, and aggravated identity theft, the IRS fails in its mission to apply the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.

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Categories: 2019 CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS OF IRS EMPLOYEES, IRS Employees Engage In Tax Refund Identity Fraud, IRS Employees Falsify Tax Forms, Theft of Government Property By IRS Employees

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