Tax Time Made Dad Go Bad
As a tax attorney I hear stories and come across news in professional journals that the majority of people never hear or see.
And, trust me, many of the stories are difficult to believe, but they actually happen.
I recently read about a tax preparer who was involved in defrauding the IRS by preparing and filing personal income tax returns listing false dependents. It appears the man used his own children, as well as other children, on his clients’ personal returns as dependents to inflate his clients’ refunds by thousands of dollars. I don’t think tax time made this dad go bad. It seems he may simply have had a natural tendency to stretch the boundaries.
This story comes from accountingtoday.com and it makes you wonder about the moral character of parents who claim to be so-called professional tax preparers. It also makes me want to urge taxpayers to do your due diligence and only work with tax preparers who are honest. If a tax preparer makes outrageous claims about getting you huge returns, you really need to walk away. The only way that can be done is to engage in criminal activity to make ‘good’ on those promises.
According to his clients’ testimony, in this case, the tax preparer charged his clients “an average of $1,500 for each false dependent he put on their return.” Not surprisingly, his clients were audited and when they were, the tax preparer instructed “at least two of the clients to lie to IRS agents about their relationship with the false dependents.”
Taxpayers who participate in these types of fraud schemes may end up facing charges as well as the preparer.
In this instance the preparer was sentenced to a minimum of two years imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine for aggravated ID theft.
If you suspect any kind of suspicious behavior on the part of your tax preparer, start shopping around for a reputable professional before tax time rolls around again. Give IRS All Star a call and let us help you stay out of trouble with the IRS. And, by all means if you are in serious tax trouble, we can help.