Justice Department Sues to Shut Down Florida Tax Return Preparers George Brito, Luis Brito, and Brito and Brito Accounting USA, Inc.
Florida (STL.News) The United States filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against George Brito, Luis Brito, and Brito and Brito Accounting USA, Inc. The civil complaint seeks to enjoin the defendants from preparing federal tax returns for others.
The civil complaint alleges that the defendants, George Brito and Luis Brito, have worked as tax return preparers for almost thirty years and, since 2019, have prepared thousands of tax returns annually. The complaint alleges that the defendants prepare returns that understate their customers’ tax liabilities and overstate their refunds. According to the complaint, the defendants’ unlawful schemes include deducting ineligible expenses as itemized deductions, claiming false or inflated business expenses and losses, and fabricating residential energy credits without any factual basis to claim them.
As alleged in the complaint, the defendants have caused the United States to issue inflated refunds that the defendants’ customers were not entitled to receive and to lose tax revenue. The complaint further alleges that the defendant’s conduct harmed their customers, who pay substantial fees for what they believe, to be honest, return preparation services but eventually learn that they owe money to the IRS because of the inaccuracies reported on their returns.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
Taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant against unscrupulous tax preparers, as return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams. The IRS offers tips on how to accurately file returns and how to choose a tax return preparer, as well as steps taxpayers can take to get a jumpstart on filing. The IRS has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers and offers information on how to avoid “ghost” tax preparers, whose refusal to sign a return should be a red flag to taxpayers.
In addition, IRS Free File, a public-private partnership, offers free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites for individuals whose adjusted gross income is under $73,000. For individuals whose income is over that threshold, IRS Free File offers electronic federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free.
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’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found here.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice