Federal Court Permanently Enjoins Tax Return Preparers in Louisiana
(STL.News) A federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has permanently enjoined two New Orleans-area tax return preparers from preparing returns for others and from owning, operating, or franchising any tax return preparation business in the future.
The court entered judgment against Mario Alexander by default; defendant Leroi Jackson consented to entry of the injunction against him. The terms of the orders require that Alexander and Jackson, both individually and doing business as The Taxman Financial Services, send notices of the injunction to each person for whom they prepared federal tax returns and post the injunctions in places where they conduct business, including social media accounts and websites. The orders also provide that the United States may conduct post-judgment discovery to monitor compliance.
The civil complaint filed against Alexander and Jackson alleged that they prepared tax returns claiming fabricated business income and expenses, as well as claiming various false tax deductions and credits, including charitable contributions and education credits. It also alleged that defendants fabricated business income and/or expenses in order to increase claims for earned income tax credits. According to the complaint, Alexander and Jackson significantly underreported their customers’ tax liabilities, obtained fraudulent tax refunds, and charged exorbitant fees for their services, often without their customers’ knowledge.
Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer, 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. The IRS also has a list of important reminders for taxpayers who are about to file their 2020 tax returns, including how to prepare for a smooth filing process.
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 this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.