(STL.News) –The United States has filed a complaint seeking to bar a Chicago area tax return preparer from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The civil complaint against Anthony Jones was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and alleges that Jones prepared federal income tax returns for several Chicago area taxpayers that significantly understated his customers’ tax liabilities by fabricating or manipulating his customers’ business income or expenses. The suit also charges that Jones misrepresents his customers’ filing statuses.
According to the complaint, the IRS interviewed several of Jones’ customers, who allegedly stated that they did not generate the business income or incur the business expenses reported on the returns Jones prepared for them, and did not give Jones any reason to believe that such income or expenses were legitimate. The complaint alleges that, by repeatedly understating his customers’ tax liabilities, Jones has caused substantial harm to the United States.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.