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Couple charged with tax fraud

A married couple has been charged with tax fraud, and, if convicted, may face prison time. The husband and wife were tax preparers who allegedly falsified their clients' tax returns in order to get more clients and increase their income. Massachusetts residents should take note of this case because even though the couple was conducting their business in New Jersey, such tax crimes could happen anywhere.

Records from tax years 2005 through 2007 reveal that the defendants had been providing misinformation on their clients' tax forms, including creating false names for businesses, recording false or inflated deductions and claiming that a client was head of the household when he or she was not. They also created false credits so that their clients could receive larger refunds and refer more people to them.

The defendants allegedly kept part of their clients' refunds for themselves by issuing cashier's checks drawn on a California bank after forging their customers' signatures and depositing them into a separate account. Additionally, they submitted two federal tax returns for the same year for the same client. They provided that client with a return indicating a refund of several hundred dollars; however, the IRS's copy of the same return indicated a refund of several thousand dollars.

The IRS will audit those people whom it believes are filing erroneous tax returns. There are many reasons as to why tax returns may be incorrect; unfortunately, people who face possible convictions for tax related crimes often do not know how to protect themselves. Consulting an experienced tax audit attorney who is knowledgeable regarding federal and Massachusetts state law may help. Through negotiating with IRS agents, such an attorney may be able to decrease the amount owed or possibly eliminate payments.

Source: Accounting Today, "Husband and Wife Tax Preparers Charged with Tax Fraud", Michael Cohn , June 20, 2013

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