Fake Tax Returns

Picture of a door to a jail cell with keys in the lock.

Once, a client tried to pressure me into claiming her daughter as a dependent on her tax return, even though the daughter didn’t meet IRS criteria. I had to bite my tongue to avoid saying, “Because I like life on this side of the bars too much!”

Fudging numbers on tax returns is a serious offense, as proven by a recent court case. Five tax preparers from Sunbelt Tax Service in Mississippi got caught filing fake tax returns. They cooked up phony education credits, deductions, and business figures, costing the IRS over $3.5 million. And guess what? They didn’t even tell their clients what they were up to before filing electronically.

The consequences? Three of them got prison sentences ranging from 15 to 100 months. They’ll also face supervised release and have to repay the government. The other two preparers are up for sentencing soon.

Moral of the story: Always thoroughly check any tax return prepared by a tax prep service.

Don’t mess with the IRS!

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Gwen Harrison President

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