One of the goals of tax preparers is to provide the best possible tax outcome for their clients. It is very important for tax preparers to exercise great care to stay within the bounds of the law when pursuing this goal. Accusations of having prepared fraudulent returns for a client in order to benefit a client can lead to serious federal charges being brought against a tax preparer.
Recently, two tax preparers from here in South Carolina were convicted in a case involving federal tax fraud charges.
The two tax preparers in question are a 37-year-old woman from Darlington and a 31-year-old woman from Effingham. The two were accused of putting false information, such as false income information and false dependent information, on tax returns prepared for clients. Purportedly, the resulting fraudulent returns made it so the clients could receive bigger refunds than they were actually entitled to.
Federal charges were brought against the two women in connection to these allegations. Recently, the jury in the case issued its verdict. Both of the women were convicted on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The two were also both found guilty on multiple counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, with the 37-year-old woman being found guilty on two such counts and the 31-year-old woman being found guilty on 15 such counts.
The maximum prison sentence for the conspiracy count is five years and the maximum prison sentence for each of the aiding and assisting counts is three years. One wonders what sentences the two women will be given.
As this case shows, being accused of tax fraud can lead to a tax preparer facing life-altering consequences. If a tax preparer is accused of fraudulent conduct, they should promptly speak to a criminal defense attorney, as time can often be of the essence in preparing a strong defense in tax fraud cases.
Source: scnow.com, “Two Pee Dee women found guilty of assisting in filing false tax returns,” March 21, 2014