Tax preparers can face serious consequences if they are accused of defrauding clients or committing tax fraud in connection to the tax returns they prepare for clients. Being convicted of charges related to these kinds of fraud can result in a person facing severe criminal penalties, such as a jail sentence.
Recently, in California, a tax crime case has arisen involving a tax preparer. Specifically, the case involves a 40-year-old man who ran a tax services business. The man has been accused of defrauding his clients and committing tax fraud.
Allegedly, the man fraudulently filled out client tax returns so that the returns would yield tax refunds. Authorities claim that the man put his address on these returns so that these refunds would go to him rather than his clients.
Reportedly, he would tell the clients whose forms he had fraudulently filled out that he had prepared their taxes and that they owed money to the government. Authorities allege that he would give his clients "dummy returns" which supported his claims. He would then collect this "owed" money from the clients.
The man faces charges for 12 counts of preparing false tax returns and 12 counts of wire fraud in connection to these allegations. If he is found guilty of these charges, the man could face up to 20 years in jail for each wire fraud count and up to three years in jail for each preparing false tax returns count. Thus, this man could face significant jail time if he is convicted of the crimes he is accused of.
As this case illustrates, being accused of committing fraud in connection to client tax returns can result in a tax preparer facing severe consequences. Consequently, if an individual is accused of these sorts of crimes, having a strong defense can be very important.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "San Jose: Tax preparer accused of defrauding clients, stealing their refunds," Mark Gomez, 17 March 2011