According to a Department of Justice press release, an Indiana resident was indicted by a federal grand jury last week. The grand jury, sitting in Washington, D.C. returned an indictment of tax evasion, aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. This story highlights the reality that although there are many tax practitioners who hold themselves out to be honest and law abiding, there are a many that are not. Carefully vetting the tax preparer or tax attorney that you work with is critical. If their advice seems to good to be true… It is!!!
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The federal grand jury indictment alleges that Awett Tedla owned and operated Speedy Tax Services LLC (“Speedy”), offering tax preparation services to individuals within the Washington, D.C. area. The indictment further alleges that between 2012 and 2016, Tedla and other co-conspirators who were working on her behalf illegally obtained sensitive identifying information that was used to file false tax returns with the IRS. Every fraudulently filed tax return included a refund claim, which Tedla and her associates retained for their own personal enjoyment. Finally, the indictment alleges that Tedla failed to include all her business receipts on her individual tax returns between 2013 and 2016.
An indictment does not mean that the defendant in a particular matter is guilty, it is merely a step in the charging process. The defendant has the right to a jury trial and the Department of Justice will be required to prove their case. If convicted, Tedla faces up to five years in prison for each count of tax evasion, 10 years in prison for conspiring to file false claims in order to receive tax refunds, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, and an additional mandatory sentence of two years for the count of aggravated identity theft. Additionally, Tedla faces a term of supervised release to be served after the completion of her prison sentence and could be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.
As we mentioned above, the vast majority of tax practitioners are hardworking and honest professionals. Though, there are many who are out for a quick buck. As we move into tax filing season, it is important to keep your eyes and ears open for potential warning signs that could signal wrongdoing.
If you have any indicated that your previous tax preparer may have incorrectly completed your tax return (whether inadvertently or purposely) or if you have not filed tax returns for several years, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney. Your seasoned tax lawyer will work with you to understand the particular facts pertinent to your circumstances and if need be, help you rectify the situation. Being proactive typically provides a strategic advantage, rather than waiting for the IRS to begin an examination or an investigation.
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Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney Today
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
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Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here.