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Maryland Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Helping Clients Defraud the IRS

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, a Maryland tax preparer has pleaded guilty to several counts related to the intentional filing of false tax returns on behalf of her clients. Whether you file a complex business tax return or merely your individual taxes, intentionally providing the IRS with false information related to your annual financial affairs can result in severe, life-altering consequences and the fire that starts with a dirty preparer can and will burn straight to you. If you have failed to file a business or individual tax return for one or more years, have inflated deductions, underreported income, or claimed credits to which you were not entitled, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options to come into tax compliance without facing criminal tax prosecution. If you find yourself under audit after filing a dirty return, we can help ensure the issue stays purely civil. If you find yourself facing a state or federal criminal tax investigation we can help do damage control.

    Defendant Claimed Non-Existent Business Losses to Lower Tax Bills

    Court records reveal that Anita Fortune was the owner and operator of a tax return preparation business that operated under several different business names and served clients in the Maryland area. Using tax preparer credentials of other co-conspirators, Fortune fraudulently prepared tax returns for several clients between 2011 and 2018. To ensure that her clients owed less tax or received a refund, Fortune fabricated itemized deductions and business losses, which were incorporated into the filed tax returns.

    IRS investigators and federal prosecutors estimate that Fortune’s illegal actions cost taxpayers more than $189,000. Following her guilty plea, Fortune’s sentencing was scheduled for June. She faces up to five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the IRS and an additional three years in prison for each count of knowingly filing a false tax return. In addition to a term of physical incarceration, Fortune will likely be sentenced to serve a term of supervised release and be required to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss that she caused.

    Lied on Your Taxes? What May Seem Like a Harmless Mistruth Can Land You in Prison

    It is common among Americans to believe that only celebrities and the wealthy are convicted of tax crimes. That simply is not the case. Every year, Americans from across the income spectrum are prosecuted and convicted of committing tax crimes. Many of the individuals facing criminal charges believed that their actions were harmless, and they would never be caught. Although the risk of being detected may have once been relatively low, modern technology implemented by the IRS has made sniffing out tax cheats much easier. Complex computer systems scan filed tax returns and automatically detect anomalies. If enough badges of fraud are present, the return is routed to an appropriate IRS official who will determine whether additional investigation is required.

    If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have lied about your income or deductions, you should consult with an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to get right with the government. Your tax lawyer will work with you to determine the best strategy to protect your livelihood and physical freedom. While being represented by a seasoned tax defense attorney, you will never have to face the IRS alone.

    Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation / prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. 

    It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.

    Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.

    As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, KovelCPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!

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