According to a Department of Justice press release, a Mississippi resident was sentenced by a federal judge to serve over a year in prison for her illegal actions that included aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. As we move into tax season, it is important to remember that if a tax preparer is indicating that your tax refund is much more than you had anticipated and cannot provide a logical explanation as to why, there is a possibility that it is too good to be true. If you have questions as to tax liability or believe that you have taken an invalid position on a prior year’s tax return, it is crucial that you consult an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible.
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Court documents reveal that Stacey Pritchett Williams was the owner and operator of Stacey’s Unique Tax Service that provided tax preparation services for clients in the Gulfport, Mississippi area. Between 2015 and 2016, Williams assisted clients file tax returns that were knowingly false with the sole purpose of obtaining inflated refunds. Williams frequently claimed credits that her clients were not entitled to, such as fuel or educational credits. Additionally, Williams inflated deductions to drive down taxable income. Williams charged clients upwards of $999 for her services. Prosecutors and the IRS estimated that the total tax loss to the government exceeded $100,000.
Williams was sentenced to serve 15 months in a federal prison and will be required to serve one year of supervised release upon the completion of her physical incarceration. Williams is also required to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $102,382, representing the tax loss that she caused.
This story highlights the need to consider the positions that you or your tax preparer have taken on your tax return(s). Although it may be tempting to seek the services of a tax preparer who is willing to do whatever it takes to illegally generate a bountiful refund, the repercussions can be life altering, including large financial penalties and time in federal and/or state prison.
If you believe that you have taken a position on your tax return in the past that is not consistent with the tax laws, or if you have not filed a tax return for one or more years, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced tax defense attorney. Working alongside you, your tax attorney will work to understand the particular facts of your past tax compliance and help you develop a plan to help mitigate any potential exposures.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosure before the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax prosecution, the taxpayer can be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, Kovel CPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
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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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