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Updating a story that we brought you earlier this year, a Washington, D.C. area tax preparer has been sentenced to serve 24 months in federal prison after preparing multiple false tax returns. This story should remind taxpayers that filing returns that are knowingly false, whether you are a paid tax preparer or not, can have severe criminal tax consequences. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that is knowingly false, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced tax defense attorney.
A recent press release from the Department of Justice indicates that Renita Jenifer, a 52-year-old resident of District Heights, Maryland, was recently sentenced to serve two years in prison. We reported about Jenifer’s guilty plea earlier this year. If you recall, Jenifer was the owner and operator of RAJen Business Tax Service. The business serviced clients in the D.C. area. The business was in operation between 2013 and 2016, during which time Jenifer helped her clients file knowingly false tax returns by utilizing phony business expenses and itemized deductions that taxpayers were not entitled to. The effect of the inflated deductions was refunded for her clients that were not actually due.
The IRS Criminal Investigation team raided Jenifer’s office upon discovering her fraudulent activity. Additionally, the IRS revoked her Electronic Filing Identification Number. In response to the IRS discovering the illegal activity occurring at RAJen, Jenifer formed another tax preparation firm and began undertaking the same illegal inflation of tax deductions in an effort to secure her clients’ fraudulent refunds.
Investigators also discovered that Jenifer falsified her own individual tax returns by omitting income from her tax preparation business. Additionally, Jenifer failed to file a tax return in 2017 and 2018, altogether. The IRS estimated that Jenifer caused a tax loss to the government of more than $300,000.
In addition to being sentenced to serve two years in prison, Jenifer was ordered to serve one year of supervised release. Additionally, she was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS exceeding $350,000, representing the tax loss that she caused the government.
This story is a reminder to taxpayers that you could find yourself both in a heap of financial trouble and in federal prison if you fail to file truthful tax returns. The defendant in this case assisted clients in the filing of false tax returns, but the takeaway can be applied to any taxpayer who files a tax return. The IRS and Department of Justice simply do not tolerate deliberate untruthfulness on tax returns.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have understated income (or overstated deductions) as a part of a tax filing, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible. Together, you will lay out the pertinent facts of your case and make a determination as to the best course of action to get right with the government. Best of all, with an experienced tax lawyer by your side, you will never have to go up against the IRS or state taxing authority 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!
Regardless of your business or estate needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.
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