A federal court in the Northern District of Illinois has permanently enjoined a Chicago, Illinois, tax return preparer from preparing returns for others and from owning, operating or franchising any tax return preparation business in the future.
According to the court’s order, Melissa Gasca, individually and doing business as Su Familia Income Tax, as well as related tax preparation business FinancialPlus Services Inc., consented to entry of the injunction. The terms of the order require that Gasca and FinancialPlus Services Inc. send notice of the injunction to multiple individuals. The order permits the United States to conduct discovery against Gasca going forward to monitor her compliance with the terms of the injunction.
The complaint alleges that Gasca prepared tax returns which significantly understated the customers’ tax liabilities by falsely reporting inflated Form W-2 federal income tax withholdings. The complaint further alleges that this fraudulent activity resulted in a loss to the Treasury of more than $5 million.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. (More information can also be found here.) The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer, has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers, and offers information on how to avoid “ghost” tax preparers, whose refusal to sign a return should be a red flag to taxpayers. The IRS also has a checklist of things to remember when filing income tax returns in 2022.
In addition, IRS Free File, a public-private partnership, offers free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites for individuals whose adjusted gross income is under $72,000. For individuals whose income is over that threshold, IRS Free File offers electronical federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. The IRS has tips on how seniors and individuals with low to moderate income can get other help or guidance on tax return preparation, too.
In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.
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