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Tax Return Preparer Fraud Can Carry Both Civil and Criminal Penalties

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice have made it clear that they are turning up the heat on tax return preparers who submit fraudulent or false tax returns. Tax return preparer fraud has consistently been listed on the IRS' list of "Dirty Dozen Tax Scams." The IRS states that "tax return preparer fraud generally involves the preparation and filing of false income tax returns by preparers who claim inflated personal or business expenses, false deductions, unallowable credits or excessive exemptions on returns prepared for their clients. This includes inflated requests for the special one-time refund of the long-distance telephone tax. Preparers may also manipulate income figures to obtain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, fraudulently."

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