A tax return preparer in the Wichita, Kansas, area prepares fraudulent tax returns for her customers, according to a new civil lawsuit filed by the Justice Department today. The suit, filed in federal court in Wichita, Kansas, asks the court to permanently bar Ma Guadalupe Valenzuela (a/k/a Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela a/k/a Lupe Valenzuela, individually and doing business as Servicio de Income Tax) from preparing federal tax returns for others. The government also asks the court to order Valenzuela to turn over the names of customers for whom she has prepared federal tax returns since 2012.
The complaint alleges that the defendant unlawfully understates her customers’ income tax liabilities and overstates these customers’ refunds. According to the complaint, Valenzuela unlawfully prepares federal tax returns that lowers her customers’ federal tax liabilities by claiming bogus child tax credits, improper dependency exemptions, and false filing statuses.
The IRS has a list of steps on their website that you can take now in anticipation of filing your 2017 federal income tax return. Return preparer fraud was one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2017 and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has some tips on their website for choosing a return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.
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 on 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.