The United States has asked a federal court in Phoenix, Arizona, to permanently bar Alfred George Decker and his business Accountable Business Services Inc. (ABS), located in Gilbert, Arizona, from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The complaint alleges that the defendants unlawfully understate their customers’ income tax liabilities and overstate their customers’ refunds.
According to that complaint, Decker and ABS have continually and repeatedly prepared returns that claimed deductions to which their customers were not entitled, ignored basic principles of tax law by claiming personal expenses as business deductions, ignored limitations on certain types of deductions by identifying the expense incorrectly on the return, and manipulated different entities’ tax returns to try to hide or eliminate income and zero-out customers’ tax liabilities. As alleged in the complaint, Decker engages in this conduct despite the fact that he has previously pleaded guilty to fraudulently preparing an income tax return in Arizona State Court.
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 and ten tips for choosing a tax preparer. 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 information on their website about selecting 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(link sends e-mail).