Tax return professionals are subject to penalties if they do not follow tax laws. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax agencies may pursue criminal charges against a tax return preparer if they believe the professional has failed to do their job properly.

In a recent case, the Department of Justice gathered enough evidence to move forward with charges against a New York tax return professional. The agency stated the professional was falsely reporting tax withholdings for clients from 2011 through 2017. When faced with the evidence, the accused chose a plea deal instead of moving forward with litigation. The government states the accused’s actions resulted in over $460,000 of damage.

The plea deal included the accused pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false returns. Sentencing for this crime will occur at a later date. The tax return professional faces up to five years imprisonment as well as supervised release, a restitution payment and additional fines. These fines may include those imposed under federal regulations that apply specifically to violations by tax return preparers.

Due to the increased penalties that tax return preparers face, it is wise for those who are under investigation to take steps to protect their interests. In addition to criminal charges, tax return preparers can also get additional fines for a variety of mistakes including failing to properly sign returns, failing to furnish an identifying number, failing to be diligent when determining eligibility for credits. When facing allegations of wrongdoing, it is wise to review all charges, including additional fines for violations such as those listed above. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone can review all the allegations and develop a defense on your behalf.