Those who prepare tax returns on the behalf of others need to know a lot about the law. They need to stay current on changes at the federal, state, and local levels and make sure the filings are in line with the government’s expectations. A failure to do so can result in allegations of fraud — and authorities will aggressively pursue those who are supposed to know the most about these laws if they fail to meet these expectations. This was shown in a recent case that highlighted the efforts of undercover operations targeting tax filing professionals.
What did the undercover operations find?
Authorities behind these investigations report that preparers throughout New York were filing fraudulent returns or failing to file their own, personal tax returns. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance stated that it aggressively pursued these allegations and moved forward with criminal charged because they claim the accused “flout[ed] the law for personal gain.”
Did the allegations lead to charges?
The state agency was able to move forward with charges against at least four New Yorkers as a result of this operation. Potential penalties include:
- Imprisonment. There are situations when these crimes can lead to imprisonment. If, for example, the agency can establish intent or a willful attempt to avoid tax obligations they could push for imprisonment.
- Restitution. A required repayment of tax obligations and penalties is often required. In this case, authorities gathered evidence to establish a 60-year-old certified public accountant (CPA) failed to file his personal tax returns from 2016 through 2018. Upon review of the allegations, the CPA agreed to failure to file and paid New York State authorities full restitution.
- Additional charges. It is important to note that allegations of tax fraud are often only just the beginning. The prosecution will dig into the case and look for additional wrongdoing. This could include allegations of money laundering, mail fraud, and larceny.
This operation is just one of many efforts by the authorities to come after those it suspects have committed tax fraud. Those who find themselves in the government’s crosshairs are wise to take action to protect their interests. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are familiar with these types of cases and can advocate for your interests, better ensuring a more favorable outcome.