A federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana has permanently enjoined a Hammond tax return preparer from preparing federal income tax returns for others and from owning or operating any tax return business in the future.
According to the court order entered Dec. 20, Kenisha Callahan consented to entry of the injunction. The order requires that Callahan send notice of the injunction to her prior customers. The order also permits the United States to conduct post-judgment discovery to monitor Callahan’s compliance with the injunction.
The civil complaint filed against Callahan alleged that she reported fabricated income or losses, and false filing statuses, in order to maximize her customers’ earned income tax credit. Further, the complaint alleged that Callahan impermissibly lowered some of her customers’ tax liabilities by falsely claiming unreimbursed employee business expenses and charitable gifts for individuals who were not entitled to claim such deductions.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. (More information can also be found here.) The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer, has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers, and offers information on how to avoid “ghost” tax preparers, whose refusal to sign a return should be a red flag to taxpayers. The IRS also has a list of important reminders for taxpayers who are about to file their 2020 tax returns, including how to prepare for a smooth filing process.
In addition, IRS Free File, a public-private partnership, offers free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites for individuals whose adjusted gross income is under $72,000. For individuals whose income is over that threshold, IRS Free File offers electronical federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free.
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 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.