Thursday, September 16, 2010

The left hand of the government apparently does not know what the right hand has been doing


If you are looking for an IRS Authorized Efile Provider in Orlando, Florida, you can find the following listing on today:

However, the Justice Department released this statement yesterday:

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Federal Court Shuts Down Orlando, Florida, Tax Preparer
Orlando, Florida Tax Preparer Claims False Filing Status for Customers and Fabricates Deductions and Credits to Fraudulently Reduce Customers’ Taxes

WASHINGTON - A federal district judge in Orlando, Fla., has permanently barred Elisa Veronica Barron of Orlando from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the order, Barron is a return preparer operating under the name, “Lancaster Tax Service Inc.” The court also ordered Barron to mail copies of the court order to her customers.

The court found that Barron prepares tax returns using false information in order to reduce her customers’ tax liabilities. Specifically, the court found that Barron unlawfully reduced her customers’ reported income by claiming unsubstantiated and fraudulent deductions and credits. Additionally, the court found that Barron routinely misrepresents her customers’ filing status and number of their dependents to allow them to improperly claim the earned income tax credit.

According to the complaint, the government estimates that this alleged fraudulent tax preparation scheme by Barron resulted in an understatement of her customers’ federal income tax liabilities of more than $1 million for returns that Barron prepared in 2006-2007 alone.

Disturbing fact #1: It took so many years for the government to bar a preparer with this kind of record.

Disturbing fact #2: Today, a search of the IRS list of authorized efile providers still turns up a listing for this preparer, with no indication that there is a court order barring her from preparing returns.

Hat tip: Peter Pappas of the Tax Lawyer's blog for posting a link to this television story on the court order against this preparer.


  1. And there's more. I went back to the Department of Justice website to find preparers who had previously been barred.

    A DoJ press release dated August 24 stated that "A federal district judge in Atlanta has permanently barred Saloum A. Njie and his company, MIAAS Associates LLC, from preparing federal tax returns for others."

    But I found this listing today on the IRS Authorized Efile Provider list.

    Address: 250 AUBURN AVE
    Address2: SUITE 305
    City/State/Zip: ATLANTA, GA 30303
    Point of Contact: SALOUM A NJIE
    Telephone: 404/659-5644
    Type of Service: Electronic Return Originator

    There is no indication in the listing I found today at that this preparer has been permanently barred from preparing tax returns, nor that the Justice Department states that the "defendants' activities may have resulted in more than $1 million in understated federal income tax liabilities for their customers, for returns prepared between 2006 and 2009."

  2. Update: I just checked the Authorized Efile Provider list again today.

    Both of the preparers listed above have been removed from the list.