"A high volume of questionable returns" led Maryland to suspend processing electronic tax returns from 20 paid tax preparers. Find out which firms are on the list.
WASHINGTON— Maryland suspended processing electronic tax returns from 20 paid tax preparers Thursday because the comptroller’s office has received what it calls “a high volume of questionable returns.”
“These tend to be fraudulent returns with phony information in them,” Comptroller Peter Franchot told WTOP.
“We will not process their tax returns until they come in and show us the documents that support the returns that they’ve filed so far, that we find highly questionable. I predict that not a single one will show up with the documents because our software filters are that accurate. We’re protecting the Maryland taxpayers by putting these folks hopefully out of business.”
Franchot said this is not is about “fudging your taxes” an occasional error.
“We’re talking about out and out brazen fraud.”
Here is the list of tax preparers blocked from filing returns:
Vasquez Tax Services, 2340 University Ave., Hyattsville, Md. 20783
OSE Tax Services, 5006 Harford Rd,, Baltimore, Md. 21214
ALR Tax and Financial Services LLC, 76 Ritchie Rd., Capitol Heights, Md 20743
Patricia’s Bookkeeping and Accounting, 227 Mysticwood Rd., Reisterstown, Md. 21136
The 20 firms listed above are in addition to 68 businesses blocked last year.
The comptroller’s office said taxpayers should be suspicious if a preparer does the following:
Deducts fees from the taxpayer’s refund to be deposited into the tax preparer’s account;
Does not sign the tax return;
Fails to include the Preparer Taxpayer Identification number “P-TIN” on the return.
Franchot said his office has “headed off more than a million dollars in fraudulent tax refunds and we’re only two weeks into tax season.”
Franchot used the announcement about the 20 firms to push for greater power to go after tax cheats through the judicial system.
“Right now we’re pretty much only allowed to not send them the false refund, not process their tax returns. We don’t have the investigatory power and justice relief we need to really put some of these people behind bars,” he said.
“The missing piece of the puzzle is nobody ever gets brought to justice. That’s changing, we’ve announced some indictments, but we need to announce a lot more so people understand this is not a free ride, you can really get in a lot of trouble and go to jail for filing these things. Right now the only penalty is we don’t process it.”