A federal district court in Philadelphia has barred Deron O. Joe, Edmund G. Dassin, and James M. Tokpawhiea from preparing federal income tax returns for others, according to the Justice Department. The men consented to entry of the civil injunction order without admitting any wrongdoing.
Tax Preparers Allegedly Committed Tax Fraud by Claiming Improper Refunds
Until August 2011, the three defendants operated Edron Tax Professionals together in Philadelphia. In August 2011, the name changed to Urban Tax Professionals, and the office moved to Collingdale, Pa. According to the Justice Department’s complaint, the defendants repeatedly prepared tax returns that deliberately understated their customers’ tax liabilities. Methods allegedly used by the defendants include fraudulently claiming earned-income credits and bogus first-time-homebuyer credits to improperly increase their customers’ tax refunds. The complaint alleges that Mr. Joe and Mr. Dassin told one of their employees to claim a first-time-homebuyer credit on each and every return he prepared.
The defendants are required to send copies of the order against them to everyone for whom they have prepared federal income tax returns since 2009. They must also provide the government with a list of their customers.
Whistleblowers Help Authorities Identify and Prosecute Tax Fraud
Whistleblowers play a crucial role in uncovering and fighting tax fraud. To reward whistleblowers and encourage their cooperation, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 allows the IRS Whistleblower Office to provide whistleblowers with a financial award under certain circumstances. The amount of such an award may vary from 15 and 30 percent of the total amount recovered by the IRS because of the whistleblower’s information.
It is important for whistleblowers to know their rights under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act. The attorneys at Waters & Kraus have decades of experience representing whistleblowers. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.