The United States has asked a federal court to shut down a Mo’ Money Taxes tax preparation office in Nashville, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction suit, filed against Mo’ Money licensee Toney Fields and co-defendant Trumekia Shaw in U.S. District Court in Nashville, alleges that the two defendants intentionally prepare and file fraudulent federal income tax returns to obtain improper tax refunds for customers.
According to the complaint, Fields and Shaw get an improper jump on their competition by opening Mo’ Money Taxes in Nashville in late December and before the tax year ends. The defendants allegedly use customers’ end-of-year pay stubs to prepare tax returns, before employers have issued Internal Revenue Service (IRS) W-2 wage-statement forms to employees. Preparing tax returns based on pay stubs rather than proper W-2 Forms violates IRS rules. Fields and Shaw allegedly use the pay stubs to create fake W-2 Forms to include with the returns. End-of-the-year pay stubs frequently omit income and distributions that are shown on employer-issued W-2 Forms. This inevitably results in errors on federal tax returns.
The lawsuit further alleges that Fields and Shaw inflate or claim false tax credits on customers’ tax returns. According to the complaint, Fields and Shaw frequently claim improper dependent exemptions in order to claim inflated earned-income credits or child tax credits for their customers. The suit also alleges that the defendants include false filing statuses and bogus claims for charitable contributions on customers’ returns. The complaint says the government estimates that the defendants’ misconduct may have caused revenue losses of more than $5 million from the more than 1,100 tax returns they prepared in 2011.