Four County Tax Preparers Banned from Filing Some Returns
Comptroller's office flags questionable filings
Image via Flickr: Ken Teegardin (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Four tax preparers in Montgomery County are barred from filing electronic tax returns after being flagged by the state comptroller’s fraud unit, the agency announced.
Comptroller Peter Franchot blocked 24 tax preparers at locations in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia because of a large quantity of questionable returns. The unit has suspended 215 tax preparation firms at 228 locations since 2016.
“Our Questionable Returns Detection Team vigilantly monitors tax filings and is constantly keeping a watchful eye for unscrupulous preparers who submit false returns, causing financial harm to individual filers and their families and to the State of Maryland’s coffers,” Franchot said in a statement. “Blocking these swindlers and protecting hardworking Maryland taxpayers is the agency’s top priority each tax season.”
A spokesman declined to provide details about what tipped off investigators or what practices are considered questionable.
CB2 Consulting LLC in Kensington, Agadbak Tax and Financial Services in Montgomery Village, and Square & Eagle Group and Aldrin Ngwa in Silver Spring are have been blocked from filing electronic returns. Each will have an opportunity to have the ban removed through a review process with the fraud unit. They can still submit paper returns.
A representative from CB2 Consulting said the firm hasn’t received notification of the suspension, but plans to file for a review.
Square & Eagle Group enrolled agent Eric Chabi Gani said he was unaware of the suspension. “Everything is done properly,” Gani said.
Emmanuel Agada of Agadbak Tax and Financial Services declined to comment on the suspension, as did Ngwa.
Taxpayers who used a blocked preparer are allowed to self-file their returns or file with another preparer and are not liable as long as their taxes are properly filed before April 15, unless they are found to have willingly engaged in fraud, a comptroller’s spokesman said in an email.
Franchot’s unit uses technology to spot suspicious returns then notifies the fraudulent preparers. The list is given to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, which could prosecute the cases following investigations by the comptroller’s office.
The number of cases prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office was not available.
Franchot’s office announced it has stopped more than 100,000 fraudulent returns and denied $206 million worth of fraudulent refunds since 2007.