A federal court in Boise, Idaho permanently enjoined Jonathan Peirsol from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced yesterday. Peirsol consented to the civil injunction order and admitted the allegations in the complaint. He previously pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and, in May 2017, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.
According to the civil complaint, Peirsol prepared false income tax returns by adding fictitious itemized deductions without the knowledge or consent of his customers, including, most commonly, fraudulent medical expenses. Peirsol also added false education expenses to his customers’ income tax returns without their knowledge or consent, as alleged in the complaint. The complaint states that Peirsol’s conduct caused at least $62,441 in tax loss.
Return preparer fraud was one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2018 and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has some tips on its website for choosing a return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.
In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.
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