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Liberty Tax Preparer Convicted of Fraud

Adam Rust's picture

Posted October 30, 2012

A tax preparer working in a Detroit Liberty Tax store has been convicted of filing forty fraudulent tax returns on behalf of her clients.

The District Court found that Marquitta Nicole Jackson claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit for her clients

when they did not qualify. The average sum of fraud per return amounted to $3,875.

One of the more common dynamics in retail tax fraud occurs when refund anticipation loans mix with the EITC. Franchises often shared in the proceeds from a refund anticipation loan. The EITC is a refundable credit. For many borrowers, claiming the EITC would be the difference between a return with no refund and one for almost $4,000.

In the future, it seems likely that this kind of fraud will occur less frequently. The IRS is doing more to monitor professional preparers. More importantly, there are going to be fewer loans. For at least the time being, banks cannot offer a refund anticipation loan.

Liberty's web site  does say that its stores will have loans in a few states.

Jackson will be sentenced on January 15th. There is some irony in that choice, given that the 2013 tax prep season will start then.

Note: Jackson was convicted on Sept. 19th. I missed this report. If you already knew about this story, I apologize for giving you old news.