Justice Department Sues to Shut Down Miami-Based Return Preparer

The Justice Department filed a complaint today seeking to bar a Miami-area return preparer from owning or operating a tax return preparation business and preparing tax returns for others.

The civil complaint against Aniel Saint-Hilaire was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The complaint alleges that Saint-Hilaire, through his numerous business entities, prepares federal income tax returns for Miami-area taxpayers on which he claims fraudulent deductions and credits to purposely underreport the tax his customers owe and claim refunds they are not entitled to receive. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Saint-Hilaire prepared returns with false or inflated deductions, business expenses and business losses, as well as false claims for residential energy credits, fuel tax credits and other credits. The complaint also alleges that Saint-Hilaire hides his tax preparation activity by failing to properly identify himself on the tax returns that he prepares.

The government further alleges that Saint-Hilaire files thousands of tax returns each year, with approximately 99% of the returns he prepares claiming a refund. By repeatedly understating his customers’ tax liabilities, the complaint alleges that the United States has been harmed by Saint-Hilaire’s conduct, resulting in the significant loss in tax revenue of an estimated $16.5 million each year. According to the complaint, in addition to seeking an injunction against Saint-Hilaire, the government requested an order of disgorgement to prevent Saint-Hilaire from profiting from his violation of the internal revenue laws.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

Taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant against unscrupulous tax preparers. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers. The IRS also offers guidance on the credentials and qualifications that taxpayers should seek from their return preparer.

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.

Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-sues-shut-down-miami-based-return-preparer

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