Comptroller Franchot to Hold Media Roundtable on Agency’s Actions to Combat Tax Fraud

Comptroller and Staff of Tax Professionals to Detail Latest Processing Halts

WHO:             Comptroller Peter Franchot

WHAT:          As Maryland’s chief tax collector, Comptroller Franchot will discuss his agency’s ongoing efforts to combat tax fraud and identity theft at numerous tax preparation businesses in the state during a roundtable forum with news media Friday in the Assembly Room of the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building.

The Comptroller and his staff of highly-trained tax professionals and field enforcement officers will be available to discuss the actions that have been taken in the past three weeks. Since the end of January, the Comptroller’s Office has suspended processing of electronic and paper tax returns from 23 Liberty Tax Service franchises and from 14 private tax preparers at 18 locations throughout the state due to a high volume of questionable returns received.

Suspicious characteristics detected on the tax returns prompting the suspensions include:

  • Business income reported when taxpayers did not own a business
  • Refund amounts requested much higher than previous year tax returns
  • Inflated and/or undocumented business expenses
  • Dependents claimed when taxpayer did not provide required 50 percent support or care
  • Inflated wages and withholding information

Comptroller Franchot, pursuant to the recently signed IRS Security Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), has shared this information with other tax agencies. The Comptroller’s Office has also advised the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, so that they can take any additional appropriate actions.

WHEN            Friday, February 12, 2016

WHERE:        10 a.m.

                        Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building, Assembly Room, 1st Floor

80 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

CONTACT:  Barbara Sauers 410-260-7438 (office), 410-212-9414 (cell)