Comptroller Franchot Stops Processing Returns at Four More Private Tax Preparers
For Fifth Time this Tax Season, Comptroller Acts to Stop Suspicious Returns
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 4, 2016) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that, effective immediately, he has suspended processing electronic and paper tax returns from four additional private tax preparers, bringing the total number of firms to 65 at 68 locations throughout the region and out of state. In his continued effort to combat tax fraud and identify theft, the most recent action was due to a high volume of questionable returns received.
The preparers or businesses notified of the action are:
- Taxpoint Solution Accountants, 1401 Mercantile Lane, 3rd Floor, Upper Marlboro
- Tax Care, 6711 Belair Road, Ste. 8, Baltimore
- ICS Group LLC, 8855 Annapolis Road, Ste. 205, Lanham
- Tax Time LLC (also known as Speedy Tax Service), 1002 H St., NE, Washington, D.C.
The latest suspensions follow four previous announcements in the past two months that the Comptroller’s Office had halted processing returns, including 23 Liberty Tax Service franchises.
“It’s remarkable to me that despite the actions we have taken over the past three months, there continue to be preparers who are brazenly submitting radioactive state tax returns,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Those out there who are still conducting themselves in this manner should be warned – we are going to catch up with them.”
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 of the decision, so that they can take any additional appropriate actions.
The suspicious characteristics detected on the tax returns prompting the determination included:
- 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, and/or
- Inflated wages and withholding information.
- Inflated itemized deductions.
Taxpayers should carefully review their returns for these issues and be suspicious if a tax preparer deducts fees from their refund, does not sign their tax return, or fails to include their preparer taxpayer identification number “P-TIN” on the return. In the event that a taxpayer suspects fraud, they are asked to immediately report the issue to the Comptroller’s Office by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or410-260-7980 in Central Maryland or by emailing TAXHELP@comp.state.md.us. This year’s tax filing deadline is April 18.
To review the list of previous preparers from which Comptroller Franchot has suspended processing returns, visit the Comptroller’s website at http://www.marylandtaxes.com/
If taxpayers want to check to see if the Comptroller’s Office is processing returns from a particular tax preparer, or on their status for a previously filed claim, they are asked to contact the Maryland Comptroller’s Office Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.
If taxpayers suspect fraud, they are asked to immediately report the issue to the Comptroller’s Questionable Return Detection Team at QRDT@comp.state.md.us.