As published in the Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Thursday Jan. 3, 2012 Edition Offers... Read More »
Tax Scam Outfits: Taxpayer Beware
A tax preparation business called Mo’ Money Taxes, based in Memphis, Tennessee, has been sued by several state attorneys general. Illinois, for example, has charged the company with filing fraudulent returns without client authorization and illegally charging its clients millions of dollars in hidden fees. Many of the company’s clients had not received their refund checks.
Also, a crime subcommittee of the Virginia House has been asked to investigate the activities of Mo’ Money Taxes.
The company is apparently not concerned with the confidentiality of its client’s information or the possibility of identity theft because thousands of financial documents were found in trash bins behind the company’s offices. The documents contained personal information, ranging from income and expense information to addresses, driver license numbers, and social security numbers. The company has tried to blame the landlord for improperly discarding taxpayer information, but the landlord has denied the charge.
In 2009 I wrote about a tax outfit called Taxes By Mr. Bill. Their proprietors, too, had engaged in illegal conduct and the business was eventually shut down by the IRS and federal authorities. Here’s what I wrote then. It applies equally in the case of Mo Money Taxes:
The company is being investigated on charges that it may have stolen their clients’ tax refunds. IRS agents stormed into Taxes by Mr. Bill with a warrant and came out with several boxes of documents.
Eyewitness News said that the raid was part of the IRS’s criminal investigation division’s tax fraud investigation.
Here’s the part of the report that makes me chuckle:
Customers who showed up to get their tax refunds said they were surprised when they found out the IRS was there and the tax office was suspected of ripping customers off.
I supppose had these customers known that Mr. Bill wasn’t running a straight ship they would have chosen I’m Gumby Damn It Taxes instead.
Tax preparation outfits that use silly names like Taxes by Mr. Bill and Mo Money Taxes prey on the weak, uneducated and uninformed. I believe Dante reserved his ninth circle for the charlatans who do that.