The agency says they submitted questionable tax returns.
Annapolis, Md (KM). The Maryland Comptroller’s Office has recently stopped processing electronic returns from 20 tax preparers in the state, including two from Frederick County. Comptroller Peter Franchot says they submitted fraudulent tax returns, something he says is a major problem. “It’s an epidemic of tax fraud going on all over the country,” he says. “People are stealing folks’ financial information, their Social Security numbers, their W-2’s, and they’re filing ahead of them trying to get fraudulent returns. We’ve had over 10,000 filed this year,” he says.
The two Frederick County preparers who have been flagged by Comptroller’s Office are Caspero Tax and Accounting Service, 1503 Laurel Wood Way, and GA Tax Professional, 8811 Utopia Place in Walkersville. The Tax Lady Ii at 65 East Franklin Street in Hagerstown and Chris & Nas Services, 22 Montgomery Village Avenue in Gaithersburg, are also listed. That adds to the 14 preparers who were listed in January for filing questionable returns.
“We’ve simply told them that we’re not going to process any returns coming from you guys until you come and sit down with us, and explain where this fraud is coming from,” he says.
But Franchot says they usually don’t come. “Very few of them do. And even the few that do don’t have answers,” says Franchot.
Meanwhile, these questionable returns are not being process by the Comptroller’s Office. “All of those have been detected and put aside. We have not paid out general fund revenues for phony, fake tax refunds,” Franchot says.
If you have someone else prepare your taxes this year, Franchot advises you to carefully look over your return before affixing your signature. . He notes that you are responsible for all the information on your return, not the tax preparer. “You, the innocent taxpayer whose says ‘I didn’t do the return. I only signed it.’ No, you’re liable for it.”
And if you suspect fraud, call the Maryland Comptroller’s Office at 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937).
By Kevin McManus