Hialeah Florida Tax Preparer Indicted For Preparing False Tax Returns: Still Don’t Want to Regulate Tax Preparers?

Hialeah Florida Tax Preparer Indicted For Preparing False Tax Returns: Still Don’t Want to Regulate Tax Preparers?

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The South Florida Business Journal reports today that,

A Hialeah woman has been charged in a 45-count indictment with allegedly helping to prepare false tax returns.

According to the indictment, between 2001 and 2005 Zully M. Cordoba assisted in the preparation of more than 3,700 tax returns and more than 6,100 amended returns on behalf of numerous clients and herself.

Cordoba worked out of her home between 2001 and 2003, and from 2003 to 2005 operated under the name Cordoba Tax Services from storefront offices in a Hialeah mall, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

In each of the instances, she is alleged to have falsified documentation such as employee expenses and charitable deductions.

For each 1040, she charged anywhere from $35 to $110. For the amended returns she received a percentage based on the amount of the refund, according to the indictment.

“Due to the contingent, refund-dependent nature of Cordoba’s 10 percent fee arrangement, Cordoba benefitted financially to an extent which increased proportionally in relation to the amount of additional deductions and expenses included in the 1040X returns which she prepared,” the indictment reads.

If convicted, she faces up to three years on each count.

People like Cordoba not only taint our profession, they steal business from us.

After all, what taxpayer wouldn’t hire a tax preparer who promises a large tax refund over a tax preparer who tells him the truth about his tax liability?

I say we put an end to this tomfoolery now by regulating non-CPA, non-lawyer and non-enrolled agent tax preparers thereby protecting the public and putting all tax preparers on a reasonably level playing field.

Related Posts:

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IRS Raids “Taxes by Mr. Bill”

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida

Comments

  1. A Hialeah woman has been charged in a 45-count indictment with allegedly helping to prepare false tax returns…If convicted, she faces up to three years on each count.

    Yeah. The possibility of spending life in prison for gaming the tax system isn’t enough — we need to make her sign papers saying she wouldn’t do so, first! It’s almost certain that the false sense of security created by this kind of regulation would outweigh whatever deterrent value is has. Just look at financial markets — all the big frauds (Enron, Madoff, Worldcom, etc.) were under the SEC’s purview. No unregulated fraud gets big enough to fail like that, because people are smart enough to assess the frauds.

  2. Tax Rascal,

    I agree that even if we regulate unlicensed tax preparers, there will continue to be some unlicensed tax preparers who scam the public and commit tax fraud.

    But that holds true for any law or regulation the government passes. To wit,

    1. We have laws that make rape illegal, yet we still have rapists; and

    2. We have laws that make drug trafficking illegal, yet we still have drug traffickers.

    You seem to be engaging in “all or nothing” thinking here i.e. if regulating tax preparers doesn’t eliminate all unscrupulous tax preparation it is a waste of time and money.

    I disagree.

    The regulation of tax preparers will deter some would be tax preparation crooks from activating their crookedness and it will deter some would be incompetent tax preparers from entering the field in the first place.

    In effect, regulation constructs a barrier to entry. The only people it will block are the lazy, the inept and the crooked.

    If done correctly and efficiently, the good guys will not mind the regulation understanding that it elevates the reputation of the entire profession.

    The goal of regulation, like that of any law, is not complete elimination of bad conduct, but a reduction of that conduct.

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