Spring not only brings with it warm weather to the Dallas area, but also the obligation for local residents to prepare and file their tax returns from the previous year. Several resources may be available to help people with these tasks, yet even with such aides in place, the federal tax remains as complicated as ever. As such, many turn to professionals to help them with this task. However, even experience is not always a guarantee that errors will not occur. When people hear of such errors being committed by one marketing themselves as a professional, they may immediately become skeptical and assign criminal intent.
Such intent is easy to infer when authorities support it. That is what is happening in the case of a California tax preparer who was recently arrested for filing allegedly erroneous returns for hundreds of clients over several years. Federal law enforcement officials say that the man (among other things) intentionally over-reported reimbursable expenses and charitable donations, resulting in many of his clients receiving more in their returns than they were entitled to. As a result, many were subsequently audited. All told, the man’s supposed actions were said to have clients an additional $645,000 in returns that were unwarranted.
While the evidence presented by authorities in these types of cases may certainly seem compelling, it may not be enough to distinguish whether one accused of a federal crime indeed displayed criminal intent. A lack of such intent could reasonably show that despite obvious errors, a person was indeed attempting to execute their work in good faith. Those hoping to prove this point may wish to enlist the services of an experienced attorney.