A recent tax release by the United States Department of
Justice has indicated that a tax preparer located in Newport News, Virginia has
been indicted for aiding and assisting the preparation of false returns.

Per the press
release
:

According to the indictment,
Angela C. Harper owned At Ease Tax Services, a tax preparation business that
she operated from her home and hotel rooms in the Newport News area.  Between 2014 and 2018, Harper allegedly
falsified clients’ tax returns by claiming false credits and deductions in
order to inflate their refunds.  Harper
also allegedly did not sign as preparer on the returns or provide copies of the
returns to clients.

If convicted, Harper faces a
statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count.  She also faces a period of supervised
release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges
that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until
proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Per the Tax
Division’s manual
, aiding or assisting false or fraudulent documents is
charged under 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2). The elements for this charge are that:

As previously stated, the press
release states that Harper faced a statutory maximum sentence of three years of
prison along with a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary
penalties. Before considering other relevant factors, according to the Sentencing
Table
, located in the United States Sentencing Guidelines, sentences of 36
months are reserved for Offense Levels of 19-21. Referencing the Tax Table, this would
indicate a tax loss of more than $550,000 but less than $1,500,000.

All persons who are merely
charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore,
sentences can vary depending on several factors which vary from person to
person. This blog post does not implicitly or explicitly suggest there is basis
to the prosecuting agency’s allegations or take any position on the strengths
or weaknesses of the government’s positions.

Posted on 03/30/2020 by Benjamin Tu

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